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Advice or thoughts from anyone.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by 04LTtacoma, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Nov 28, 2011 at 10:15 PM
    #1
    04LTtacoma

    04LTtacoma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I am changing my career from being an electrician to a ME. When I graduated high school I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do for a career so I just fell into the electrical trade.
    Let me back up here a little more... When I was in high school my senior year I was working full time and taking tests to get my GED. I was working for a Subaru dealership at the time. Both the service manager and mechanic foreman really enjoyed me working for the dealership. I was offered a job as a mechanic a couple months later. The foreman wanted me to be his apprentice. All the techs I got to know over the year I worked at Subaru told me that I need to leave this place. They told me DO NOT become a mechanic! They told me their work sucks and they don't get paid well. So I left the Subaru dealership after working there for one year.
    Then I fell into the electrical field. I had a buddy who wanted me to be his apprentice as an electrician. So I have been doing electrical work for about 3 years and going to trade school for about 3 years. Since I am almost done with trade school to be an electrician I have finally figured out what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to be an mechanical engineer. Right now I am taking all my prerequisites at a local community college, eventually transferring to a university.
    My boss really wants me to work for his company and to stay with his company for the rest of my life. I don't want to be an electrician for the rest of my life. As soon as I am done with trade school I am going to ask my boss if I can go to school full time and work part time, but there is a chance he may not let me work part time. What should I do? I never took school very seriously while I was in high school... Right now school is really important to me, more than my job. The reason I want to change my careers is because there is no job security, we don't get benefits, and the pay is okay. If I get married I want my wife to be able to stay home with my kids. I want to be living a comfortable life. I have lots of friends in the electrical field who are having a hard time living.
     
  2. Nov 28, 2011 at 10:21 PM
    #2
    MrGuitarguy

    MrGuitarguy Well-Known Member

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    Do it. Fuck you boss. Dont fall into his trap. Expanding education is the best way to go. I hear the engineering field is not doing so well, but I find that hard to believe. ME's have always been extremely sought after and they make some serious money. If you're saying the money is okay now, when you dont have a wife or kids, imagine when you do. You're going to be stressed, unhappy, and busting your butt just to make ends meet, and that will put strain on your relationship with your wife and kids. In the end, go to uni, follow your dreams and never work a day in your life. Anyways, if it doesnt work out, you can always go back right, or go to another electrical company.

    More food for thought: ME degree, plus electrical experience? I think you will have good opportunities. Go for it and good luck!
     
  3. Nov 28, 2011 at 10:22 PM
    #3
    Maverick904

    Maverick904 Resident Fishing Expert

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    hope your good at calculus ahah
     
  4. Nov 28, 2011 at 10:45 PM
    #4
    Tigahshark

    Tigahshark Senior NEWBIE

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  5. Nov 29, 2011 at 6:51 AM
    #5
    04LTtacoma

    04LTtacoma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Okay, thanks
     
  6. Nov 29, 2011 at 6:52 AM
    #6
    04LTtacoma

    04LTtacoma [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure if I will like calculus... My best subject in school is math. I have heard calculus is pretty easy and from there it just gets easier. lol
     
  7. Nov 29, 2011 at 6:58 AM
    #7
    SCFirefighter

    SCFirefighter on idiot patrol ;)

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    Calculus is not bad if you have the right brain for it. For some folks it will never make sense.
    Go and get your degree. While it is not impossible to have an actual career without one, most folks I know without a degree just have 'jobs' that don't really go anywhere.

    Get a degree and start working on your future. You're only 21 dude :)

    Chances are your boss will let you work part time. He knows you, and as much as it would suck for him to lose you full time it will suck even more if he has to hire someone new to replace you completely.

    Good luck. Do not get 'stuck' in a job without any marketable skills to quit and move on, if you ever have to.


    ETA: I'm not a career firefighter btw. I have a computer science degree and a 12+yr career now supporting enterprise and government security infrastructures across two continents. Very nice salary, benefits, pension, 401(k), vacation and sick time .. JUST DO IT! :)
     
  8. Nov 29, 2011 at 7:00 AM
    #8
    acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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    Follow your heart now, not later, the older you get and the more you become dependent on a job that you don't really like, the harder it becomes to switch, much harder in fact, better to be a starving student now than a middle-aged guy with mouths to feed later! Good Luck!
     
  9. Nov 29, 2011 at 7:12 AM
    #9
    jgwheeler17

    jgwheeler17 I'm a zit. Get it?

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    if you want to do ME you better be in it for the long haul academically. it is a LOT of work. one of my roommates is ME and he is always in the books. but like you said, theres a future in it. a guy from my community grew up dirt poor but he was smart as hell and applied himself. got a bunch of scholarships out of high school and four years later he was a mechanical engineer with a straight out of college, $55,000 a year job with the army core of engineers and his pay is only going up with full benefits. now he's married with a nice little starter house, 2010 seirra 4x4 paid for and is saving saving saving.
     
  10. Nov 29, 2011 at 7:15 AM
    #10
    brian

    brian Another Traitor

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    If your boss respects you and likes you then it shouldn't be a problem. I donno what else to say, its your decision and no one elses.
     
  11. Nov 29, 2011 at 7:15 AM
    #11
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Get your electrical license then get your ME you'll find it easier to find a job when times a tough. How many hours do you have under a master? Can you stand for a journeyman's test yet? If you are close get the license you can all ways do electrical work part time while you go to school it pays the bills.
     
  12. Nov 29, 2011 at 7:18 AM
    #12
    Toyoghi

    Toyoghi Well-Known Member

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    I'm a 3rd year engineering student, I am kinda doing a more mixed degree. I'm currently in civil, but the electives I take are all mech, since I love both. I am telling you man, go into engineering. Anything worth while takes a lot of hard work. But the sense of pride and accomplishment you get by doing it is not comparable to anything else.

    To be honest though, calc is the leaast of your worries. With the dynamics, and thermodynamics, and system dynamics, and ton of other courses you'll have to take calculus will seem like a breese, haha. The best way to approch is not to think about it. Say, I am gonna do it, and put your head down and do what it takes. Don't give up and you'll be succesful. If you want to be there you'll succeed.

    Don't continue being an electrician if you want to be an engineer, it's the easy and safe way out. But you could be out of a job in 5 years, and have a family to support. Or you could not. Either way having a degree under your belt is the best way to go.

    +1 for ME!
     
  13. Nov 29, 2011 at 7:19 AM
    #13
    SCFirefighter

    SCFirefighter on idiot patrol ;)

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    ^^^ What he said. If you're close to getting your license then by all means do it. It's a great way to offset the costs of college.
     
  14. Nov 29, 2011 at 7:32 AM
    #14
    rbishopp

    rbishopp Well-Known Member

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    School !! stop thinking about it. My guess is there is enough electrical work out there that you should be able to find something part time. Even seasonal.

    I want to go back to school now and I'm old enough to be your father.

    I went to school for wildlife management and that didn't workout since I needed more school. Have been a firefighter for 20 plus years and don't regret it but I ready for something better. I would like a degree in money management/accounting but can't afford it right now.

    Do what you like to do and it's not a job.
     
  15. Nov 29, 2011 at 8:57 AM
    #15
    Bishop2Queens6

    Bishop2Queens6 Well-Known Member

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    Going into any engineering field would open a million doors of opportunity for you. It's gonna be the hardest 4, possibly 5 years (It's gonna take me 5 years to get my B.S.) of your life with math, physics, thermodynamics, statics, dynamics, etc... but you don't need to be good at math to do well. You need to have a strong work ethic to do well.

    Your grades won't matter. What you do in college will. Your internships (very important), your experience, your research (also important), and your letters of recommendation will matter.

    Know that your university is ABET accredited, which means that your engineering degree will mean something, not that its just a piece of paper.

    Take your FE exam before you graduate. It's like a GED, but for engineers. It tests you on your Fundamentals of Engineering, basic shit. I passed it without studying, but still study.

    After you graduate, consider getting your P.E. which is your Professional Engineer's license. You'll sign off on projects, be the big man head engineer at the firm, and get a 20K boost in pay, but its hard as FUCK to pass.

    This is a lot to take in, but getting your B.S. in engineering is the best thing for you to do.
     
  16. Nov 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM
    #16
    Toyoghi

    Toyoghi Well-Known Member

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    Actually getting your P.ENG isn't very difficult. You just need 4 years of relevant experience, and to pass your ethics exam (which isn't too tough) the real hard part is the B.Asc. Ones you get through that you're golden. I am almost there!!

    Oh and if you have the option, do co-op, I am right now and the experience you get is priceless!
     
  17. Nov 29, 2011 at 1:15 PM
    #17
    Bishop2Queens6

    Bishop2Queens6 Well-Known Member

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    You're P.E. exam is different depending on where you live. A P.E. exam in New York would be different than it would be in California.

    In Canada, you just need to pass your ethics portion. In California, its a 2 day test encompassing your field, seismic, and ethics for Civil.

    Plus you need 6 years of experience in CA to qualify for the P.E.
     
  18. Nov 29, 2011 at 2:34 PM
    #18
    SCFirefighter

    SCFirefighter on idiot patrol ;)

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    Be careful not to overwhelm the OP. The college curriculum is something that he's considering right now. While I agree that professional certifications are really nice to have, he has to make the decision first to go get his degree :)

    Also, it's not like going to med school where you have to stay for 12 years before you're useful. He can get a good paying job as a ME right out of college.
    It's really then when you start to consider, and work on, your professional credentials beyond the basic degree.
     
  19. Nov 29, 2011 at 3:29 PM
    #19
    Bishop2Queens6

    Bishop2Queens6 Well-Known Member

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    ^^^ Very true. I did get a little ahead of myself.

    So key points:
    -Yes. Go get your engineering degree.
    -Make sure your university is ABET accredited
    Check here: http://main.abet.org/aps/Accreditedprogramsearch.aspx
    -Take your FE exam before you graduate
    -Graduate and get a job.
     
  20. Nov 29, 2011 at 3:32 PM
    #20
    Toyoghi

    Toyoghi Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Yes, Very true.

    That's odd though, because UBC (my school) is one of the top schools in the world, and with my P.Eng I can go anywhere in the US and be and my P.eng is valid (once I obtain it). So it seems wierd to me that your P.Eng requirnments would be different then mine.
     
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