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"Do you think that this is true?" Topic

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reeves lk05 Dec 2007 11:58 a.m. PST

They were talking on the radio this morning that in 20 to 30 years jobs like auto mechanics, air condition repair and EXT are going to be some of the highest paying jobs around.

They explained that more and more people are going into high tech jobs with computers than in the past and there will be a shortage of mechanics by than.

Don't know who the person talking was. I was channel surfing while driving to work.

Seems possible, but what do you think.

Lord Billington Wadsworth Fezian Inactive Member05 Dec 2007 12:06 p.m. PST

Yeah – tech jobs are becomming the McJobs of the day.

Noone wants to go into a skilled trade like carpentry, mechanics or plumbing anymore.

If I knew then what I know now – I'd have considered going to a trade school rather than end up in the tech field (which I love, mind you) but the job market is so crowded right now.

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Dec 2007 12:07 p.m. PST

most auto mchanics these days are computer techs of some sort as most new car mechanics are all diagnosed with computer systems.

based on what the trades have been charging I would say that they are probably correct. You can find someone to fix something. The question is not cost though. It is whether they decide to come to the appointment you set up and if they are reliable and trustworthy.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian05 Dec 2007 12:08 p.m. PST

Hmm. I know that more of the tasks that you could do yourself in those areas are starting to require special tools/training. I rarely work on my car due to the number of sensors etc involved. Flip side is that a properly equipped shop may have a shorter teaching cycle for new mechanics due to plug and play type tools

60th RAR Inactive Member05 Dec 2007 12:11 p.m. PST

Consider that you can send your programming jobs to India, but your plumber needs to be a bit closer…

KatieL Inactive Member05 Dec 2007 12:18 p.m. PST

"you can send your programming jobs to India"

Only if you want much the same results as having your plumbing done from India.

Really. I've only come across one place which can get decent results from offshoring, and they have to work damn hard it.

Everyone else thinks it's a way of having something done fast AND cheap AND without any management overhead.

And the results are almost uniformly utterly crap. Most companies don't actually think that's a problem that will bother them when you warn them at the start of the project, because they all think they're not IT dependent. They often find out how much they need working IT the hard way…

60th RAR Inactive Member05 Dec 2007 12:26 p.m. PST

From what I've seen, I'd agree with that Katie. In the mean time, a lot of local guys are out of work and it's damned hard to fill the seats in our IS school!

Also from personal experience, the people making that sort of decision are often more concerned with bottom lines than what may work best.

nycjadie Inactive Member05 Dec 2007 12:41 p.m. PST

I've dealt with some offshore companies doing work and the difference is you need to pay more local people to supervise and fix the mistakes of the work sent offshore.

It's similar to when companies decide to bring their legal work in-house. They rarely have the capacity or structure to support it and it often flounders, sometimes for many years, at the detriment to the company.

Bad Painter05 Dec 2007 1:20 p.m. PST

My son in law is a mechanic for a Porsche dealer and has plenty of work. I don't think it's because they are poorly made cars either. In the past, he's been approached by other dealers and once even by a Nascar team, but at the moment he seems happy where he is. He's probably seen enough of his mother in law to know not to provoke his own wife.
It seems like a valid assumption that there will be a shortage of mechanics in the near future. Today most people are obsessed with image and would prefer to "pose" in an office than do actual work and risk getting there hands dirty.

Jovian1 Inactive Member05 Dec 2007 1:44 p.m. PST

Anyone ever tried to find a good mechanic these days? Yes, most of them have to have some computer savvy to use some of the diagnostic machines, but many problems can't be diagnosed with the computers yet. I sent my car into the shop because it was sluggish, would cut out, and had problems with acceleration. They put it on the machines, ran test after test, replaced the fuel filter, checked the fuel pump, injectors, air filter/air intake system, the computer couldn't figure it out. It took the mechanic actually driving the car for about an hour to find the problem. The catalytic converter was plugged/defective and none of the computers could detect it – they all thought it was working just fine.

Same with plumbers – you ever tried to find a reasonably priced plumber?? Or a good electrician? How about a good carpenter – not the build a house in a week type of carpenter – but a good finish carpenter – the kind who pays attention to the details? They are very difficult to find, when you find a good one, you wait and wait until they have time for your project, and then you pay proportionately more for their work – because you know you won't be calling them to fix a defect – because there won't be one.

My brother just went into plumbing – because it paid more than his previous job and he gets better benefits. The glut of IT people is there – there are lots who have credentials and more being created all the time, however, there aren't loads of really GOOD IT people – same with every profession I fear.

Lentulus Inactive Member05 Dec 2007 4:48 p.m. PST

I heard a happy camper interviewed on radio a few months ago. Instead of taking a student loan, buddy went to trade school after high school and learned to be a carpenter. Now has a degree, paid for by high-paying summer job.

Cry Havoc Inactive Member05 Dec 2007 6:32 p.m. PST

The theory might become reality for the stated reasons above. But there might also be developements which would make it less likely. Some (actually many) skilled trades of the past have become nearly obsolet because of technological progress. For example there are not many horse smiths needed nowadays. (Though I admit I donīt see cars going away any time soon.) And even inthe case that the product becomes obsolete it could become mass produced. For example there are way less carpentes who make furniture because most furniture is mass produced now. Also certain skilled trade jobs werenīt needed any longer because there was less demand for repairs because a replacement was cheaper. For example nowadays you throw a defective toaster out and buy a new one instead of having it repaired.
Also donīt forget that if skilled work becomes to expensive people are tempted to do the work themselves. Technological progress makes that sometimes more difficult (repairng a high tech car is more complicated) but in other areas technology has led to better tools which help amateurs.

I think in the end some skilled jobs will see wage increases but others will not and will even be paid less.

Rattlehead Inactive Member05 Dec 2007 7:28 p.m. PST

@Cry Havoc – You've touched on something that's somewhat related to this as well in your post. Many manufacturers are working as hard as they can to turn their products in to disposable commodities. Even car manufacturers are working toward the day when you don't repair your car, you just chuck it and buy a new one.

It's not a good trend for the consumer, as there will be more cost, more waste and less reliability in whatever product is moved to a "disposable" model.

How often have you or someone you know had some item that you wanted repaired and whoever you went to that was "in the know" said something like "Oh, these days we just replace the whole unit, rather than repair it."

Grunt1861 Inactive Member05 Dec 2007 8:20 p.m. PST

As a commercial plumber, I can say that my trade is becoming very lucrative, lately. Especialy if you have a speciality. For instance, I am a Medical Gas Tech, (A person who installs medical gas pipeing and equipment). There is so much demand for this skill in my area, (N. Cal.) that health care facilities are offering bonuses.
Some other specialties that are becoming "High Demand" are skilled pipe welder, (not your run of the mill welder), Process pipe tech, (think clean rooms), and pipe design engineers, (3D Autocad).

In the past I could expect to get laid off at least once a year. Now, I have just started a job that will keep me busy for the next five years. That is if I want to, otherwise I can go to the other six or seven job sites in a ten mile radius from home that need me today.

NoLongerAMember Inactive Member06 Dec 2007 4:49 a.m. PST

It goes in cycles, high demand fields attract excess workers, until it is glutted, this means another field is short of staff, so that then attracts recruits.

For example 30 years ago, there were so few thatchers about it was feared the trade, and the roofs would be lost, now there are more thatchers than work as there was a demand and people supplied it,

Personal logo mmitchell Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Dec 2007 9:40 a.m. PST

I was going to say exactly what FreddBoggs said. Things come in cycles. Back in the 1980s, for example, there was a crash in the oil and gas market that put a lot of people out of work. Subsequently, young people did not study chemical or petroleum engineering in college. When the industry recovered there weren't enough petro-chem engineers to go around. Now that things are booming, we're pulling people out of retirement to work on projects (literally – there are so many old guys working in my office that I feel like I'm at an AARP convention!). The same thing happened with computer science. I got in on the ground floor and made a lot of money. At it's peak right before the bubble, I was making 33% more than I'm making now. Then the bubble burst (and we had 9/11), we had TONS of computer programmers running around out of work (me included). I literally took a 40% pay cut for a year when I finally did get another job. Since then, I've been expanding my skillset into new technologies (and the oil & gas industry) to get my pay back up to where I want it. My bottom line is being helped by the fact that there aren't quite as many computer science graduates as there used to be in its heyday.

The same thing will happen in the "technical trades," as well. As the pay goes up, more people will go into those fields. As FB said, it's a cycle.

Brian Smaller11 Jan 2008 2:21 a.m. PST

I live in New Zealand. There was an advert on the radio tonight by a small plumbing outfit that was looking for a plumber. The wage was $NZ70K plus benefits. Our average wage is about $NZ40K. I'd have become a plumber if I knew then what I know now.

Major William Martin RM19 Mar 2008 12:12 p.m. PST

Most of the comments here are dead on. In my lifetime (I have worked full time since 16) I have changed careers three times because of changing trends, and now at 56 am looking at having to change yet again. My particular industry (Call Center Technology and Management) has almost completely turned itself upside down. Between buyouts, mergers, downsizings and off-shoring, where there were once 20 major Call Centers (500+ seats) within a 1 hour commute, now there 5 – and two of them are waiting to hear if they will remain open past this year.

Cry Havoc brings up an interesting point though. As he says, there isn't much call for a "horse smith" (we would call them blacksmiths), but do you know how much a skilled one can make in a year if he wants to? I have a good friend who was apprenticed and trained as an old time blacksmith. He now has a fully portable rig and drives all about the southwestern US working by appointment on ranches and at stock shows and rodeos. And when he actually has downtime, he is one of the top custom knifemaker's in the area (all hand-forged of course) with a backlog of orders, and he sets up at Flea Markets and Art Fairs (and even a Renaissance Faire) where he makes "black iron" utensils and art objects. Another friend of ours did his taxes for him last year and he cleared over $150K! Working pretty much his own hours and doing what he loves to do.

My two daughters are slaves to the Service Industry like myself (although one is going into nursing), but I think my son got it right. He is a talented artist and sculptor, gifted with computers (was offered a scholarchip that he turned down), definitely a child of the New Millenium. He instead worked for a bandsaw blade manufacturer for four years to learn the trade (and how to repair his own equipment), then went to a larger manufacturing and fabricating company where he is 2nd in their plant maintenance department. He's now the guy they call when the book doesn't tell them how to fix it. He can weld, fabricate parts from scratch, operate a lathe and mill, and will work all night to fix something that a "pencil pusher" has declared "unfixable". He already makes double what he made at the bandsaw shop, and within another year will equal my top salary. If only I'd paid more attention when my Dad tried to teach me those same skills many years ago. But, trends being what they are, I probably would have starved in the 70's and 80's.


Commisarlestat Inactive Member03 Apr 2008 3:29 p.m. PST

I was having this conversation with my brother the other day. I'm an archaeologist and currently doing a masters and the wages are appauling. I knew they would never be good but my brother has had manual labour jobs that pay a third again what I get. He is going into tiling so he can earn money and then hes going to get a job he really wants when he has the cash.
It really hit home when I realised my supervisor was earning less than the digger driver he was in charge of. Oh well at least im outside exercising!


Personal logo Condor Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2008 10:35 a.m. PST

Auto mechanics and Air Conditoning repair, hmmmm.

Sounds like they will need drivers for all those vehicles going to hell and back too.

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