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Learning a trade.

Discussion in 'The Main Board' started by hypnos, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. hypnos

    hypnos Moderator Staff Member

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    I began my apprenticeship in carpentry at the age of 13. I am quickly approaching 35, and with that many years of experience under my belt, it may be time to talk about trade skills and actually have something worth saying on the subject.

    The majority of preppers I know are independent, do it yourselfers. But even then, some projects, at the scale of producing a home, a hunting shack, or even a tool shed can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be.

    For reasons related to OPSEC, it may be best to design and build on your own, to keep information relating to your floor plan, hiding spots, etc off the books. It will also save you a considerable sum of money.

    The best resource i have discovered in my time as a carpenter, and probably the best resource available for individuals wanting to learn carpentry or any other trade is your local Union hall.

    For a relatively small monthly fee, and membership initiation, you will receive nearly free training from complete novice to the level of journeyman (expert) in any skills you wish to learn. This includes free training in the physical tasks of carpentry work like rough framing, to industry leading concepts relating to surveying. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_station
    Obviously other trades learn different skills entirely.
    (Total station).

    Being a member of a union does not mean you need to change your current career. (Although i would not mention having another job, especially if it is non union.)

    It is superior to a trade school, or folk school for obvious reasons.

    -its basically free
    -you will receive professional certification you can actually use, immediately for real projects.
    -your earnings as a union tradesmen, should you decide to pursue work, will be at or near the top earning positions in that field.

    Many projects are also so incredibly massive that the wasted materials are ripe for the picking if you ask. It is very unusual for any one to deny your request for unused building materials, unless of course they are already spoken for. This includes fixtures, rough materials like plywood, cabinets, etc. Some may have imperfections that are repairable, even un noticeable, but won't make it past the inspection of a architect, or project manager.

    There are a multitude of books and resources on the subject of construction, available at many building supply retailers, but also on the internet, of course. They are certainly worth the time and the study.

    They could be a important resource, before during, or after any social collapse. Speaking of social collapse, possessing knowledge and skills related to repair or construction of infrastructure could easily keep you and your loved ones fed and clothed, from your skills alone, without exhausting your larder.

    Union membership comes with a number of benefits aside from industry leading pay.

    I make an excellent wage, even after all of my dues, and medical coverage.

    My average weekly pay for 40 hours is about 1100$-1200$ that is after all the tax, the medical coverage, the contribution to my retirement, and training benefits.
    If i wish to go to the state of the art training facility located in las vegas nevada, and take a course in underwater welding in a real water training tank, i can do so at no cost to me. My flight, transportation and lodging are paid for by the union council of which i am a member. If i fail to complete the course and go AWOL i will be forced to pay for my return flight etc, but, even while i am taking a training course that cost me nothing, i can collect unemployment benefits the entire time, (more per week than most people earn actually working) allowing me to earn a substantial amount while my living needs are met completely by my membership!

    If you are in need of a career change, are young and deciding what to do for the future, or simply desire to be a more well rounded and knowledgeable prepper, becoming a union member could be a solution for you.

    Especially if you are young and trying to decide on a career path or education, i would recommend not becoming over burdened with student loan debt, and instead learn a trade first that will provide for your needs while you decide on the career path best for you.

    Nationally recognized safety, red cross First aid and other medical training is also provided.
     
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  2. hypnos

    hypnos Moderator Staff Member

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    20190531_140954.jpg

    As you progress throughout your journey into the trades you will aquire skills and information invaluable to any construction project.

    As you can see from the image above, my skills have allowed me the ability to produce very high quality work, for things like theaters and concert halls. At that level of craftsmanship, constructing a tool shed or hunting shack is almost laughable in simplicity, with a single family home not that much more difficult or complicated.

    Earn (excellent wages and benefits) and learn!
     
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  3. hypnos

    hypnos Moderator Staff Member

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    Union brotherhood of carpenters training facility, las vegas, Nevada. 3-1.jpg
     
  4. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

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    Great post @hypnos. Good advice here.

    I'm in a union as well. There are down-sides to it, but the pluses are pretty good and make the negatives hard to worry about.

    That being said, there is a side to unions that I do not necessarily agree with, and many of them are not managed well at all. Your union looks like it has it's act together, but there are quite a few that are more like mine. We are always being threatened with losing our pensions, and the benefits decrease almost annually while membership dues go up.

    Part of the problem is that so few young people come to work. If that tells any young people who might be reading this something, I hope that they see it. The unions are so hurting for young people that, as you point out, they are very willing to train the in-experienced and that is a good thing. The unions will all die without younger people, and that is no lie.
     
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  5. hypnos

    hypnos Moderator Staff Member

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    For those of us practicing a trade in our middle age (roughly 35-45 thereabouts) that is potentially good news. Less skilled workers lead to increase in demand, which leads to better pay. There may be a point in the future where we receive the same payment as doctors, simply because it takes about as much time and information to be proficient (but definitely not as much education) i knew a lawyer who could not believe the earnings i was generating from my business, or for my work as a tradesman. I earned substantially more than him at the end of the day. After expenses for student loans, etc. My disposable income and my net worth are more than the attorney???? Yes, potentially.

    The union B.S. is something i try not to concern myself with too much. The council i am in has definitely had some past issues that have threatened the retirement of many older members. But, the carpenters union in the state of Washington is a fairly strong one. With the other trades even more so, and with superior earnings. The electrical workers receive as much or more per diem, and apprentices in period three are also earning more than i do at the journeyman level.
    The IBEW guys are really raking it in. They have a far better benefits package, have unending non stop work, and earn 20$ an hour more than me, at a minimum!!!! Simply because thise sparkys are all around smarter folk probably.
    If your reading this, and you want to stay clean, and not working too hard or getting cold, you should be an electrician...i might join up, actually. I'll be a vested carpenter in my local in one more year, after that i might see if the grass is really that much greener. The electricians are hurting so bad, they are advertising on the radio for members. I've never seen anyone else do that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  6. hypnos

    hypnos Moderator Staff Member

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    For those of us that really don't care to know the ins and outs of the stock market etc and prefer to focus on tangibles for investing, being a union member is a great way to go for that. You'll have a pension/401k that you won't see, or need to touch. It comes off the check automatically. The peace of mind in that respect is great. But i also invest on my own, i don't trust anyone else with managing my money but unfortunately, those are the terms of membership. So beyond that, i also invest in tangibles, stocks, bonds, crypto and have an IRA. Get yourself some good insurance to go along with all that, and you are zeroing in to a life as bullet proof as humanly possible. At least that's my theory.
     
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  7. hypnos

    hypnos Moderator Staff Member

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    Around December I'll be on a plane to Mexico, i might not come back until I'm satisfied with my receipt of unemployment benefits. I'm about $2,000 away from being debt free. Don't be a dummy and run off to college (as counter intuitive as that sounds ! Lmao)
     
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  8. hypnos

    hypnos Moderator Staff Member

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    @Jerry D Young , if you want to stay clean, dry, and warm in the winter /cool in the summer. You'd make a great electrician. Age discrimination isn't a issue. I work with a electrician with one leg! And the guy is way into his 60s.

    Other guys i know in the carpenters local are just starting their apprenticeships in their 60s. But, from talking to you, i can tell your bright enough to be an electrician. You definitely have the right layout. You definitely won't be worried about overdrafting your checking account for STI 2011s, youll be filling rooms with them.
     
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  9. hypnos

    hypnos Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe if i can time things right, ill do a training course around shot show....it would make for good content on here don't you think, @Atlas ?
     
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  10. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Active Member

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    Actually, hypnos, I was an electrician for many years. Primarily a plumber, but also did a great deal of electrical. Residential, commercial, and light industrial for both. Some carpentry. Enough to fill in on a project when someone did not show and the work had to be done before I could continue with the plumbing and/or electrical work I was there to do. Well drilling, too. A specialized form of it. Jetting in shallow wells in high water table areas consisting of primarily unconsolidated ground in the Bootheel of Missouri, northeast Arkansas, and western Tennessee.

    My health finally forced me to seek other types of employment that was not as physically demanding, and where I did not have to be out in the open in weather with temps above 78℉ and humidity above 60%. Which was pretty much three-quarters of the year in the Bootheel.

    I learned with my father. We used the National Codes, and picked up a wide variety of documents from county extension offices, and from various college extension programs. I would still encourage people interested in the building trades to get copies of current National Codes and study them. They certainly are not textbooks, but, at least in the 60s and 70s, they had a great deal of useful information that was not just a list of rules.
     
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