Author Topic: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?  (Read 9136 times)

YoungAndWise

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« on: August 18, 2012, 07:07:57 AM »
So yes I am starting my senior year in high school, and I need some advice.

Here is my relative outline of my plan:
First I plan on getting certified as Pharmacy Technician in the Fall 2013. It is fifty hour course so it will be very quick to complete and from what I've seen doesn't cost a ton of money.

After that I *might* join the Americorps NCCC for a year to obtain the $5,500 scholarship to offset cost of getting my certification as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA). It is two year course but at most I'll be taking five classes per semester during Fall and Spring courses, and two classes during the Summer semesters

During my completion of the PTA certification I can work as a Pharmacy Technician, increase my net worth, and get work experience underneath my belt.

By the time I can actually legally drink (My age when I finish this plan of mine):
I'll have a positive new worth in the five digits.
No debt
Have a pharmacy tech. and a PTA certification, and a couple years of experience underneath my belt.
More than likely can get a job easily.

Other Information:
The reason of hesitation of joining the Americorps is being wary of getting stuck under a crappy team leader. And the time investment.
Right now I am learning xhtml  and css to diversify my skills.
I can't really get into the workplace as of now because of my focus on school studies and other things.
Reason I got into healthcare stuff is because my state has pretty crappy healthcare so through this I can help my make it better.

Specific Question:
Does anyone have experience with the Americorps? NCCC branch specifically?


So besides that any advice?

MrD

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 95
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2012, 07:44:34 AM »
I think your questions would be best answered by someone in the field, this really isn't a financial question but more a career type question. I would suggest googling most of the info or finding a forum for pharm techs. I doubt many here will have much experience with the information you desire.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4813
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 09:22:17 AM »
I'm in Americorps right now (for another month, then I'm finished with my term of service). I'm not in an NCCC program, though.

I posted a short summary of it yesterday here. I'd love to answer any questions you have after reading it.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28018
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 10:04:04 AM »
My advice is not specific on those topics, but to anyone at that age.

The crucial skill you can learn is live below your means.  Spend less than you take it, and save/invest the surplus.  Don't succumb to lifestyle inflation, but keep living lean, and you'll do just fine.

And enjoy.  Senior year and college years can be an amazing time if you take advantage of it, a time you can't ever get back, so don't focus too much on financial and making all the right choices at the expense of enjoying your life.

Good luck!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

MooreBonds

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 193
  • Age: 42
  • Location: St. Louis, MO
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 10:09:25 AM »
First I plan on getting certified as Pharmacy Technician in the Fall 2013. It is fifty hour course so it will be very quick to complete and from what I've seen doesn't cost a ton of money.

After that I *might* join the Americorps NCCC for a year to obtain the $5,500 scholarship to offset cost of getting my certification as a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA). It is two year course but at most I'll be taking five classes per semester during Fall and Spring courses, and two classes during the Summer semesters

During my completion of the PTA certification I can work as a Pharmacy Technician, increase my net worth, and get work experience underneath my belt.

By the time I can actually legally drink (My age when I finish this plan of mine):
I'll have a positive new worth in the five digits.
No debt
Have a pharmacy tech. and a PTA certification, and a couple years of experience underneath my belt.
More than likely can get a job easily.


Major congrats on having such ambitious plans like that! When I was in high school, I had my college plans all mapped out, with various majors, classes, etc, so I can appreciate someone who thinks ahead.

Just one overall question: what's your long-term goal? It's good that you can see the value in accumulating a decent stash so early on in your life - and the value of early contributions has HUGE effects 30 years down the road with compounding - but don't look for quick short-term benefits at the expense of long-term financial goals.

It could very well be more financially astute to accomplish a different path if you go for long-term goals at the expense of short-term plans. For example, how much is that Pharmacy Tech certificate going to cost? Are you fairly well certain you will pass with a good academic standing? And, more importantly - do employers even look for that when they hire the job you want to fill? Many for-profit schools will tout different certifications and such, but look for specific job openings you want, and even talk to a hiring manager or two to see what they will look for in filling that position.

Also, while the Americorps can be an honorable path, don't go for it just for a $5,500 scholarship - you'd probably be financially ahead if you instead worked full-time as a Pharmacy Tech (utilizing that certificate, if it's needed) and just taking basic requirement classes at a local community college, before then going full-time (or even part-time) to get your PTA degree. You will be in a low income tax bracket, and be able to deduct educational expenses, so you will be able to keep a good part of your Pharmacy Tech salary...which will likely be more than your $5,500 scholarship, and not subject you to having to answer to a random Americorps leader.

Are you sure you want to be a PTA long-term? Would you rather spend a few bucks more now with low-interest student loans to get a full-fledged PT degree? What is the salary differential? Could add up to some seriously higher bucks long-term.

YoungAndWise

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 01:51:44 PM »
@arbelspy: Well I came over from Jacob and ERE after two years or so the living lean bit I know a little about. Yeah I'll enjoy it.

@MooreBonds: My long term goal is to increase income coming from dividend stocks so that I don't have to work full time. The PT course will cost no more than $545 dollars from what I've check so and only take a couple of months to complete. The certificate is mostly used for an edge in hiring competition. I can easily pass course since my college GPA as of now a 4.0.

And about working for a year as a PT, you have point in that I can probably make enough in a years time of work than I could get with Americorps, even before tax.*

As for PTA and PT salary difference, the salary boost is a lot, about $30k increase. The reason I am not going straight for PT is because it requires at least a master's degree along with a certification. And also I rather be a strong team member than a leader.


*Why would they do that?

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4813
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2012, 02:42:29 PM »
Americorps pays a starvation wage because they can get people for that money. It's supply and demand. There's a high demand for pharmacy techs. Philosophy majors who believe in "community"? Not so much.

(It's the same reason grad students make half the poverty line in teaching assistantships.)

YoungAndWise

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2012, 03:01:16 PM »
Americorps pays a starvation wage because they can get people for that money. It's supply and demand. There's a high demand for pharmacy techs. Philosophy majors who believe in "community"? Not so much.

(It's the same reason grad students make half the poverty line in teaching assistantships.)

Ah that makes sense.

MooreBonds

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 193
  • Age: 42
  • Location: St. Louis, MO
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2012, 03:17:36 PM »
As for PTA and PT salary difference, the salary boost is a lot, about $30k increase. The reason I am not going straight for PT is because it requires at least a master's degree along with a certification. And also I rather be a strong team member than a leader.

Are you sure about PT requiring a Masters? I dated a woman who has a Bachelors in PT. She had commented about how her friend went for a Masters, took on a lot of debt at a high-end school, and ended up making the same as she did with her Bachelors, in the same type of position.

As far as being a "leader" - as far as I'm aware, many PT jobs involve just you working with a patient. Not like you have to be leading or supervising a team of 3 or 6 PTAs. You can even find part-time work on the side with some companies (which is what my ex gf did) in addition to your 40-hr full time position.

YoungAndWise

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 05:44:11 PM »
As for PTA and PT salary difference, the salary boost is a lot, about $30k increase. The reason I am not going straight for PT is because it requires at least a master's degree along with a certification. And also I rather be a strong team member than a leader.

Are you sure about PT requiring a Masters? I dated a woman who has a Bachelors in PT. She had commented about how her friend went for a Masters, took on a lot of debt at a high-end school, and ended up making the same as she did with her Bachelors, in the same type of position.

As far as being a "leader" - as far as I'm aware, many PT jobs involve just you working with a patient. Not like you have to be leading or supervising a team of 3 or 6 PTAs. You can even find part-time work on the side with some companies (which is what my ex gf did) in addition to your 40-hr full time position.

.....When did she get her degree?
Because I remember reading somewhere that there was change in 90s in that PT was becoming a master's course or something like that.

But thank you for information anyways! I mean it!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 05:54:06 PM by YoungAndWise »

herisff

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2012, 10:25:06 PM »
The schools are now producing physical therapists with masters degrees. My niece, who just graduated last year or the year before, got her bachelors and then her masters as part of her program. What I'm not sure of, though, is what the employer is now requiring. Bachelors would be the minimum, masters might be nice but not required since it's only the newest grads who would probably have one (unless you were wanting to teach). Note, if you wanted to own your own business, you would need to be a PT and not a PTA, and have plenty of clinical experience.

By the way, the same thing happened to RNs - the shift from a graduate or associate degree came slowly, but a bachelors is now, for many employers, the bare minimum. When a bachelors is not required in a job, there is often a financial incentive if you do have one.

YoungAndWise

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2012, 12:28:44 AM »
From what I've seen you need to be licensed for it which requires you to have a master's degree and a certification.
No problem really, I can always go back to college and get it afterwards.

herisff

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 07:04:28 AM »
From what I've seen you need to be licensed for it which requires you to have a master's degree and a certification.
No problem really, I can always go back to college and get it afterwards.
A PTA requires certification only. A PT is licensed, having passed boards. You are then required to take continuing education units (CEs) to maintain that licensure. The same is true for all licensed professionals, whether RN, PT, RT, etc. Some board-cert MDs are now required to re-take boards every few years to maintain board certification (this varies by specialty). This is to ensure that physicians stay up on what is current in their field.

liquidbanana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 11:33:46 AM »
From what I've *heard*, employers are moving to requiring doctorates for physical therapists. I think your choice to be a PTA is wise. It's one of the higher paying jobs you can get with a 2 year degree and at the moment, it's a field that's in demand for employees (unlike nursing...). After you work a few years, you can always go back to school for your masters or doctorate....and pay with cash from your PTA salary. You'll also know for sure if you like the field enough to devote that much money/time toward a higher degree.

There are a few bridge programs in the country (associate to masters), I think...which could save you some time/money if you choose to become a PT.

YoungAndWise

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 03:18:17 PM »
From what I've seen you need to be licensed for it which requires you to have a master's degree and a certification.
No problem really, I can always go back to college and get it afterwards.
A PTA requires certification only. A PT is licensed, having passed boards. You are then required to take continuing education units (CEs) to maintain that licensure. The same is true for all licensed professionals, whether RN, PT, RT, etc. Some board-cert MDs are now required to re-take boards every few years to maintain board certification (this varies by specialty). This is to ensure that physicians stay up on what is current in their field.
Thanks for clearing that up.

ch12

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 593
Are you getting any scholarships?
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2012, 12:30:18 AM »
It's worth getting certified as a PTech. I have four friends who have gone that route. Even though working in a retail pharmacy (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) is exhausting, it pays well. It's especially useful for the friend who is paying his own way through state school.

Is your plan to be a PTA and join AmeriCorps only because you want to build a 'stash? I may have gotten the wrong end of the stick, but the way that I read your plan, it sounded like you were focused only on the short term.

I have a decent net worth through getting scholarships for college. Is that not happening for you? If money had been a concern (which it isn't/wasn't at all), then I would've finished college in 2 academic years and the summer between those years. I came in with two years worth of college credit from taking an insane amount of Advanced Placement exams.

I've also worked since freshman year at a job that isn't even remotely as lucrative as being a PTech. Everyone told me to enjoy my college years and not to hurry through them. I got $60,000 in merit scholarships at a state school plus generous parents, so I didn't really mind taking it slow. I'm a senior in college now and I've studied abroad twice, once in Asia and another time in Latin America. My school has the seventh largest study abroad program in the US and has one of the top 20 business schools, so I am pretty happy with my choice to attend it.

If you're a senior in high school right now, you might be underestimating the money that the school will pay you just to attend and/or live in other countries for a semester. That kind of experience is priceless and something that you might miss out on if you are going for your mustache full tilt.

fidgiegirl

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2012, 06:21:50 PM »
As for PTA and PT salary difference, the salary boost is a lot, about $30k increase. The reason I am not going straight for PT is because it requires at least a master's degree along with a certification. And also I rather be a strong team member than a leader.

Are you sure about PT requiring a Masters? I dated a woman who has a Bachelors in PT. She had commented about how her friend went for a Masters, took on a lot of debt at a high-end school, and ended up making the same as she did with her Bachelors, in the same type of position.

As far as being a "leader" - as far as I'm aware, many PT jobs involve just you working with a patient. Not like you have to be leading or supervising a team of 3 or 6 PTAs. You can even find part-time work on the side with some companies (which is what my ex gf did) in addition to your 40-hr full time position.

My PT friends say it's in the process of racheting up to needing Doctor of Physical Therapy, too.  They both got degrees in the last 10 years and the min. was Masters and one went on to do the DPT.

.....When did she get her degree?
Because I remember reading somewhere that there was change in 90s in that PT was becoming a master's course or something like that.

But thank you for information anyways! I mean it!

Melissa

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Columbus, OH
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2012, 06:57:36 PM »
As someone who is a newly minted Physical Therapist Assistant let me clear some things up for you.

First, it is not just a certification.  I had to pass a national board exam and therefore I am licensed to practice under a Physical Therapist.

Second, to become a Physical Therapist at this point in time you would have to have your doctorate degree.  There may still be a few programs left where people are finishing up with their master's degrees now, but the change is across the nation.  There is only one program in the United States where you can bridge from a PTA to a PT.  It is in Findlay, OH and it is a 3 year program that takes place on the weekends.  One of my professors, who is a PTA, was looking into the program, but found that you also had to have a bach degree and it costs over $50,000 to complete the program.

I hope that information helps steer you in the right direction.

ShanghaiStashing

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2012, 09:00:30 PM »
I can't speak to the specific certifications you're going after, but can offer some broader financial advice.

First, I'd suggest applying for as many scholarships as you possibly can. A lot of schools will specific scholarships set-up by alumni for virtually every imaginable thing possible (e.g., a third year female physics student from XYZ state). Many of these go unclaimed, at least in Canada and I can'tspeak to the states but would imagine many schools have something similar? A couple of my friends paid their way through school by spending several hours looking through these list of scholarships, applying for 15-20 and receiving as many of them as possible.

Second, budgeting is a skill that you will have to learn as a student if you're trying not to go into debt. I'd enjoy school, but remember that there are plenty of ways to make things cheaper as a student and you should take advantage of all of them. I was one of the few people of my friends who left school without debt and lived frugally while at school -- most folks simply blew money like there was no tomorrow. I'd make a budget and stick to it as much as possible.

Third, I'd highly recommend looking into running a College Pro Painters Franchise if you have time off in the summers. I did this for 5 summers while I was in school and made a ridiculous amount of money as a student. It's phenomenally hard work and definitely not for the fainthearted (you will be working 80+ hours a week in the summer and stressed most days) but it is great life experience and fantastically wealth building. I bought my first condo with a 25% downpayment, paid for my tuition and all living expenses while at school, and invested ~50K by the time I had left university from running a franchise. While the rewards for those who are successful can be great, you can also end up spending a summer working exceptionally hard and only ending up with 5-10K to show for it if you aren't successful. It's a simple risk-reward proposition and you have to be aware of what you're getting yourself into to make it work.

Finally, don't worry too much about your financial independence while in school. University was some of the best years of my life and while I was frugal, I didn't stop myself from enjoying things, I simply found cheaper ways to do a lot of things (e.g., pre-drink the bar, buy food in bulk). I'd make sure you have fun and enjoy it while you're there. This is one of the times where I'd suggest remembering that you actually do have the rest of your life to work (or in this case... working life... of only a few years).


Wendyimhome

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
  • Frugal is the answer
    • Practical Frugal Living
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2012, 10:00:22 PM »
I commend you for minimizing/avoiding debt and encourage you to make that a continuing priority.  Do not let yourself get buried by student loans.  Believe me, far too many people in this day and age have come to rue that decision.

Also, and MMM has pointed this out too, there's no need to go to an out-of-state or private school.  Stay where you are and take advantage of the in-state tuition of the schools that your parents' tax dollars have already funded.

Realize that scholarship offers can be negotiated.  Most people don't know that.  If you do very well in school and receive partial scholly offers, talk with the financial aid department; they might sweeten the deal.

Finally, keep reading blogs like this.  They are much more useful than Facebook, video games, porn, and whatever else young people tend to blow their online time on.

YoungAndWise

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2012, 12:02:43 AM »
So update post I guess is in order.

So I've finally decide that I will probably go to college. My exact major is unsure but I know the general area I'm looking at, career of a crime analyst being my interest at the time of this posting. If I go down that route I'll do a B.S. in Criminal Justice with Minor in Psychology and possibly a minor in computer science

Not only that but from what I researched about CLEP test (and DSST!) I can test out of 17 hrs. of college (an entire semester of standard course load amount of 12 to 15 hrs!) so that along with my other college courses*, dual credit courses*, and tested out exams is about 53 hrs. of course work done before I even start college.
And according to calculations:

(53 College Credits Hours/ Average Amount of Hours per non-lab class)=Total Number of Classes
(53/3)=17.67 Classes

(Classes*Cost Per Class excluding books)=Total Tuition Cost Gross Savings
(17.67*825)=$14, 577.75 Gross Savings!

And considering the savings on books and cost for testing/subsidized dual credit courses cancel out pretty much, I save about $14,500 in tuition alone. So good start in my opinion!

Now if I go for my B.S. in Criminal Justice and Minor Psychology, I can easily take 18-21 hours of courses during my time there since the classes that I have to take are not lab-based.

As for paying for the college expenses I can easily get a multitude of scholarships from just being a criminal justice major (Sam Houston is a major Criminal Justice school with its own College of Criminal Justice) so I that is a major help. And also possibly next high school semester my high school might offer a Pharmacy Technician Certification course so I can do that and work as Pharmacy Tech during college if I don't get a job on campus.

Matte

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 218
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2012, 07:11:31 AM »
Good plan getting pharmacy assistant course.  Job training is where it's at! Is the criminolOgy course to be a Police officer? Are there others employers out there for that skillset? If you are looking into policing I would try talking with an officer about it.  They are usually pretty happy to tell young people about it.

YoungAndWise

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2012, 08:51:49 AM »
The Criminal Justice/Psychology major/minor is to become a Criminal/Intelligence Analyst:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_analysis

Here is the description of the work.

That being said I know that I should ask someone about this before head long into it; for now it i just a preferred method of doing so.




ch12

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 593
Re: Senior High Schooler-Advice anyone?
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2013, 07:37:43 PM »
You really need to talk to some people before you go into criminal justice. I spent my summer working for the Department of Justice. First off, the job looks a lot cooler than it is, due to Hollywood's interpretation of what tracking down criminals is like. Second, there are cool parts (touring the FBI Academy at Quantico!), but those parts are drowned in days pretty much filled with tedium. Good luck with finding a job, since projected growth is quite slow: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3021.06.

I don't want to be a Negative Nancy, but you should definitely research that choice pretty deeply before you commit yourself to it in college. Probably primarily by talking to people who are doing criminal justice type jobs right now.