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Old 05-29-2018, 05:20 AM
 
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I am from Alaska and I have been unemployed for about 4 months now so I am starting to look out of state. Berkeley shows up as dark green on the BLS map, lots of jobs for chemical and electronics engineers.

Average pay is showing as ~100k. Is Berkeley the same or similar cost of living as San Francisco?

Is the university of CA at Berkeley nice for engineering programs, cheap for instate people (I would love to get an MSECE degree and take courses like general relativity, etc).

Are there small muni airports where you can keep a plane for fairly cheap in a hangar?
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:43 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Berkeley is cheaper than SF, but the entire Bay Area is one of the priciest in the nation. However, your pay will be fine for living there, though saving up to buy a place will be challenging, and you wouldn't end up buying in Berkeley exactly, but in slightly more affordable communities nearby.

Chemical engineering: good pay with oil companies operating in the region. Electronics--ditto, but commuting could be a nightmare. But for chem engineering, you could take public transit (BART) from Berkeley. UC has good engineering programs, but it's not cheap for in-state students. The state gov't has removed most support form the university, so tuition has gone way up over the decades. The latest scheme is to admit high-end foreign students who can pay a premium tuition, and then use that to subsidize scholarships for local students. Really scraping the bottom of the barrel, to come up with operating funds. But yeah, once upon a time, it used to be cheap.

AFAIK, Oakland would be the nearest airport. There are county airports, but not near Berkeley.
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Old 05-29-2018, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsflyer View Post
Are there small muni airports where you can keep a plane for fairly cheap in a hangar?
Yes, there are lots. But I don't know how cheap they are. E.g. Hayward Executive Airport.

The ones in Lodi/Stockton area are further but likely cheaper.
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:10 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
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If I had to live and work in Berkeley, I wouldn't hesitate to find a live-aboard boat and make my home at the marina. Paying rent in the Bay Area is not at all fun.
I haven't priced slip fees and live-aboard status there lately, but it was a better deal a few years back and probably even better now, looking at how high apartment/house rentals are these days.
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Snort View Post
If I had to live and work in Berkeley, I wouldn't hesitate to find a live-aboard boat and make my home at the marina. Paying rent in the Bay Area is not at all fun.
I haven't priced slip fees and live-aboard status there lately, but it was a better deal a few years back and probably even better now, looking at how high apartment/house rentals are these days.
Can you live out of a motor home or something like that. Maybe live in the hangar at the muni airport and fly in? It sounds like this will be a no go because my wife has no interest in these sorts of alternative living situations.

The saddest part is the drastic increase in tuition for instate residents, it would have been so cool to punch out of work for a few hours to go take a course in fractals, tensors, general relativity, AI, lasers, non-euclidian geometry, etc. And I would assume because its Berkeley that the culture would allow for such flexibility to take a course a semester regardless of when its offered.

Of course if Berkeley traffic and rents are that bad then this is just a fantasy lol, the wife will never approve and I am guessing a tie down at the airport next to the job would be crazy expensive.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:51 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Yes, there are lots. But I don't know how cheap they are. E.g. Hayward Executive Airport.

The ones in Lodi/Stockton area are further but likely cheaper.
There's one in Concord, which is accessible by BART (Concord is, not the airport per se, OP.)
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:01 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsflyer View Post
Can you live out of a motor home or something like that. Maybe live in the hangar at the muni airport and fly in? It sounds like this will be a no go because my wife has no interest in these sorts of alternative living situations.

The saddest part is the drastic increase in tuition for instate residents, it would have been so cool to punch out of work for a few hours to go take a course in fractals, tensors, general relativity, AI, lasers, non-euclidian geometry, etc. And I would assume because its Berkeley that the culture would allow for such flexibility to take a course a semester regardless of when its offered.

Of course if Berkeley traffic and rents are that bad then this is just a fantasy lol, the wife will never approve and I am guessing a tie down at the airport next to the job would be crazy expensive.
With the kind of money you'd be making, you could afford one class/semester, OP. Is that all you're concerned about? But in order to be able to do that, you'd have to have a job IN Berkeley, so you could buzz over to the campus on your lunch hour, or something. (That would still be pushing it, but I mean--theoretically.). The chances of you getting a job in Berkeley, not to mention--near campus, is slim. Unless maybe you could get something at the University, itself. Then you'd get free tuition for 5 credits/semester.

You seem to be getting carried away with all kinds of dreams, without plugging into reality. Your chem engineering job would likely be either in SF, or Concord, or maybe at the Lawrence national lab, or something like that. Did you say you're a tech engineer of some sort, too? That would give you different options.

Anyway, find yourself a job, first. Then from there, see what your options are for living, and doing Continuing Ed, or whatever. IDK what kind of chemical engineer you are, but I had a neighbor who was one, and he raised 4 kids in very nice style on his salary. That was before Berkeley RE values went bonkers, but still, if it's just you and your wife, you should be able to do well, if you can get a job in your field.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
With the kind of money you'd be making, you could afford one class/semester, OP. Is that all you're concerned about? But in order to be able to do that, you'd have to have a job IN Berkeley, so you could buzz over to the campus on your lunch hour, or something. (That would still be pushing it, but I mean--theoretically.). The chances of you getting a job in Berkeley, not to mention--near campus, is slim. Unless maybe you could get something at the University, itself. Then you'd get free tuition for 5 credits/semester.

You seem to be getting carried away with all kinds of dreams, without plugging into reality. Your chem engineering job would likely be either in SF, or Concord, or maybe at the Lawrence national lab, or something like that. Did you say you're a tech engineer of some sort, too? That would give you different options.

Anyway, find yourself a job, first. Then from there, see what your options are for living, and doing Continuing Ed, or whatever. IDK what kind of chemical engineer you are, but I had a neighbor who was one, and he raised 4 kids in very nice style on his salary. That was before Berkeley RE values went bonkers, but still, if it's just you and your wife, you should be able to do well, if you can get a job in your field.
That's a good point, finding the job opportunity and then negotiating the pay and flexibility to match the real estate prices. If it works it works if not then I keep looking.

I have about 40 credits in EE and advanced math, UAA was suppose to start an MSECE program but thats not happened with all the budget problems going on in AK so I am kind of stalled out. I am approved to sit for the EE PE but I am not really certain how leveraging that will be .... I am sure a university like Berkeley would have all sorts of advanced programs.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:12 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
86,124 posts, read 79,312,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsflyer View Post
That's a good point, finding the job opportunity and then negotiating the pay and flexibility to match the real estate prices. If it works it works if not then I keep looking.

I have about 40 credits in EE and advanced math, UAA was suppose to start an MSECE program but thats not happened with all the budget problems going on in AK so I am kind of stalled out. I am approved to sit for the EE PE but I am not really certain how leveraging that will be .... I am sure a university like Berkeley would have all sorts of advanced programs.
Well, you shouldn't be going on speculation. Look UC Berkeley up, and check out their engineering programs, before you make any firm decisions. You can also check out their job listings, to see if they hire anyone with your engineering background.

Also, in order to get in-state tuition in CA, you have to have lived and worked there one or two years. They've made it harder to get in-state tuition, to discourage people who think they can must move to CA, get a permanent address, and walk into a UC at a discount. I think WA State has gone that route, too. What exactly are your education qualifications? BA-level engineering, it sounds like.

Last edited by Ruth4Truth; 05-30-2018 at 10:03 AM..
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Old 05-30-2018, 03:52 PM
 
7,667 posts, read 3,725,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Well, you shouldn't be going on speculation. Look UC Berkeley up, and check out their engineering programs, before you make any firm decisions. You can also check out their job listings, to see if they hire anyone with your engineering background.

Also, in order to get in-state tuition in CA, you have to have lived and worked there one or two years. They've made it harder to get in-state tuition, to discourage people who think they can must move to CA, get a permanent address, and walk into a UC at a discount. I think WA State has gone that route, too. What exactly are your education qualifications? BA-level engineering, it sounds like.
BS chemical engineering - Colorado School of Mines
UAA 40 credits of upper division EE/math courses

I also have alot of skills on the side like solid works that I have developed on my own time.
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