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What is your REAL job?

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
I just finished my sophomore year and my parents are bugging me to choose a career. I know I want to something in the aircraft industry, but I do not want a desk job. I like the idea of being a airplane mechanic but do not know all the details. I also looked into aeronautical engineering but found on it from an emergency room doctor who used to be one that he was at a desk more than I would like to be. What are some hands on jobs in the field of aircraft that are very hands on. I am up to the challenge but I just do not know enough to make a decision at this time.
It might sound a little lame but join the AirForce. They have a range of "Hands On" careers and they provide full training!

Ex AirForce. (Australia), here!

Have fun!
 

Hoomi

Well-known member
I just finished my sophomore year and my parents are bugging me to choose a career. I know I want to something in the aircraft industry, but I do not want a desk job. I like the idea of being a airplane mechanic but do not know all the details. I also looked into aeronautical engineering but found on it from an emergency room doctor who used to be one that he was at a desk more than I would like to be. What are some hands on jobs in the field of aircraft that are very hands on. I am up to the challenge but I just do not know enough to make a decision at this time.
I was in a similar situation, many years ago. I ended up joining the USAF Reserve during my Senior year in High School, with the schedule to go to Basic Training and Tech School after graduation.

Even 42 years ago, many people (including my school counselor) were aghast that I would "waste my potential" in the military, instead of going to college. My recruiter put me in for Avionics Navigation Systems, meaning I was trained in radar, navigation radios (including Tacan, VOR, ADF, and radar altimeter), and IFF systems. This field was a decently balanced electronics program, and once my Tech School was finished, I worked primarily on C-141 Starlifter aircraft.

With that electronics education and the job experience from the Air Force, I was hired by a DoD contractor, starting as an electronic test operator on missile hardware. After a year and a half at that, I applied for Test Equipment Maintenance, and have been steadily employed in that field ever since (over 38 years now), making decent wages.

The Air Force isn't quite as easy to get into these days, as I understand there is actually a waiting list to get in, but most branches of the military have aircraft that need maintenance. The Navy has the best schools, as Navy personnel are likely to be assigned to a ship, where there isn't an entire base full of more experienced techs to help them learn. Unlike college, military service is paid training, guaranteed job after training, housing, food, and health care. The down side is, you are obligated to service, which may include being sent someplace less than desirable (and sometimes, downright dangerous). And, if you get aircraft maintenance training, you are GOING to work on airplanes. I'm not sure what the current programs are, but there have been programs throughout the years, offering tuition assistance for pursuing a college education during or after military service as well.

If you do explore the possibility of military training, take this admonition seriously. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING! DO NOT take the recruiter's promise without having it spelled out in your enlistment contract. If it's not in writing, you may not get what you signed up for, and instead, you may find yourself with a job that (1) you hate, and (2) has no market outside the military.

Not everyone is suited for the military (and that isn't stated as a put-down to those who aren't), but it does offer excellent options to the college/job hunt route. All these years later, I do not regret having made that decision instead of going to college after high school.
 
Unsurprising that there are a lot of engineers here. :p

I'm a contract game developer. I tend to specialize in graphics, simulation, and other programming that requires math or optimization that other people don't want to do. (Job security!) I started a business with a college buddy of mine in 2009, and we've been doing that ever since. We've had some pretty neat game-adjacent projects too like real time photogrametry for ag drones, and music education software that does a lot of audio analysis and machine learning. Currently working on a pair of VR projects for the medical industry.

A few of the recent games we've worked on:
  • I did most of the shaders/effects for Rapala Fishing: Pro Series (youtube)
  • We did the network programming for Treasure Stack: (youtube)
  • I also made an unofficial NES version of Treasure Stack because... assembly programming. :D
  • We self published a PC/Mac/Linux game called Verdant Skies: (youtube)
 

bracesport

Well-known member
I am an industrial designer (creative problem solver) - my dad was an engineer and some of that has rubbed off on me - I like all things mechanical and wish I knew more about ones and zeros!

at 55 I still feel I am yet to do my best work!
 
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TooJung2Die

Well-known member
Yep - Air Force, Air National Guard, or Coast Guard will all help you get in the right direction
I am a Field Engineer in the medical industry. I install and maintain MRI and CT scanners. No college degree but I have been going to school my whole life. I started my career way back in the 1970's trained by IBM to service typewriters in the field. Through a constant progression of training opportunities I advanced.

Half of the people I work with have degrees in engineering. The other half got their initial training in the military. I think the field engineers who started out in the military are better prepared. They are taught to get the job done no matter what with whatever resources are available. They have the right aptitude and attitude for field work.

I've been carrying a tool bag my entire life and I love it! :D

Jon
 

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
Practice retirement is over, and I'm back to work now. My new "office":
20191219_014816.jpg


Until July 2015 I worked as captain of Platform Supply Vessels and Oil Spill Recovery vessels in the offshore oil industry. I worked out of ports in the U.S., Mexico, Congo, Angola and Brazil. When the industry slowed down in earnest I "semi-retired" and started to run a small commercial fishing operation in Mexico.

In March of 2016 I became a 56 year old beginning guitar player. I am totally hooked and I now have the adolescent dream of being a third rate musician. I am actually hopeful to one day earn a little food money with the guitar. I was a liberal arts major...with a brain groomed to be an engineer.
 

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
That the navigation station of a ship? Looks like there is low altitude radar, satellite weather mapping and gps location terminals as well as dual joystick controls or maybe trackballs (too dark to tell) I will assume for controlling those systems?
Not bad. We still call them boats down here in "da bayou", but the boats are getting pretty big. This bad boy is a diesel electric vessel, 295 ft LOA, and 4,000+ tons.

The three big monitors left to right are ECDIS (electronic charts with a GPS feed), ARPA radar, and to the right another ARPA radar (automatic radar plotting aid).

There's no j/s visible, although there is one next to the up facing monitor for the Dynamic Positioning System. The two arcs with red and green lights are the combilevers for the main propulsion units. 360 degree azimuthing thrusters. Above to the right is the echosounder and the vessel identification systems. Various other gizmos and gadgets forward.

Crappy internet won't let me load a plan diagram. Vessel has a big articulated crane and 2 ROV units.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
Not bad. We still call them boats down here in "da bayou", but the boats are getting pretty big. This bad boy is a diesel electric vessel, 295 ft LOA, and 4,000+ tons.

The three big monitors left to right are ECDIS (electronic charts with a GPS feed), ARPA radar, and to the right another ARPA radar (automatic radar plotting aid).

There's no j/s visible, although there is one next to the up facing monitor for the Dynamic Positioning System. The two arcs with red and green lights are the combilevers for the main propulsion units. 360 degree azimuthing thrusters. Above to the right is the echosounder and the vessel identification systems. Various other gizmos and gadgets forward.

Crappy internet won't let me load a plan diagram. Vessel has a big articulated crane and 2 ROV units.
With all the glowie screens I flashed back to sitting in the dark sensor three station in a P3c update with the curtain drawn for total darkness and the lights so dim most people couldn't see anything and would think you were asleep if they peeked in on you hehe.

Some of that looks semi recognizable but surely the tech has changed a LOT since 1983 hehe
 

SlingShot

Maneuvering With Purpose
With all the glowie screens I flashed back to sitting in the dark sensor three station in a P3c update with the curtain drawn for total darkness and the lights so dim most people couldn't see anything and would think you were asleep if they peeked in on you hehe.

Some of that looks semi recognizable but surely the tech has changed a LOT since 1983 hehe
Finally caught a break on the upload. All of the electronics are commercially available. Pretty sophisticated but not secret stuff like the military applications. And we do it with only one or two people on the bridge watch.

20191217_220505.jpg
 
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JennyC6

Well-known member
No just break the tape to a take a peek :love::LOL:
That's the loaders mroe often than not. I.....am not allowed to speak my mind about the overnight sort/load staff on this forum, to put it mildly. They're the ones that break the packages, they can't load trucks to save their lives. They cram 1.5 trucks worth of :poop: into one truck and then wonder why the stuff they yeet onto the floor gets trampled.
 

Piotrsko

Well-known member
That's the loaders mroe often than not. I.....am not allowed to speak my mind about the overnight sort/load staff on this forum, to put it mildly. They're the ones that break the packages, they can't load trucks to save their lives. They cram 1.5 trucks worth of :poop: into one truck and then wonder why the stuff they yeet onto the floor gets trampled.
That damage isn't as bad as the forklift tire tracks on the package sides.