Thoughts on choosing a trade as a profession

Sword and Board

Woodpecker
So what's stopping you from getting off the tools and into the office, maybe you're like me and prefer working in the field than an office.
Lets just say im too old to start a new career and too young to take one of the limited supervisor positions the old hats sit on and covet.

A common misconception that people who are unfamiliar with the trades is that you'll be on the tools for life which simply isn't true, there's plenty of supervision roles that are basically office jobs such as foreman, general foreman, site superintendent, etc. Next time you pass by a construction site, look for these portable trailers, that's where those folk hang out, in air conditioned offices full of computers, printers, etc where things like job planning, QA/QC, etc is done.
Not everyone can be manager, these positions are limited and can sometimes be only attainable through nepotism or dumb luck etc. So the majority of tradesman will in fact remain on the tools as long as they're in the trade. Besides more often than not the HR lady, the non-trade qualified business manager or the company accountant will be making more than them and driving around in a high end company vehicle.

Apologies if im being negative. Nothing wrong with the trades and you can earn great money in some, learn very useful skills and travel places with them. I just like to give the kids a look at some of the pitfalls so they can make an informed choice about their future.
 

Pendleton

Pigeon
Also, say you are a welder. You could be in a position at age 55 where some Human Resources in your company fires you. That won't happen if you're a lawyer.
This seems to be the polar opposite of reality. I have never heard of a tradesman getting fired for PC reasons. As a lawyer, I can confirm there is no more politicized place than a law firm (although I would expect nearly any office environment to be worse than the trades).
 

scotian

Crow
Gold Member
In order to be a successful trader you need to have a good education in this area. To do this, you need to go to a good universi I know how difficult it's to find something to write in an admission essay, especially for entering a university such as Florida State University. I can share with you the best site in order to find recommendations and tricks to write a good essay for admission to the FSU and you can find there not only more information about the university itself, you will also get more information about what members of the selection committee expect to read in this written work, This should help you find the right way to talk about you and explain your desire to study at this university.
What welding schools require an admissions essay? I think you may be confused bro
 
I have considered joining the Navy, I have family who did the same and it worked well for them, as they saved a lot and it's possible to leave with a pension. It seems a decent starting wage (+ potential officer, given my degree) but doesn't appear to have much progression. I have also been told I can learn a trade with them. Any thoughts on this?
This 100000%. Anyone who fucks up and earned a worthless degree in a field they don't want to enter should join the military.
They will teach you a trade and give you every opportunity to become very skilled at it.
If you decide in the future that you do want to use your degree, having military experience gives you a leg up in competitive job markets.
Like all government service, for most people there is a high floor and a low ceiling for status / pay / advancement in the military compared to the private sector. If you find yourself not advancing then you can drop out after your enlistment. Military experience will generally be considered more valuable that shit level work in whatever field you choose to enter after your service.
If you don't want to leave home, join whatever version of part time reserve service the UK offers. At least your resume won't have holes where it looks like you were a failure for years after college. This is honestly the best option for people in your position who don't really know what they want to do. If you like the military you can always join up full time in the future.
 
Last edited:

scotian

Crow
Gold Member
I can confirm that military experience is highly regarded in the skilled trades, my union has a helmet to hard hat program for ex-forces members. I’m working with a guy now who did 26 years in the air force, got into the trade at 45, he has a full military pension and averages about 200K gross/year, he’s retiring next year at 60, legit millionaire.
 
This 100000%. Anyone who fucks up and earned a worthless degree in a field they don't want to enter should join the military.
I can second everything you wrote about the military except for this line. Somebody ought to really thing long and hard before they join. A few of the things that have to be considered:
- False accusations of sexual assault are rampant (not that real sexual assault isn't), and it's not like the civilian world where they can just fire you and that's the end of it. And now that all the jobs have been opened up to women, and the admission standards lowered accordingly, there's no avoiding them.
- Depending on your branch and rating/mos, it ranges from possible to very likely that you'll work for absolute retards who have way too much control over your life.
- Adultery is so common it's mind-boggling. Between that and getting deployed/underway, the divorce rate is sky high. Basically, if you want a good marriage you'll need to delay that until you're out.

Not that people shouldn't join, especially people with useless degrees, but the cons have to be kept in mind.
 

Mr Freedom

Sparrow
Trade jobs are good but you have to pull in a hell of a lot of hard work at the beginning and deal with low IQ conversations most of the time. Surrounded with people who just talk about sex and sports 24/7 can be a drag. You really need to like the people you work with in order to be successful.

A good choice is to become a licensed Truck driver. You got to stay out on your own with minimum contact with others aside from dropping and loading deliveries.
 

scotian

Crow
Gold Member
Trade jobs are good but you have to pull in a hell of a lot of hard work at the beginning and deal with low IQ conversations most of the time. Surrounded with people who just talk about sex and sports 24/7 can be a drag. You really need to like the people you work with in order to be successful.

A good choice is to become a licensed Truck driver. You got to stay out on your own with minimum contact with others aside from dropping and loading deliveries.
This is true but a lot of the guys in the trades have interests in things that anyone can learn from, I’ve learned a lot over the years from blue collar bones heads about a variety of topics such as firearms, hunting, fishing, off roading, bush camping, gardening and small engine repair/maintenance. Sure we don’t get philosophical at work but I’ve learned stuff that I can use in everyday life.
 

NoMoreTO

Pelican
I often wanted to join a trade, but when I overhear the absolute idiotic conversations of many tradies on the job, then that makes me reconsider.

Farming or being a fisherman on the other hand.
My Father was a farmer and he always envied the tradesman. No heavy investment, no debt, get paid by the hour. Me being on the other side of it, its pretty clear that the long term worked out better with land prices being a great long term investment.

Alot of smaller hobby farmers are actually tradesman, it's one of the few professions where you can pull a good enough buck to buy some land. And many trades (electrical, mechanics, welding, carpentry) can be extremely useful as a farmer. Plus a trade which brings in straight cash for service is useful to reinvest into the farm. This is how I am making the transition

Regarding the retarded conversations, yeah I've heard a few. But remember that the trades will be one of the last to be taken over by SJW mindset. You have that independance based on your skill alone, and are protected on that basis. As a contractor in prof. services, I've never had to sign up for sensitivity training or some sort of other corporate BS. We will be the last they come for, but they will come for us. Many trades do business independently which is helpful for this too.

If I was a young white guy, I would learn a trade. Corporate world isn't for you. For a chick or someone who can qualify as diverse, corporate world will be friendly.
 
Anyone think it's still possible to become a plumber/get a plumbing apprenticeship in your early 30s in the US? Or will the labor take its toll on the body easier at that age?

And is there a lot of competition from illegals?
 

scotian

Crow
Gold Member
Anyone think it's still possible to become a plumber/get a plumbing apprenticeship in your early 30s in the US? Or will the labor take its toll on the body easier at that age?

And is there a lot of competition from illegals?
If you’re reasonably fit then there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able make it as a plumber although the first few years as an apprentice will be a bit tough but it’s definitely worth it. I can’t see why any guy under 40 couldn’t do it unless they’re really out of shape, trust me there’s some fat plumbers out there.
I’m a member of the United Association Plumbers and Pipefitters union and they don’t employ illegals, there’s many locals all over the country actively recruiting new members and apprentices, check out the website: http://www.ua.org/
 
Anyone think it's still possible to become a plumber/get a plumbing apprenticeship in your early 30s in the US? Or will the labor take its toll on the body easier at that age?
...
We're all supposed to exercise, then have the idea that jobs that require physical exertion will hurt us long term. I think a lot of how labor takes a toll on a body depends on how well one takes care of that body.

My grandfather was a welder/fabricator who also did plate layout (square to round transitions out of 1/4" steel, etc) He retired from the plate shop at a mine / ore refinery with a pension, then worked at a local welding shop until he was well into his 60's, then worked off and on at other welding shops until his early 90's--who ever had a contract that needed his skills, they would hire him. He also did ornamental iron work out of his garage -- all over town there are gates and fences he made. He really did not start to decline until around age 92 or so.

This was in the SW desert and none of the places he worked had air conditioning or any real kind of heating. This was plate steel work with heavy angle iron, channel iron, etc. It takes muscle to move that stuff around, even if there is an overhead hoist to help.

He was in better shape in his 60's than a lot of men in their 20's. He had a old-fashioned wife who made 3 good meals a day,, he did not stay up late, he did not smoke, and he did not drink. He was "right with God" and went to bed at peace every night. Maybe part of it was genetics, but he outlived his siblings by a large margin so I doubt that was all of it.

Compare that to the stereotype of the tradesman who has a big-gulp=sized sugar soda every day going away from work, hangs out at the local bar after work every day to build up a beer belly, eats trash, otherwise goes through some six packs of beer every week, might smoke or dip, gets to bed late every night, etc. Is it the job or the life-style?
 
We're all supposed to exercise, then have the idea that jobs that require physical exertion will hurt us long term. I think a lot of how labor takes a toll on a body depends on how well one takes care of that body.

My grandfather was a welder/fabricator who also did plate layout (square to round transitions out of 1/4" steel, etc) He retired from the plate shop at a mine / ore refinery with a pension, then worked at a local welding shop until he was well into his 60's, then worked off and on at other welding shops until his early 90's--who ever had a contract that needed his skills, they would hire him. He also did ornamental iron work out of his garage -- all over town there are gates and fences he made. He really did not start to decline until around age 92 or so.

This was in the SW desert and none of the places he worked had air conditioning or any real kind of heating. This was plate steel work with heavy angle iron, channel iron, etc. It takes muscle to move that stuff around, even if there is an overhead hoist to help.

He was in better shape in his 60's than a lot of men in their 20's. He had a old-fashioned wife who made 3 good meals a day,, he did not stay up late, he did not smoke, and he did not drink. He was "right with God" and went to bed at peace every night. Maybe part of it was genetics, but he outlived his siblings by a large margin so I doubt that was all of it.

Compare that to the stereotype of the tradesman who has a big-gulp=sized sugar soda every day going away from work, hangs out at the local bar after work every day to build up a beer belly, eats trash, otherwise goes through some six packs of beer every week, might smoke or dip, gets to bed late every night, etc. Is it the job or the life-style?
This.
The eating habits of working class men in this country are horrendous. I bring a large cooler stuffed with food to work every day. I feast on meat, veggies, and fruit constantly. All but a couple of my coworkers eat complete garbage every single day. People ask me about what I eat pretty consistently. I tell them that processed food is garbage. They all seem to agree, but it doesn't stop them from eating hot pockets, potato chips, microwave dinners, and energy drinks every meal.
 

bmw633

Robin
Anybody on the forum do a trade as a profession?
Specifically carpentry, plumbing, electrician, millworking, pipefitters etc etc
I was wondering if its a solid, rewarding and/or worthwhile option for a means of making a living and what your own personal experiences with the work itself, as well as the monetary aspect i.e able to raise a family, keep debts down and live a decent middle class life. Been thinking about carpentry the most as my chosen profession but it seems like they're most honest and prudent lines of work one could devote their time.
I was at a car show and was looking at a 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible, and spoke with the owner, an elderly gent. He also had a 1954 Skylark there, a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible. I asked him if that was his collection, he relied no, he also had 4 Rolls Royce a in a different area of the show.

I asked him what he did to be one affluent enough to afford all of those perfect cars, he said he was a garbage man. Bought a truck and picked up garbage for folks who don't have city trash pickup. Built a fleet of trucks and became rich.

Also know a guy who is a tree surgeon, figured out how to bid on government contracts, and is making bank.
 

bmw633

Robin
I have been told similar, I can find very little online in my area so it's perhaps best that I go ask in person. It doesn't help I live in a small, poor town with mostly seasonal work. I'll give general labouring a go, I didn't know if I'd need to do an apprenticeship first, so that's good to know.

I have considered joining the Navy, I have family who did the same and it worked well for them, as they saved a lot and it's possible to leave with a pension. It seems a decent starting wage (+ potential officer, given my degree) but doesn't appear to have much progression. I have also been told I can learn a trade with them. Any thoughts on this?


When I started studying, I thought that I wanted to go on to teach. I was also told I could just 'convert' to law, as Philosophy grads do best in the entry exams. After talking to people working in Law, it seems to be soul-destroying so I want to avoid that. I know of a few people doing similar degrees to me, who are going to work for corporations doing jobs similar to those you listed and also in Finance. They do tend to have more connections coming from good private schools, working good internships during university (as they lived in London, or big cities internationally).

I applied for some graduate jobs doing 'Tech Consulting' but the companies stopped hiring temporarily due to corona, so I'm trying to use this time off to get healthier and think more clearly about a career plan. I imagine Tech being the most suitable corporate environment for me if I must take the corporate path. I just think most the major cities in the UK are crappy, and most jobs seem centred in London or somewhere like Manchester/Leeds (apologies if you don't know the UK). I much prefer rural/town life.
The Navy might be a good choice. Inquire about Officer Candidate School or Chaplain.
 

bmw633

Robin
Trade jobs are good but you have to pull in a hell of a lot of hard work at the beginning and deal with low IQ conversations most of the time. Surrounded with people who just talk about sex and sports 24/7 can be a drag. You really need to like the people you work with in order to be successful.

A good choice is to become a licensed Truck driver. You got to stay out on your own with minimum contact with others aside from dropping and loading deliveries.
I would be concerned with the coming self-driving trucks that Elon Musk and others are developing.
 
I would be concerned with the coming self-driving trucks that Elon Musk and others are developing.
I think the coming of automated trucks is farther off and will be more slowly adopted than people think.
If you want to do trucking, I think it's still a good field considering that you don't have to invest a lot of time or money to enter the field. The hedge is to keep an eye on ways into management if you do see automation start eliminating jobs. If you are intelligent and have a good reputation this shouldn't be hard.
 
Top