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Old 03-16-2012, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
11,786 posts, read 13,107,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
Through the forum I've detailed two careers in fire protection. Specifically becoming a certified layout technician (wave) or if you are more of a hands on person become a certified inspector.

College is not required.

Do a Google search on nicet sprinkler design jobs and here is a job in Wisconsin posted 3 days ago.

Minimum requirement is NICET II or above but they prefer Level III or IV. They won't get many applications that meet the minimum qualifications because there aren't that many. They will be lucky to get two qualified applicants.

Here is the tabulation of certificate holders across the country as of February 23, 2012.

In Wisconsin there are 17 Level I, 17 Level II, 28 Level III and 23 Level IV. If every last person holding the minimum qualification statewide applied for this job they would get 68 applications.

If you want to get exotic there's a job in Hawaii. Maybe not for me but maybe someone under 30 and single? Living in Hawaii there are 2 Level I, 0 Level II, 2 Level III and 8 Level IV. With 12 people holding any level of certification the pond to pick from is kind of small and I know there is 100% employment in the field right now.

Why is certification valuable? No doubt they get a lot of US Navy work. That and other military. We're in the specifications, you gotta use me

It's the kind of job where getting an interview is easy. If I walked in cold off the street I guarantee you they would talk to me... they wouldn't let me go until they dragged me back into an office. I wouldn't fill out any silly applications until they talked to me either.

Seriously, if they don't want me there are plenty around that do.

If you are more of a hands on guy there is a very severe shortage of certified inspectors. We've been looking for a year and can't find one.

Salary isn't all that bad once you get some experience. Partial screen shot of the 2010 salary survey.
I would strongly encourage any young person with a brain to consider this career. Stuff like this is vastly overlooked by the typical American youth. Worse yet, our country's educators are failing our children by not pointing them in the direction of such careers. We have way too many young folks chasing way too few careers such as accounting, nursing, and so forth.

What you've described could be used to describe certain areas within my work... CNC machining. No degree required, and employers in any part of the country would do anything possible to get you in to talk to them if your good. I'm taking two short vacations, one to Florida and one to North Carolina, to visit potential employers. Surprisingly, many younger folks know nothing of my line of work. The problem with my work... Starting out, the pay is dismal. The guy on the top makes bank, and some guys in the mid level make decent money with overtime these days. The economy has hit the wages hard for everyone except the top tier machinists. Also, getting to the top of the skillset is a struggle. Every employer wants to keep you dumb, so you don't go jump ship for better pay. You've gotta be a real cocky guy and have the gonads to make your own way in this line of work. Life sucks if your a weakling who accepts job security with little opportunity for advancement.

Nicet4... My question for you, so that you can help guide young folks looking for a career... What are the wages for entry level workers, and what can they do to make themselves attractive candidates for a learners type position?
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:03 PM
 
9,949 posts, read 11,701,675 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
I would strongly encourage any young person with a brain to consider this career. Stuff like this is vastly overlooked by the typical American youth. Worse yet, our country's educators are failing our children by not pointing them in the direction of such careers. We have way too many young folks chasing way too few careers such as accounting, nursing, and so forth.

What you've described could be used to describe certain areas within my work... CNC machining. No degree required, and employers in any part of the country would do anything possible to get you in to talk to them if your good. I'm taking two short vacations, one to Florida and one to North Carolina, to visit potential employers. Surprisingly, many younger folks know nothing of my line of work. The problem with my work... Starting out, the pay is dismal. The guy on the top makes bank, and some guys in the mid level make decent money with overtime these days. The economy has hit the wages hard for everyone except the top tier machinists. Also, getting to the top of the skillset is a struggle. Every employer wants to keep you dumb, so you don't go jump ship for better pay. You've gotta be a real cocky guy and have the gonads to make your own way in this line of work. Life sucks if your a weakling who accepts job security with little opportunity for advancement.

Nicet4... My question for you, so that you can help guide young folks looking for a career... What are the wages for entry level workers, and what can they do to make themselves attractive candidates for a learners type position?
Ken Isman gave this presentation at the 7th International Fire Sprinkler Conference in Copenhagen in 2008 which pretty well sums up the problems.

PowerPoint Recruiting and Training Technicians for a Growing Sprinkler Market

If you don't have PowerPoint use Quick View Recruiting and Training Technicians for a Growing Sprinkler Market.

The problem is training because of its cost and it costs a lot.

Even at the low wage of $10/hr for the first year someone new can't produce enough work to pay for themselves. For the first three to four months someone new will produce nothing of value, they are learning. For the first month a trainee would sit in an office reading and then we would talk about the work a couple hours each day.

The wage is the cheap part. We use CAD that is tailor made for the industry and the two major ones are Auto Sprink and HydraCad. I use Auto Sprink and the program cost $15,000 plus a couple hundred a month for upgrades and support. Because calculations are performed in the background the typical home computer won't do it.... figure spending $3,000 to $4,000 on the hardware. I've never played games on a computer but a guy building them for us told us what we use is a top level "gaming computer" if that is any use. First day on the job and I already have close to $20,000 invested in training. Add the cost of six months payroll plus the cost of my time, I am the companies largest single expense, and we would have at least $50,000 invested in a trainee.

The prohibitive cost is why companies don't train anymore finding it cheaper to poach.

And most of us are older because for the past 20 years there hasn't been a lot of training going on because technology has allowed us to do more.

From 1980 to 2005 the number of technicians doubled but the work output tripled.



For training there are three community colleges that have specific courses that I am aware of; Olympia, Washington, Champaign, Ill and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. That is it and the classes are exceedingly small... we're talking 20 graduates per year.

For what it is worth Northeast Wisconsin Technical College published this "graduate success (http://www.nwtc.edu/academics/degrees/Documents/Graduate%20Followup%20pdfs/Fire%20Protection%20Engineering%20Technology.pdf - broken link)" profile.

Six months after graduation the reported salary ranges were $29,126 to $47,008. I heard industry average was $33,000 for entry level. Three to four years after graduation a salary expectation of $45,000 to $70,000 wouldn't be unreasonable depending on location. Obviously Boston would get more money than Tupelo, Mississippi.

Unfortunately about the only way to become entry level is to attend one of the three schools and they aren't cheap if you have to pay out of state tuition. On the plus side graduates will be very much in demand after graduation.

These are not your typical technical college classes and hopefully you took Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and Trigonometry and did pretty well in high school. You are gonna need it.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:56 PM
Status: "Inhale the future, exhale the past." (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: Where the last of the "Big 3" has retired. Spurs country.
2,969 posts, read 3,546,362 times
Reputation: 7125
There is a book called "Cool Careers for Dummies" that gives all kinds of jobs that people normally wouldn't think of or even know of.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:26 PM
 
15,727 posts, read 9,005,060 times
Reputation: 6980
Quote:
Originally Posted by L210 View Post
People always say, "I have a political science/international relations degree and I can't do anything with it."

You can become an intelligence analyst if you have a clean background.



Best Jobs in America 2009 - Top 50: Intelligence Analyst - Money Magazine on CNNMoney.com
No you can't, since it's extremely hard to get an analyst position in the government without a lot of experience.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:40 PM
 
3,286 posts, read 6,226,815 times
Reputation: 8308
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
For training there are three community colleges that have specific courses that I am aware of; Olympia, Washington, Champaign, Ill and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. That is it and the classes are exceedingly small... we're talking 20 graduates per year.
Can't you just order study guides off the Internet or something and cram for the tests? Passing the NICET tests is all that is needed to become certified, right? If that's the case, it seems like tuition at these CCs would be a waste of money.

As a side note, I noticed that a lot of these jobs require the ubiquitous "2 years of experience." I guess that's where "creative" resume and reference skills come in handy.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:39 PM
 
321 posts, read 507,189 times
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Most jobs are not advertised. That is one of the things college graduates don't understand since their professors and parents don't realize it either.

Learn how to navigate the "hidden job market" and you will be surprised what is out there.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:46 PM
 
9,949 posts, read 11,701,675 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liveurdream View Post
Most jobs are not advertised. That is one of the things college graduates don't understand since their professors and parents don't realize it either.

Learn how to navigate the "hidden job market" and you will be surprised what is out there.
smaller companies, those with < 50 employees, seldom advertise yet do more hiring than the fortune 500 put together.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:51 PM
 
3,286 posts, read 6,226,815 times
Reputation: 8308
Quote:
Originally Posted by liveurdream View Post
Most jobs are not advertised. That is one of the things college graduates don't understand since their professors and parents don't realize it either.

Learn how to navigate the "hidden job market" and you will be surprised what is out there.
I got a job through "networking" once. A former manager recommended me for the job. There was no job ad for it.

Hated the work and the pay was abysmal, but at least I wasn't unemployed!! It also led to the job I have now which pays much better.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:15 PM
 
1,639 posts, read 1,806,578 times
Reputation: 3698
Default Great Info - But Where Do You Get Training for Certification?

Quote:
Originally Posted by glass_of_merlot View Post
My husband works as an aircraft dispatcher, Most people thinks its the same as air traffic control. But its not. Its a certificate program. You start out your career at a regional airline making maybe 27000-33000 a year.
Flight Dispatcher Career Overview
This is super info - a relative will be out of the Marines soon, where he worked in Supply and Logistics. This sounds like it might be right up his alley, interest-wise.

HOWEVER, the kinds of for-profit schools advertised on your link are notorious for being money sinks, existing as chump bait for veterans to throw their GI Bill money down the hole, with ZERO value in return.

Could you give us some guidance here - where did your husband and his colleagues go to get the training for their certifications? I'll bet my life that it wasn't in one of those for-profit "university" sinkholes.

Thank you much for sharing!
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
11,786 posts, read 13,107,368 times
Reputation: 12500
Quote:
Originally Posted by liveurdream View Post
Most jobs are not advertised. That is one of the things college graduates don't understand since their professors and parents don't realize it either.

Learn how to navigate the "hidden job market" and you will be surprised what is out there.
I have had pretty good luck writing an e-mail to companies I want to work for, and just asking if they are in need of someone with my experience. The worst they can say is no, or they can not respond at all. Anyways, all it costs is the time. Recently, I have been toying with the idea of moving south. Been living in the midwest all my life, and want to experience something new. After sending out some e-mails to companies in my line of work, I have two interviews in the next couple weeks. One in Florida, and one in North Carolina. All it took was a well thought out e-mail and my time. And be sure to copy and paste the text so you can resend it to other companies you are interested in down the road.
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