Hacking employment, improving work, professional development
- Posts: 52
- Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:26 pm
Pro tip - Don't get addicted to any of the following for bonus points -> Drugs, Alchohol, Prostitution
+1 - I know many in the trades who travel often that partake in said activities. Mostly alchohol and prostitutes. Probably because working 7/12s does not leave time for much else atleast that's what they believe.
I did mention operators briefly as a trade with a health trade off, many being overweight. I believe this could be over come easily though if one wished to avoid it. Just an observation of the operators I've seen. You are correct they can make great money. Honestly though in any of powerhouse trades (boilermakers, tin knockers, pipefitters, millwrights, electricians, operators, ironworkers) 100k-150k is very attainable.
- Posts: 3
- Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:44 am
Yes! to service trades. Here's one. 911 (other emergency number in other countries) emergency dispatch.
Impactful, varied work every day. Every shift, and call is unique! You've NEVER heard it all.
Low barrier to entry. No training, experience or education necessary. So this can be a mid-life pivot.
It's about who you are. They'll train you through the rest. If you can use a computer (and you're on this forum so..) and can maintain calm when there's a lot going on, follow the training program and you're in.
Good income. Look around and see the variety in wages. Some agencies in the country pay on the low end while others start at nearly six figures.
Regardless of your base pay, there is overtime galore for those who want it, covering other folk's shifts.
Flexible schedule. Centers are open 24-7 so you can work any number of shifts. You could be on days, nights, weekends, whenever...
Varied work environments. These jobs are available in sleepy little towns, and big cities alike. The number of incoming calls vary accordingly.
Free time. Even busy centers have a lull in calls when you are waiting for something to come in. So you can work on other things, read, etc... I got my Master's during my downtime (and work paid for a portion).
Government job = the unicorn that is known as a pension!
Access to the other unicorn that is a 457 deferred comp plan!
You can literally work anywhere. I moved back to my tiny hometown and assumed there'd be less opportunity. Because the communities are smaller with a smaller pool of candidates, I barely tried and there were three job opportunities offered to me. Once you know the basics of taking a 911 and using a radio, you could have your pick at agencies across the country who generally are looking for people. Within a year I'm making the same salary I was at a busier, more stressful center. ((when I was younger, I liked all the action there - it depends on what you like))
Schedule is flexible but the shifts are long. Bring side projects. Often you'll work 4-10 hour shifts, or 12's alternating 3 and 4 day weeks.
You could work holidays. It's sedentary work if you don't prioritize getting up and moving around (hidden pro: this may well be easier on your body than being a responder - at least you have more control over your health) Good thing you can earn lots of time off by working extra. Some agencies allow large chunks of time away.
It's stressful, and even traumatic, to hear people go through crisis. This is probably the biggest con, so you need to focus on self care. I wish I knew this earlier.
Basically it's a great career. I didn't know about ERE until two years ago, but I was mostly to FI through my career anyway. I'm nearly there by accident!
- Posts: 126
- Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:52 am
Weighing in because I'm a union plumber (still an apprentice technically).
Unless you want to own your own business you should go with a union job, the pay is far better for only a little hassle. Why would I do this (or most any job) if I'm not getting compensated well for it?
If you live in a right to work State your wages will be shit. In my area you are smack dab in the $20-26/hr figure sited on the last page after 6 months of apprenticeship and at $45/hr once you turn out. If, at that point, you are worth your salt you'll likely run work which in this local is another $7.50/hr on top of that. Plus 401k, pension, great union disability and two options for health insurance. Currently the pension is fully funded though I'm not planning on it existing once I'm eligible for payments, but if it is that'll be that much better.
No PTO of any kind, which actually makes taking time off really easy and politics free. We're also lucky that we've got over 50% market share.
All that with no required experience to start. You have to pass a laughably elementary math test and an interview to get in. I've got a bachelor's, was never a particularly gifted student, and am still in a different league than many of my coworkers.* Not saying I work with bad plumbers, in fact the opposite is true, but I am saying plumbing is just not that hard intellectually and having an education will be a leg up.
*Man that makes me sound like an arrogant SOB, but it's absolutely true. Mostly because the classically conservative "I am a rock, I am unchanging, and this makes me strong and tough" mindset is very prevelant, which acts as an effective entry barrier to trying anything new, including mental work as opposed to physical work.
The San Francisco and Manhattan locals of the United Association are around $65/hr with Seattle not too far behind that. Check if there's a UA local that covers your area.
It is hard on your body, but being conscientious of your habits and form can help. Lots of guys fall into the "gotta be tough" mindset and break themselves by continually doing stupid shit. No matter how perfect you are it'll still take it's toll, though. That's why I plan to be outta the trade within 10 years.
Any questions feel free to pm me.
- Posts: 73
- Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:25 pm
daylen wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:48 am
I have been looking more into carpentry, but one thing that concerns me is how volatile the work can be during a recession. It looks like housing starts are rising from the big dip back in 2009, though the next recession could hit anytime. There seems to be less opportunity for carpenters to do maintenance work than for electricians or plumbers, and the maintenance/insulation work that does exist might be prioritised to experienced carpenters during a slow housing market. There may also be a trend of millenials living with kin or inheriting kin property.
How much of a concern should this be for a potential apprentice?
I'm concerned about that, too. Can anyone speak to this? Also, thank you all for such helpful comments!