Help I need a career change!!!!!
June 14, 2011 4:16 PM   Subscribe

Help! I need a new career!!! I cant take working in a office/cubicle/inside anymore!!! I want to work outside, even in the extremely hot and cold or have a career doing something active instead of sitting behind a desk.

So heres my problem...First of all im in Dallas, Tx and currently employed as an IT guy for a medium sized company. Ive been doing IT stuff (Desktop Support, Network admin/engineer) for the past 13 years and im soo burnt out im actually on fire right this minute. (Sorry, I know...That was Stupid) I make decent $$ have a mortgage, car payment, kids, blah blah blah. Whats a good career change for me where i can be active, be outdoors, and doing something thats a bit diffrent everyday to satisfy my ADD, and can make decent $$ doing it? I have no college degree but a pretty decent resume. Basically im looking for something i can jump into as entry level around 40k and work my way up. Please give me some good ideas for the Dallas market. Thanks in advance.
posted by flipmiester99 to Work & Money (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Basically im looking for something i can jump into as entry level around 40k and work my way up.

Aye, there's the rub. If it were so easy to find stimulating, rewarding work that could still pay the bills we would all do it.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:32 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Yea...I know.
posted by flipmiester99 at 4:35 PM on June 14, 2011

Land surveyor
posted by perhapses at 4:42 PM on June 14, 2011

I'm a home automation programmer/engineer, and the things you're looking for are the the things I love about my job. I don't spend a lot of time actually outdoors, but it is quite active (running around palatial houses between basement mechanical rooms and pool houses and upstairs bedrooms definitely burns some calories) and I'm learning the ins and outs of some new system or device on every job. If your TCP/IP networking fundamentals are good and you're comfortable doing some basic scripting you should be qualified for entry-level work, though you may have an easier time finding that entry-level job if you are also competent at running wire and hooking up and calibrating audio/video equipment.
posted by contraption at 4:48 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

You have a skillset already. If you need to stay in your income range, I would use it as a starting point. Keep doing it, but find a different context. Can you freelance and go from place to place, work for a company that set up systems, is there outside work your present company does? Maybe browse jobs that mention most of your skills, but with added caveats such as 'must travel', 'needs car', etc, and find out what those jobs are.

Basically, instead of dropping everything, which usually means lower pay, see what you can transition into with your present skills.
posted by Vaike at 5:08 PM on June 14, 2011

A cop maybe? Different everyday, and at least here in New York the starting salary is around 40.
posted by sweetkid at 5:18 PM on June 14, 2011

Response by poster: Yeah...cop and firefighter interesting but not for me. Not to mention i have no college.
posted by flipmiester99 at 5:19 PM on June 14, 2011

Best answer:
Land surveyor

Unless you go to school first and are actually skilled, I don't think you are going to be earning $40k as a brand new survey tech who is learning on the job. Maybe more like $12 to $15 an hour, assuming you can convince someone to hire you.

Now, if you are willing to suck it up and pick up a two year surveying degree/certification at a CC while working, then I think this is a really good option. Surveyors work in all weather and in all conditions, and you have to be equally happy hacking your way up a hillside as you are sitting down and doing complicated geodetic transformations on the computer. Similarly, your IT background would play well with a GIS position, but that is a lot less likely to keep your outdoors.

My advice to these questions is always to go visit the admissions counselors at your nearest public CC that has a vo-tech focus and talk with them about what careers are hiring locally. One or two years in a tech program will get you the skills to get hired in a lot of fields; $40k might be possible if you can leverage your computer skills in the right way, but isn't the norm for most entry level tech jobs.
posted by Forktine at 5:38 PM on June 14, 2011

I don't have anything to suggest to you, but I want to offer you the best of luck! I went from software dev to a career that means travel and outdoors, and I don't regret it for an instant (mind you, I didn't have a family or a mortgage or even car payments, so ...). Getting out of the cubicle and out of IT was the best thing I ever did for myself, and I hope it works out similarly for you!
posted by barnacles at 7:20 PM on June 14, 2011

Do field service. It's not outdoors, always, but travel, money, fun problems, etc. are sometimes in the mix. You may need more training to pull it off, but there are lots of products needing hands-on field folks to maintain, calibrate, upgrade, troubleshoot, train, relocate, etc. You'll probably burn out on that, too, since (IMO) burnout is fairly common. As in almost universal. As in almost "living lives of quiet desperation" inspiring.

Self-employment in your current field? You have a skill set. Perhaps you could find some clients who are big enough to need IT, too small to have a full-timer, and in need of someone other than the boss's idiot son to do the work. Then, you add variety to what you have and it may be better than a 180 shift to a farmer lifestyle or whatever.

Good luck, amigo.
posted by FauxScot at 8:11 PM on June 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

Wind Turbine Technician? Low Voltage Electrician?
posted by rube goldberg at 9:58 PM on June 14, 2011

Try here and here.
posted by the foreground at 9:18 AM on June 15, 2011

I went to and typed the words 'outdoor' and 'computer' and found some things that might be of interest. Many outdoor jobs require strong computer skills...what about working with security systems? I would think this is a growing field and it could lead to you owning your own business. Good luck!
posted by gilast at 5:30 PM on June 16, 2011

« Older In which Facebook makes me dependent upon...   |   Futbol, football.. soccer is such a silly name. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.