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  • change careers?

    I currently work as a lead hand in steel manufacturing. I have been there for 12 years and make $25 an hour. I have recently been accepted into the Plumbing Union in Ontario Canada. Should I take the plumbing apprenticeship or stay with my current job of 12 years?
    The plumbing aprenticeship will require me to travel a bit farther to different job sites and also has periods of unemployment durring slow times but the earning potential is $33 an hour after completion of the apprenticeship. My current job is steady and has alot of overtime but seems to be a dead end job paying only $25 an hour with small infrequent raises.

  • #2
    ho

    it ain't the money. i repeat it ain't the money. what is the drive here? which would you rather do? being a plumber is very different from a steel mill. if it's just the $8.00 bucks. why bother? you have 12 years in at the mill. it can't be that bad. sit down and make a list of the positives of both jobs. you will have to guess at the plumbing ones. can you live without the promise of a regular check? you need to really think about the check thing. most people don't react well to the idea of a hit or miss check. you will learn to save money. i'm self employed. i thrive on living by my wits. my wife learned to. i don't know what you do at the mill but plumbing is pretty physical. breid................

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    • #3
      Re: ho

      my job is pretty physical so no worries there. I guess my biggest concern it leaving a stable job for one that may not be as stable. I hear the union will layoff workers in a heartbeat. I have a mortgage and two kids to look after.

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      • #4
        Re: change careers?

        I do not care what one does MOST all become work at some time, you may like one thing better, or place to work but in time the new will wear off and the excitement will be less,

        IN my area I would love to be making $25 and no cost out of that,

        I said to my son, currently you have a fair paying job, and they want you come in to work. with the current economic climate, I think you should think long and hard about jumping ship right now Unless your sure the new job will last and do you better, I know your tired of what your doing, but your paying your bills and keeping food on the table and a roof over your head, and it could be worst as in less pay, or no job,
        and regardless you will get tired of doing the next job as well. and most likely feel like the new employer is not treating or paying you what your worth as well.
        Last edited by BHD; 08-08-2010, 03:50 PM.
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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        • #5
          Re: change careers?

          remember that the 4-5 year apprenticeship will not pay anywhere close to what you're making now.

          if the wife is working to supplement the income and you think you could survive the 5 years of work and school along with the income difference, then go for it.

          there will be plenty of opportunities beyond apprenticeship.

          so in short you will take a beating, but in the long run, you'll be way ahead.

          if i could get into the fire department, i would take the cut in pay to do something i would love to do

          any firemen want to trade positions

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #6
            Re: change careers?

            Rick I don't think the Fire department would have room for you and your camera crew
            Seattle Drain Service

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            • #7
              Re: change careers?

              i would stay where you are if your happy there .its not all about the money
              i could make much more money if i was to go some where else but i like what i do and im close to home and do what i want .
              Charlie

              My seek the peek fundraiser page
              http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


              http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

              new work pictures 12/09
              http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

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              • #8
                Re: change careers?

                To cover periods of unemployment you will have to sock away about $5 an hour, or have some other source of ready cash to supplement unemployment. As Rick said your first three years will be for less than you make now which will really hurt unless you take a second job to make up the difference which is what I did in the 70s. I took a 60% cut in pay to start my apprenticeship.

                How old are you now? With 12 years in your present position you must be in your mid to late 30s. After a 5 year apprenticeship you'll be 40 or there abouts. Is there no room for advancement where you are now? Can you move into management or some other facet of the business where you could earn more? Maybe to do so would require taking some evening courses but I think you might be better off in the long run.

                The building trades are always on the lookout for talented people with a good work ethic. I'm not trying to steer you away, just to thing a little harder about all the options.

                Ask some more questions of this learned group. We can't make your choice for you, but this group can answer just about any question you might come up with about any facet of the piping industry, and in Rick's case the video industry too. :-)
                "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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                • #9
                  Re: change careers?

                  Its not always greener on the other side of the hill and I don`t know why everyone outside our trade thinks we are all millionairs and by the age of forty five the achs and pains are starting to hurt the back and shoulder operations are coming back to bite you and ones used by date is staring you in the face.

                  Tony

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                  • #10
                    Re: change careers?

                    thanks for the advice. I guess I would get tired of the plumbing trade after a while but I like the idea of having a trade under my belt that can potentially be used to help me be my own boss. I also like the idea that its something I can do when I become older and want to be semi retired. But that is years away and right now I really worry if there will be enough work with the union to keep a roof over me and my familys head and food on the table.

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                    • #11
                      Re: change careers?

                      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post

                      so in short you will take a beating, but in the long run, you'll be way ahead.

                      This is what I figure, but I am not sure if the union will provide enough steady work that will enable me to survive the first few low paying years.

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                      • #12
                        Re: change careers?

                        I am 33 now so I'd be pretty close to 40 by the time I would complete the apprenticeship. I have heard people say I will one day be a supervisor or part of management at my work but I think they are simply dangling a piece of bait in front of me to keep me there and motivated. I appreciate all the advice you are giving me and I am certianly thinking very hard about all the options. thanks.

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                        • #13
                          Re: change careers?

                          Yeah there is the impression that plumbers make a real decent living. Thanks for an insiders perspective on the trade, it will help me make my decision.

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                          • #14
                            Re: change careers?

                            How Young pilots become old pilots! " When in doubt, DON'T ! "
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                            • #15
                              Re: ho

                              Originally posted by howitt View Post
                              my job is pretty physical so no worries there. I guess my biggest concern it leaving a stable job for one that may not be as stable. I hear the union will layoff workers in a heartbeat. I have a mortgage and two kids to look after.
                              Sounds like you answered your own question there, a career change should be something you WANT and have a desire to do, otherwise it will be a burden and a disappointment and eventually a regret , I would NEVER discourages anyone from the Plumbing trade but in your situation, will the down time still equal what you are making now enen with higher pay?
                              I don't bite my finger nails, I KNOW when payday is, and yes, it can run uphill when it gets blocked(or you install a grinder pump) so HA!!!!

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