Any suggestions for a new career?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by perennial, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    My hubby is currently an Electrical Engineer (he is very smart and conscientious). He has worked in a cubicle for too many years and with way too many managers that don't know anything except how to cover their behind.

    We want to move out of our suburban city to another state and live rurally. It's crazy here (atleast we think so) and WAY too busy, it just saps the life out of you - i don't want to wait too long until we've wasted lots more years here.

    We would not have a mortgage because we would buy outright after selling our place. He would have to make enough to cover food, etc. and health ins as benefit or paid. We've been thinking of ideas for a homebased business but are still working on ideas. I can do anything and would even comtemplate opening some type of bakery - baking is my thing, that's a big chance though with kids and moving to a new area and expecting to start that too.

    He if very handy - built our deck which a truck could sit on and does what needs to be done.

    Any ideas for what he could do in a rural community.


    Any ideas much appreciated.

    brural
     
  2. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    He enjoys working with his hands and doing a project or something and having
    a feeling of accomplishment when it is done.
     

  3. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    how about solar sales and installation, since he knows electronics he would be able to explain to folks. i know of a man here in montana that lives rural and uses his own place as both an example and a store, he used to be an electronic tech also! seems to make a pretty good living at it?
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Would being an electrician be out of his line or likes? Around here electricians who are available to the public are very busy and make some serious money.
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Don't rule out a career in EE in a rural area. Check with NRECA or recruiters. He might not make what he does now, but probably a good wage for the area.

    Jena
     
  6. Paul O

    Paul O Well-Known Member

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    Oboy can I relate!!! I escaped to Maine from Mass 20 years ago. (I hope I’m not offending anyone in your state. I still have family and friends there and quite frankly they think I’m nuts for moving out.)

    I had always loved the more rural parts of New England, but I was shackled to Mass by the “golden handcuffs”. I was an engineering manager and worked in the high tech sector. When I first got married I explored Maine but felt there just weren’t enough good jobs, even in the Portland area. However, after many years of struggling with the steadily increasing traffic, the politics and attitudes etc., I was ready to move even without a job.

    The move is down hill financially, which means salaries are low but you can buy a house mortgage free with what you sell yours for. However, if you ever want to go back, its uphill. For example I could not buy the home I moved out of. Also, some expenses are national, like college tuition. What I’m leading up to is you probably won’t have as much money. Having said that, would I move back?….NO WAY!!!

    Good luck. Keep planning and you’ll figure a way to get out.
     
  7. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for all of your suggestions. Great ideas. Electrician idea is not out of the question.

    Paulo O,

    Where in maine are you from? Maine is the other choice for us with family here and all too. Half of the family already lives there. Definitely not much for employment there as you said.


    Thanks again,

    brural
     
  8. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

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    Possibly lighting or sound gear repair or engineering, etc. Plenty of studios and rental shops in rural areas that need repair work done. I know that New England Audio Tech in Hampstead, NH does a huge buisiness in rentals and gigs. The road is always breaking things during transport too. Depending on where you are in MA you could have an opportunity in your backyard and not even know it...

    I know that back when I was looking for a school, UMass only offered engineering to either musicians or EE majors. Entertainment is a totally different world from ANYTHING in a cubicle. I know that schools like Full Sail or THe Recording Workshop have "troubleshooting courses" seperate from their mixing itinerary. Not that he'd have to actually go back but it might be worth it for him to at least get some info from a couple of schools so he'd have an idea of what repair work might entail.
     
  9. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My DH and I are making plans to escape the professional rat race, too. We're both tired of running around and being owned by what we owe.

    He is a EE as well, but is not at all wedded to the idea that he must remain in that field when we finally relocate to our land in WI. He, too, is very handy (has The Knack), and loves to work on almost anything. We're working toward the goal of each of us only having to work part time, leaving more time to play and work the land.

    DH is considering handyman work or even going to school to get ASE certified (he adores working on cars). Where we're planning to locate, simple landscaping (mowing, etc) is in high demand, and he'd be happy as a lark doing that. We know that we are downsizing, but have just gotten to a point

    If things get tight, we will look into substitute teaching. He is also very capable as a Computer Nerd and is good at that sort of thing as well.

    The ultimate goal, though, is to live off the land without having to do outside work. Realistically, it may not happen, but we're going to try!

    Good luck as you pursue your dreams!

    Pony!
     
  10. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Since he already has a background as an electrical engineer it would be a shoe in for him to cross over into repair of the computer circuits on newer automobiles. There are many shops that can not diagnose the latest controls and need assistance. I am not suggesting he fix the simpler troubles but the ones that are beyond the dealer shops capabilities. Recently I saw an automobile totaled by an insurance company due to the inability to get the electronics fixed on a Buick after lightning struck near where the car was parked. The Cadilac dealer sends cars to a person near me when they cannot fix it. His minimium fee is $125 and escalates rapidly depending on the fault and the complexity. Seems to me to be a golden opportunity!
     
  11. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    brural I wish I had the abilities you named off for your husband. If he is in reasonable good health and doesn't mind working then I see no reason why he can't easily make $800-$1600 per month during the summer months and $500-750 during the winter.

    There is always a demand for a carpenter/electrician that will not charge an arm or leg and actually shows up to do the work. I know of several fellows in this community that makes on average $500 week doing odd jobs and minor repairs. Because they show up on time, do the work and get it done instead of loafing they actually end up working 7 hour days 5 days a week.

    If you want to talk more about it pm me and I'll try to help you with the creative ends.

    Kenneth in NC
     
  12. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Depending on your inclination and his, there are lots of jobs near rural areas that might work.

    For instance if he or you decided to work for the Border Patrol you could be positioned on the border in the north or south near many rural areas.

    If you were interested in more tech work, places like NASA or FBI or other compnaies have plenty of business near/in rural areas. In WV we have a high tech corridor with businesses such as NASA and the FBI as well as software companies that are located here allowing folks to enjoy some rural benefits with high tech pay. Not many folks but the jobs are there for trained people.
     
  13. Paul O

    Paul O Well-Known Member

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    brural,
    Sorry for the delayed response. I live in West Gardiner, which is near Augusta.
    I recently heard about a new business park supposedly going up in Wiscassett. I don't know much about it yet.
    There is a website called jobsinmaine.com, or something like that. You can search that. I recently saw a job in there for a manufacturing engineer at an electronics firm. It was somewhere a bit south of Bangor. They make security systems, which is a good area right now. It sounded like a fairly junior level position, but it sounded like a good company. I'll see if I can find out more.
    Good Luck,
    Paul
     
  14. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    I am a ME from CA and bought 160 acres and built a log cabin and had and are having a great time. No need to work too much.

    However, now I have an office in Vancouver and "homestead" on the Boucher Lake Road near Moberly Lake, BC, Canada - though we really did homestead. We broke land, built a house, grew veggies, etc.. Now we get there as much as we can.

    My suggestion,
    Get everything set up and then leave. Pay all bills, get a stream of money coming in from something, like rentals or whatever, and then go. Have PV, or whatever for power, no OIL, etc., be self-sufficient.

    No worries.

    Alex, PE (CA, OR, WA, CO, AK), PEng (BC, AB )
     
  15. Old Jack

    Old Jack Truth Seeker

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    That is the key
    IMO
     
  16. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    My brother had a long career in electonic engineering and living in a big ciy.
    He always bitched about it and his work habits nearly obsessive, as probably the work involved with that profession demands perfectionist results.
    He also had a slew of allergies, probably living in the city and building 'air', rarely exposed to anything beyond urban or suburbia. Though his family enjoyed outings with travel to mountains 'camping' (in a motor home with all the plug in conveniences), hiking, etc. it never seemed he would be patient for more than a bit to endure homesteading. I realized this when he and his wife thought they could move to a small town Oregon property they owned and work as a car mechanic. He loved weekend warring with the vehicle in the garage to make it 'perfect'. He could never make a living at it if it involved doing work for customers to make it pay. He also visited and stayed 7 weeks at my place where daily he tried doing chores. To be honest it was helpful, though he threw his back out of place trying to keep a 'city' pace. He also was allergic to the poultry, trees and grasses which he never considered before coming to visit and was always miserable. He would enjoy the scenery to be sure, and lovely sunets, but mosquitoes, rain, and he felt were 'off days' and totally bored. He was good with his hands for a lot of things, I'll say that. Could he live in the country homestead way of life on his own....NO.

    I'm not saying this for discouragement, but his story learned himself a lesson that his office and stress job was something he 'lived' and anything he might have considered about homesteading to 'destress' didn't seem to work. He did like to run and constant mind games with programming computers. He eventually retired as an electric engineer to teach a community college class some website type of skills and some basic computer science courses. That was also boring after a while and he's basically on stress/physical leave from any work. So, I don't know advice about these things when people ask what they should do for a lifestyle change. It's really up to you. Try it out for a while out there with taking a few risks of a career change and see if it fits your constitution to carry on with that, or that you can always go back.