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Career Crisis, Calling all Cops and Firefighters

Discussion in 'Exploring everything under the sun!!' started by Skibug, December 8, 2004.

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    1. Skibug

      Skibug Active Member

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      Ok, I have been been going to school for Electrical Engineeing technology and working as a co-op in the field for about 4 years now. I work one semester full time and then go to school one semester full time and alternate like this till I graduate. I have approximately 1 year left. I have been thinking alot lately about different career paths after I graduate. I still would like this degree but don't think I want to work in it after I graduate. Is that normal? I find myself in a hard place here. I want to graduate and make a lot of money which I could do in the EE field, but it is not what I really want to do I think. I have always wanted to do something along the lines of a cop, firefighter, those types of jobs. But the pay sucks compared to electrical engineering. Me and my wife are trying to have a baby and I want to be able to provide the best that I can for them, yet I want to do something that makes less money and seems more rewarding on the personal level. I know that all jobs can be rewarding, but these types of jobs seem more rewarding when you help other people directly. For those that are police and firefighters, what are the downsides other than the pay. My wife says that I am having a mid-life crisis in my 20's. I want to make the most money yet I want to do something else. Any thoughts?
       
      Last edited: December 9, 2004
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    3. Firefighter

      Firefighter Member

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      Be a volunteer (or paid-on-call) firefighter! :D
      I have been on the department for about a year and a half, and love it.

      Upsides:
      Get lots of excercise.
      Get to play with water.
      Get to drive trucks.
      Get to work out a lot and build big muscles.
      Get to give back to the community.
      Get chicks, or so they tell me.

      Some downsides to firefighting in general that I have seen:
      Its easy to get injured, even in routine training and maintenance: another firefighter and I were taken off our feet last summer during hose testing, an old hose exploded under about 400psi and pulled the hose tester (an electric pump that increases the water pressure above what the truck can provide) 20 feet. He and I were standing next to the hose running from the truck to the hose tester. He landed on his shoulder, and I landed on my side (my fire pager actually, left a nice square bruise in my side for a while). Other than that, we just had cuts and scrapes. He went to the hospital to get checked out, and I didn't feel that I needed to go.
      Another guy slipped stepping out of a truck last winter and screwed up his knee and ankle. (I know, that can happen any time, but it was a fire department related injury.)
      Sometimes you can see some stuff that you don't want to see. I have been fortunate so far, but some people I know have seen children die, some pretty bad accidents, etc.
      If your afraid of heights it might now be the best field for you. I get a little nervous when I'm that high up and trying to climb from a window to a ladder, for example. I guess it's probably something that gets easier with experience (the training really helps with ladders, teaching the safe techniques for climbing, going from an extention ladder to a roof ladder, for example.)

      Another option is that you can work for a company that makes firefighting equipment or trucks, and also be a volunteer firefighter. Occasionally, I hear somebody griping that the engineer that designed this or that should have been a firefighter too, so he would get it right. I'm in my first year of ME right now, and I think I might try to get into some kind of firefighting-related engineering job. But, I'm still planning to be a volunteer.

      Sorry for the long post, and there's probably some more experienced people here that can help out, but good luck. :cool:
       
    4. 00sport4x4

      00sport4x4 Active Member

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      Try joining your local Police Auxiliary, Then you can try it first hand and get many officers views on their career. I have 3 family members who are cops. They love their jobs but some of the scenes they go on like car wrecks, shootings, murders haunt them. I believe firefighters would be the same in that aspect.
       
    5. sapogmxr

      sapogmxr !!Drink Beer in Jersey!!

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      Being a police officer takes a lot.. You work every holiday. You’re never home on New Years.. You’re gonna miss out on some birthdays and anniversaries and things of that nature. But you do get great benefits.. Not just health benefits. Im talking about on the job benefits..EX: Complimentary food, discount at all types of stores.. Not to mention you can get off of tickets if that ever happens.. And you get to help out your friends in situations where they would normally need an attorney..It feels great to help people but you also have to deal with peoples problems on a daily basis. It can get very stressful at times but once in a while you will get that one kid or that one baby that will make you smile because you helped them out or saved their life.. Adults don't usually like you that much but that's besides the point.. If you are seriously thinking about becoming a part of Law Enforcement join your nearest Auxiliary Unit..They are volunteer police officers that have full police powers while on duty. Some towns even let you carry a gun, some don’t.. Some let you write tickets, some don’t.. Do some research into that and it should help you make a decision..
       
    6. EBInterceptor

      EBInterceptor Well-Known Member

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      I find this interesting because my brother was in Electrical Engineering (went from Biomedical, to computer, to electrical) and he decided one day that he hated what he did and stopped. He's now getting a mathematics degree so he can be a teacher and coach high school wrestling.

      I have family in law enforcement too and have always wanted to be a police officer (wavered for a little bit but quickly came back). Right now I'm looking into US Border Patrol. I've also looked into becoming a volunteer firefighter last year, but never pursued it enough because I wasn't sure how I'd manage it with classes and only being around half of the year here. I think either firefighting or law enforcement would be an exciting job, maybe not get paid as much but more interesting work. I've heard that some towns have a community safety team, or something of the sort. The police officers are also the firefighters as well, you could kill two birds with one stone.

      Now that you've gotten me thinking again, I should check back in with doing my own volunteer firefighting.
       
    7. Skibug

      Skibug Active Member

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      Well the working on holidays thing does not bother me. My wife is a nurse and works most holidays as it is. She misssed thanksgiving this year, but will luckily have christmas and new years off, which was a shock. I started looking into my local sheriff dept. and the pay is looking somewhat better than the city police dept. And with a 4 yr degree of any type, that ups the pay also. It is starting to look better and better with the pay situation. I still have a year left in my degree, and who knows what I will think of between now and then, but I just like to get all my options in line early. I currently work in civil service with my co-op job and while it has some of the best job security anyone could ask for, this desk I sit at right now is just not for me. Desk jobs suck a big one, at least for an outgoing person like me. While I would love to do some volunteer work right now, it is really not feasable in my schedule right now with school and work. And with our financial situation, I would not be able to take a volunteer position after I graduate either. I need a paying job after I graduate. The local sheriff's dept. is looking better and better the more I look into it. I eventually would like to get into the electronic security part of law enforcement and maybe do something with my degree, but that will be a long term goal.
       
    8. sapogmxr

      sapogmxr !!Drink Beer in Jersey!!

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      NSA-National Security.. They deal with gadgets.. You could be useful there.
       
    9. davesexplorer

      davesexplorer Well-Known Member

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      Currently I'm working toward a BS in Criminal Justice here at PSU, (should be done summer 05) I work for the PSU police, in their auxilliary security and traffic division... And I work part time for the State College PD, doing downtown uniformed patrols. It's fun, I cant work that much taking 18 credits and such, but the pay isn't bad...

      It is fun, but being in a student town, moreover a drunken student town, you must have a thick skin. I'd assume it to be a trait that you must have in this profession generally though.
      Sherriff's typically dont do a whole lot around here, in terms of patrolling etc. You could be stuck at a desk?

      But the thing about policing is that you will have to go through training, at least in terms of armed duty. The PA state police training is about the same length as military basic training from what I'm told, and I'd think that a lot of other places train in depth like this too.
       
    10. EBInterceptor

      EBInterceptor Well-Known Member

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      With an electrical engineering background, I'm sure you could do some cool stuff. What about developing stuff for the FBI or something?
       
    11. rfuree11

      rfuree11 Official Bikini Inspector

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      i wan mechanical engineering and switched to CJ, i couldnt be happier with the curriculum, and i have also gotten used to the whole holiday thing because my father is a cop. We get by just fine with his pay
       
    12. Doug

      Doug I'm Awesome! Moderator Emeritus

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      Could always consider doing joining the Army Reserves or National Guard, You get alot of decent things if go in having a degree, (loan repayment if you have one, higher rank) but it's not for everyone and you'll goto Iraq, but something to think about.
       

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