Career Advice

Thread starter #1
Hey everyone how's it going.

I'm posting this here in means of trying to possibly gather advice, recommendations, helpful tips or maybe even prior experience with trying to choose a career path involving the outdoors industry. by that I mean conservation, forestry, wildlife biologist oriented or even land management of some kind. before I even continue on. I am a current active duty service member in the military and have spent the better part of a decade in the service between the Marine Corps and Army and it seems now that my time has come to continue on a different path career wise outside of the military due to facing probable separation from the Military bc of medical related issues sustained while in the service. with that being said if it does go through I am intending on making full use of my education benefits and resources afforded to me and plan to continue my education and get my degree hopefully geared towards a career path that is in good demand that will as well provide longevity and lasting financial security as well. with that being said this go around I would definitely like to make my next career move into a field that I can enjoy doing but at the same time be successful while doing it and not have to worry about making ends meet. so please feel free if anyone on here has any information knowledge or expertise regarding the various fields I had mentioned I would gratefully appreciate any advice you all would like to give or maybe even some suggestions to look into. thanks everyone for taking the time to read this.
 

dwhee87

Senior Member
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a forest ranger. Love the woods, fishing, hunting, camping, etc. I went and talked to a local forest ranger/game warden. He asked me, "Do you love hunting, fishing and camping?" I said "Yes!" He said, "Don't become a forest ranger/game warden. The pay sucks, and you never have time to do those things anymore."

Instead, I got a degree in environmental science, and have worked in that industry for 30 years. Lots of options. Engineering companies, environmental contractors, waste disposal companies, oil & gas companies, power companies, and in the last 10-15 years, pretty much any large company has an environmental department, where staff work on regulatory compliance, permitting, waste management, etc.

All that said, if you have Uncle Sam to pay for it, go for a degree. If you don't look hard at trade schools. Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) has a foundation that gives scholarships to people learning trades. The money in many cases is as good or better than a college degree, and you don't get an extra $30k to $50k in student loan debt to dig out from afterwards.

Good luck!
 
Thread starter #3
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a forest ranger. Love the woods, fishing, hunting, camping, etc. I went and talked to a local forest ranger/game warden. He asked me, "Do you love hunting, fishing and camping?" I said "Yes!" He said, "Don't become a forest ranger/game warden. The pay sucks, and you never have time to do those things anymore."

Instead, I got a degree in environmental science, and have worked in that industry for 30 years. Lots of options. Engineering companies, environmental contractors, waste disposal companies, oil & gas companies, power companies, and in the last 10-15 years, pretty much any large company has an environmental department, where staff work on regulatory compliance, permitting, waste management, etc.

All that said, if you have Uncle Sam to pay for it, go for a degree. If you don't look hard at trade schools. Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) has a foundation that gives scholarships to people learning trades. The money in many cases is as good or better than a college degree, and you don't get an extra $30k to $50k in student loan debt to dig out from afterwards.

Good luck!

Thank you dwhee87

Yes sir the thought of remotely getting involved with a warden or ranger aspect is far outside my head as far as the environmental oriented degree and career path goes. My primary focus is however keeping in line with some type of degree and career path that is oriented towards the environmental side of the house like you said whether it is a career path like you described environmental compliance in regards to business and corporate is concerned or what have you I just know that since uncle Sam is in fact going to be footing the bill I want to do it right and get into a career path that I can stay interested in for the remainder of my working years through retirement.
 
Military bases and other large government entities are now required to hire Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) positions and other positions to protect natural resources, including threatened and endangered species.

I'm not sure what kind of education all that requires or the duties on a military base vs a VA Hospital or other smaller entity.

If you've already got the military experience maybe you can use that to your advantage after your education to get a job on a military base. As dwhee87 mentioned all the large companies are hiring these positions as well.
Military bases also hire foresters and biologists. I would probably go the environmental GEMS route as I think there would be way more positions available in that field.

You may be assigned to a Safety Office and could cross train in industrial hygiene as well.

Good luck.
 
Maybe research what the federal or state governments are paying to clean up such as dry cleaners. I have a friend who is an Environmental Engineer in Florida that cleans up old dry cleaning facilities grounds. Sounds kinda boring to me but he makes good money.
Either that or working on a military base to make sure they don't have any illegal car washes.
My friend initially worked for a waste disposal company that was ran by the Mafia. That happened to be one of the fields they were into at the time.
 

dwhee87

Senior Member
My friend initially worked for a waste disposal company that was ran by the Mafia. That happened to be one of the fields they were into at the time.
I bet I know the company....were they based in Detroit?

Cleaning up dry cleaning sites isn't boring. You get to do lots of fun stuff, like shore the building and cut the walls and floors out, then dig a big hole inside, then drill horizontal wells under the rest of the strip mall for vapor recovery, then put it all back together, and maybe even inject some oxidation chemicals into the groundwater to destroy the remaining trace levels of chlorinated solvents.....

All that uses structural engineering, mechanical engineering, geology, chemistry, carpentry, masonry, flatwork, shoring design.....lots of fun stuff.
 
Thread starter #7
I bet I know the company....were they based in Detroit?

Cleaning up dry cleaning sites isn't boring. You get to do lots of fun stuff, like shore the building and cut the walls and floors out, then dig a big hole inside, then drill horizontal wells under the rest of the strip mall for vapor recovery, then put it all back together, and maybe even inject some oxidation chemicals into the groundwater to destroy the remaining trace levels of chlorinated solvents.....

All that uses structural engineering, mechanical engineering, geology, chemistry, carpentry, masonry, flatwork, shoring design.....lots of fun stuff.
Yes sir that's the way I see it if I'm going to go back to school to eventually go back to work I'd like to be involved in some type of career that can have fun doing and maintain a level of interest in and believe some kind of career oriented towards environmental or outdoor related would be best direction to go towards.
 
If you decide to go in to the trades, PLEASE do so in a REGISTERED APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM! You will actually be given your GI Bill as a stipend to offset the pay between you and what a journey person makes. These programs are Non-profit as opposed to the Tulsa Welding Schools of the world that charge you upwards of $20,000 for a seven month course and you will have entry level skills at best. I sit on various state boards and advisory committees here in Florida, worked in the field for almost 20 years, ran some of the largest mechanical projects in the southeast for many years and dealt with the Government entities. Find a trade or career that you really enjoy and it won't seem like work.
 
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Timberman

Senior Member
by that I mean conservation, forestry, wildlife biologist oriented or even land management of some kind.

Get a 4 year degree in a forestry or wildlife field from UGA or other school and get with it. There are opportunities in all of the above.

I went to UGA and started out a dirt forester. The pay was low but it was a rewarding job with all kind of outdoor related perks. Over time I transitioned to the business and manufacturing side and that is when the money came. Good luck!
 
I will offer this:
The key word you used in your OP was career. I take that to mean you want to be in this particular field from now on.
Career fields that are fun and energizing for a young person, can prove problematic for progression as you age.
Think about what you will be able to do at age 50, 55 and even past 60.
A labor intensive career when you are young may not translate to a sustainable career as you age.
 
Thread starter #12
If you decide to go in to the trades, PLEASE do so in a REGISTERED APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM! You will actually be given your GI Bill as a stipend to offset the pay between you and what a journey person makes. These programs are Non-profit as opposed to the Tulsa Welding Schools of the world that charge you upwards of $20,000 for a seven month course and you will have entry level skills at best. I sit on various state boards and advisory committees here in Florida, worked in the field for almost 20 years, ran some of the largest mechanical projects in the southeast for many years and dealt with the Government entities. Find a trade or career that you really enjoy and it won't seem like work.
Thank you for the great advice plumber 1969. During some time I spent between the Marine Corps and re enlisting into the Army I actually spent at least a year in one of Georgia's local IBEW Electrical apprenticeship programs seeing if the trades route would be satisfactory for me to invest into for the long term. During that time I ended up getting batted around between 2 companies. The first was a small outfit that started out decent but over a short period of time found themselves hard pressed to find work and manage to keep it. One of the top end faces for the outfit was hard headed to say the least and made it a challenge to work with regarding contractor to client relationships. So from there I moved over to another outfit that was small scale but in the process of branching out and growing. Decent bunch but again the hard reality is starting out pay wise isn't much to talk about especially when you have a family to provide for and in the end not being able to keep steady hours helped make the choice for me in the end to re enlist back into the service to try to pick the pieces back up from where I left off. Unfortunately years of harsh environmental conditions abuse on the body keeping up with optempo and my most recent work related accident have inevitably forced my hand to re consider a new future going forward not only for me but my wife and son as well.
 
Thread starter #13
Definitely look at ABAC college in Tifton.
I definitely am JackSprat, it is in my top 5 colleges I am focused on as far as the degree programs I mentioned are concerned. My father actually attended ABAC back in the day and has managed to give me a lot of good insight about the college itself and what his personal take was of the school when he attended and their programs they offered and how the school is now and it's current programs and selection to choose from. As mentioned by several I am carefully considering all the options on the table that fall in line with opportunities for the long term, job satisfaction as far as enjoying the work I would be doing and pay scale being able to make a decent living doing.
 
Thread starter #14
I will offer this:
The key word you used in your OP was career. I take that to mean you want to be in this particular field from now on.
Career fields that are fun and energizing for a young person, can prove problematic for progression as you age.
Think about what you will be able to do at age 50, 55 and even past 60.
A labor intensive career when you are young may not translate to a sustainable career as you age.
Yes sir that is a big factor that is no doubt going to play a big role in ultimate choice making of what I want vs what I need to be able to do for the long term like you said over time its important to choose a path you can stay relevant and apart of not only when your young and able but all the way through until you can make it to a successful retirement. That and I will have to consider my current limitations I am already under regarding my situation and once I do get out of what the Va approves as far as career paths are concerned.
 
I definitely am JackSprat, it is in my top 5 colleges I am focused on as far as the degree programs I mentioned are concerned. My father actually attended ABAC back in the day and has managed to give me a lot of good insight about the college itself and what his personal take was of the school when he attended and their programs they offered and how the school is now and it's current programs and selection to choose from. As mentioned by several I am carefully considering all the options on the table that fall in line with opportunities for the long term, job satisfaction as far as enjoying the work I would be doing and pay scale being able to make a decent living doing.
One thing that has changed from "back in the day" is that it is much easier to transfer all of your credits at ABAC to a 4 year college if that is the way you want to go. GA. Southern has a good outdoor facility management program.
 
Thread starter #17
I want to thank everyone who has responded and given me alot of great information and advice to move forward with and take into serious consideration. Like they say knowledge is power and being 26 yrs old and having to face a drastic change of direction for not only myself but my family as well is something i don't take lightly given the circumstances. Ive got an opportunity to alter my path and make a sound decision going forward and thats what i intend to do. Thanks again Guys
 
Best of luck to you.
Always look to the future.
Don't focus on a dime now and miss a dollar down the road.
 
I have worked with quite a few guys that have come out of the military. All of them we’re looking for something different and something they enjoyed better. After several months go by, they usually change directions and realize they want to head back to a military type structured occupation.

The best advice I can give you, as a husband and father of 2 young kids, find a job that pays you the most amount of money, for the least amount of time. If you have money to spend and time off to spend it, you will get plenty of enjoyment from time with your family. All to often I see guys looking for a career that is fun and enjoyable. 2 or 3 years down the road that fun career is now a job that takes time away from the wife and kids.

Also, use your vet preference to your advantage. I don’t know what type of experience you got while in the military, but odds are, you could probably land a civilian or contract job on a military base paying you more than you will ever make with a 4 year degree. Once your foot is in the door, get an education and transition to whatever career field suits you. The options are unlimited once your foot is in the door though. The workload is minimal, your off weekends and holidays and you make tons of money. Most civilians I know working on base brag about how Easy and stress free their job is, most make $25-40/hr, and I don’t know a single one who isn’t off by 3:30-4:00 every day.

Like I said, I have seen quite a few military guys come to do outside jobs, and 75% end up back between those fences within a year or 2. It’s too good of a gig to pass up, and your already halfway there.
 
Answer these three questions, to yourself, (write down the answers). Maybe have someone else who really knows you well do the same for you, from there point of view.

-What are your gifts and talents?

-What do people often call on you to do?

-What job would you do, even without pay?

Read your answers back to yourself, you might be surprised, it won't tell you what you are supposed to do, but it may give you direction.

Here's a fellow who has made a living doing what he loves, combined with work ethic.
Attitude, soapbox, Charlie Daniels Band
 
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