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Old 08-06-2010, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
5 posts, read 5,062 times
Reputation: 10
Default Career Advice Specific To Wyoming

Dear Wyoming Residents,

RichlyoftheEast at your service!

I've been researching and keeping tabs on your state for a few years now. It's been a dream of mine to start anew in Wyoming ever since the day I discovered it. At this point in my life, it's crucial that I make the decision soon – move to Wyoming, move to a nearby state (such as Virginia) that will give me slightly more liberty than I have now, or remain in Maryland and hope for the best. I have to make this decision soon because I'm almost ready to start (community) college. I'm still trying to decide once and for all what I want to do with my life. I definitely know that I want to start a family away from Maryland; at a place where the family unit is still respected, and where my children (and myself) will not have to suffer under an excessive tax burden. That doesn't help me career wise, though. I guess what I'm trying to ask is – what can a young man at the age of 20 do in Wyoming and live in relative comfort? This is a very broad question, so I'll elaborate on what I'm interested in. It is a dream of mine to work at a TV or radio station. I love manipulating audio, and have even considered training at the local broadcasting institute to become a radio producer. I also have a love for computers, and have considered Computer Information Systems. I'm just wondering if either of these fields are plentiful enough in Wyoming. In addition, if you guys can tell me what fields are thriving (outside of manual labor), I'd highly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:49 PM
 
304 posts, read 542,422 times
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There aren't too many tv stations in wyoming, quite a few radio stations and computers are everywhere. Wyoming's main industry is mining, oil/gas, wind farms, tourism, farming/ranching and factories related to the industry listed. There's a tv station in Casper - the only one I know of. There are many radio stations. My husband works for an oil company and does radio comunications from a central location to all the wells a great distance away. He makes a very good wage and benefit package. He also gets called out during blizzards and is generally always on call. He loves his job...might keep something like this in mind. We have computers here and learning all you can in that field certainly won't hurt.

In 2007 we were in Baltimore at an Orioles game and a worker at the park asked us where we were from and when we said Wyoming he actually asked us if that was in the United States, he had no clue. That's ok though, we laughed about it because we have a hard time labeling the east coast states.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
5 posts, read 5,062 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrow View Post
My husband works for an oil company and does radio comunications from a central location to all the wells a great distance away. He makes a very good wage and benefit package. He also gets called out during blizzards and is generally always on call. He loves his job...might keep something like this in mind.
It's nice to meet you, Darrow! If you don't mind me asking, what part of Wyoming have you and your husband settled in? That sounds like a pretty awesome job! What company does he work for? I'm definitely going to Google that!
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:26 AM
 
8,077 posts, read 20,930,144 times
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Don't count on much job opportunity in the broadcasting field here in Wyoming ... a neighbor's son is the (one and only, on-call 24/7/365 or the station owner does some of the work, too) engineer for a broadcasting company that includes 1 television station and a couple of radio stations in the area. He's got a EE degree, and worked his way through college as a night cook at a local truck stop ... where he continued after graduation for three years until a job opportunity came along for him to stay in Wyoming in his professional field. It was the first job opening available to him in those three years in the area. His income is still so low that he drives an old 4cyl 4x4 pick up truck, has little disposable income, and bought a very inexpensive "fixer upper" farmhouse just out of town on a couple of acres to live in ... and the house is needing a lot of work to update it from the 1950s when it was built (his dad helped him with the labor and materials to re-wire the house and install some new, needed, plumbing fixtures ... about 800 sq ft, 2 bdrm, 1 bath house ... which needs a new roof before this winter). From what I can tell from his experience, you'd need a BSEE degree to even begin to compete for these types of jobs in the region in the broadcast industry. The kid could have made a lot more money with his degree if he'd been willing to leave the area. I'd also mention that his job responsibilities include the outside work on the broadcast tower in addition to inside the studio equipment ... and I know he's had to climb a 400' tower in some less than ideal weather conditions to do some repairs because the station was out of service for awhile. I think there's only two TV stations in the state of fairly low power; the market here is so limited that Denver and Salt Lake City stations are considered "local" for much of the region.

While there's a number of radio stations that originate in Cheyenne (and a couple in Laramie), they cover the state with repeaters .... and the few local stations in the larger towns are very low power, serving a very limited marketplace (read: limited income opportunity).

Essentially, the market here for the broadcasting industry, including producing ... is limited and very small. More powerful stations from out of state, or cable/satellite delivered programming, dominate the marketplace. With the exception of the UWyo station for program content, talk radio (nat'l and some local programs), a few low powered religious broadcasters, and a handful of "oldies" stations ... you'd better be a country and western music fan, which is what dominates the marketplace out here in radio. Oh, there's a handful of spanish language stations, too.

From what I've seen of the salaries for staff in the broadcast industry here, I wouldn't characterize the income as being able to live "comfortably". Should you get a job here in the industry, you may be able to survive financially ... but "comfortably" is a whole 'nother matter.

OTOH, there are computers in all walks of life around here, retail, commercial, industrial, government ... and there may be hardware and software jobs that meet your financial needs. But keep in mind that this is a mature industry, and there's a lot of folk out here already who are skilled, educated professionals with experience. As a new graduate, what will you have to offer to compete with them for a good paying job? I suspect that you'd be only qualified for an entry level job if you pursue this route to employment in Wyoming ... and you'll be looking at something less than a "comfortable" pay scale for awhile. For the most part, Wyoming tech industry jobs pay substantially less than you'd be able to earn in stronger job markets in higher population density areas of the USA. How much value do you place on your desire to live in Wyoming? because that's going to be a large part of what your total compensation will be .....

The real opportunity to earn good money out here right now is still in the extraction industries ....
Farming and ranching are low margin businesses at best ... more a lifestyle choice than a path to any big bucks these days. It takes a lot of money to get into the physical assets of being able to produce a saleable commodity, and the ROI isn't very strong at today's prices. Which means that farm and ranch labor is a low paying situation. Similarly, hospitality and tourism jobs don't pay very much and you look to your tips to help with the earnings; expect long hours and low pay in these jobs unless you can get into management (which will require you to pay your dues to reach that level in the industry ... and there's a lot of people out here already on that path ahead of you).

Last edited by sunsprit; 08-07-2010 at 09:25 AM..
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Casper, WY
240 posts, read 499,418 times
Reputation: 949
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrow View Post
... There's a tv station in Casper - the only one I know of....

In 2007 we were in Baltimore at an Orioles game and a worker at the park asked us where we were from and when we said Wyoming he actually asked us if that was in the United States, he had no clue. That's ok though, we laughed about it because we have a hard time labeling the east coast states.
Just a quick correction about the Casper TV stations--there are two; KTWO and KCWY (channels 6 and 13 on local cable), ABC and NBC affiliates respectively. I know that they periodically have openings for Control Room Operators (pretty sure that's the title.) I actually applied for the job a couple of years ago due to my interest in computers and things electronic, but I turned the position down when I found out that it's very entry level with a pay scale to match.

Your story, Darrow, of the Baltimore ("Ballmer" if you live there ) worker reminded me of a similar story. I've spent a lot of time there as my father has lived there forever--and nobody I ever talked to there knew where Wyoming was. Similarly, when I attended college in Florida over 20 years ago, I'd say that about 90% of the students I attended with were from the Northeast corridor (mainly NY, NJ, MA). Nobody knew anything about Wyoming nor where it's located. One time I was driving with one of my room mates from NY and we drove by a "Seagrams V.O." billboard with a beautiful picture of an elk on it. "What kind of animal is that?" I asked him. His reply, "I don't know, it's a friggin' bear!" I still give him a hard time about his citified life....
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
6,655 posts, read 8,530,608 times
Reputation: 8613
I owned and ran a retail store in the 80s. I was placing an order to a manufacturer back east and told the rep I was in Wyoming.

Long pause.

"Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... Is that in Colorado?"
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:33 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,794 posts, read 17,568,063 times
Reputation: 7696
onsider a career in Electric Power generation and transmission. WY will probably have an energy hub for renewables, BUT I would look to existing federal positions that are retiring scads of people. Substation operators make mega bucks for a pretty 'cake' job. If you are young and adventurous, try to get into lineman training. At least a commercial electrician apprenticeship. These jobs pay WELL, and they are less likely to go away. Broadcasting is changing very quickly and consolidating so India can just as well run the programming as 'joe wyoming'. There will be a very different media landscape in the not too distant future. BUT... That takes POWER and lots of it.

USAjobs.com
Bonneville Power
Bureau of Reclamation
Army Corp of Engineers

Consider working at Idaho National Labs. It is very close to WY and Nuclear Power is bound to take off some decade....
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:51 AM
Itz
 
688 posts, read 1,039,324 times
Reputation: 808
As the above poster mentioned Electric power. Wind power... anything to do with energy and you will have a job in Wyoming.. The state is usually plentiful in these positions but require a serious dedication - depending on the positon - but if your dedicated (don't mind the on call 24/7 - don't mind the being at a job site for 36+ hours and spending 30 of those hours in the local hotel) - (oil and gas industry mainly) then you can bring in a SERIOUS paycheck for Wyoming.

I don't know much about the broadcasing/tv positions but can tell you that Computer Science jobs are extremely scarce and when you do find one - pay crap wages. (I love Wyoming and hope to return someday - I received my degree in MIS and couldn't find a job that paid more then $10 an hour - even knowing people and having experience.)

If you really enjoy computers - get experience, get your CERTS and possible a degree and look at the larger/national companies that you can work for in Wyoming - local businesses - even govt run offices are less likely to bring someone on staff at a decent wage in Wyoming.. (I expereinced this when I got my degree in MIS) - of course it NEVER hurts to apply - keep an eye out on USAJOBS.com for the federal positions in Wyoming.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Auburn
1,982 posts, read 2,024,874 times
Reputation: 819
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichlyoftheEast View Post
Dear Wyoming Residents,

In addition, if you guys can tell me what fields are thriving (outside of manual labor), I'd highly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!
seem even the school teachers get manual summer jobs on ranches, farms, weed and pest, forest service , highway department.
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:27 PM
 
258 posts, read 553,172 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by jody_wy View Post
seem even the school teachers get manual summer jobs on ranches, farms, weed and pest, forest service , highway department.
It's all about education, imo. If one doesn't want to, or can't work in the telecommunications field, I'd seriously consider getting a good education in the health care field. RN's, LPN's, PA's, etc., etc all command good salaries in WY and are in demand almost everywhere there is a town.
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