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Old 04-06-2021, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
13,600 posts, read 12,178,072 times
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I think, that at the heart of it, is that parents want the best for their kids. Doctor, lawyer, CEO, Engineer, CPA, Etc...

Rather than the one installing a furnace, they want them to be the one's working as an engineer designing it. Rather than welding the trusses on a bridge, they want them to be the one that designed a safe piece of infrastructure.

We, as Americans, aren't very good at telling/recognizing that "you aren't CEO/MD material." Or, "I understand that you want to be an astronaut, but the fact is that you have an IEP for math, an it's not likely to happen."
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Old 04-06-2021, 08:45 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
27,147 posts, read 28,189,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOV View Post
I think, that at the heart of it, is that parents want the best for their kids. Doctor, lawyer, CEO, Engineer, CPA, Etc...

Rather than the one installing a furnace, they want them to be the one's working as an engineer designing it. Rather than welding the trusses on a bridge, they want them to be the one that designed a safe piece of infrastructure.

We, as Americans, aren't very good at telling/recognizing that "you aren't CEO/MD material." Or, "I understand that you want to be an astronaut, but the fact is that you have an IEP for math, an it's not likely to happen."
Yes, but that doesn’t mean that the same person can’t be so good with their construction abilities that they are able to build a rental property empire.
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Old 04-06-2021, 09:52 AM
 
424 posts, read 173,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calgirlinnc View Post

My husband is an engineer and it is and always has been a physically demanding job. This is an overly simplistic conclusion.
Yes, of course, I very much simplified for the sake of not putting several years worth of conversation into a forum post, LOL. I didn't mean that neurosurgeons don't use their bodies or that general contractors don't use their minds. I more meant that it's good to have a trade to fall back on if you choose a professional career as well as a "desk job" to fall back on if you choose a trade.
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Old 04-06-2021, 01:08 PM
 
17,877 posts, read 15,638,112 times
Reputation: 11647
Quote:
Originally Posted by texan2yankee View Post
My plumber charges $185 an hour for his service. He is a master plumber around 40 years old. He just did a job for me yesterday.

I wonder why some assume the skilled trades aren't great jobs. They are great jobs.
Is he doing the labor himself, or does he have handymen do it? Handymen that may be illegal migrants. How much do you think the people doing the work are actually making?
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Old 04-06-2021, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
9,997 posts, read 7,106,401 times
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The median plumber/pipefitter salary is about $55k a year last I checked. They may charge $185 per hour, but that is NOT all going directly to the technician. That it was it costs to maintain not only their technician's salary but all the company's operations.

Homeowners eyes get wide when they see their plumbing or furnace installation bill, but how often do you ACTUALLY need that work on your house? Once every 20 years? Unless there was some kind of accident or natural disaster, or the homeowner neglects ALL maintenance, those types of projects, once done, last quite long time. They were always expensive, because this was always fairly involved work.

I've been a homeowner for 10 years and I have needed to hire a plumber exactly once - for a DISCRETIONARY bathroom remodel. Otherwise, whatever plumbers did my houses' original work was done pretty well because the plumbing has never failed on me. For small jobs, ie: snaking a drain or replacing a faucet, I do myself. Given its age, I expect that within the next 2-3 years I will need to replace my water heater and septic pump, and my medium term savings is for those purposes.
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Old 04-06-2021, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
9,997 posts, read 7,106,401 times
Reputation: 17090
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOV View Post
I think, that at the heart of it, is that parents want the best for their kids. Doctor, lawyer, CEO, Engineer, CPA, Etc...

Rather than the one installing a furnace, they want them to be the one's working as an engineer designing it. Rather than welding the trusses on a bridge, they want them to be the one that designed a safe piece of infrastructure.

We, as Americans, aren't very good at telling/recognizing that "you aren't CEO/MD material." Or, "I understand that you want to be an astronaut, but the fact is that you have an IEP for math, an it's not likely to happen."
I'd say it's not even that. I've been teaching college students for 10 years. The problem I see is not that they are delusional and set their sights irrationally high. Most of them by ages 18-20 have some idea of where their skills and aptitudes lie. Most of them just want to be middle class.

No, the bigger problem is that don't really KNOW what they want to do, largely because they are overwhelmed with the array of choices and are confused on what to choose and how to pursue it. Pretty much all of them want to be able to compete for a median income-level job or at least one that leads to median income, but they are very unclear on how to do that. I was the same way. The world of work seemed really disparate and confusing when I was 18. I barely even know what trades were. If I heard the word, I thought of coal miners or something.

Most adult advice I got was only specific to that particular adult's own personal path, and the older they were the less relevant their advice was, given the scale of technological and cultural changes in the workforce. It's even worse today, since even jobs that I held 20 years ago are no longer available now, so not many young people can use my path as a guide. They have to make their own.

Very few people in any context were able to give me a big-picture view when I was in my late teens, early 20s, and I feel the same problem happens now, but worse.
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Old 04-06-2021, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
9,185 posts, read 14,714,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Really?

What trades are you looking at?

My next door neighbor retired last year from a 30-yr career as an HVAC tech. He mostly worked union jobs in high-rise office buildings. Steady work, he progressed to be a foreman and ended his career as a building maintenance superintendent. He always had benefits, paid vacation & holiday time each year, medical & life insurance, and a handsome defined benefit pension plan that didn't require much of an employee contribution.

At 62, he's got SS of around $2,000/month and a pension payment of around $2,800/month with a modest deduction for ongoing medical insurance. He collects that and now does contract work consulting for HVAC layouts and building start-ups/balancing ... he asked me about what he should charge for his services and I suggested $10,000/month + per diems if he has to be on-site. He was somewhat shocked at what I suggested he bill, but he's bid a number of projects and was pleasantly surprised with getting the projects. With a few projects behind him, he's now bidding even higher monthly rates for his projects.

As far as physical labor in his career years, the bulk of that work for him was done around 20 years ago. His investment in tools was a pocket protector for his pens/pencils/marking crayons and a handful of screwdrivers and a small wrench set; his employers provided toolboxes and tool kits for their shop work. Once he moved over to the controls/computer systems side of the biz, he was a working a desk job unless he had to do a site tour and take measurements of airflow and temperatures.

Similarly, I know of many electricians and plumbers and welders who enjoy the same benefits, medical and life insurance. The big difference I see for them is that they have 401K's with matching contributions as the defined benefit pension plans seem to be out of favor. It's not unusual for the guys in the extractive industries to knock down low 5-figure incomes with all the fringe benefits ... hard physical work for some of them, and again their tools are provided by their employer.

Also, I know various tradespeople in all the crafts that are fed/state/local employees. Suffice to say that they enjoy the comparable pay grade benefits that other employees get, with pretty handsome pension plans. They've got some formulas about "the rule of XX" ... the sum of their age and years of service. Some of them started out just after high school with that employer, not necessarily in the trade/craft that they now work in ... but they've racked up employment years since they turned 19 or 20. By the time they reach their mid-50's, they're fully vested and some have even retired with enough income at that time to travel and pursue other interests. One of them started out as a "building maintenance worker" (a janitor, in other words) and worked her way up through the ranks into management ... she oversees facilities maintenance in a federal cold-storage warehouse complex and knocks down a GS12 salary; she's now 64 and looking to retire in a year or so with over 45 years of service. Not too bad for not having that vaunted "college degree", no?

I had a co-worker years ago that was ... to be kind ... very challenged to do good work at a competitive speed in auto repairs. I heard about a "fleet mechanic" job opening at the city fire department maintenance shop and suggested he apply there. He got preference points for being a veteran, minority, and a service-related medical injury ... and got hired. He tried working at the same pace he did in the shop we had both been at, and got "told" by his shop-steward that he was making the rest of the guys look bad. He used to come visit me at the old shop when he was doing "test drives" of the SUV's and fire department cars ... usually a minor service, or brake job. He slowed down his pace to doing no more than 2 "brake jobs" per day. Imagine how poorly that would do in a retail environment ... he'd be out the door in no time. He was promoted to a "full mechanic" within a year and his pay rate, benefits, paid vacation, health & medical insurance, and defined benefit pension plan was the same as a Fire Department Captain!

Of course, one can find trades/crafts people who will work for less and there's GC's and sub-contractors who are always seeking the cheapest labor they can find for hourly wages. Some tradespeople are satisfied to do work in those jobs. Some aren't. Don't forget that a lot of projects specify Davis-Bacon wage scales for the Bids ... so those cut-rate contractors are required to pay the "prevailing wages" per the Fed guidelines. That's why you'll see those jobs like construction project flaggers getting $25+/hr type wages & benefits ... the people I know who do that type of work are very happy to do it and enjoy the seasonal nature/time off that they get. Some of them I know are unhappy about having so many work call-outs these days ... they'd rather have few work hours as they've exceeded their financial goals for the near term already this year.
The ones I was thinking of w/o benefits are in business for themselves. There are lots of them. Man with a truck types.

Sure, tradespeople who work for an employer have some benefits.
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Old 04-06-2021, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Florida
3,120 posts, read 2,204,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Why would anyone want someone who didn't do well in school to be working on their plumbing or electrical system? Those are not specialties for simpletons or the lazy. There's a lot of math involved in the electrician trade and construction in general.
Absolutely agree! For some bizarre reason when people think of “trades” they think of someone just not “good enough” to join the real movers and shakers in college. Give me a break!

I used to work as a Millwright in my younger years. Most people today don’t even know what that is. Using a square and protractor to lay out complex angles of pipe which then had to be welded together, often hundreds of feet in the air takes a tremendous amount of skill and knowledge. Same with installing machinery in a factory. Would a college graduate care to guess how precise the alignment must be when leveling a machine that turns out components with + - 3 microns? Laser levels and trigonometry are the order of the day!

People who like to flaunt their degrees would do well to remember that it took an entire army of highly skilled tradesmen to build their college.
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Old 04-06-2021, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Central Mass
4,499 posts, read 4,748,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron61 View Post
People who like to flaunt their degrees would do well to remember that it took an entire army of highly skilled tradesmen to build their college.
Under the supervision of people with degrees.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:55 AM
 
16,911 posts, read 21,478,893 times
Reputation: 28876
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportslover View Post
People act like working in a trade is the greatest job in the world. Then why do so few people want to do it then? Why doesn’t society push going into trade school rather than going into college ?
Trades are actual work, lots of kids today think they are going to be a youtube star (no work) or a bitcoin trader or some other fantasy job making millions
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