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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi.. looking for advice.. Going to take the entrance exam to get into the 103 tomorrow. As long as I score well and get an interview I am pretty much in.

I have been working as an auto mechanic for the past two years after taking college classes for 2 years and not knowing what to do, so I took some time off. For the most part I did not enjoy working at a dealership for various reasons, namely the low pay, poor benefits, lack of career advancement opportunities, not much to do besides basic repetitive maintenence (oil changes, tires, brakes, front end work), working with idiots (the guy I worked next to was a "World Class GM tech" but asked me where mexico was...), never ending tool bill, and the flat rate system just sucks. Its a ****ty trade on its way out the door.

So- now I am only working part time because I went back to college for economics. By the time the results for the interviews come out (april), I will only need 6 more classes to get my degree. The thing I like about economics is that you are basically studying and analyzing why people do the things they do (micro) and why things in the world happen (macro). I guess it is like a facet of business and finance but looks more at the big picture.

My problem is I don't really know what I would do with an economics degree. If I get into the union I would have to give up going to school full time. I'm also not sure if my prospects in life are better as a union electrician with a pension vs working the college white collar job. I've heard electrical is the king of trades and it is easy on your body (compared to auto mechanics anyways). I've also heard it is hell on your body and I don't have a clue since I have never done electrical work. I do like working with tools / in the shop environment. But I also like to travel and go out and see different places.

As electrician, what would you do if you were in my shoes? I have no student loans to pay off. Part of me worries that if I skip the union to finish school, I will be kicking myself in 2 years as an over educated burger flipper. Having a pension would be great, because there are virtually no employers that offer pensions, but at the same time when I read that the 103 pension fund is only funded 68%, how do I know this number won't continue to shrink? Will there will be any money left by the time I retire?

Decisions, decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also, I know 103 will pay part tuition for members to attend Wentworth Institute. Maybe I could pursue my masters there in construction management or technology management? Thanks for any input from those currently in the field.
 

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THE "BIG RED MACHINE"
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Also, I know 103 will pay part tuition for members to attend Wentworth Institute. Maybe I could pursue my masters there in construction management or technology management? Thanks for any input from those currently in the field.


Bingo!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So much stewing in my mind... Perhaps I have answered my own question. Still open to hear others opinions though.
 

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THE "BIG RED MACHINE"
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So much stewing in my mind... Perhaps I have answered my own question. Still open to hear others opinions though.
nothing wrong with doing your due diligence in analyzing the situation and coming to a conclusion you feel comfortable with.
:thumbsup:
 

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BlackWhale49
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You sound like you don't know what you want to do. The electrical trade is the best of the skilled trades but just like anything you need to want to do it. Not for all the benefits you can get but because you love it. Why don't you hire on with a contractor and work as a helper. Find out what electricians do. Then if you like it, apply for an apprenticeship spot. If you get into the program and find out that you hate it more than being a mechanic you've wasted a spot that someone else could have had. I wish you well in your decision.
 

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Hi.. looking for advice.. Going to take the entrance exam to get into the 103 tomorrow. As long as I score well and get an interview I am pretty much in.

I have been working as an auto mechanic for the past two years after taking college classes for 2 years and not knowing what to do, so I took some time off. For the most part I did not enjoy working at a dealership for various reasons, namely the low pay, poor benefits, lack of career advancement opportunities, not much to do besides basic repetitive maintenence (oil changes, tires, brakes, front end work), working with idiots (the guy I worked next to was a "World Class GM tech" but asked me where mexico was...), never ending tool bill, and the flat rate system just sucks. Its a ****ty trade on its way out the door.

So- now I am only working part time because I went back to college for economics. By the time the results for the interviews come out (april), I will only need 6 more classes to get my degree. The thing I like about economics is that you are basically studying and analyzing why people do the things they do (micro) and why things in the world happen (macro). I guess it is like a facet of business and finance but looks more at the big picture.

My problem is I don't really know what I would do with an economics degree. If I get into the union I would have to give up going to school full time. I'm also not sure if my prospects in life are better as a union electrician with a pension vs working the college white collar job. I've heard electrical is the king of trades and it is easy on your body (compared to auto mechanics anyways). I've also heard it is hell on your body and I don't have a clue since I have never done electrical work. I do like working with tools / in the shop environment. But I also like to travel and go out and see different places.

As electrician, what would you do if you were in my shoes? I have no student loans to pay off. Part of me worries that if I skip the union to finish school, I will be kicking myself in 2 years as an over educated burger flipper. Having a pension would be great, because there are virtually no employers that offer pensions, but at the same time when I read that the 103 pension fund is only funded 68%, how do I know this number won't continue to shrink? Will there will be any money left by the time I retire?

Decisions, decisions.
Join the union...finish your economics classes...it's a no brainer to me..
 

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You sound like you don't know what you want to do. The electrical trade is the best of the skilled trades but just like anything you need to want to do it. Not for all the benefits you can get but because you love it. Why don't you hire on with a contractor and work as a helper. Find out what electricians do. Then if you like it, apply for an apprenticeship spot. If you get into the program and find out that you hate it more than being a mechanic you've wasted a spot that someone else could have had. I wish you well in your decision.
Good advice here and if you do decide to like the trade I would apply for a IBEW apprenticeship with the Local Union in your area. An IBEW apprenticeship can't be beat as far as I'm concerned. Good Luck.:thumbsup:
 

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In my area a union electrician makes far more than the average college graduate and didn't have to pay $100k plus to get a degree. Our apprentices end up with an associates in electrical construction technology when they complete the apprentice program. They are required to take 6 college classes in addition to the apprenticeship classes to get the degree.
 
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