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would you leave your semi-white collar work to take up the construction trades?

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[OP]
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Jan 27, 2004
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would you leave your semi-white collar work to take up the construction trades?

If presented the opportunity... would you leave white collar work to take up the construction trades?
This is assuming there is no salary decease.
And the white collar job is high pressure/high stress type of job.

Has anyone made this transition?
UrbanPoet wrote: Oh... I just got more info. Its not really construction.
My cousin has a handy man company . He has many rich clients in the rosedale and thornhill area that need simple ish done all the time like hanging picture frames, fixing door squeeks etc... That would explain why he is willing to pay so much! :lol:

@ the family BBQ he told me Some guy paid him $100 to stop his faucet from leaking. lol
Sometimes they'll pay him to hook up internet cables. Another time... They paid him to haul some dirt to the mansion so his wife could work on her roses. :-0
Kinda funny... she's a bit of a poser. Wants to garden... BUt doesn't want to go to the store to get the dirt. :lol:
Some guy even gave him $100 to change his oil b/c he was too busy to take it to the shop. He just used some shitty $19.99 dino oil and no-name filter. He is a licensed mechanic, but quit... Now I can see why... He built up a pretty good gig for himself!
Sometimes some rich guys would call him up to get a job done... But he's so busy... Thats why he needed an extra guy. To run around and do these odd jobs.

We were just drinking beers and acting a fool. @ the BBQ he just got back from moving furniture. Some guys wife paid him $50/hour so she could tell him and his buddy where to arrange the furniture. They split that 50/50. Still made $100 for a few hours work.

I asked him "I thought you were doing hard core construction and reno's"
"sometimes we build a deck, or fix up the kitchen. No big jobs... Just odd jobs. these are all high end customers who want people to service EVERYTHING. They want to be able to pick up the phone and call someone when something is wrong... and they expect someone to be there within an hour".
It seems to be a personal assistant service to the rich... But with skills geared towards home maintenance.
He mentioned that the stress from the isn't physical... But mostly from demanding customers and their sassy trophy wives.
53 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 16, 2010
1088 posts
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Construction is not walk in a park.
Deal Addict
Dec 10, 2012
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what are you smoking these days?
Sr. Member
Nov 26, 2003
804 posts
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Halifax
I've been a healthcare professional for 15 years and have often thought of doing something similar. Need a change.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
While I enjoy working with my hands, I'd prefer to get my fix by buying a project house, or take up wood-working at home. No real desire to put up with doing it for a living. I'm good at what I do, I'm respected by my clients and peers, so stepping back into being a grunt and trying to move up again wouldn't be fun. Plus if you do move up, you just become another manager/supervisor, so back to not working with your hands...

Plus there's very few trades that make what I'm making without working a poop-load of OT. And if I want to work OT, I can do that now, and make even more money. I know you said imagine money is the same, but that's just not realistic.

Now, if I could switch careers and go into a "master craftsman" type role, doing custom work for clients with more money than brains, sure...

C
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Oct 21, 2006
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My dad does gas fitting/equipment repair. At 60 his everything hurts, he has arthritis, he has tunnel carpal, he has bad joints, he has heart issues, etc etc.

Nothing wrong with doing trades, just remember that at the end of a life filled with physical hard work is problems with your body due to all the work you put it through.
Member
Nov 19, 2011
295 posts
66 upvotes
Calgary
Personally I don't mind moving my body everyone once in a while but not.for work. I enjoy think about solutions more then hard labour. Also as you get older you don't want to be doing hard labour of you can help it, imagine being 65 digging holes all day, most people will be in pain all the time from that kind of abuse (don't get me wrong some will be perfectly fine, I just think of I got a desk job don't need to worry about that at all)
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Aug 14, 2012
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I did. What do you want to know? My long term goal is to run a contracting business but getting decent wage as an apprentice isn't so bad. It's a long road from starter to master electrician (potential to own a business) though (8 years).
Sr. Member
Jul 17, 2013
584 posts
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Greenwich, CT
UrbanPoet wrote: If presented the opportunity... would you leave white collar work to take up the construction trades?
This is assuming there is no salary decease.
And the white collar job is high pressure/high stress type of job.

Has anyone made this transition?
For me, it would depend on pay. If I wasn't a true professional in the white collar world (high quality designation, specialized expertise, etc), then I would have no qualms switching to blue collar. My cousin did it a couple years ago and gets paid almost equivalent to me. Trades are overpaid in Canada's over-educated system so why not take advantage of it? Plus, you'll be a lot more useful in a zombie apocalypse than a paper pusher like me.
[OP]
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TranscendentExp wrote: For me, it would depend on pay. If I wasn't a true professional in the white collar world (high quality designation, specialized expertise, etc), then I would have no qualms switching to blue collar. My cousin did it a couple years ago and gets paid almost equivalent to me. Trades are overpaid in Canada's over-educated system so why not take advantage of it? Plus, you'll be a lot more useful in a zombie apocalypse than a paper pusher like me.
Okay. Thats me. I work sales in a bank. So I'm not at that level. I got into it when I was young... Thinking "good old 9-5 with weekends off!". Banking has changed a lot since then... Its now a very high pressure sales job.
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Sep 22, 2013
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spiralspirit wrote: My dad does gas fitting/equipment repair. At 60 his everything hurts, he has arthritis, he has tunnel carpal, he has bad joints, he has heart issues, etc etc.

Nothing wrong with doing trades, just remember that at the end of a life filled with physical hard work is problems with your body due to all the work you put it through.
This.

It is common in a lot of older tradesmen. Many of these positions are labour intensive (even in skilled trades) and take a toll on your body especially as you get older.

There is not a chance in this world I would leave my 'white collar' job to take up one in the trades.
[OP]
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Jan 27, 2004
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OldMarriedGuy wrote: This.

It is common in a lot of older tradesmen. Many of these positions are labour intensive (even in skilled trades) and take a toll on your body especially as you get older.

There is not a chance in this world I would leave my 'white collar' job to take up one in the trades.
spiralspirit wrote: My dad does gas fitting/equipment repair. At 60 his everything hurts, he has arthritis, he has tunnel carpal, he has bad joints, he has heart issues, etc etc.

Nothing wrong with doing trades, just remember that at the end of a life filled with physical hard work is problems with your body due to all the work you put it through.
Is this a genetic thing? PErhaps they might have been tired old men regardless... Just the hard work accelerated it.

All the tradesmen in my family are fine in their older age.
The laborers are okay too... My dad worked 12 hour shifts 5 days a week @ a factory right until 65.
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Aug 14, 2012
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You also work less and run jobs more after 10 years in almost any trade
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
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I wouldn't switch to white collar unless I got paid double than my shutdown wage (1g a day). And even then I don't think I'd give it up. Take time off whenever u want. Work when you want. Its the way of life
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
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Nov 8, 2013
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tmkf_patryk wrote: I wouldn't switch to white collar unless I got paid double than my shutdown wage (1g a day). And even then I don't think I'd give it up. Take time off whenever u want. Work when you want. Its the way of life
You still getting work up there atm?
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Sep 4, 2005
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Pay if pay. If it paid just as well I'd gladly do it.

I could cancel my gym membership too :)
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Nov 2, 2013
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Have done, but because of better pay and more advancement opportunities. Not many places to find to pay $518/day to a 22 year old. My job is not physical at all aside from long hours- more mentally demanding. Hoping I'll get that to the 1000 range once I'm done trade school, but the economy in the toilet doesn't help in finding experience required for it.

It's what you can do with it that's gravy with the blue collar industry. Low-cost entry, but hard to get started. Once you're going though if you're good with your money, it's easier to be a risk taker with it in your early years. Just don't get involved with the wrong women.
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Never. What a ridiculous day dream question.

Not because of the work itself, because of the diminished runway for pay and advancement.

I remember a few guys who did this years ago ..... left relatively middle roles in offices to take up a trade ..... except they were already late-20's / early-30's .... and they're competing with 20 year olds who have a lot more energy, a lot more focus (its usually all they know), and probably a lot better network of guys they're working with (friends, family, buddies, etc.) vs. some 30yr old clown who wants to give it a go. All the guys that left ended up floating around trade jobs for a few years and never really advanced beyond whatever the bottom rung is.

gg. Should have stuck with the sanitized lunch room and crappy Keurig machine.
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Feb 9, 2016
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UrbanPoet wrote: Okay. Thats me. I work sales in a bank. So I'm not at that level. I got into it when I was young... Thinking "good old 9-5 with weekends off!". Banking has changed a lot since then... Its now a very high pressure sales job.
I did sales and investments, world elite credit card and facilitating for BMO. Believe me I KNOW how stressful it is. Was with them for 6 years. Last Nov decided I needed a change and I left. Just like that.
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Jul 17, 2013
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Greenwich, CT
TodayHello wrote: Never. What a ridiculous day dream question.

Not because of the work itself, because of the diminished runway for pay and advancement.

I remember a few guys who did this years ago ..... left relatively middle roles in offices to take up a trade ..... except they were already late-20's / early-30's .... and they're competing with 20 year olds who have a lot more energy, a lot more focus (its usually all they know), and probably a lot better network of guys they're working with (friends, family, buddies, etc.) vs. some 30yr old clown who wants to give it a go. All the guys that left ended up floating around trade jobs for a few years and never really advanced beyond whatever the bottom rung is.

gg. Should have stuck with the sanitized lunch room and crappy Keurig machine.
Good point. How well can you fit in as a late 20s guy with a bunch of young irresponsible d*ckheads? Then again, sounds like OP doesn't work at Corporate. Branch/Call Center/most retail banking jobs are just dead ends. It's not bad if you can build a decent book I suppose...bank a 100k a year working 9-4.

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