what trade would you guys recommend for a teenage boy?

I have this teenager. He wants to be a heavy metal guitar player. In other
words, this kid is going to be desperately in need of a day job that is
transportable (i.e. you can do it as well in Seattle as Portland or LA or
Nashville or Chicago ..) and one that won't get sent overseas. I used to be
a shipfitter and while working in Seattle-area shipyards formed the opinion
that sheet metal guys had it made - they pretty much worked in clean
environments, never looked filthy or completely sweaty (like I often did)
and after they'd saved some money, they seemed to open a little shop uptown
and do pretty well.
Of all the guys I knew, the ones who made the most money period were plumbers.
Then came engineers/software jocks who were lucky enough to tag a startup in
the '80s or '90s and make a few million. Then came the lawyers, doctors and
run-of-the-mill professionals like that, followed closely by guys who made
a relative fortune buying and selling real estate and renovating it in the
roaring bull real estate market of the last 20 years. However, you can not
predict the future from the past, and plumbing is nasty dirty work, and most
engineering work is going overseas and I wouldn't be a doctor to save my ass
and lawyers suck and he doesn't have what it takes to make a fortune as a
contractor. So I'm thinking sheet metal apprenticeship program as soon as he
gets old enough.
What do you guys think? I know there are no shortage of guys with opinions on
this NG!
Grant Erwin
Kirkland, Washington
Reply to
Grant Erwin
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According to the guy who owns the local sheetmetal shop, there aren't going to be enough people with experience to service the general sheetmetal trade in the very near future. This guy's about my age (late 40's) and he says that he's never found anyone to stick around with him long enough to learn the trade from him. When he goes, a lifetime of experience goes with him.
*Somebody* is going to have to be around to make roof jacks, chimney flashings, pitch pans, and skylight curbs. If your boy learns the trade and is willing to work, he should be able to find a job, either in large cities or small towns. And if he stays with music, he'll probably end up in Austin one day! :)
Gary Brady Austin, TX
Reply to
Gary Brady
If he really is into music, why not get him pointed at the studio side of the recording industry. It is a good way to meet people who are in the business and no matter who is recording, someone has to be at the controls.
Reply to
The Guy
The same thing I proposed for my daughter, music teacher.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
Any chance you could get him to start listening to Wes Montgomery, Grant? (Yeah, I know, that's a long shot, way too much to hope for!) I shudder to think of the sounds that come from heavy metal guitars.
There's nothing glamorous about a sheet metal man, but you've hit right on a good idea. Can't send that job to China, no way. Lots of highly skilled machinists are being replaced by CNC and cheap labor in other countries these days.
Reply to
Harold & Susan Vordos
I would suggest encouraging him to become an electrician. As electrical devices become more pervasive, people want new circuits in their existing homes and offices. Far more importantly, people want networking cables, coax, etc. installed too. You can't outsource this installation work.
But make sure he is the careful type--I've met several "one armed" electricians. Their other arm (usually their right) looks perfectly normal but can't be used because of nerve damage from "just one little mistake".
Reply to
The only good studio jobs are in LA, New York or Nashville. Other places it's chump change. Even in those places there aren't that many top jobs. If I were Steven Spielberg or someone I might send him to UCLA to learn studio recording. But I'm not by many orders of magnitude .. - GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Ah, yes. Electrician and HVAC are also on the short list. The sheet metal union up here has a good apprenticeship program, don't know about the others.
Reply to
Grant Erwin
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O.K. I got the wrong impression from the subject line. I thought that you were offering to trade him for some equipment, and were asking around for offer. :-)
Since I am now retired, and spent many years as an electronics technician (working for the Government), I really don't know what to suggest -- but one of the others' suggestion that he get into the recording side of the business is a quite good one. It helps to have someone who likes the particular style of music behind the mix board, as s/he is more likely to do a good job of mixing -- especially in a performance venue instead of just recording.
I've done some of this kind of work for the local Folklore Society.
I know that I was at a concert some years back in which the fellow behind the board was used to rock groups. What was present was a singer and player of Celtic harp (Alan Stivel, FWID), and an electrified fiddle.
The fellow running the mix board had the fiddle drowning out everything that it was supposed to be backing up. There was a cluster of us who knew the music and mixing -- ready to kill him, if we could reach him.
Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
Agree with the electrical trade. Preferable to go commercial rather than residential. It's a young man's vocation - lots of trips up and down the ladder. It does not pay very well at first, but a journeyman can make respectable money. A master electrician can own his own business and have journeyman electricians work for him.
Reply to
Thomas Kendrick
Does he want to be a sheet metal worker? If so, then go for it. If not, well then......
My recommendation is to get him into something that he would like and would be good at. How to do that? Taking a test that would help point him in the right direction would help. Since you live in WA state I can recommend the local Work Source office for career testing.
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The web site doesn't mention this testing, you have to phone your local office and ask for it. They use the COPS (Career Occupational Preference System) test that is well regarded in the career counseling field. I would think that this would open up a lot of possibilities heretofore not thought of.
Reply to
If the kid is in good shape..Id suggest no less than a HLV-H, or a 5 yr old or less F150 with a towing package.
Tough trade though...
Gunner "Gun Control, the theory that a 110lb grandmother should fist fight a 250lb 19yr old criminal"
Reply to
Maybe just wish him well in whatever he chooses, and leave it up to him. Of course, no support or financing. If he wants to be a rock star, let him go for it. Just let him do whatever he wants on his own.
Reply to
Every guy I ever knew who worked in sheetmetal eventually got hurt (lots of times badly) on the job. Seems like a high-risk profession. One guy cut clear through the palm of his hand, tendons, nerves, muscle, the works -- fell off a ladder during an install and instinctively reached out to grab the duct -- strap came off and sliced him right in half!
Reply to
Bob Edwards
Why not let him be a heavy metal guitar player? Good ones make more than tinknockers. Even if he doesn't make it as a guitarist, he wll at least have tried. If you stop him from following his dream, he will hate you for the rest of his life. And he gets to pick what nursing home you go to.
I'll be sure to pass that on to my sister-in-law. She's a prosecutor for the US Attorney General. She puts politicians in jail and gets paid well for it.
Reply to
Carl Byrns
So what's the rush? He's a teenager .... how many of them are thinking with their big head???? What about the Navy?...... It'll do you both good. I know, I know!!!!.... it's not fun. However, it will be the most interesting few years of his life.... it was for me. He'll do a lot of growing up, see some of the world, work hard, play hard, have more responsibility than he'll get anywhere else and, he can decide for himself what he wants to do for a career when he's got a little more maturity on him. Everyone needs a little time to grow up, have a little adventure and make some mistakes away from home. IMO.
Reply to
Well...recording shops are a lot like many other jobs and professions: You will not get a job in a top place with out either a significant amount of experience and / or a huge amount of talent and exposure.
There are little studios all over the place. For example, Toby Keith recorded his last album at Jimmy Buffet's studio on the water in Fl. Not a major recording studio by any means, but someone was moving the slides and turning the knobs.
How do you think the chump change of being an apprentice in a recording studo would compare with the chump chamge of being an apprentice sheet metal worker /
electrician / plumber / ?
Reply to
The Guy
Blah, Blah, Blah. None of this matters, Grant. What does is, what is HE good at? What are his innate talents? Interests? (besides failing as a musician). JR Dweller in the cellar
Grant Erw>
Reply to
JR North
The trades I know are still strong are Electrician, Plumber, Diesel Mechanic, Telephone Technician.
The Diesel Program at SSCC is expanding due to industry demand.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
I was a music major in college. Fortunately, I was visiting a local music shop in my neighborhood on a day that I had enough sense to ask the owner how he learned to repair band instruments. He ended up offering to teach me. I took him up on it and have been repairing band instruments ever since, 37 years. Musicians come and go, but they can't play with a broken instrument. Thousands of instruments are being manufacturered every year with a dismal few new repairers each year learning the trade.
I became interested in metalworking by working the metal of band instruments. This became a serious hobby after a few years and lead to a full time business repairing and restoring fine metalware in 1974. This trade/craft/art has even fewer people in it and has a great potential for a great income.
Anyway, if you want to know more, I have a lot of info on my website: walkermetalsmsith.com
--James R. Walker, Metalsmith
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