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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-02-2007, 01:12 AM   #21
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

As an engineer and Reservist, I would say what's important is enjoying what you do, LBYM as much as possible, invest wisely (minimize fees, use index funds) and then plan on how you wish to manage the income streams upon retirement.

Engineers do usually get paid fairly well - a good solid middle to upper-middle class
salary - it's not like hitting the lottery, however, for the time needed for the education, it's one of the faster ways to ER.

John P Greaney (who is on this board - umm, don't know his moniker) retired at 38 as an engineer - he got his degree and then did what I mentioned in the first sentence. He's got a wealth of info on his web site, Retire Early Home Page.

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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-02-2007, 01:51 AM   #22
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

Ambition:

Job markets obviously change, but at least for the next 6 or so years, I think IT is a great place to be, and is an area you could easily move into from engineering given your technical background. People were starting to write off IT a couple years ago, but most companies have realized that offshoring doesn't work for all but the most trivial maintenance work (which is all low-pay anyways), and demand for IT seems to be back to the levels from early 90's.

Anyways, there aren't too many other jobs out there that can give you the potential for high financial compensation w/o the need to invest in advanced education (like Law or Medicine). For example, I have team leads on my projects with only about 5-7 years work experience that earn six figure salaries.

One critical factor you should be aware of if you consider this path (other than obviously working hard and being smart): IT pay is significantly greater in the higher cost areas on the coast. Salary surveys seem to consistently under-report this difference, and you can't really get a good estimate of the pay scales by looking on online job listing since most 'professional' IT positions are recruited through agencies. True, cost of living is much higher on the coast as well, but you can easily earn twice the income compared to being in the middle of the country. (Those of you in the middle of the country - I'm not trying to be down on the middle of the country, just pointing out that there is a larger than expected discrepancy in income levels in IT )

So it doesn't meet your last criterion...but something to think about since it's great for your first two criteria
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-02-2007, 09:01 AM   #23
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I think engineering fits your criteria. You generally aren't expected to keep up appearances and you can earn a good salary in a low cost location.
Isn't that the truth. I'm a senior-level engineer and today I'm wearing a tee-shirt, jeans, and converse all-star shoes.

So far this morning I've logged in and spent some time reading this board. Yeah engineering can be ok

- John
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-02-2007, 10:04 AM   #24
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

thanks for all the posts everyone! it seems engineering is worth at least a try .

if not, i will look into IT, Librarian, Gov't service, or Actuary
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-02-2007, 03:28 PM   #25
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

Quote:
Anyways, there aren't too many other jobs out there that can give you the potential for high financial compensation w/o the need to invest in advanced education (like Law or Medicine). For example, I have team leads on my projects with only about 5-7 years work experience that earn six figure salaries.
I would also add Pharmacy as a nice job that you can pick your location and not need an advanced degree....like engineering, It can take 5 years for a degree, though....
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-03-2007, 06:39 AM   #26
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambition187
However, I've heard engineering gigs can be kind of disappointing career wise (hard to get promoted, bureaucracy, hard work doesn't get you much).
This hasn't been my experience, and I've worked for one of the biggest tech megacorps out there. Of course bureaucracy is very real, but that's going to be true for any large company you work with, engineering or otherwise. You're not going to get rich*, but it's a decent living, and I still find the work interesting after 9 years. I've come to the conclusion that I can't ask for much more than getting paid pretty well for interesting work. There are so many other sh*tty jobs out there that pay a lot less. But the bottom line is that if it's not interesting to you, then it's not worth it.

* EDIT: I don't mean you won't be able to FIRE, just that you won't be "living large," as the kids say. But then again, if you're looking to FIRE, you won't be doing that anyway.
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-03-2007, 06:52 AM   #27
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

1966 - 1993 American SST, Skylab, Viking, Space Shuttle. Ala the late Joseph Campbell 'follow your bliss'.

Beat those Ruskies, final frontier and all that rot.

Decent pay didn't hurt either. Although aerospace was famous for feast and famine depending on your skill subset.

So where's the romance for this generation - genetic's, bio medical, the oceans, space, international business? There has got to be a noble cause beyond just the money - or is that just 60's history.

heh heh heh -
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-03-2007, 07:08 AM   #28
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

meets your requirements but does require more education:

Radiologist. also right up your alley with lots of physics, tech, etc.

starting salaries not unheard of >$350k/y, PT jobs several thousand $/weekend, starting pay (like for most medical specialties) actually less in more metro areas since usually more desirable to live in.
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-03-2007, 10:18 AM   #29
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

Hey Ambition,

Concerning your question about travel, yes, I often do travel alot, tho you can throttle it somewhat. When you work as an field apps engineer under sales, you go to the customer alot for pre-sales meetings and benchmarks. Sometimes it's just for a day, sometimes a week, sometimes your back every week tho you usually come home for weekends. I got a gig in 2004 that let me spend the year supporting products all over Europe, that was great and all accommodations, food, etc paid for ! You need to like to travel a bit, but you have some control as well. Just remember, you want to be in a pre-sales role, having some control over bringing in a big purchase order makes you valuable, and you usually get a better salary + commissions as well...

just my $.02

-Pan-

btw: I worked in defense for the first three years of my life, they paid well going in, but didn't nearly keep up with the industry. Follow John Greaney's advice on the retireearlyhomepage, jump when you get a better offer.
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-07-2007, 04:13 AM   #30
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

Anything that allows consulting/contracting would be considered FIRE firendly... This would allow one to work temporary jobs and not work for longer periods.
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers
Old 05-08-2007, 10:31 AM   #31
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Re: FIRE Friendly Careers

pharmasist

- $115K per year.
- Paid uniform
- live anywhere
- can cut hours as you achive FIRE
- Can leave and come back without missing a single raise.

Downside ...

- As exciting as working at McDonalds.
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