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Old 07-07-2019, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,635,459 times
Reputation: 3625

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Frame that. Sad what people will say about public service, esp politicians pandering for a vote.
100% agree! These people work hard to ensure your food isnít getting you sick, they run your voting booths, your water is safe to drink, have someone to call when your house is on fire, or someone threatens you with a gun! Police and fire are government workers just like the rest of us and we all deserve some basic respect. Iím sure someone way back then said public sector workers were lazy for pandering, or to get people to hate any government service, like anti-public transit (huge lobbying for that now by oil industry), anti-a lot of things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
Based on several online cost of living calculators, you would need to make $86,000 to maintain your current lifestyle if you move to Seattle. I would have guessed double the cost of Phoenix but I guess itís not quite that bad.

On the other hand, I have an employee making a salary in the $60s, and she is doing fine with a studio apartment in the nice Greenlake area, has a paid off car, but no student loan debt.
I too have no student loan debt, but I do have a car Iím making payments on. Iím not sure where Greenlake is, but Iím sure Iíd do plenty fine in Seattle with no car and public transit options, unlike Phoenix where that simply isnít an option. Being able to go car-free is a big difference for pay scales like these. Most government jobs paid public transit is a free benefit, whereas a car can cost thousands a year depending on payments, gas, and maintenance. For example if I didnít have a car I could afford a one bedroom apartment by myself, I canít with the car.

Iím not sure if youíre in the public sector or not, but no income tax can make a difference Iím sure, but assuming I go to Seattle (I think Iíd really like it there, Iím gonna try to go there in the winter to see what itís like) Iíd probably get roommates with that kind of salary. Portland sounds straight up impossible, lol. So city makes a huge difference here. Like I mentioned, some localities donít treat public sector workers like garbage as far as pay and other societal things, and some do.
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:49 PM
 
25,971 posts, read 32,970,649 times
Reputation: 32158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
Except that is pretty close to actual differences these days. Private sector is better at matching COL than public sector these days.
I don't think the difference is usually THAT much. That's a 30 percent pay cut - pretty severe. When I took my public sector job, I took a 15% cut. I would have had some trouble with a 30% cut.
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:36 PM
 
42 posts, read 8,297 times
Reputation: 27
Wow, you all have given some really good advice. I really wish I would have made this a poll. I guess I am a bit petrified of the private sector because I have heard horror stories. I think we all like to make more money, but stability is more important to me. Now, I just need to find what I am really passionate about in life. The truth is that I have kind of been coasting through life. I have never been particularly passionate about one thing and have not found my calling. (I know I should have it figured out by now).
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,635,459 times
Reputation: 3625
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post
I don't think the difference is usually THAT much. That's a 30 percent pay cut - pretty severe. When I took my public sector job, I took a 15% cut. I would have had some trouble with a 30% cut.
Except it is in A lot of places. If your public sector job was a long time ago, then itís not applicable. The difference has increased drastically over the past 10 to 15 years. Because COL is increasing way faster than politicians people who hate you vote in can increase your wages and slash your pension at the same time.

This is what Iím seeing in my field. A fairly technical job. And if I look more at OSHA in the private sector rather than EPA compliance, then Iím definitely being underpaid. Get more in environmental health and safety in the private sector than in environmental health in the public sector. Especially if you go far enough to be an industrial hygienist.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,929 posts, read 8,394,310 times
Reputation: 15500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
I was looking at jobs in Seattle doing what I do (maybe fishbrains can comment) paying 68k. It seems good but I doubt it pays Seattle COL. Another job I saw in Portland, Oregon was 51k. I make about 48k in Phoenix now. Unless you are in the Midwest you wonít really have good pay anywhere working in the public sector, unless you are with the feds, they tend to pay a little better.
Seattle COL is tough. Seattle does not have the mass transit networks that can be found in NY, Boston, and DC, so it is tougher to live in the outer ring and commute into the city. $68k on your own would be a challenge, but if you shared an apartment it would be reasonable.

Keep in mind that metro Seattle actually consists of many smaller cities. Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Lake Washington, and so forth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
Based on several online cost of living calculators, you would need to make $86,000 to maintain your current lifestyle if you move to Seattle. I would have guessed double the cost of Phoenix but I guess itís not quite that bad.

On the other hand, I have an employee making a salary in the $60s, and she is doing fine with a studio apartment in the nice Greenlake area, has a paid off car, but no student loan debt.
And I did not have to jump in.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,929 posts, read 8,394,310 times
Reputation: 15500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
Except it is in A lot of places. If your public sector job was a long time ago, then itís not applicable. The difference has increased drastically over the past 10 to 15 years. Because COL is increasing way faster than politicians people who hate you vote in can increase your wages and slash your pension at the same time.

This is what Iím seeing in my field. A fairly technical job. And if I look more at OSHA in the private sector rather than EPA compliance, then Iím definitely being underpaid. Get more in environmental health and safety in the private sector than in environmental health in the public sector. Especially if you go far enough to be an industrial hygienist.
If that is your field, it is definitely booming, and you can find a job paying more than $68 in Seattle.

Washington is a delegated authority state, so our governing regulations are referred to as WISHA, which is enforced by Labor and Industries (LnI).
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,635,459 times
Reputation: 3625
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
Seattle COL is tough. Seattle does not have the mass transit networks that can be found in NY, Boston, and DC, so it is tougher to live in the outer ring and commute into the city. $68k on your own would be a challenge, but if you shared an apartment it would be reasonable.

Keep in mind that metro Seattle actually consists of many smaller cities. Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Lake Washington, and so forth.



And I did not have to jump in.
I saw your location, and you were the last one in that area to reply. I donít know how taxes and things work in other areas. I assume I know nothing. The COL definitely terrifies me to a degree, especially since I wouldnít have a support system there. I donít want to be stuck renting a bunk bed like some people are doing in San Francisco now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
If that is your field, it is definitely booming, and you can find a job paying more than $68 in Seattle.

Washington is a delegated authority state, so our governing regulations are referred to as WISHA, which is enforced by Labor and Industries (LnI).
I was looking at lateral jobs (doing exactly what I do now) in Seattle. I studied environmental and occupational health in college. I could probably get an EHS job fairly easily I think, especially since Iím experienced in regulatory compliance. Itís a matter of ďif I want toĒ. I did better in my occupational health classes than I did even in my standard public health classes, in a way it was a bit natural. But I donít want to hate what I do 40 hours a week. In a way Iím pretty skittish, but Iíll have to get over it if I want to move forward. I get nervous applying for jobs out of state.

ó

OP, let me tell you what I did. Iím 24, I donít really have a passion. I decided I wanted to do something good or feel like I have a purpose in my job. I have a lot of varying interests and skills. So I studied environmental and occupational health. It combines interests and skills and even in the private sector I wouldnít be a ďcorporate droneĒ I would be making sure my colleagues were in a safe environment and following regulations.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:53 PM
 
1,546 posts, read 399,556 times
Reputation: 2882
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert20170 View Post
I'm definitely glad I took a pay cut and started working for the federal government in 1998. The raises and promotions have come to me much faster than in the private sector where I was always told how valuable I was and promised large increases in pay that never came. Combine that with my 4 years in the military, and I'll retire at 60 with 30 years and a nice pension.
Can you define nice in a dollar amount for us? If you retire at age 60, you will not be getting Social Security benefits for years.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:56 PM
 
1,546 posts, read 399,556 times
Reputation: 2882
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert20170 View Post
Meh, my house was less than $500k and is only a 45 minute commute to my job in Old Town Alexandria and 10 minutes from a Metro station. People that pay a million for a house in the area on a government salary are trying to play big shot.
How are you counting a 45 minute commute? Is that 45 minutes on a public transportation? Or is that 45 minutes on a specific highway or to a highway? In other words, what is your commute time door to door, cause that's the real commute time.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,929 posts, read 8,394,310 times
Reputation: 15500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
I saw your location, and you were the last one in that area to reply. I donít know how taxes and things work in other areas. I assume I know nothing. The COL definitely terrifies me to a degree, especially since I wouldnít have a support system there. I donít want to be stuck renting a bunk bed like some people are doing in San Francisco now.
Taxes in WA are a bit weird.

There is no state income tax, but as the wheels of government still need to turn, there are taxes on everything else. WA has a fairly high sales tax, and very few tax exempt items. Gas taxes are very high, property taxes are somewhat high, and there are a myriad of taxes on parking, event tickets, etc.

All of that rolls up into a high COL, which essentially compensates for the lack of an income tax.

Seattle isnít as expensive as San Francisco, but it is getting there.
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