Author Topic: Remote jobs for drafter OR what skills to build to transition to remote work?  (Read 1452 times)

therethere

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DH recently got laid off again. He's ready to stop doing engineering which I support as long as he starts working down another serious avenue. We'd love to try out life in a van or traveling the world but it seems to make it work successfully you need to be an entrepreneur or have a remote job. Neither of us currently have any skillsets to warrant such a job (that I'm aware of). He's damn good at quickly making engineering drawings and drafting very efficiently. This is the only thing I could come up with that may have the potential but I'm not sure how to look to get it further than that.

Are there any companies someone can recommend that do remote/work from home jobs for drafting? AutoCAD, Solidworks, ProE whatever.

Alternatively, what other skillsets or formal training/certification should we start working on that would open up the doors to such an opportunity? We aren't career oriented people and so none of these jobs will be falling into our lap because we are invaluable. Part time is perfectly fine, if not preferable.

lthenderson

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I used to be an engineer and had many drafters working under me. At one point, management decided it would be more efficient if the drafting work was done on a second shift versus during the more productive first shift when my talents were needed elsewhere instead of helping drafters. It didn't last very long. The drafters needed to be in constant communication with the engineer at times to determine design intent which couldn't be relayed through any of those software packages mentioned. If they got stuck, the entire evening was wasted until I got in the next morning and then the entire day was wasted until they got in for the second shift and I got things straightened out. We went back to having the engineers and drafters work together on the same shift. I would guess this would apply to drafters that worked from home and thus may be hard to find a job as you described.

There is more opportunity in doing complete jobs from engineering the details to delivering a completed set of prints. I did that for many years and it was away to work from home though I spent a fair share of time traveling around to see clients and provide support after the prints were handed over and building commenced. You really didn't specify that you husband was an engineer, only that he stopped doing "engineering" which I find many people apply to tech degrees. If this is the case, perhaps your husband should pursue a BS degree in engineering which would make him more marketable.

On a side but related note, I too got tired of being an engineer. Many companies have gone from putting engineers into management to just being a disposable resource. Salaries have been pretty stagnate for over a decade or more. I gave up engineering and went on a long term sabbatical that has gone on five years and still continues. Occasionally I still do an odd small design job for a friend but I don't wish to do so for a career ever again.

tardis

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Architecture , not engineering, but the current firm I am at has a draftie on staff for the summer, and for smaller projects he works remotely over the winter while he RVs with his family down south.  If something big kicks in over that time period he would get flown up for a few weeks at a time.  100% AutoCAD, though we are slowly doing more in Revit.  So maybe look for smaller firms who work on less complicated projects (less coordination) and don't need a full time person?

therethere

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He does have a mechanical engineering degree but has no interest in moving up that ladder. You either get into a really technical design role or into a project manager. Both are too much stress, work and responsibility to be worth it in his opinion. And companies just don't value people anymore. 10 years in engineering he's had to live with layoffs, threats of layoffs, or unemployment in 8 of the 10 years. I think every company has had forced 10-20% overtime too. I cannot wait to put the need for full-time engineering jobs behind us. Seeing as its all both of us have done since getting out of school we are just at a loss as to how to move forward to creating a more flexible less stress lifestyle.

I like the idea of small contracts then just moving around the country wherever. I think I'd just have to look more into the logistics. Would we want a home base? Would I try to do the same? Since we are not close to FI and we still need to live off our income, this seems like a flexible choice.


lthenderson

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I like the idea of small contracts then just moving around the country wherever. I think I'd just have to look more into the logistics. Would we want a home base? Would I try to do the same? Since we are not close to FI and we still need to live off our income, this seems like a flexible choice.

The hardest part of doing contract work is getting the word out. When I first started doing that, I contacted several companies that I had dealt with through a prior employer that weren't under non-compete contracts, etc. Once I established a relationship, then I started getting repeat customers and others by word of mouth. I really enjoyed that period of my life because I designed an entire concrete culvert manufacturing plant down to a retractable baby gate for a garage inventor. No two projects were remotely alike. I worked out of my home most days and worked on site some especially at the beginning and end of the projects. I would think it would be hard to move to new areas of the country and try to drum up work from scratch every time. It would be something you want to have a home base and just advertise in the surrounding area.