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Posted: 12/13/2011 7:58:32 AM EST
In the 2000's it was "computers" and anything related.
Mid 2000's it was home construction, real estate and heavy road/bridge construction.

With all of the BS going on with the economy, what is a good field to get into? I work in a field relating to heavy road/bridge construction and as most of you know the work is drying up. The state is running out of money and they are obviously cutting back big time. I've seen hundreds of guys laid off, heard about thousands and I'm 1 of about 20 left in the company that is in the same field I am.

I made the mistake of not going to college right out of High School and regret it now. I saw the salary options and ran for it, 10 years later..and in about 60 days I'm going to be cut down to 24hrs a week until the team wins another project. Quite frankly I'm tired of worrying about what the next job will bring. It certainly is hard to fight the "fear" of not knowing what the hell is going to happen and is rather depressing. I'm sick of dealing with contractors, a bi-polar asshole for a "boss" and the absolute abortion of communication of our team. It's quite possibly the worst team I've worked with in the 10 years with this company and I want out.

I'm considering heading back to school but am unsure if it's even worth it. I'm looking to land something stable and have a salary of at least 42k...

Suggestions?

Link Posted: 12/13/2011 7:59:32 AM EST
Medical.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 7:59:44 AM EST
People are gonna say "nursing". Don't do it.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:02:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2011 8:03:47 AM EST by ex_dsmr]
Originally Posted By LoBrau:
People are gonna say "nursing". Don't do it.


This. Hospitals are on hiring and pay freezes and everyone from big state schools to po-dunk community colleges are churning them out like there is sitll a shortage.
I suspect due to Obamacare, medical is going to be the next industry to go TU.

Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:04:10 AM EST
There was a thread here the other day about how machinists are in high demand.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:04:58 AM EST
Repo man.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:05:13 AM EST
Community Organizers do pretty well these days...
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:06:12 AM EST
The newest fad on this forum is the oil business.

There is some good money to be made.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:06:12 AM EST
Machinists and Welders are in pretty good demand, and should be for the forseeable future.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:08:39 AM EST
There are a lot of qualified, experienced, talented technical people that are out of work, so I wouldn't invest in school on your own. Not this late in the game with such an uncertain benefit. It's the type of thing you pursue part time, while employed, under an employer's tuition reimbursement program.

Nobody enjoys real stability right now except for government workers. Utility folks are the next most secure. Outside of that, anyone with a solid 18 month outlook can consider themselves lucky or naive.

Our standard of living is declining.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:08:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By MightyHD:
In the 2000's it was "computers" and anything related.


"Computers" has done well for me for a good fifteen years now.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:08:57 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:09:04 AM EST
Originally Posted By LoBrau:
People are gonna say "nursing". Don't do it.


I did it. The above advice is sound. Dont do it.

Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:09:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By cmeyer001:
Machinists and Welders are in pretty good demand, and should be for the forseeable future.


yep
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:09:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By cmeyer001:
Machinists and Welders are in pretty good demand, and should be for the forseeable future.


Yeah. That's why those trade schools are doing such a booming business and the apprenticeship programs are robust.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:10:55 AM EST
Settle into a career for the LONG TERM and stop surfing the wave of what is "up". Once you hit a certain age - bopping between career tracks isn't going to pay off - and companies are going to be far less accepting of the "I was "X" - now I want to be a "Y".

Not to mention that you are limiting your earnings ceiling by repetitively switching careers.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:11:14 AM EST
Originally Posted By Rudolf_Diesel:
Originally Posted By cmeyer001:
Machinists and Welders are in pretty good demand, and should be for the forseeable future.


Yeah. That's why those trade schools are doing such a booming business and the apprenticeship programs are robust.


My impression was this was more a result of a lack of people interested in getting into it, not a lack of jobs. Is that impression incorrect?
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:11:52 AM EST
Truck driving is always steady money. Not a lot, but you can make a living.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:12:16 AM EST
Originally Posted By ex_dsmr:
Originally Posted By LoBrau:
People are gonna say "nursing". Don't do it.


This. Hospitals are on hiring and pay freezes and everyone from big state schools to po-dunk community colleges are churning them out like there is sitll a shortage.
I suspect due to Obamacare, medical is going to be the next industry to go TU.



Agree.

It's tough to earn a living doing a job that everyone believes should be a free service. Especially when getting the job requires a significant upfront investment of time and money. Prepare to have health care devolve into the lowest common denominator.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:12:16 AM EST
Certified automotive techs are always in demand. Good money working for a dealership.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:14:37 AM EST
If you can do the math, then I recommend Engineering. Average salary in my area for fresh out of college is in the $50-60K range depending on discipline.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:14:40 AM EST
Originally Posted By SISUltra:
Medical.


This.

Mom got her certs to code blood/urine and is making pretty decent money.

She has zero chance of unemployment and doesn't have to deal with patients. My career field just took a dump, and if what I have lined up doesn't work out, I'll be joining her.

Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:14:42 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:18:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By skeeterh:
Repo man.


I've had some well qualified, and well funded, former coworkers fail in their attempts to make a run at it here.


One of my customers was making $75 a hook, working for someone else, using their equipment, which isn't terrible if you're doing a few a night. Can't do it armed in FL, however.

Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:20:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By LoBrau:
Originally Posted By Rudolf_Diesel:
Originally Posted By cmeyer001:
Machinists and Welders are in pretty good demand, and should be for the forseeable future.


Yeah. That's why those trade schools are doing such a booming business and the apprenticeship programs are robust.


My impression was this was more a result of a lack of people interested in getting into it, not a lack of jobs. Is that impression incorrect?


My impression is the opposite. The tool and die cities are dying, because the industry is gone. Without the industry to consume and apprentice the grads, the students stopped investing themselves and the schools went away. The industry became afraid that we will lose the institutional knowledge when the present crop of skilled workers retire, because it isn't being passed on. The whole thing sort of collapsed because all of the manufacturing left the country.

Post collapse there are a few niche markets that need talented people and can't find them. I wouldn't invest myself in a career to chase those few jobs with those few employers, and be painted into a corner with no other options of the company sucks, goes under, etc.

It's dead; only a few people don't know it yet. Nothing wrong with being trained into it on the job if you're working your way up from a shop hand, but it's not a wise career choice for someone in the OP's position.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:21:43 AM EST
If you were to do a 4 year degree and have the math and science aptitude, I would recommend Engineering. Most of my good friends are Mechanical Engineers that have no problems finding well paying jobs. Most of them started at $60K /yr + fresh out of school. Even with the economy, our local recruiters are going bonkers over anyone with an engineering degree from a decent school. I would personally avoid the online schools you see on TV. Stick with something well known.

I did a Supply Chain major. Also a good choice for those who aren't so good with the math and science. I had no trouble finding work upon graduation. Even with the bad economy, I'm still getting offers from other companies to pull me away from my existing job.


Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:22:46 AM EST
Drugs and porn.

Being in construction I have come to realize my future options are...

1. Pimp
2. Drug dealer
3. Porn seller or director
4. Tele-evangelist
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:24:10 AM EST
I would second on the oil and gas industry. The skills needed to work for a service company would seem to be compatible
with those needed in road and bridge.

Montana and Wyoming

North Dakota

West and South Texas

Alaska

Off Shore.

Overseas

Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:24:54 AM EST
Industrial maintenance / plc programming
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:25:17 AM EST
Medical or leo.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:25:57 AM EST
Septic
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:26:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By GreatGonzo:
Certified automotive techs are always in demand. Good money working for a dealership.


Heard a story on the radio this morning about an aircraft company that takes folks coming out of a technical college. The students spend about $2K to get certified to fab sheet metal or something. The company hires them on for $12/hour and trains them to work on planes.

A motivated mechanic learns about fabrication, AC and DC electrical systems, hydraulic systems, etc. After five years on the job he's making $25/hr, and they can't keep them any more, because the auto industry snipes them for $5-10/hr more. Even better deals to go do contract work wrenching on planes in a war zone.

The plane company can't afford to retain them and can't afford to stop training them up.

I didn't catch the details or geographic location, but they talked about several companies needing talented mechanics to the tune of 100's of people. It was interesting and supports what you posted.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:26:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By InjunJoe:
The newest fad on this forum is the oil business.

There is some good money to be made.


Get a degree in petroleum engineering and more than likely you'll never have to worry again. There is no sure bet, but that degree will certainly make life a bit easier.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:27:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By GarandM1:
There was a thread here the other day about how machinists are in high demand.


It doesn't matter how high tech or robotic you get, somebody's got to be able to make the parts...............well until Skynet takes over.

Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:27:59 AM EST
Originally Posted By Rudolf_Diesel:
Originally Posted By cmeyer001:
Machinists and Welders are in pretty good demand, and should be for the forseeable future.


Yeah. That's why those trade schools are doing such a booming business and the apprenticeship programs are robust.


Reason why the trade schools and apprenticeship programs are dying is because no one wants to do it. That is why good money is to made there.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:28:16 AM EST
By and large, anything you can go to school for easily and get a comfortable job in... doesn't exist.

Even in computers, if you want to get in on the ground floor with a minimal education, welcome to the help desk and call center, where you'll spend your days in a cubicle answering to ignorant degenerates on the phone and Mr. Peters in the supervisor's office, and Mr. Peters is a 23 year old kid whose only claim to fame is that he's gone two years without failing a drug test, and so now makes $.30 more an hour than you.

Do you have any hobbies or interests? What are you really good at in your free time? What do you enjoy or take great satisfaction in doing?
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:32:18 AM EST
This is someones signature, possibly on this forum I believe. Too funny.


"The only recession proof jobs is politician and lobbyist.. I can't do either since I have bad knees" - TeacherInCA
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:32:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/13/2011 8:34:16 AM EST by Philmore]
Auto repair technicians and parts managers - people are hanging on to older cars right now. Anything from repairs at a dealership garage to oil change/servicing locations. Tire shops probably a good start as well.

Environmental Engineering - don't laugh. I've been doing it for several years now. If you can stand putting up with the regulators and their rules, and can stand the heat when things don't go just right, there are jobs out there. I wouldn't go back to school for it because there are a lot of certifications you can get thru short courses that will give you credentialing you might want.

Welders, pipe fitters, concrete specialists - construction is sporadic but some areas are seeing some growth. If you don't have a thing against union work that is depending on your area.

As far as medical, I would suppose physical therapists for rehab type work would still be a good place to find work. Also in home care if you decide on nursing skills.

HVAC work. When the heat or A/C goes off, not too many people can do it themselves.


ETA: Like posted above, you will have to knock on the doors. Getting a job is not easy right now so you will have to beat the street to find one.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:35:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By jjwheeler2:
Industrial maintenance / plc programming


Not a terrible suggestion. There's an amazing amount of that shit installed all over the place.

I envision being sort of a field-engineering / technician type of job where you're troubleshooting and fixing old dirty crap in the middle of the night, because that's the only time they shut it down. Travel and odd hours.

Not a huge market, but it's got a reasonable work outlook. Those guys also do a small cottage industry of parting out the old but functioning components on ebay when they upgrade a system.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:35:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By MXandSXracer21:
If you can do the math, then I recommend Engineering. Average salary in my area for fresh out of college is in the $50-60K range depending on discipline.

I thought I could "do the math," because I love math, but when I went into Engineering, it was a whole other ball game. I quickly realized that you have to have that type of personality/mindset, and that wasn't me, so I ended up switching, despite the income many (but certainly not all) engineers are known for making.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:36:38 AM EST
Welding. Then you can decide what field you'd like to get into - and if that field goes to shit, you can get work in a different one.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:37:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By LoBrau:
People are gonna say "nursing". Don't do it.


I'll pass on Nursing.....
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:39:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By GarandM1:
There was a thread here the other day about how machinists are in high demand.


They are in desperate demand. I deal with machine shops and they ALL say they just can't find anyone qualified.

It'll take the OP years to get trained, at a lower pay than he wants, but it will probably be worth the wait, and effort.


CMOS
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:39:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By jjwheeler2:
Originally Posted By Rudolf_Diesel:
Originally Posted By cmeyer001:
Machinists and Welders are in pretty good demand, and should be for the forseeable future.


Yeah. That's why those trade schools are doing such a booming business and the apprenticeship programs are robust.


Reason why the trade schools and apprenticeship programs are dying is because no one wants to do it. That is why good money is to made there.


I don't believe this. If folks could earn a decent living by standing in front of a machine, turning handles, making ships, and writing G-code ....... they would be lining up to do it. Men like to tinker and craft things. It appeals to lots of folks.

It's dying because we no longer have enough industry to generate the volume required to make it float. Specialized, nuanced, niche market with few choices and intermittent demand. Whatever it is you're doing, it could evaporate over night.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:40:57 AM EST
Originally Posted By SISUltra:
Medical.


Until ObamaCare ruins it.

Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:42:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By Rudolf_Diesel:
Originally Posted By GreatGonzo:
Certified automotive techs are always in demand. Good money working for a dealership.


Heard a story on the radio this morning about an aircraft company that takes folks coming out of a technical college. The students spend about $2K to get certified to fab sheet metal or something. The company hires them on for $12/hour and trains them to work on planes.

A motivated mechanic learns about fabrication, AC and DC electrical systems, hydraulic systems, etc. After five years on the job he's making $25/hr, and they can't keep them any more, because the auto industry snipes them for $5-10/hr more. Even better deals to go do contract work wrenching on planes in a war zone.

The plane company can't afford to retain them and can't afford to stop training them up.

I didn't catch the details or geographic location, but they talked about several companies needing talented mechanics to the tune of 100's of people. It was interesting and supports what you posted.


Link to story on NPR...looks like the place is in OK, and that they're pissy because their workers keep getting snapped up for higher paying gigs once they learn the skills (good for you), either in .mil or other private industry.

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/13/143586152/airplane-mechanics-a-farm-team-for-everyone-else

Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:42:30 AM EST
Open your own business.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:43:05 AM EST
I would look at something like plumbing, welding, or work at a utility. AS much as folks like teachers, they like electricity more.

TXL
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:43:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By CWO:
Settle into a career for the LONG TERM and stop surfing the wave of what is "up". Once you hit a certain age - bopping between career tracks isn't going to pay off - and companies are going to be far less accepting of the "I was "X" - now I want to be a "Y".

Not to mention that you are limiting your earnings ceiling by repetitively switching careers.



I came into my current field when I was a young lad wet behind the ears at the ripe age of 20.

For a short time I worked for IBM doing technical support at a call center; until everyone got laid off. From there I went to turning wrenches to the parts department at a dealer, then on to the field doing what I do now.

I started out at $6.75/hr. I've stuck with it and changed companies once, working my way to well above the $6.75. Looking at the long road ahead and others in this field makes me NOT want to do this when I get in my 40's and 50's+.

30 may be a good time to make that final change for the long run.

I applied for a job at the state department of transportation, actually quite a few. The job I was offered was a 3.5hr drive each way everyday in North Florida. I couldn't take the pay cut, lose the company truck to use my car/gas to drive that far. I certainly couldn't sell my house either that fast. I had to turn it down.

If I were to look into networking/IT ..Where would the starting salary be for a capable person right out of school? Everyone tells me I should go into networking / IT / security stuff but I'm just not sure.

....Depressing it is............

Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:44:08 AM EST
IT is currently, and always will be, a booming field.
Link Posted: 12/13/2011 8:45:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By Philmore:
Environmental Engineering - don't laugh. I've been doing it for several years now. If you can stand putting up with the regulators and their rules, and can stand the heat when things don't go just right, there are jobs out there. I wouldn't go back to school for it because there are a lot of certifications you can get thru short courses that will give you credentialing you might want.


Compliance people in general are doing okay right now. Teaching seminars. Evaluating facilities and helping them become compliant, stay compliant, craft and enforce coherent policies. It's being driven more by the insurance companies than the government regulators, so some of it has international demand.

Takes a certain type of person. Nit picking detail. Short term work assignments. Lots of travel. Dealing with clients that resent you and the whole paradigm that makes them require you.
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