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Recon1342
Recon1342 SuperDork
4/12/22 10:30 a.m.

After three years in my current job, and two years since I bid to a different position (but still haven't been moved over), I am cutting my losses. Current job is maintenance, was trying to get into safety. I've only ever been in the office part time.
 

I need a change of pace, desperately. I think I'd like to get into the IT trade. 

 

Advice from the hive ? Thoughts, pointers? 
 

It's a strange new world out there...

slantvaliant (Forum Supporter)
slantvaliant (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/12/22 10:51 a.m.

Make no mistake, safety is an industry in itself, with vendors, lobbyists, and Kool-Aid drinkers of its own.  And, yes, politics. 

I'm not saying it's not worthwhile.  Go in with both eyes open.

 

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
4/12/22 8:17 p.m.
slantvaliant (Forum Supporter) said:

Make no mistake, safety is an industry in itself, with vendors, lobbyists, and Kool-Aid drinkers of its own.  And, yes, politics. 

Prolly the best description of Safety jobs I've ever heard. 
Well said!

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
4/12/22 8:26 p.m.

In reply to Recon1342 :

I can't answer on the IT; I wouldn't have an interest in that myself. But I can say I've never regretted the change I made from pulling wrenches (think millwright, and similar) over to Insturmentation & Controls. 
im now on a "multi-craft" maintenance position, and that kinda sucks, but there are reasons I have to stick it out. 
I've found that the more "multi-craft" a position is advertised as (usually maint.) the lees the pay. Way less than any of the crafts would pay by themselves. Makes no sense, but it's so. 
I assume you're probably multicraft now?

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
4/12/22 8:30 p.m.

When I was 18 years old my dad suggested I become a Chicago union sprinkler fitter rather than a tool & die maker.  I passed on both and went into the business world instead.   

I took the sprinkler fitter test and was called up at age 32.  My wife laughed and said I was a big wuss and couldn't physically do the work so I turned it down due to that and the first two years income wise would be hard.

Probably be retired next year and today my back hurts anyway.   I'm all for changes - do it.

Recon1342
Recon1342 SuperDork
4/12/22 8:35 p.m.

In reply to 03Panther :

Yep. Plumber, electrician, welder, carpenter, machine operator, parts changer, etc.-

-and safety manager. 
 

My mental health is suffering quite badly from the stress. I bid into the safety manager job two years ago, then Covid hit, and then nobody really cared to get me out of maintenance... and there is no end in sight. I bid for a job that wasn't maintenance for a reason, but nobody seems to understand that...

NY Nick
NY Nick Dork
4/12/22 8:47 p.m.

You can't let your work take that much from you. It's a job seekers market, time to bounce. Where and how is your choice just make it a priority. I have too much for too long and it took a lot from me and my family. I started a new role this year, still work hard but much better balance and a fraction of the stress. It's a better deal for me and everyone I am around. 
Good luck on a new role. 

secretariata (Forum Supporter)
secretariata (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/12/22 8:52 p.m.

Sure sounds like time to walk around the corner and get on a different bus...

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
4/12/22 8:53 p.m.

I did my apprenticeship as an Outside Machinist. I've done 'bout any mechanically oriented type job in my short term contract  years. I've never worked as an electrician - made the move to I&C instead. As multi craft maint. These last 5 years, it's a disadvantage to me. 
The only advice and/or help I could give ya, would be towards short term traveling contracts. They have there good points, and their bad. 
I can offer a couple thoughts if a full time move would be in your future, but no help in your area. 
Unless they still hire out at the decommissioned dry dock out west of ya?

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
4/12/22 9:25 p.m.

I don't know a lot about IT, but safety management is a thankless task that will earn you no friends while you try to keep people from killing themselves and others. 

I've done everything from running a shovel, to wiring motor controls centers, to management in a retail store, and countless different jobs in between. I currently run a small business from a desk that sells and installs doors. I was in my late 30s before I found a niche I was happy in. 

The only thing constant in life is that it changes. Do it. 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/12/22 9:50 p.m.

Re IT - a lot of this depends on what sort of "change of pace" you're looking for. In a lot of places, IT is a high stress job with a high burnout factor, but there are also a lot of places (usually smaller, usually not on either coast) where it's more of a normal job. Which one it tends to turn into depends on the kind of job (operations/system or database administration is one job where things tend to get hairy when E36 M3 is on fire, development tends to be deadline driven and can be of the "just get this out next Tuesday, no matter how") and the industry.

I've been in IT as a developer for 30+ years and have done operations jobs as well, so if you have specific question I can certainly provide an opinion.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/13/22 9:03 a.m.

In reply to Recon1342 :

Can you manage a couple months of community college classes?

If so, consider taking your maintenance experience into the office by learning Revit, particularly the plumbing and mechanical aspects of it.  It's 3-dimensional building and systems modeling / Building Information Management (BIM) software.

Then get a job in a consultant engineering firm, either process or building.  They would pay solid money for somebody who could model / draft systems and who actually understood what they were looking at.

 

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane UltraDork
4/13/22 9:13 a.m.
Duke said:

In reply to Recon1342 :

Can you manage a couple months of community college classes?

If so, consider taking your maintenance experience into the office by learning Revit, particularly the plumbing and mechanical aspects of it.  It's 3-dimensional building and systems modeling / Building Information Management (BIM) software.

Then get a job in an consultant engineering firm, either process or building.  They would pay solid money for somebody who could model / draft systems and who actually understood what they were looking at.

 

This was going to be along my suggestions.. I see so many machinists (my industry) that never want to learn CAM/programming, never quite realizing the money and fun they're leaving on the table..

 

Either way, I'm in total agreement that three job doesn't sound worth it.  Change is good.

Recon1342
Recon1342 SuperDork
4/13/22 12:01 p.m.
Duke said:

In reply to Recon1342 :

Can you manage a couple months of community college classes?

If so, consider taking your maintenance experience into the office by learning Revit, particularly the plumbing and mechanical aspects of it.  It's 3-dimensional building and systems modeling / Building Information Management (BIM) software.

Then get a job in a consultant engineering firm, either process or building.  They would pay solid money for somebody who could model / draft systems and who actually understood what they were looking at.

 

You have me curious. Yes, was planning on going back to school. So, is revit like drafting?

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/13/22 1:06 p.m.
Recon1342 said:
Duke said:

In reply to Recon1342 :

Can you manage a couple months of community college classes?

If so, consider taking your maintenance experience into the office by learning Revit, particularly the plumbing and mechanical aspects of it.  It's 3-dimensional building and systems modeling / Building Information Management (BIM) software.

You have me curious. Yes, was planning on going back to school. So, is revit like drafting?

Yes and no - mostly no.

Instead of drafting drawings, you're actually modeling all the building and system elements in three-space, using pre-supplied 'families' of each type.  You can also make your own objects natively for custom stuff.  Then you use the program to create views of the model that equate to traditional drafting.  The joy of it is that, since you're actually modeling everything in 3D, if you update the model, all the individual views are automatically updated.

Imagine you're machining a part.  You model it in 3D, then you create viewport windows to show the orthogonal top, bottom, and side views with dimensions.  Every time you adjust the model, all of the viewports adjust themselves.

It's like that, except with entire buildings.  Since it's all integrated, not only is it easy to create any view you might need, you can also see all the collisions and coordination issues in the computer before work starts, rather than when a bunch of folks are standing around a ladder in a half-built building waiting for you to tell them how to reroute the 8" pipe around that beam that wasn't supposed to be there.

Here are some examples.  In these, most of the architectural stuff is hidden because we really wanted to highlight the mechanical systems:

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/13/22 1:13 p.m.

The other fun thing about that is - nearly all of those virtual items in that model are 'smart', and know what they are.  So if you have that 8" pipe modeled in, it knows it's 8" pipe.  And when the project engineer comes and says it needs to be 10" pipe, you just select it and its related fittings and select the 10" subcategory.  Voila, everything you selected will adjust itself to match the new size.

Each of those green pumps in that top pic can know what kind of pump it is:  manufacturer, model number, input / output stats, electrical requirements, etc.  You can even insert a parameter to (for example) keep a record of the last time it was rebuilt.  It may or may not be necessary (or desirable) to include all that information, but the capability is there.  And lots of manufacturers provide pre-built model families of their products, which can be inserted into your model.

And if you're really using the software's abilities, it will generate fixture schedules and material lists based on the input information.

It's very powerful stuff.  And the learning curve is a little steep, but definitely not heinous.  Once you understand the basic strategy of how to build the model, and how Revit expects stuff to work, it's pretty fun actually.

 

j_tso
j_tso HalfDork
4/13/22 1:23 p.m.

yes, please. Architects need better drafters. 

I'm a subcontractor for the glazing contractor that does exterior commercial windows and a lot of the time the models are so generic and rough that it's like pulling teeth to confirm what we can attach stuff to. 

Usually we get Revit models of what the architect wants it to look like but it's just blocks drawn into each other. More detail = more time.

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
4/13/22 1:24 p.m.

I was told by a mechanical engineer who worked in Revit that the future of Revit is in the hands of engineers, and drafters are being phased out because the engineers want "the fun job" of working in Revit. So while pay for those who know the program is going up, those without the degree are seeing less job opportunities. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/13/22 1:44 p.m.

Here's a small example from a design I'm working on right now.  It's a "barn" hangout for parties and live music.  I'm not in love with the proportions, but (A) it's being built on an existing stone foundation from a 19th-century barn, and (B) it's what the owner wants.

These images are just different views of the same model.  Some are pretty pictures and some are schematic construction drawings.  Same input - different ways of looking at it. 

Perspectives:

Elevation:

Cross section:

As I said, all this is the same model, and it's all live.  So if I decide to raise that upper roof 2 feet, I click on the level mark that says "04 - T O Clerestory" and change that 23'-4" dimension to 25'-4".  That will bump the roof and the attached walls up, and propagate that change throughout each and every view in the drawing set.

By the way, the model is geolocated and oriented correctly to True North, so the sun and shade in that top image are correct for today at noon.

Also, light fixtures can emit light (with the correct optics if the manufacturer does their stuff right) so you can see a pretty good approximation of how it will be lit at night.

I'm not trying to make this about me and I know that you're more interested in the systems side of things.  But it's all integrated in the Revit package.  The basic program covers architectural elements plus common structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical components.  There are optional extensions for more detailed structural and M/P/E elements.

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/13/22 1:49 p.m.
pheller said:

I was told by a mechanical engineer who worked in Revit that the future of Revit is in the hands of engineers, and drafters are being phased out because the engineers want "the fun job" of working in Revit. So while pay for those who know the program is going up, those without the degree are seeing less job opportunities. 

I disagree with this to some extent - quite a bit, actually.  It will get there eventually but I don't see that happening in any major way any time soon.  There are plenty of engineers who don't have the time / patience / interest / ability to attack Revit modeling.  I work with a bunch of them on a daily basis.

I think there is plenty of opportunity in the field for someone with practical experience, who understands what the pieces are and how they go together.  That person will beat a 'draftsman' hands down.

 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
4/13/22 1:54 p.m.

In reply to Duke :

Green pumps = Taco Pumps.  Also I see braided flex connectors- pretty cool work.  

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/13/22 1:56 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

In reply to Duke :

Green pumps = Taco Pumps.  Also I see braided flex connectors- pretty cool work.  

Yeah, the goal is to represent the finished product as closely as feasible.

 

03Panther
03Panther UberDork
4/13/22 2:06 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

In reply to Duke :

Green pumps = Taco Pumps.  

I can't be the only person than has no clue what this means... at least I hope I'm not blush

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
4/13/22 2:30 p.m.

Taco is a popular brand of water pumps and circulators. They are usually green. 

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane UltraDork
4/13/22 2:48 p.m.

Well, along that same vein, right now the industry is desperate need of machinists...  a 12-18 month certificate program will get you a good paying job.  If you can learn a CAM program, you're on a good path to a solid future, whichever way you want to to take it.

Mechanical aptitude really pays off quite well in machining and related arts.

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