Hello. Another poster from Europe here.
I graduated last spring (B.A. in philosophy) and although I enjoyed my degree immensely, I eventually decided to do something practical. Then I discovered ERE and after lots of thought decided to postpone my plans of going to engineering school, and start my ERE journey by getting a blue-collar or grey-collar job. I haven't decided on which trade to choose yet. There are several important criteria I can think of:
1. High salary (this is self-explanatory)
2. Mentally challenging / not boring job (I prefer problem solving and creative work rather than following strict guidelines)
3. Workplace safety (I'd rather retire healthy)
Additionally, it would be nice to:
4. Learn skills that are useful after ER (repairing, building things)
5. Get some "life experience" (like long-distance travel on merchant ships)
I'm leaning towards mechanic or electrician (are they really the most intellectually challenging blue-collar trades?), also investigating other occupations, like kitchen chef (I love to cook!) or carpenter. Any thoughts, suggestions?