Hi, I don't know if this is the right newsgroup, but maybe you all can help anyways.
I'm 28 years old, at present I'm a computer programmer with little to no formal training (but that doesn't seem to have stopped me). My formal training is in piano, although I've experimented on and off with electricity and electronics since I was 8 or 9. You could always say that it's been my true passion.
I'm no slouch with electricity - I can wire things safely, do simple (and sometimes not so simple) repairs.
I'm getting to a point in my life where I feel ready to decide what I really want to do. I'm not sure I really like programming. I like the fact that I can get the computer to do what I want, but I don't like the fact that I just sit here at a desk all day. I like to get up and move around. I like to work with heavy machinery and large electrical/electronic devices. I like to go into machine rooms and work in that environment. I like to do repairs or manufacturing - I like to build, fix and install things. When I worked at a telecom company and they were building a machine room, I spent more time in the room helping the contractors than doing my real job (which they didn't seem to mind, as I managed to save the company some money by catching a couple snafus on several occasions - one involving a potential duplicate of a fiber-optic install).
I feel that with the right training, etc., I'm definitely more than capable of doing this kind of work.
My question is, how do I get started? What steps do I have to go through in order to accomplish this? What do I have to look forward to? What are the disadvantages to this kind of work, and is it even possible to go into the career that I would like to?
Thanks in advance.