Author Topic: What is (was) Your Career?  (Read 47895 times)

Self-employed-swami

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #100 on: October 18, 2012, 11:59:44 AM »
I haven't seen that documentary in particular, so I can't comment on it directly.  However, I work on an oil drilling rig, and I know how many resources (money and environmental) go into our fossil fuel industry, so I think I can say first hand, that it isn't a good solution either (not that I think you were implying that either).

Things have gotten a lot better in this industry in the last few years, but until we replace fossil fuels with alternatives (wind being one of those), (and decrease our waste of energy as a society on the whole), we are going to need to make choices, and trade-offs for our energy. 

Am I happy that birds and bats are dying from wind farms, no.  But, the alternative is also not that great sometimes either (what chemicals are involved in the making of solar panels, for instance).  And total energy consumption is rising in many parts of the world (even if per-capita use is decreasing) as we continue to grow our world population.

Solar Panel Discussions:
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/03/the-ugly-side-o.html

tooqk4u22

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #101 on: October 18, 2012, 01:47:49 PM »
Dh and I own a restaurant in a very small town.  Our income is limited.  It 12-18 months the place will be paid off and our income will double.

We saved the down payment on the place by waiting tables and cooking in restaurants.  Frugality and determination are the only reasons we have anything.  Dh has a 6th grade education and I spent 5 years wandering through various colleges.  I never managed to earn a degree but thankfully didn't accumulate any student loans either.

Its nice to see that there are other low income earners here.  I hesitate to share much because I feel a bit out of my league.

I wouldn't feel bad, you worked hard, saved your money, invested it in something you know, and are making enough to live and pay off the related debt (maybe more).  Great story.  In fact, I wouldn't mind reading more about your experience and the economics of buying/running a restaurant.


Guardian

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #102 on: October 18, 2012, 02:46:50 PM »
I work at a Quality Assurance company, basically monitoring Norton/Symantec agents 40hrs/week. I make $11/hr and do not enjoy it.

I am trying to find a way to get into Sustainability - really think it would be cool to be a coordinator or a specialist that certifies places/buildings/etc. I do NOT want to go to the local State University at 10,000/year as that just kills my hopes. I'd rather "hack" my way into the field. Just need to find more ideas.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #103 on: October 18, 2012, 02:52:14 PM »
Jason, a friend of mine recently got a job with our city, as a waste and recycling educator.  She has a polysci background, but is heavily involved in non-profit work surrounding sustainable jobs, and she's big into permaculture. 


Bank

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #104 on: October 18, 2012, 03:20:27 PM »
Dh and I own a restaurant in a very small town.  Our income is limited.  It 12-18 months the place will be paid off and our income will double.

We saved the down payment on the place by waiting tables and cooking in restaurants.  Frugality and determination are the only reasons we have anything.  Dh has a 6th grade education and I spent 5 years wandering through various colleges.  I never managed to earn a degree but thankfully didn't accumulate any student loans either.

Its nice to see that there are other low income earners here.  I hesitate to share much because I feel a bit out of my league.


I wouldn't feel bad, you worked hard, saved your money, invested it in something you know, and are making enough to live and pay off the related debt (maybe more).  Great story.  In fact, I wouldn't mind reading more about your experience and the economics of buying/running a restaurant.

I agree with this comment.  You are one serious and inspiring badass.

mm1970

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #105 on: October 18, 2012, 06:28:46 PM »
Engineering. I have a bs in chemical eng. I work in semiconductors.

Spouse has a phd in electrical engineering, in image processing.

mm1970

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #106 on: October 18, 2012, 06:32:40 PM »
24 years in the U.S. Navy, mostly in the submarine force.

http://the-military-guide.com/for-the-media/authors-biography/

The pay was OK, but the real financial compounding came about due to a lack of liberty to spend the pay...
And that's how we started. ROTC scholarships then navy for five years to pay it back.  Worked in nukes, but at a desk.

cosmie

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #107 on: October 18, 2012, 06:46:38 PM »
I'm currently a student, employed as a student worker doing web content management, digital marketing campaigns,event planning/staffing, Opinionator (I'm one of the first in a new degree program, and they pay me to give them constant feedback). This job pays handsomely at $17/hr, but the hours are sporadic between 10-40 per week.

Soon (in January) I'll start a 6-month internship as a Supply Chain Analyst (technically a Customer Service Excellence Analyst). This will pay about $4,000 per month, with the fulltimers starting out closer to $5,500 per month. Career growth can easily see you making over $100,000 in 3-5 years. If you're a traveler (or want to be) it offers some great opportunities to travel to Europe and Asia.

Depending on how the internship goes, I may stay at my school for a (free) Master's degree. In which case my career would lead more towards statistically heavy jobs such as modeling, simulation, forecasting, etc. Since neither the BS or MS is supply chain specific, this offers a broader range of job possibilities than getting stuck as a supply chain analyst, but there is large pay variation in this area that may result in a lower income than the career progression of the analyst job.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 06:48:14 PM by cosmie »

mm1970

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #108 on: October 18, 2012, 08:19:00 PM »
Geologist.

It pays similarly to the engineering types (six figures 4 years out of uni).  I'm in oil and gas.

Maybe I'm in the wrong location or industry, but it was 18 years out of uni to make six figures. Unless you count stock options.

grantmeaname

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #109 on: October 18, 2012, 08:36:15 PM »
Six figures in 2017 is not as much money as six figures in 2001, either.

sol

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #110 on: October 18, 2012, 09:38:46 PM »
Six figures in 2017 is not as much money as six figures in 2001, either.

Geology is kind of weirdly split industry.  The oil and gas side pays almost double what the environmental side does, for equivalent levels of education, but is more susceptible to economic cycles.  Depends on what the going rate is for what hydrocarbon this year, which changes dramatically.

Overall, though, oil is the most profitable business in the world and the wages reflect that.  All of the major oil companies have university programs where they will pay you to get a masters degree if you agree to work for them for a minimum number of years upon graduation (usually two), which means guaranteed job when you graduate.  When I was in school, they couldn't find enough bodies to put into such programs, but that may have changed.

I dated one of them.  Two years at a top state school learning to find oil, guaranteed job at $70k (ten years ago) when they got out.  They had to live in Houston or New Orleans for the first year, then they all took overseas assignments because the pay is better if you live in another country.  I'm still in touch with some of them, this is a crowd that gets drunk on $12 martinis on a Thursaday night and decides to fly to Switzerland on Saturday to going skiing.  Makes for amazing facebook pages, lifestyles of the young and wealthy.

Another friend skipped the industry-supplied masters degree and got a Ph.D instead.  They offered her $120k/year salary plus a cool million in startup funds to set up her own laboratory.  She's a research scientist for Exxon/Mobil, studies ancient biomarkers.

I work in the environmental side, and was thrilled to find a job starting at $65k right out of a seven-year long stint in graduate school.  Most of my peers in geology instead took postdoc positions, which are typically about $35k for a limited two year term, then you have to find something else.  The lucky ones get tenure track faculty jobs at $55k teaching geology, and if they work their asses off and suffer for six years, they might make tenure for $75k by 40.  Meanwhile my overseas oil-finding friends are maintaining second homes in Europe by age 30.

It comes down to what you really believe in.  Would you accept a million dollar per year paycheck to torture kittens?  I recognize that we need oil and gas to run our economy and I'm not saying we should stop digging the stuff up, but from the inside the whole industry has some unresolved moral hazards.  I suspect they feel much like the poor kids flipping burgers and serving lard-drenched supersized value meals to the fat couple on their Hoverounds; "Yes, this is paying the bills, but am I doing more harm than good for society?"

Self-employed-swami

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #111 on: October 18, 2012, 10:12:52 PM »
I work the job I do, because I know that I'm out here, making sure it gets done the right way, with as little environmental impact as possible. 

It pays well in the good times, which allows me to save for the times when I'll be out of work.

MooreBonds

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #112 on: October 18, 2012, 11:18:39 PM »
Designer of plumbing and related mechanical piping systems for buildings. Graduated w/ a bachelors in Mech E in 2000, along with tacking on econ and business majors. Worked in the family construction company for about 7 years, and was beyond burnt out (thanks to family as much as the industry).

Tried the other side of the table for design, and found out I enjoy it fairly well. Some competing job offers helped encourage my employer to bump up my salary two different times, up to the low 90s. Have gone back and forth on getting my PE, but plan on hanging up the hat in less than 10 years, so not too inclined to go through the hassle and continuing education time/expense for just a few years of marginal benefit.

zinnie

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #113 on: October 19, 2012, 02:32:38 AM »
I work in publishing. It isn't lucrative until you make it closer to the top, but I've been lucky to have good connections and get promoted quickly. Now I am an editor for a digital textbook publisher. I only have a bachelor's degree, which is typical for this field as it is more about experience and who you know.

My husband was a naval officer after college, now he is just starting out in architecture/construction after completing his master's.

We can both supplement our income with freelance, which we continue now to keep our connections so we can earn extra when needed for when we FI. He does a lot of graphic design work on the side to supplement his starting salary.

Edit: removing too personal information from posts.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 01:53:12 PM by zinnie »

Anguilla

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #114 on: October 19, 2012, 05:56:53 AM »
Senior Tax Specialist making $70k in the Baltimore, MD area.
I have a Masters degree in Tax & CPA license. I make additional money on the side consulting on taxes.

jrhampt

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #115 on: October 19, 2012, 06:50:06 AM »
Sol, good comment about geology.  My experience lines up with yours, since all of my friends from undergrad are in the environmental geology field, which I think is more prevalent in the northeast states.  I worked for a couple of years in the field (state environmental agency and a university environmental institute) before realizing that I hated working outdoors in CT winters for meager pay (I think I was making less than $30k working for the university back in 2001).  I think I might have stuck with it for a few more years if I had been in a higher-paying field, but as it is I lucked into a decent-paying job eventually anyway (totally unrelated to geology).  I'm not jetting off to Switzerland on a whim, but that story reminds me of a college roommate friend who did contracting in Iraq for several years, and she's getting ready to retire in her mid-thirties.  No signs of frugality, either, so she's probably making more money than God in order to soak up all the spending ;-)

shadowmoss

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #116 on: October 19, 2012, 08:02:23 AM »
I work for a DOD contractor providing IT support to the Military.  For the past 2 years I've been living and working in Honduras.  The tax advantages of working outside the US have me just a few months from being debt free from credit cards or consumer loans.  Depends on how long it will take to get the deadbeat tennent out of my house in TN and sell the house to be able to be totally debt free.  Cutting ties and going outside the US to work has been the best financial step I've made, and I've learned a lot about hedonic adaptation.  I went from common working class status to part of the rich 1 percent down here in the time it takes to fly down.  Very much an eye opener.

vieja

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #117 on: October 19, 2012, 08:31:09 AM »
Thanks for all the positive comments.  At the moment all our extra money goes back into the business to pay it off.  Once that is accomplished, I am totally clueless as to where to invest the money.

I'm not trying to hijack the thread-just making a comment-because this is where I feel like I don't fit in.  I'll keep reading and learning and ask serious questions as I get closer to being debt free.

MoonPilgrim

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #118 on: October 19, 2012, 12:10:14 PM »
I make $80K per year as a grant/contract manager working for a medium-sized nonprofit with an IT-focused mission.  My teaching certificate, library science degree, and experience got me in the door doing "outreach" to schools and libraries (essentially an outside sales position, no commission plan, around $55K/year), and after a few years I switched departments and started managing staff.  This is a headache which, for me, is only sometimes worth the pay.  :) 

My organization has a close relationship with a nearby university, and all of our HR and payroll goes through the university, so I'm technically a university employee--the benefit plans offered are fantastic, and we get a ton of paid time off.  Not all schools are created equal, but I would recommend looking into openings at any higher ed institutions that are close to you.


Undecided

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #119 on: October 19, 2012, 01:04:02 PM »
Tax Lawyer: BigLaw, Big 4, In-House Counsel, Tax Consulting. High stress, ridiculous hours, not worth the money, IMHO.

Are you still doing it?

thrifted

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #120 on: October 19, 2012, 07:57:33 PM »
I do accounting for a small nonprofit. I started at $55k here but was at a university doing the same work for $45k just a few years ago.

Nords

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #121 on: October 19, 2012, 08:35:25 PM »
And that's how we started. ROTC scholarships then navy for five years to pay it back.  Worked in nukes, but at a desk.
Well, I'm jealous!

But then you're probably wishing that you had a chance to go to sea and run engineering drills...

Designer of plumbing and related mechanical piping systems for buildings. Graduated w/ a bachelors in Mech E in 2000, along with tacking on econ and business majors. Worked in the family construction company for about 7 years, and was beyond burnt out (thanks to family as much as the industry).
Tried the other side of the table for design, and found out I enjoy it fairly well. Some competing job offers helped encourage my employer to bump up my salary two different times, up to the low 90s. Have gone back and forth on getting my PE, but plan on hanging up the hat in less than 10 years, so not too inclined to go through the hassle and continuing education time/expense for just a few years of marginal benefit.
This is interesting.  I don't know much about the engineering career field, but I was under the impression that Mech Es and Civil Es couldn't get very far without a PE.  My daughter's college experience has just tended to reinforce that.  Yet after she graduates and starts her military payback, it's going to take her quite a few years to pursue a PE.

By the time you had your seven years of experience, was that considered the equivalent of a PE?  Or was your experience in other areas of the business where a PE was just superfluous?

Sparky

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #122 on: October 20, 2012, 10:41:01 AM »
I work the job I do, because I know that I'm out here, making sure it gets done the right way, with as little environmental impact as possible. 

It pays well in the good times, which allows me to save for the times when I'll be out of work.

Well said. You and I are in the same boat. When it's good its great but when its bad it's really bad.....

Self-employed-swami

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #123 on: October 20, 2012, 07:28:56 PM »
Thanks Sparky :)

I'm glad to know that there are a few others out there in the same position.

ShanghaiStashing

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #124 on: October 20, 2012, 07:51:41 PM »
I work in management consulting.

Pros
Great pay, huge advancement, pay will stay with you even after you transition to industry (e.g., you can expect to make 80% or so of your last years pay when you go to industry).

The travel is fantastic and you can end up with most vacations for free from miles / hotel points, and if you're lucky you see the world (I think I'm on 18 countries for work now)

Cons
Absolutely no work life balance -- I regularly work 80+ hours per week
High, high, high stress environment with tight deadlines and bosses who can be assholes
Perfectionism and materialism -- people constantly judge each other and are highly materialistic

For me I stay because following this path I can reach my FI goal in 5-7 years and be phenomenally secure if I ever want / need to return to the work force.

MooreBonds

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #125 on: October 20, 2012, 08:21:35 PM »
Designer of plumbing and related mechanical piping systems for buildings. Graduated w/ a bachelors in Mech E in 2000, along with tacking on econ and business majors....Have gone back and forth on getting my PE, but plan on hanging up the hat in less than 10 years, so not too inclined to go through the hassle and continuing education time/expense for just a few years of marginal benefit.
This is interesting.  I don't know much about the engineering career field, but I was under the impression that Mech Es and Civil Es couldn't get very far without a PE.  My daughter's college experience has just tended to reinforce that.  Yet after she graduates and starts her military payback, it's going to take her quite a few years to pursue a PE.

By the time you had your seven years of experience, was that considered the equivalent of a PE?  Or was your experience in other areas of the business where a PE was just superfluous?

To answer your question....no, experience isn't considered "equivalent" to a PE by most firms*. Most firms merely want as many employees to have those two letters after their name for eye candy for clients. Has absolutely nothing to do with your competency - at least, directly. Obviously, if you really suck, then eventually they'll be forced to get rid of you

*Don't interpret that to mean that no employer will ever want to hire you unless you have a PE - it just means that there are more job openings by the top-notch firms for engineers that have a PE, and of course you can command a higher salary as well.

However, the Plumbing area is a slightly specialized part of the architecture/engineering field. Many Plumbing designers don't have an engineering degree (higher percentage than the Electrical and Mechanical people), and some companies merely have their Mech E (who normally does the HVAC ductwork/piping designs) do a half-assed attempt at the plumbing system. So someone who has an engineering pedigree in Plumbing is a bit of a stand-out. Add in my 7 years of 'real world' experience, and some employers can appreciate the somewhat unique skillsets and perspective I offer.

If I didn't have both my experience, skill sets and engineering degree (even though I don't have a PE) then I certainly wouldn't have gone as far in my salary package - from my research (glassdoor.com, my job search 5 years ago, and the occasional check on Monster/Career Builder for the rare posting that includes a salary range, just to see what salaries are at), I'm definitely in the top 10% of MEP consulting engineers who has 5 years of consulting experience.

I would tell your daughter to take her Fundamentals Exam IMMEDIATELY (she can take it as a senior). She has several FE tests to pick from, regardless of her major. Get that out of the way now while everything's fresh. She'll be surprised how much she forgets after just 1 year, let alone 12. :) After her FE exam is passed, she can then take the PE exam whenever (1, 5, 10, 20 years)....although there is a strong undercurrent within the registration boards to require new PEs to have a Master's degree before qualifying to take the PE test. If it ever does get enacted, it will be like 2020 before it is, so she has time - but life (and a growing portfolio) has a way of attacking your drive and ambition for some licensures.

Also, I believe (but not 100% positive) that she can take the PE exam any time after she takes the FE exam, regardless of whether she has her 'mentoring/supervising' by another PE - it's just that she can't fill out the form with the engineering board and receive the formal PE stamp from her home state until she can list the PE that has mentored her. So encourage her to take the PE exam as well, and then it's home free....until the annual continuing education classes start.

Nords

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #126 on: October 20, 2012, 08:41:59 PM »
I would tell your daughter to take her Fundamentals Exam IMMEDIATELY (she can take it as a senior). She has several FE tests to pick from, regardless of her major. Get that out of the way now while everything's fresh. She'll be surprised how much she forgets after just 1 year, let alone 12. :) After her FE exam is passed, she can then take the PE exam whenever (1, 5, 10, 20 years)....although there is a strong undercurrent within the registration boards to require new PEs to have a Master's degree before qualifying to take the PE test. If it ever does get enacted, it will be like 2020 before it is, so she has time - but life (and a growing portfolio) has a way of attacking your drive and ambition for some licensures.
Also, I believe (but not 100% positive) that she can take the PE exam any time after she takes the FE exam, regardless of whether she has her 'mentoring/supervising' by another PE - it's just that she can't fill out the form with the engineering board and receive the formal PE stamp from her home state until she can list the PE that has mentored her. So encourage her to take the PE exam as well, and then it's home free....until the annual continuing education classes start.
Thanks, I'll pass that on.  She's a sucker for this qualifications stuff.

I'm glad I stuck to chemistry and then nuclear engineering...

Self-employed-swami

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #127 on: October 20, 2012, 09:56:49 PM »
PE in the states must be a bit different than here (Canada).  In my province, We have P. Eng (and P. Geol and P. Geoph and P. Geo) all under the same regulatory association.

When you graduate, you become a M.I.T (Member In Training) for engineering (or Geol IT/Geoph IT/Geo IT) and once you have 4 years of experience (and have written the ethics exam) you can get the professional designation.

Without 4 years of supervised experience as an IT, you can't get the professional designation, even if you come out of school with a Ph. D.

MooreBonds

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #128 on: October 21, 2012, 10:06:53 AM »
PE in the states must be a bit different than here (Canada).  In my province, We have P. Eng (and P. Geol and P. Geoph and P. Geo) all under the same regulatory association.

When you graduate, you become a M.I.T (Member In Training) for engineering (or Geol IT/Geoph IT/Geo IT) and once you have 4 years of experience (and have written the ethics exam) you can get the professional designation.

Without 4 years of supervised experience as an IT, you can't get the professional designation, even if you come out of school with a Ph. D.

Perhaps I didn't describe it clearly, because it sounds like the US format is fairly similar:

1. Graduate from an accredited engineering school with a Bachelor's Degree.
2. Pass the Fundamentals in Engineering exam (broad test with a few questions from every discipline, with one section focused more heavily on a specific discipline)
3. Pass the Professional Engineer's exam (specific to whatever discipline you want to get the PE registration in)
4. Work under another PE for 4 years or so.

You can do #3 and #4 in any order. And each state's engineering board oversees (I believe) all PE registrations for that state. Nearly all states have reciprocity with another state's PE registration, so you only have to pass the exams one time in your life - you merely have to fill out a form and (usually) pay an annual licensing requirement to keep it active.

Perhaps one difference is that in the US, some states will let a PE stamp any drawing (a Civ E could stamp an Electrical drawing), while in other states, you can only stamp a drawing that is for the specific discipline you have a registered PE stamp in.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #129 on: October 21, 2012, 10:57:40 AM »
PE in the states must be a bit different than here (Canada).  In my province, We have P. Eng (and P. Geol and P. Geoph and P. Geo) all under the same regulatory association.

When you graduate, you become a M.I.T (Member In Training) for engineering (or Geol IT/Geoph IT/Geo IT) and once you have 4 years of experience (and have written the ethics exam) you can get the professional designation.

Without 4 years of supervised experience as an IT, you can't get the professional designation, even if you come out of school with a Ph. D.

Perhaps I didn't describe it clearly, because it sounds like the US format is fairly similar:

1. Graduate from an accredited engineering school with a Bachelor's Degree.
2. Pass the Fundamentals in Engineering exam (broad test with a few questions from every discipline, with one section focused more heavily on a specific discipline)
3. Pass the Professional Engineer's exam (specific to whatever discipline you want to get the PE registration in)
4. Work under another PE for 4 years or so.

You can do #3 and #4 in any order. And each state's engineering board oversees (I believe) all PE registrations for that state. Nearly all states have reciprocity with another state's PE registration, so you only have to pass the exams one time in your life - you merely have to fill out a form and (usually) pay an annual licensing requirement to keep it active.

Perhaps one difference is that in the US, some states will let a PE stamp any drawing (a Civ E could stamp an Electrical drawing), while in other states, you can only stamp a drawing that is for the specific discipline you have a registered PE stamp in.

Ahh.  Thanks.

I was at a professional registration seminar 6 months ago (to explain all the hoops, and how to fill out the experience forms etc) and they told me that the US and Canada were quite similar, and that reciprocity agreements existed.  To get a P.Eng (and all the rest of the P's) in Canada, only one year of your experience needs to be Canadian, and the other 3 can be from anywhere in the world that has some sort of P.Eng type certification (so a professional can sign your experience forms).

kkbmustang

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #130 on: October 21, 2012, 02:12:14 PM »
Tax Lawyer: BigLaw, Big 4, In-House Counsel, Tax Consulting. High stress, ridiculous hours, not worth the money, IMHO.

Are you still doing it?

At the moment I'm on long-term disability for a serious back injury, recovering from spinal fusion surgery. So, this red hot second, no. I'm seriously doubtful that I will physically be able to work 14-16 hour days again, which is a job requirement.

TomTX

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #131 on: October 21, 2012, 03:55:11 PM »
Geologist.

It pays similarly to the engineering types (six figures 4 years out of uni).  I'm in oil and gas.

Maybe I'm in the wrong location or industry, but it was 18 years out of uni to make six figures. Unless you count stock options.

Most likely the industry, unless you are already in oil & gas. I got a recruiter call last month that would double my salary - if I moved over to oil & gas. Would require relocation, longer hours, more intense environment and either a lot of time in the refinery or a lot of time away from home.

For engineering students - take the FE exam while you are in school!

Depending on your specialty, you may or may not go for a PE later - but you should get that FE out of the way. If you do go into a PE-centric field or employer, having the FE will make you likely to be eligible for some sort of assistance program, ranging from formal mentoring at the low end all the way to "Hey, we'll pay for a PE prep course you take on company time, exam fees, 45 days of paid study time before the exam and a guaranteed salary bump when you pass."

rob waters

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #132 on: October 21, 2012, 04:14:49 PM »
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Would not recommend this career choice to anyone. I lucked out and had a scholarship all through vet school so graduated with zero debt, which is about the only good thing I can say about that.

This is exactly the advice I got while a Tech for a Vet.  He said the business side squeezed the life out of the career.  I promptly changed my post-grad training to another science.

rob waters

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #133 on: October 21, 2012, 04:19:48 PM »
Environmental Services - waterway permitting compliance, flood management compliance and wetland mitigation specialist for department of transportation.  Previously worked contract for clean water grants.  Education - BS Zoology and Masters in Environmental Science and Public Policy.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #134 on: October 21, 2012, 04:29:10 PM »
Geologist.

It pays similarly to the engineering types (six figures 4 years out of uni).  I'm in oil and gas.

Maybe I'm in the wrong location or industry, but it was 18 years out of uni to make six figures. Unless you count stock options.

Most likely the industry, unless you are already in oil & gas. I got a recruiter call last month that would double my salary - if I moved over to oil & gas. Would require relocation, longer hours, more intense environment and either a lot of time in the refinery or a lot of time away from home.

I have a field job.  A lot of the office people I know are in the high 5 figure range, low 6 figures at 4 years out.  The field always pays better, I call it the inconvenience bonus.  I get no stock options or any benefits though, I pay for them myself (through my own company).  I am away from home 160 to 185 days a year though.

Sparky

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #135 on: October 21, 2012, 10:56:22 PM »
Quote
I call it the inconvenience bonus

We call it 'doing time in (name the project) _____ prison'..... Really if you think about, when your out in the field your at work 24/7. Your ass is always on the line and more people get removed from their positions from being 'off work' and there actions than on the job site itself. It's a wonderful life :)


atlbrew

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #136 on: October 25, 2012, 01:56:37 PM »
I am a CPA working in Internal Audit for a medium size grain/barge company and my wife works in marketing for a small oil and gas electrical instrumentation company.

Nancy

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #137 on: October 25, 2012, 03:41:01 PM »
I read for a living and love it. A very very long trudge to a decent salary - though I'll never be in the range of the engineers salary-wise. I'm a newspaper editor (and adjunct professor).  Old school, baby. Dig it.

I do dig it! How did your long trudge start? Editorial assistant?

Matte

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #138 on: October 26, 2012, 01:00:23 PM »
Power Engineer, work in oil and gas.  Good job, shift work, Went to BCIT 2 years, 29 bucks an hour as a summer student, and full time work is alot more.  Industry standard is overtime is double time, it is a regulated trade in Canada so you need a diploma + write Provincial exams for certification.  Work with steam and pressure vessels, rotating shift, its a good gig.

palvar

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #139 on: October 26, 2012, 02:21:30 PM »
I would tell your daughter to take her Fundamentals Exam IMMEDIATELY (she can take it as a senior). She has several FE tests to pick from, regardless of her major. Get that out of the way now while everything's fresh.

Also, the 180 page book they give to as a reference during the exam contains everything you learned in 4 years of college.

mm1970

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #140 on: October 26, 2012, 09:55:14 PM »
And that's how we started. ROTC scholarships then navy for five years to pay it back.  Worked in nukes, but at a desk.
Well, I'm jealous!

But then you're probably wishing that you had a chance to go to sea and run engineering drills...


Well, yes, kinda.  I was a nuke back in the dark ages (early 90's) before they let women on combat ships (and now, subs!)  So driving a desk was my only option for a nuke.

Nords

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #141 on: October 26, 2012, 11:48:15 PM »
And that's how we started. ROTC scholarships then navy for five years to pay it back.  Worked in nukes, but at a desk.
Well, I'm jealous!

But then you're probably wishing that you had a chance to go to sea and run engineering drills...


Well, yes, kinda.  I was a nuke back in the dark ages (early 90's) before they let women on combat ships (and now, subs!)  So driving a desk was my only option for a nuke.
I think we both felt the grass was greener.

When my spouse (a meteorologist/oceanographer) was finally eligible for sea duty aboard a combatant, her detailer offered her the USS TRIPOLI.  She proudly relayed the news to the other surface warriors at her ASW training command, and they looked at her like she was nuts.  Once they'd explained to her what METOCs were used for on those ships (admin correspondence) and what TRIP's schedule looked like (shipyard), she was ready to try something else.  Somehow the detailer gave the impression that she'd be Horatio Hornblower...

Our daughter is dead-set on being a submariner (and a trailblazer living inside a fishbowl) because of the quality of the people.  I have to agree with her there.

mindaugas

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #142 on: October 29, 2012, 12:22:13 PM »
30 now, in and out of college the past 10 years with no degree and work IT in sys admin related roles. I started at a small PC repair shop making $8 an hour, learned a LOT of stuff and gained tons of XP and eventually moved up to a DBA where I am now at a little over $80k.

I feel IT should be treated like a journeyman-ship (if that's the correct term) wherein you learn through apprenticeship like a plumber/electrician. Yes there should still be certs but it seems like a waste to get a CIS degree and learn some basic java so you can land a job as an entry level network/sys admin. You an learn what you need to know to get started through a cert bootcamp and the rest on the job.   

mindaugas

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #143 on: October 29, 2012, 12:41:41 PM »
Dh and I own a restaurant in a very small town.  Our income is limited.  It 12-18 months the place will be paid off and our income will double.

We saved the down payment on the place by waiting tables and cooking in restaurants.  Frugality and determination are the only reasons we have anything.  Dh has a 6th grade education and I spent 5 years wandering through various colleges.  I never managed to earn a degree but thankfully didn't accumulate any student loans either.

Its nice to see that there are other low income earners here.  I hesitate to share much because I feel a bit out of my league.

Ditto, a far fetched dream of mine is to own a restaurant. I admire anyone who does, especially if you're living off that.

I wouldn't feel bad, you worked hard, saved your money, invested it in something you know, and are making enough to live and pay off the related debt (maybe more).  Great story.  In fact, I wouldn't mind reading more about your experience and the economics of buying/running a restaurant.

MrsKensington

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #144 on: October 29, 2012, 07:25:37 PM »
Quote from: MrsKensington on October 21, 2012, 07:55:32 PM
I read for a living and love it. A very very long trudge to a decent salary - though I'll never be in the range of the engineers salary-wise. I'm a newspaper editor (and adjunct professor).  Old school, baby. Dig it.

I do dig it! How did your long trudge start? Editorial assistant?



Yep. I was a news aide making $16,000/year. 1991. With a few years out of the biz in the mid-90s to teach overseas, I've been lucky to end up in a good place. I also got a fellowship and was paid to earn a masters by teaching at a university AND working full time in a newsroom AND taking classes all at the same time. No sleep for those years, but no debt and bought a house.

Bakari

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #145 on: October 30, 2012, 11:05:33 AM »
Career?
What's that?

After college (which I didn't finish the first time around) was a bike messenger, then a private security guard, then an armored truck driver, then a fork lift driver, then a security supervisor (same job as before, but with a gun and a patrol car) - then drove halfway across the country and was a live-in nanny for my 2 year old 1/2 cousin, then worked as a carnie (setting up and operating rides), then drove the rest of the way across the country and worked as a bike messenger in Manhattan, then a street fundraiser for Save the Children and GreenPeace, then worked in a seafood warehouse, then a tungsten factory, drove back to CA worked as an administrative assistant for a contractor, went back to college and got associate degrees in biology, earth science, economics, and liberal arts (plus EMT and reserve police officer certificates).
I didn't stay at any one job for more than 10 months.  In between I worked shorter gigs, lasting from one day to 2 weeks, including HVAC technician, TV commercial actor,  ditch digger, cold calling ad sales, medical test subject, "adult" actor, driving imported cars from the ship yard to the train yard.  I think there was more, but I can't remember what.

At the age of 26, when I graduated college, my plan was to become a park ranger (hence the biology and earth sci degrees, and emt and police certs).  Went through a long application process, tests, psychological evaluations, interview board, obstacle course, passed them all, was offered the job about one week before budget cuts eliminated the position.

While I was looking for another park ranger job, I posted an ad on Craigslist that I had a (biodiesel powered truck) truck and could move stuff in and/or do minor repairs.  It was supposed to be a way to pick up a little side cash until I was able to start my real "career"
That was six years ago.  Biodiesel Hauling is a certified green business, and jobs are 100% repeats and referrals.
It still remains my primary source of income, but six months after I started the hauling/delivery/handyman work, I also started working part-time at a little non-profit community bike shop that offers free indoor valet day parking for bicycle commuters.  In 2009 I joined the US Coast Guard reserve, and spend a couple days a month doing training and  search and rescue missions in the SF Bay.  In addition I work for the local bicycle coalition supervising the volunteers at festivals and other special events spring through fall, I write the blog for ecomodder.com, and I run the local polling place each election.

Total income between 4 jobs is approximately $35k, which is by far the most I have ever made in my life (half my adult years I earned 10k or less). 
I paid the last of my debt and opened an IRA on February 18th, 2010, and current savings and investments stands at $33,500 for about a 35% savings rate.

I'm currently saving for a downpayment on a two unit house.  I plan to rent both units out, at least at first, but I may move into one of them eventually.  At my level of spending I expect the rent from one would pay the majority of my living expenses, the rent from both should pay all of my living expenses with plenty left over for saving.  Assuming I can get a loan, (given my lack of a traditional job), I could be FI in 1-2 years (4 years after I started actually trying to be conscious of saving).


Vahla

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #146 on: October 30, 2012, 03:46:39 PM »
Graduated college a few years back and I am doing IT support currently.  Pay isn't fantastic but it got me out of debt.

MMMdude

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #147 on: October 31, 2012, 06:05:56 PM »
I"m a CA in Canada (same as CPA in US).  Income is good (135k) and generally under 45 hours per week.  Where I live though, housing is fairly expensive (avg home 400K) and your average blue collar tradesmen makes about what I make so it's all relative.  Can be stressful at times, but everything considered I can't complain.  Would I get into it now if I was 22?  Possibly not as it seems to be a popular choice with grads these days and my feeling is that there are too many accountants in the market now.  Similar thing happened with pharmacy about ten years ago and teachers before that.  I am aiming to retire in about 10 years so not too concerned about any glut.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 06:41:25 PM by MMMdude »

grantmeaname

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #148 on: October 31, 2012, 06:36:15 PM »
Here in the US accounting schools are pumping kids out as fast as they can and its still not enough to fill the seats of the retiring boomers each year.

MMMdude

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Re: What is (was) Your Career?
« Reply #149 on: October 31, 2012, 06:44:36 PM »
Here in the US accounting schools are pumping kids out as fast as they can and its still not enough to fill the seats of the retiring boomers each year.

I recently put up an ad for a Corp Accountant opening in my group and received 60 responses.  Granted, the vast majority of them were from recently immigrated individuals with overseas qualifications which is somewhat puzzling.