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Old 12-15-2010, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
1,060 posts, read 1,341,332 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemmert View Post
Alright... I'll play along. Define "a lot" for me.

First, what does an administrative assistant type make in ND? I'm guessing they start in the $10/hr range and probably cap at about $20/hr? A job that requires some professionalism but absolutely no advanced education... an okay baseline to compare the value of a college degree.

I hold 3 college degrees. A Bachelor of Engineering (approximately 30 credits more than a Bachelor of Science) in Computer Engineering and a Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering from a solidly rated Engineering college and an MBA from NYU, the top rated part time MBA program in the country.

In ND, with my 8 years (2 in Engineering, 6 in Management up to $50M contracts with 120 engineering) of experience (I'm 31), how much more than the administrative assistant with 13 years (started at age 18) experience would I be making?

To help in your definition of "a lot", please realize I have $200k in college loans to repay and for reference here in Salt Lake City I'm making a little over $125k a year (would be about 10% higher if I were still in NJ).
You won't be working directly in the oil patch with those degrees. You might be working for a contracting firm designing controls for the oil/gas skids for about the same money in Houston. Considering that the average household income in Williams County, ND is 53k a year for a family of 4 (2009), 125k is "a lot". Plus, I would have thought with an MBA from NYU, you'd have calculated that the $20/hr job peaks out at 41,600/yr so the comparison is really poor. Paying $10/hr for an admin is pretty pi$$ poor and it wouldn't surprise me if the only ones you could get are little more than airheads, illegal immigrants or college students.

Operators start at 60k (including the OT) with no experience but most newbies will have a 2 year associates degree from a tech school on how to operate a plant.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Forest Hills
555 posts, read 980,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcat2k View Post
You won't be working directly in the oil patch with those degrees. You might be working for a contracting firm designing controls for the oil/gas skids for about the same money in Houston. Considering that the average household income in Williams County, ND is 53k a year for a family of 4 (2009), 125k is "a lot". Plus, I would have thought with an MBA from NYU, you'd have calculated that the $20/hr job peaks out at 41,600/yr so the comparison is really poor. Paying $10/hr for an admin is pretty pi$$ poor and it wouldn't surprise me if the only ones you could get are little more than airheads, illegal immigrants or college students.

Operators start at 60k (including the OT) with no experience but most newbies will have a 2 year associates degree from a tech school on how to operate a plant.
Sorry, I'm not seeing your argument. You said a college degree was worth "a lot" in ND. You're telling me someone without a degree (maybe an AA) and no experience can make $60k a year? Wow, if a degree is worth "a lot" in ND, I imagine college grads are starting upwards of $80k?

The admin was a baseline of what I could make without a degree... I figured somewhere in the $30 - 40k range (now you're upping the ante to $60k as an operator). I'm looking for the argument showing that someone who's college educated is making $50, 60, 80, or 100k a year to defend your statement of "a lot" of value. If a college graduate can't do that in ND (my assertation) then it would seem I am correct, a college degree is worthless. You were better off working as an admin or operator and not having spent the time and money to get a diploma on a fancy piece of paper.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:14 AM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
6,686 posts, read 5,543,735 times
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Not to be a jerk here, but arguing about how much one "can make" in ND is not all that helpful for most folks moving to ND (assuming they are moving there because that's where they really want to be for life). If the only thing that mattered in a given person's life was maximizing income, I'd doubt ND would even be considered in the first place. A better discussion/argument would be whether employment is available in North Dakota generally, how hard that employment is to find in a given region of the state, and whether it pays sufficient for one's needs in that area.

Maybe it's just me, but I really couldn't care less whether I can make 100K or 200K or a million a year in ND. That's not why I'm moving there--truthfully, I wouldn't even know what to do with that kind of money anyway; I have no need for it or desire. In looking to move to North Dakota, the only thing that matters to me as far as employment is whether I can find a job that pays sufficient wages to live in the area. Assuming the wage is acceptable for the cost of living, the number figure doesn't matter to me. If it's 8 bucks an hour, yet that pays for food, housing, etc, fine (I'd doubt that's the case, but if it were, I'd be okay with it). If it's $500 an hour and that's what it actually takes to live in the area... fine (although I'd never even consider an area like that in the first place). So... what can one live reasonably well on in ND--western ND, central ND, eastern ND??? I have a feeling that the economic boom in the west means that required income is very much higher in say Williston or Dickinson. But how about Bottineau? Valley City? Hettinger? Grand Forks? Park Valley? Grafton? Jamestown? Fargo? Bismark? How does the cost of living and the employment compensation compare? Is a $10 an hour job in, say, Rolla going to be sufficient, whereas it would certainly not be in Williston? I'd assume you'd need to be making at least double or triple that to get by in Williston...

As for college: I know this is very atypical in our money-centric society, but I didn't go to college for money. I went there because I had a burning desire to learn (I still have that desire, always have). So, whether my time at college helped with employment or not, it doesn't really matter to me--again, I know that's a very atypical viewpoint these days: learning for the sheer joy of it and simply because one wants to learn new things. But to each his own, right? However, I think that attitude is actually going to be an advantage for me in moving to ND. If I find a job that's related to my education, great. But if not, that's fine as well. I simply sell my time in order to "fund my life." Brains or back, it doesn't really matter to me because those hours are not mine anyway. So I really don't care what I'm doing during that time (assuming I'm able to do it in the first place to the satisfaction of my employer). So, again, what is the general job market like in different areas? Knowing that a theoretical physicist can get a job in Rolette or a nuclear engineer can get a job in Ashley is nice (note: hyperbolic example), but how about jobs for "real" people and/or those who are "educated" but flexible?

Last edited by ChrisC; 12-16-2010 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:14 PM
 
1,016 posts, read 1,997,262 times
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It's also important to differentiate between wage scales in the oilfields and those in the rest of the state. Relatively high wages plus huge amounts of overtime tend to raise the earning potential for people without a ton of education. That doesn't hold true in the eastern 2/3rds of North Dakota, where education does increase a person's chances of making more money. That being said, education doesn't guarantee high pay, nor should it. Pay is basedon having skills that are in demand in a certain area. In some cases, education is an indicator that these skills have been developed.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Forest Hills
555 posts, read 980,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Not to be a jerk here, but arguing about how much one "can make" in ND is not all that helpful for most folks moving to ND (assuming they are moving there because that's where they really want to be for life). If the only thing that mattered in a given person's life was maximizing income, I'd doubt ND would even be considered in the first place. A better discussion/argument would be whether employment is available in North Dakota generally, how hard that employment is to find in a given region of the state, and whether it pays sufficient for one's needs in that area.

Maybe it's just me, but I really couldn't care less whether I can make 100K or 200K or a million a year in ND. That's not why I'm moving there--truthfully, I wouldn't even know what to do with that kind of money anyway; I have no need for it or desire. In looking to move to North Dakota, the only thing that matters to me as far as employment is whether I can find a job that pays sufficient wages to live in the area. Assuming the wage is acceptable for the cost of living, the number figure doesn't matter to me. If it's 8 bucks an hour, yet that pays for food, housing, etc, fine (I'd doubt that's the case, but if it were, I'd be okay with it). If it's $500 an hour and that's what it actually takes to live in the area... fine (although I'd never even consider an area like that in the first place). So... what can one live reasonably well on in ND--western ND, central ND, eastern ND??? I have a feeling that the economic boom in the west means that required income is very much higher in say Williston or Dickinson. But how about Bottineau? Valley City? Hettinger? Grand Forks? Park Valley? Grafton? Jamestown? Fargo? Bismark? How does the cost of living and the employment compensation compare? Is a $10 an hour job in, say, Rolla going to be sufficient, whereas it would certainly not be in Williston? I'd assume you'd need to be making at least double or triple that to get by in Williston...

As for college: I know this is very atypical in our money-centric society, but I didn't go to college for money. I went there because I had a burning desire to learn (I still have that desire, always have). So, whether my time at college helped with employment or not, it doesn't really matter to me--again, I know that's a very atypical viewpoint these days: learning for the sheer joy of it and simply because one wants to learn new things. But to each his own, right? However, I think that attitude is actually going to be an advantage for me in moving to ND. If I find a job that's related to my education, great. But if not, that's fine as well. I simply sell my time in order to "fund my life." Brains or back, it doesn't really matter to me because those hours are not mine anyway. So I really don't care what I'm doing during that time (assuming I'm able to do it in the first place to the satisfaction of my employer). So, again, what is the general job market like in different areas? Knowing that a theoretical physicist can get a job in Rolette or a nuclear engineer can get a job in Ashley is nice (note: hyperbolic example), but how about jobs for "real" people and/or those who are "educated" but flexible?
It's not helpful for everyone, that's for sure. But for people who have college loans and are considering employment or moving to ND, it may be a consideration. For HS kids in ND considering going to college who want to remain in state afterwards it should be a HUGE consideration. The conversation wasn't relevent to you... I think most of us knew that before your post from your past comments

I believe in ND you are better off getting 4 years of experience at something and saving yourself the expense of a college education than you are going to college based on a purely economical basis. Financially, it's not worth it. People may decide to do so for other reasons and bully for them, simply stating my dollars and cents opinion on the matter.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Texas!!! It's hot but I don't care :)
469 posts, read 805,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcat2k View Post
Posters, please understand etjaipleure. She has been griping about Minot since I started posting on the boards months ago, is very unhappy and would rather be back in Dallas of all places.

College degrees are worth a lot in North Dakota provided you have the right ones such as engineering (not civil though) or geology.

If I had to recommend a blue collar job to someone, I'd recommend taking 8 months and learning how to code weld for refining or process plant piping. If you're good, it's a 6 figure income and can get a lot of work. Most good code welders are going to retire in 10 years and because of the rush-to-college mentality of HS councilors, we're running out. A good code welder that routinely passes inspection the first time is worth their weight in gold, particularly in -20 degree weather.

I don't like Minot, you imply you don't like Dallas (ever been there? It's not my favorite place but definitely beats Minot). I don't really see the difference. And ND is tailored to fit only a few occupations that make anything more than 10/hr so yes, I think I have a reason to gripe about this place. And I'm not unhappy I just hate Minot. I'm sure there are lots of thing you don't like..so I guess that makes you unhappy, too. I guess that makes everyone unhappy if you go by that skewed deductive reasoning. Based on being here for a year and searching for jobs for a year I can safely say that based on my experience ND does not pay what I would have been paid in Dallas, what I was offered in Dallas, what I had to turn down because we moved to this jewel of a small town. They do not have the same job fields or job positions or same base pay. If anyone has any other evidence based on fact about jobs in the human services/mental health/social work realm please dispute me.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Texas!!! It's hot but I don't care :)
469 posts, read 805,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemmert View Post
Not true, just due to quantity of jobs in larger areas it's not felt as much. I don't remember the exact stats... but something like 60 - 80% of jobs are filled through networking more so than interviewing qualified candidates... something like 40% of jobs are filled without even being "posted". Who you know is important any place you live if you're very ambituous. Sounds like you need to start concentrating on knowing more people. In ND that won't be easy as people are nice, but not outgoing. You will have to go above and beyond to find the successes you seek. Bad mouthing your neighbors in a public forum isn't helping, for all you know someone on here knows someone who is currently looking to fill your dream job.

I'm pretty sure I have met people on here in person but they would never know it and I would never know it. I'm pretty sure people picture me as a mean grumpy overweight housewife who has a permanent scowl and is about 18 years old who makes stuff up on here to **** people off. Eh, doesn't really bother me. It just means they won't recognize me if they did meet me!

PS: I did just get a job (with the same pay and same thing I am doing now but I should move up pretty quickly) based solely on my interview skills. They called me back immediately and said they really wanted me to get my foot in the door and start moving up. I know no one there but look how long that took? A year. Geesh.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Texas!!! It's hot but I don't care :)
469 posts, read 805,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Not to be a jerk here, but arguing about how much one "can make" in ND is not all that helpful for most folks moving to ND (assuming they are moving there because that's where they really want to be for life). If the only thing that mattered in a given person's life was maximizing income, I'd doubt ND would even be considered in the first place. A better discussion/argument would be whether employment is available in North Dakota generally, how hard that employment is to find in a given region of the state, and whether it pays sufficient for one's needs in that area.

Maybe it's just me, but I really couldn't care less whether I can make 100K or 200K or a million a year in ND. That's not why I'm moving there--truthfully, I wouldn't even know what to do with that kind of money anyway; I have no need for it or desire. In looking to move to North Dakota, the only thing that matters to me as far as employment is whether I can find a job that pays sufficient wages to live in the area. Assuming the wage is acceptable for the cost of living, the number figure doesn't matter to me. If it's 8 bucks an hour, yet that pays for food, housing, etc, fine (I'd doubt that's the case, but if it were, I'd be okay with it). If it's $500 an hour and that's what it actually takes to live in the area... fine (although I'd never even consider an area like that in the first place). So... what can one live reasonably well on in ND--western ND, central ND, eastern ND??? I have a feeling that the economic boom in the west means that required income is very much higher in say Williston or Dickinson. But how about Bottineau? Valley City? Hettinger? Grand Forks? Park Valley? Grafton? Jamestown? Fargo? Bismark? How does the cost of living and the employment compensation compare? Is a $10 an hour job in, say, Rolla going to be sufficient, whereas it would certainly not be in Williston? I'd assume you'd need to be making at least double or triple that to get by in Williston...

As for college: I know this is very atypical in our money-centric society, but I didn't go to college for money. I went there because I had a burning desire to learn (I still have that desire, always have). So, whether my time at college helped with employment or not, it doesn't really matter to me--again, I know that's a very atypical viewpoint these days: learning for the sheer joy of it and simply because one wants to learn new things. But to each his own, right? However, I think that attitude is actually going to be an advantage for me in moving to ND. If I find a job that's related to my education, great. But if not, that's fine as well. I simply sell my time in order to "fund my life." Brains or back, it doesn't really matter to me because those hours are not mine anyway. So I really don't care what I'm doing during that time (assuming I'm able to do it in the first place to the satisfaction of my employer). So, again, what is the general job market like in different areas? Knowing that a theoretical physicist can get a job in Rolette or a nuclear engineer can get a job in Ashley is nice (note: hyperbolic example), but how about jobs for "real" people and/or those who are "educated" but flexible?

I would love to have that outlook on life but realistically, most people who graduate from college and want to keep on learning and have to keep paying loans back need a job that will help them do that so it's not really a pointless argument. I am going for my doctorate in a year after I finish my internship up for my master's. And I will probably try to get another degree after that as well. I enjoy school and I enjoy learning about my field. I could probably go to school for the rest of my life, but I need a job to pay for all the education. ND is not the place to get that job. If I grew up I probably wouldn't have even gone to college as college in ND is worthless unless you want to be a teacher or do something in the oilfield. People at McD's who never went to college, don't have the added stress of student loans or living somewhere they can't find a job in their career field, make just as much as I do. Sounds like a good life but I tailored my career to where I was living at the time (No, not Dallas) and didn't expect my husband to make a career and life alterating decision to join the air force so when he did I was not prepared to move somewhere college degrees were worthless and paid very low wages. But, until ND catches up with times and realizes $9 for a place that charges $3.09 for gas isn't enough, I will complain Maybe I should be a lobbyist for higher wages just kidding.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:42 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
6,686 posts, read 5,543,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemmert View Post
The conversation wasn't relevent to you... I think most of us knew that before your post from your past comments
Nice. Don't forget to clean the blood from the brass knuckles.

Here's the OP:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmellc View Post
Can someone in ND verify whether jobs are easier to find there than elsewhere?
Our part of North Carolina has usually weathered recessions well, but we're hurting now a lot more than before. Still better off than eastern NC, but not good.

I heard a guy on a talk show today say he went to ND from Atlanta area, has worked in the oil business & made lots of overtime every week, better $ than he's made the last several years.

Can someone come out there for several months or a year to catch up on income? I know people here willing to make the trip if it's true. I told them let's check it out first. Long trip if a fantasy. How about your cost of living? Are rental houses or apts reasonable, easy to find?

Thanks for any info.
That question is relevant to me since I'm moving to ND and will need employment of some sort. It appears that it was asked in a "general frame," which is exactly what I would have asked.

In responding to posts, sometimes my "philosophy" shows, just as yours does. But that's to be expected on such a venue, regardless of whether I am relevant or you are relevant. My motivation in responding to your college comment was to point out that a college grad can still be a versatile, productive, employable person and needn't be a one-trick pony or white elephant. It appears that's the way it's going to have to be for most folks moving to a place like North Dakota. When in Rome, etc. I'd assume the unemployment rate is so low because people there are willing to actually work, rather than standing in line waiting for an M-theory research position.

This is an opinion forum. That's my opinion. And I admit that your comments concerning education... well let's just say we don't see eye to eye. That a given person should not pursue an education or gain any higher academic knowledge (assuming the interest in doing so in the first place) simply because he/she won't use it directly in the 8 hours of time he/she sells each day is not my perspective. My perspective is that knowledge and education enriches life whether or not it applies directly to bartered time. I refuse to reduce every aspect of my life to a simple accounting question. Your mileage may vary. But truthfully, we could look at education from a strictly utilitarian/accounting viewpoint and conclude that any education above basic communication skill (say 6th or 7th grade) is, in general, of no worth to the masses. And turn the clocks back about 1500 years.

mmmkkkkayyyy, back to relevant matters.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
6,686 posts, read 5,543,735 times
Reputation: 6325
Quote:
Originally Posted by etjaipleure View Post
I would love to have that outlook on life but realistically, most people who graduate from college and want to keep on learning and have to keep paying loans back need a job that will help them do that so it's not really a pointless argument. I am going for my doctorate in a year after I finish my internship up for my master's. And I will probably try to get another degree after that as well. I enjoy school and I enjoy learning about my field. I could probably go to school for the rest of my life, but I need a job to pay for all the education. ND is not the place to get that job. If I grew up I probably wouldn't have even gone to college as college in ND is worthless unless you want to be a teacher or do something in the oilfield. People at McD's who never went to college, don't have the added stress of student loans or living somewhere they can't find a job in their career field, make just as much as I do. Sounds like a good life but I tailored my career to where I was living at the time (No, not Dallas) and didn't expect my husband to make a career and life alterating decision to join the air force so when he did I was not prepared to move somewhere college degrees were worthless and paid very low wages. But, until ND catches up with times and realizes $9 for a place that charges $3.09 for gas isn't enough, I will complain Maybe I should be a lobbyist for higher wages just kidding.
Well I don't agree with your perspective about North Dakota climate and geography, but I do agree with you on some other matters you write about on the forum. From what I've gathered over the months and years about North Dakota... well, you're right, you probably won't find what you are looking for in ND. You need a different setting for your interests/goals. Nothing wrong with realizing that at all. I have a feeling you'd tolerate your situation a little better in Key West, FL, though!

I've also considered finishing my PhD (in math) at one of the universities in ND. Maybe I will--don't know. I could easily get an assistantship/teaching position which would pay full tuition and about 12K a year until I finish. But what would I do with that PhD in North Dakota? That's where my thinking and, I suppose, everyone else's is different. I have the antiquated philosophy that knowledge is of value simply for its own sake and for the enrichment of one's life. So if I do finish the PhD, it's simply due to my passion for the subject matter. Whether I could find a job in ND teaching math with the PhD, although it would be nice, isn't a deal breaker. I'm okay with doing whatever pays the rent. I have 16 other hours per day to pursue my passions.
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