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Old 04-30-2019, 06:41 PM
 
3,910 posts, read 1,020,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podo944 View Post
I'm hearing a lot lately about job openings in "the trades", and how there are a shortage of qualified workers and that many trades jobs pay well. Off hand I'm thinking of plumbers, electricians, jobs in construction... what other trades jobs are there and if you work in one of those do you enjoy it to a reasonable degree?

Thanks!
Lineman. Love it. Cleared $136k last year (thanks to overtime). Top pay currently $38.15/hr but over 40 it's 1.5x and past 51 it's 2.0x pay. Call outs are 2.0x.

Putting $20k/year into retirement but I will die in these boots. You don't walk away from a job like this, you love it until you can't climb (or climb into that bucket truck) anymore.

Management would not be nearly as thrilling.
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:25 PM
 
17,640 posts, read 10,569,099 times
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My dad was a plumber, eventually opened his own small business that served a small community. I went with him a few times to the job and hated it. Just not into doing that type of work and at times it gets very dirty and strenuous.

I know there's been a backlash the past decade or so against the mantra that one needs a bachelor's degree (in any field) in order to make good money. And that backlash includes pushing the trades instead of going to college.

The thing is, not all of us want to do that type of work. If you can, and love doing that type of work, more power to you, and you deserve the great pay and benefits because it is backbreaking work. But it is not for me.
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:07 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,851 posts, read 19,100,611 times
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Been doing drafting since 1981, not even sure how many times they've changed the building codes since then. Not to mention now it's done on computers instead of pencils and ink on big sheets of paper or vellum. But, it's still drawing blueprints, even if they aren't really blue anymore.


Construction trades are pretty cyclical. Sometimes there's a shortage of workers for all types of construction work and then sometimes the whole industry is flat lined and there's hardly any work around no matter for who. When it's good, there's plenty of work and plenty of money flowing around. When it's slow, a lot of the folks go do something else for awhile or move to where the work may be. I've gone through two major down turns. First one, I had a side job making awnings and sail covers and upholstery for boats. Second downturn I took up clock repair on the side. But generally the down times don't last all that long and then things are pretty good again.


Working with contractors is usually a lot easier than with homeowners, usually because the homeowners don't always understand what materials are available or why buildings are built a certain way. Drawing is pretty fun and it's not terribly hard on the body other than from sitting too much.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:39 AM
 
1,999 posts, read 865,391 times
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On these forums you would think everyone in a trade loves their job and makes a lot of money, but in reality, most guys did't like being at work and were always worried about being laid off. And yes, I worked in the trades. People often also reference residential work, where the pay and benefits are very low. Guys making 6 figures are extremely rare and requires a lot of back breaking overtime. All you have to do is search for average pay for xyz trade.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:43 AM
 
Location: USA
6,231 posts, read 5,447,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berteau View Post
On these forums you would think everyone in a trade loves their job and makes a lot of money, but in reality, most guys did't like being at work and were always worried about being laid off. And yes, I worked in the trades. People often also reference residential work, where the pay and benefits are very low. Guys making 6 figures are extremely rare and requires a lot of back breaking overtime. All you have to do is search for average pay for xyz trade.

Friend of mine is a contractor/owner, and he does a lot of the work himself because nobody wants to do that kind of work anymore. Everyone he hires stops showing up or does lousy work no matter how much pay is offered. Always popping hard pain killers and washing it down with vodka. You can make a good living but it comes at a cost to your health.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:05 AM
 
Location: mancos
7,219 posts, read 6,535,364 times
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Just retired last year.Carpenter slnce 1969 never did anything else.Really loved it.Actually had jobs I looked forward to going back the next day to complete I was so proud.High end finish work the last 25 years making about 40 per hour. Still in great shape and working on my 1896 home to keep busy. making new solid wood vintage cabinets at the moment. I am not parfleche I am parfleche the Carpenter.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:52 AM
Status: "Goodbye Portland, Hello Las Vegas!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Henderson, NV
5,931 posts, read 6,120,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okey Dokie View Post
As far as your body aging you out of a job, sometimes you can take your practical experience and use it in a less phyiscally demanding way. My Son in law was an electrician for many years (made excellent money BTW for a guy with only a HS education). He now sits in an office and reviews building plans and decides what sort of supplies theyíll need and how they are going to do the work to get the desired results.

Or you can be like a plumber I knew almost 50 years ago when he often came into a restaurant I worked at. He started his own business and grew it into one of the biggest plumbing firms in the Kansas City area. Heís not getting cozy with pipes and toilets anymore. Heís making TV commercials.
Thatís very common, yeah. Many of the videographers we work with end up having back issues just from gear moving, hunching over a camera repeatedly, and the generally long days that go with film production. Some of our guys have ended up going more into producing afterwards. I actually started in directing / producing, learned how to shoot myself and got good at it, and I started hiring myself for local jobs (weíre nationwide so most isnít anywhere close to me) and occasionally doing jobs for other companies just for fun (ego, really, wanted to prove I could get hired elsewhere lol). Then after my short 5 year stint or so of videography I was ready to hang it up and go back to just office work, too much physical labor and annoyance for me.

I think itís awesome to see people who are trained in actual handiwork, Iím the least handy person when it comes to anything having to do with a house or maintenance so I appreciate knowing people who are handy. Plus Iíve met many guys in the trades who do quite well for themselves often running their own businesses.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:01 AM
 
Location: North State (California)
42,039 posts, read 3,203,044 times
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If you have the aptitude & strength to do it, it can be a good career, but it is never easy.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:46 AM
 
4,027 posts, read 3,322,908 times
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When I began working in the automotive trades in the early sixties, we were mostly unionized and the money was very good, the work was a source of personal pride and always done well. In the seventies we were becoming less and less of a unionized workforce, the work wasn't paying as well and the quality was slipping downhill. No one was better off for the loss of union wages with the exception of the shop owners, car owners lost out on the poor workmanship and the technicians lost their wages, health care benefits, and retirement.

Fewer new apprentices became the norm, so the vo-tech schools took over the training. But the environment was not the same in school as in the shops, working in a, for profit shop, taught the apprentices that there were indeed some very real consequences for poor workmanship, attendance, not having the right tools etc. We had to ask the new apprentices to forget their vo-tech education and begin anew.

Working in the trades without a union is simply a dead end proposition. You would need to have a plan in place that included moving on and changing careers just to survive the pace of work and the lack of good pay. Even in these more prosperous times, the trades have little to offer beyond some instant money and a chance to learn new skills. Skill doesn't necessarily lead to great pay in every job, unions were the magnet for the early day tradesmen, not the working conditions or the pride in one's skills.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:19 AM
 
1,927 posts, read 2,997,358 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podo944 View Post
I'm hearing a lot lately about job openings in "the trades", and how there are a shortage of qualified workers and that many trades jobs pay well. Off hand I'm thinking of plumbers, electricians, jobs in construction... what other trades jobs are there and if you work in one of those do you enjoy it to a reasonable degree?

Thanks!
I own a company that is "in the trades." For privacy reasons I can't divulge what type of trade I'm in, but what I can tell you is that the labor shortage is very real.

If you can show up on time, have a reasonable amount of intelligence to learn the job and care about your quality of work, you will do quite well. I recommend picking something you can learn and eventually starting your own business once you learn all the ins and outs.

I can tell you there is a shortage of roofers, siding installers, framers, HVAC installers, electricians.....just take a look at the Craigslist ads for any major city and you'll see.

I have owned my own business for close to 20 years and I can tell you that new housing starts are not as brisk as they could or should be, mainly due to the shortage of labor.

SS
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