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Old 01-29-2010, 06:30 AM
 
4 posts, read 6,770 times
Reputation: 10

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I have recently taken a few trips out west (Colorado was the primary destination) and really liked what I saw. I have lived in Michigan my whole life and am looking for a change. I'm not sure why, but everything I start looking at locations I always end up stuck on Wyoming, but I have also thought about Montana.

What makes it difficult for me is that I am a IT worker (Network/Server administration) and it seems that tech jobs are far and few between in the places I've looked (wyomingatwork.com). From what I have seen I really like the looks of the Casper area but I didn't find much job wise (or I'm looking in the wrong places). There is a job over near Jackson, but from what I've read that isn't really a place I would want to live if I'm looking to be in country.

I'm not real sure what the job markets are like out west, but currently between two jobs I make over 70k. From what I can tell the job market isn't hurting in Wyoming like it is in Michigan so I could probably take a big pay cut down to around 50k and my wife could pickup a job to make up the difference.

What are everyone's thoughts? I wouldn't mind a 30-60 minute work commute so that I could live away from the city, but it would be nice to be somewhat close to an interstate. Where in Wyoming should I focus my search efforts? Maybe I should be looking elsewhere (Idaho, South Dakota, Montana)?

Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:34 AM
 
4,690 posts, read 9,405,666 times
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You're right, you'll be taking a pay cut (I just left my Gov. IT job in Lander), down to about $40k/year if you land a good job. For me, in Lander, that was enough to own a home and live very comfortably. Extended vacations, retirement savings (other than employer sponsored), or buying Toys would all require a lot of work to find funds for on just one income. My wife worked part-time to cover these for us.

On the other hand, it's more about Quality of Life and less about how much you make in Wyoming. It costs very little to get out into Wilderness for hiking, climbing, camping, fishing, hunting, etc... and you can do it every weekend. We spent most weekends of one summer in Yellowstone ($50 for an annual pass) hiking and camping. It doesn't cost much to enjoy the state.

As for commuting... sorry, you're making me laugh. There are no "Cities" in Wyoming... Casper is the largest population with about 60,000 people in a small area, then there's nothing for miles. You could live somewhere where neighbors are a mile away and still only be 10~15 minutes from downtown. You could really get into the boonies if you wanted, but if you and your wife are coming from the background of eating out, going out, etc... that's not really a smart decision. It only gets worse if you have kids.

I my be wrong, but there's just something about your post that makes me think you're more interested in the Idea of Wyoming,and haven't really thought the process through. It could be that you're just on the beginning end of that learning process though. In any case, there's nothing like spending a few days looking around where you think you want to move.

Good luck
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:49 AM
 
11,505 posts, read 49,927,417 times
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Wyoming business data recently reported that the state lost 20,000 jobs last year ...

I think you're facing a combination of two obstacles to locating out here:

1) gainful employment

2) affordable housing out in the 30-60 minutes commute to a city where you have a job ... typically, you'll not be looking at a subdivision in that distance, but either a small community or a true rural acreage

There are IT jobs in the area that pay reasonably well, with most of them in gov't or public sector employment. From what I've seen, there isn't a lot of turnover in that job market due to good pay and benefits for the region. Be aware that many of the jobs here will pay a lot less than you've been accustomed to back in MI. The pay cut you're facing may be substantially larger than you've indicated, and the costs of living aren't particularly lower than where you're coming from.

Outside of the Wyo at work website, you'll need to be contacting potential employers directly to get on track to a job posting or position available. You have a lot of qualified competitors already here for the available jobs, and a lot of IT people laid off around the country seeking a move to Wyoming, too.

I'd be looking at all the school districts, city hiring lists, larger corporations, state agencies, UWyoming, etc. When considering the pay range at any of these, you'll want to take a very good look at the local housing to see if you can afford it, especially if you're not bringing a lot of money in for a down payment.

I'd also mention again that I've seen a concerted effort on the part of several Wyoming gov't employers to bring in MI workers ... where they felt that they could obtain good workers who were without jobs "back home". The turnover here was incredible ... many MI workers simply could not acclimate to the work ethic/environment of Wyoming, the climate, or the lack of "things to do" compared to "back home". Many of the MI folk didn't last a year out here, and preferred to be out of work back in MI than employed here in WY. If you are depending upon being entertained, dense green lush forests and lots of lakes and water and lawns, having lots of choices of restaurants, abundant shopping, and all the amenities of a high density residential area close to where you live ... you will be very disappointed living in Wyoming.

Last edited by sunsprit; 01-29-2010 at 08:58 AM..
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 39,923,300 times
Reputation: 2147483647
I guess I don't understand the need for greed.

I live in a cabin out along the Tongue River. I have 5 horses, 12 chickens. I'm 20 miles from town. I go in to town a couple times a month to have lunch with one of my daughters. Matter of fact, I went in yesterday to have lunch with Anita.

I harness up the team and go for long jonts. 15-20 miles a couple times a week. In April, the team is going to take a sheep wagon to Skagway Alaska from right in my front yard.

I hunt and fill the freezer. I fish when I want to. I make about $18,000. a year and I feel that I'm lucky. I pay the bills, I heat my house, even drink a shot of whiskey from time to time.

I'm happy with $18K. I used to make 6 figures and I never was happy with the hours and the labor.

Come on to Wyoming and kick back. You don't need to make mucho dinaro to live here. Enjoy life.

When was the last time you just walked back in the timber and sat on a log and reflected on life? I do it a couple times a week.

I drink spring water. I go up into the mountains and draw water to bring home and make coffee.

Slow down, enjoy life, you'll live longer.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:55 AM
 
4 posts, read 6,770 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the replies so far, it definitely gives me something to think about. Being away from any real "city" would be something that would attract me to Wyoming rather than repel me back to Michigan. I grew up in a small township that now has around 5,000 residents over about 40 sq miles, but in the last 5-10 years there was decent growth out there so it is a bit inflated. The "city" of around 10,000 is about 20 minutes away.

A few years back we moved to a larger "city" of about 40,000 and while it is convenient having everything very close by I miss my privacy and being able to drive for miles and only see trees or fields.

I do understand that income isn't everything... while I may make what most would consider decent money now, all I really want to do is relax outside and tool around on ATV's. I've never been a hunter but I have always wanted to.

For the first year or so we would probably try to find a place to rent, but that would probably prevent us from living outside of the subdivision environment.

I don't mean to sound greedy at all ElkHunter and I am willing to take a significant paycut for added quality time that I would get every day... but I also want to make sure that I can continue paying the bills I have. What you have going on sounds like a dream, I grew up with my family owning horses and being around livestock... if I had enough money and it was possible to survive off a small ranch it would be a tough decision between that and an IT job.

From what I have seen it doesn't matter how much money you make, people usually spend what they earn in life, so even making 70-80k/yr there still isn't much room for extended vacations or buying lots of toys... and if there is then finding the time becomes the issue.

Sunspirit I know many people that would fit the profile of the type of person that you are referring to. Personally I would rather enjoy myself by spending time out in the woods, playing around on my own property, or dropping by the local bar occasionally. "Going out" usually just costs lots of money and never ends up being very enjoyable.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:39 PM
 
17 posts, read 80,345 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkHunter View Post
I guess I don't understand the need for greed.

I live in a cabin out along the Tongue River. I have 5 horses, 12 chickens. I'm 20 miles from town. I go in to town a couple times a month to have lunch with one of my daughters. Matter of fact, I went in yesterday to have lunch with Anita.

I harness up the team and go for long jonts. 15-20 miles a couple times a week. In April, the team is going to take a sheep wagon to Skagway Alaska from right in my front yard.

I hunt and fill the freezer. I fish when I want to. I make about $18,000. a year and I feel that I'm lucky. I pay the bills, I heat my house, even drink a shot of whiskey from time to time.

I'm happy with $18K. I used to make 6 figures and I never was happy with the hours and the labor.

Come on to Wyoming and kick back. You don't need to make mucho dinaro to live here. Enjoy life.

When was the last time you just walked back in the timber and sat on a log and reflected on life? I do it a couple times a week.

I drink spring water. I go up into the mountains and draw water to bring home and make coffee.

Slow down, enjoy life, you'll live longer.

Will you marry me Elk Hunter?
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Location: In a city
1,392 posts, read 3,018,613 times
Reputation: 776
I chuckled about the commuting too.. but I was more thinking along the lines that some roads close in winter months in Wyoming, so commuting isn't always a great option.

If you can find a job....just remember there are more towns than just Casper to look into. And IT jobs might not be listed as IT.. try computer or networking as key words in your searches, perhaps? For example... I did the search just now for "computer" at Wyoming at Work and got this hit:
On-Site Computer Systems Technician
CLEARMONT, WY
$30,000.00 to $48,000.00 per year

not sure if that's something you're qualified for but that's just an example. Look at the Cheyenne area too, as there seems to be a few listed for computers in that area as well.

good luck to you!






Not sure
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 39,923,300 times
Reputation: 2147483647
Something to think about. IT job with the VA. It would be a government job so you'd have great benefits. There are 2 VA hospitals in Wyoming. Several clinics but all are tied together with their computers. The 2 VA's are Cheyenne and Sheridan.

If you hooked up with one of the VA hospitals, you'd also get a chance to travel to the clinics from time to time. I'm kind of fond of Sheridan area for hunting, skiing, camping, fishing, etc... Cheyenne is nice but given my druthers, it would be Sheridan.

Wyoming jobs

Wyoming State jobs

Government jobs
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 39,923,300 times
Reputation: 2147483647
Quote:
Originally Posted by daisy1924 View Post
Will you marry me Elk Hunter?
I dunno. Do you own a tractor? What kind is it?
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
3,396 posts, read 5,517,249 times
Reputation: 2566
[SIZE=3], [/SIZE]I really love the whole State of Wyoming each area has something to offer, so my advice is Look at Cache Valley Utah/Idaho, Rural, Agriculture, Hunting, skiing, Thrift stores at Pepperidge farms, Creamys, Stephen coco, Good cheese, plus a college town. And a milder climate then Wyoming.
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