The CNC shops I have delivered around here pay a foreman to run the floor and set up the machines. Everyone else makes less than you would to work the window at Wendy's to stand there and watch the machine do it's thing until it's time to take the part out and put in a new piece of material. And sure if you are talking about deep sea welding I guess that pays pretty good. But how many people are doing that and with what risks ? There are plenty of guys out there that own their own truck and make a damn good income. I know a few I work with that even had 10-20 trucks at one time. And then diesel went up and rates went down and they ended up losing everything. A few still dabble. Run a truck or two while they still are working for someone else themselves. There are outliers that can be very successful for a period of time, does that mean that everyone in that trade is so fortunate ?