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trade school?

 
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im currently taking classes for a construction management degree, and have kinda decided because I'm afraid of heights that I want to change to a diesel technician degree. I want to start homesteading/farming once I save some money. what's a good trade to make enough money to put some away and also be helpful on the farm?
 
pollinator
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Franak,

This is an EXCELLENT question, and one that has not been asked enough. You are ahead!

I tried to look for some threads about this (been asked more than once) but just gave up (taking a break from scything for a sec), and would encourage you to search on here.

Diesel mechanic would be marketable ans save money in a group with use of that equipment. Great barter trade. Really any construction trade takes little time to get the basics and an understanding of the peripheral trades. I was a carpenter for a while and do tile, wiring, plumbing, etc because I watched the guys doing it and asked questions. This is the swiss army knife technique.

Other thing completely opposite would be something technical that allows you to work remotely esp via the internet. 5G will make that possible in a huge area. Paul discusses this on several income streams podcasts and threads. The more technical the better, in my opinion.
 
Franak Ostapowicz
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thanks for the encouragement tj! so your saying some kind of computer tech degree would be even better because of 5g coming out? I've thought about that but decide that I need something hands on just in case electronics crash due to solar flares or something haha! I will search it on here! thanks man!
 
steward
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Franak Ostapowicz wrote:what's a good trade to make enough money to put some away and also be helpful on the farm?



Where's your passion? What do you love doing so much, that if it was your job that you would also do it after work, and on your days off?
 
Franak Ostapowicz
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man Joseph, that is such a stump of a question for me! because I think I am passionate about living off the land and having the smallest footprint I possibly can. coming up with ideas on how to create less waste or something would be great! maybe I should try to look into the green technology careers popping up. thanks for the question. I wish I knew how to answer it. that's why i need a trade. because I need to make money so I can save money so I can start a sustainable business. I'm not able to save any money right now as a cook. and I don't think its possible to start a farm with out a couple thousand saved!
 
Tj Jefferson
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Franak,

Dillinger said why he robbed banks "Because thats where the money is".

I have a spouse and a mistress, employment-wise. This is not everyone's path, but it is probably the majority who are going "broody" as I call it. I don't relish every day at work, but it allowed me to get land. I will pay off the land (in several years granted), but I decided I am too stupid to get it right the first several tries and have seen too many people fail to think I am somehow better.

Its a hedge, like a hedge fund. I picked a field that I make enough to make those mistakes without it being catastrophic. It's not my passion (most days) but that's why they call it "work".

Free advice, worth what you paid for it.
 
Franak Ostapowicz
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so tj what is your career, how much do you make? enough to buy land right but didn't you need to save for a large down payment? I really like the idea of being able to work on my own equipment or with a construction degree build people anything they want or myself. but the main thing is making more than 11 dollars an hour in order to save and eventually implement some permaculture and small farm stuff as well as build a little house on my dad's land and start a farm, and possibly work in town if I have to.
 
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Farming inherently forces people to learn additional skills that extend well beyond growing vegetables and feeding animals.

As far as professions to choose, you have a lot of options: ones that are totally unrelated and ones that compliment farming.

I believe TJ was referring to professions that allow you to work remotely from home via the internet. For example, my job is totally unrelated to farming and allows me to physically work in the office or remotely from a construction site, home, car, or other space with wifi access. E.g. An Accountant, CAD operator (design/drafting) versus a mechanic, carpenter.

The main thing to consider is whether the intended profession is perishable or requires continual ongoing training just to remain certified or current e.g. Accountant, health care, etc.

Professions like trained and experienced diesel mechanics will always be in demand and has the ability to extend to other skills like welding, motor electrical work, etc.

It comes down to what you like: working outdoors with your hands, at a desk behind a workstation, or, a combination of both.

Good luck with it.
 
Franak Ostapowicz
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Mr. agricola,
are you an accountant? or a draft\designer? I would love to be able to work from home so I do t have to use gas everyday to get to work, because my dads is thirty minutes from the nearest small town, 1 hour from larger ones, lots of gas money, but how hard is it to come by a job where you can work from the computer in a rural area? I'm thinking it unlikely, that's why my hope is to get a trade degree/certificate and in a couple years have enough saved to start a homesteading/farming venture that I would only gave to leave the farm once a week or so to sell some veggies or other value added products to pay the electric and gas and other necessities! if also like to travel around to other peoples farms for awhile to learn what others are doing and would need to be able to make something along the way to survive pay rent or just have something to offer! whatcha think my friend?
 
F Agricola
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Hello Franak,

I have a few qualifications but currently work in a specialised crossover area of Civil Engineering and Urban & Regional Planning (Town Planning). Dealing with consultants, contractors, project managers, construction engineers, etc; and, usually as a 'translator' between Engineers, Town Planners, and Architects! (They all interpret things differently and use specialised jargon that the others don't know and often confuse)

I started as a labourer, got a certificate that then allowed me to get an okay paying office job, did a diploma, that lead to another step up, then finally did a degree which landed a management role. Between the formal education, did all the relevant industry certificates: Excel spreadsheet, human resources, databases, etc (many were bullshit but free, and required for job progression)

It obviously took decades but I got bored so needed to change careers every so often - they were all broadly related though.

My family's background is farming and other primary production, hence the interest in Permaculture et al.

Working via computer can be done anywhere as long as you have good internet speed and are computer savvy.

You seem interested in trade qualifications? That's good because it's a stable foundation to add to, for example only: achieve the certificate/degree, do additional work and get mechanical drafting quals and experience. That way you have at least two skill sets - hands on mechanical and can also do mechanical drafting using CAD, etc = much more employable.

The most important thing is experience and a good CV - even consider doing volunteer work just to get experience and to make friends in the field - opens lots of doors and opportunities.

Unfortunately, you'll need to spend money to make money. But that's life. Putting in the hard yards early truly makes it easier later on.

There are many other pathways than those I mentioned above, just don't be afraid of taking calculated risks and making mistakes - you learn valuable lessons from mistakes.

Best of luck.
 
Franak Ostapowicz
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dang mr agricola, sounds like you've been working pretty hard to get to a nice position! its very inspiring to hear such a story! I hope to work my way into knowledge and manifest the experiences I need to become successful. I am starting to step away from the co struction management trade bexause of morals in that I don't want to be part of an overuse of resources, though a mechanic trade would be helping the resources get to the work sites so either way I would have to be a part of it.in my mind though i see the diesel trade being more sustainable if we were to start using biodiesels amd that is also what is drawing me. i don't really care about the money other than its the only way I can get a farm off the ground and running. your story is amazing though man! thank you for sharing it! what exactly are you apart of planning and building wise? I will also definitely look into possibly furthuring my skill with the computing side! thank you brahda!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Franak Ostapowicz wrote:im currently taking classes for a construction management degree, and have kinda decided because I'm afraid of heights that I want to change to a diesel technician degree.



It's a really good thing for construction workers to be afraid of heights. Helps to keep them safe, and to avoid cavalier/risky behaviors.

I'm a farmer that's afraid of heavy equipment, and bulls, and dogs, and wild animals, and raging waters...
 
Franak Ostapowicz
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I'm more like the kind if afraid that when I get up there I will lose my balance from vertigo and fall to my death. but I appreciate your input. I've put up some rafters and if I'm healthy and not hungover I can handle it pretty well, I'm just not very fast, that's all. I'm now leaning towards a horticulture degree/certificate because the diesel degree is all week during the week which isn't feasible with a full time job.
 
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I personally love the idea of getting a degree in horticulture. Horticulture will allow you to explore niches with some experience such as growing specialized plants or flowers. One can focus on year-round greenhouse growing and or market garden. implemented with permaculture would be better yet. IF you actually have a love for horticulture or can find a love for something you want to grow that has a demand.

Homesteading is about finding what you love and doing it. Do not spread yourself thin. So you need to discover where your talents are and what you love doing. Ideally, it would be great to discover this before one is in school learning. Since you are in school, other options as mentioned are areas that allow you to work from home via the internet. Also, Carpentry/woodworking would be good to create useful items such as wooden bowls, serving spoons, spoons used daily for eating, furniture etc.

Another is welding and fabrication. How about basic mechanics so you can fix things as they break, geo thermal?

How about electrician or electricals. Excellent for helping set up your own homestead plus has high demand for installing solar systems etc or other areas of electrical.

Something that can lend itself to structure building such as cob, straw bale homes, framing, etc. Useful for so many things and not just homes.

Much good luck.


 
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5G isn't truly necessary for working remotely, even at a high end IT job.  We live off-grid in western Montana.  Achieving 4G cell service here requires a cell signal booster, so we use one of those, plus we have satellite internet, because reliable internet is necessary to our bread and butter.  Between the two, my husband works his Silicon Valley IT job from our Montana mountainside.  The plan is to pay the place off and get other major, one time expenditures out of the way, while developing other income streams, because he has been working IT for over 20 years and wants out of it--or maybe part time, as a very expen$ive consultant.
 
pollinator
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How many in you area do landscape design and maintenance?  If that is in demand and not a crowded field in your area then start small and build the skills and equipment that are transferable to homesteading.  Take Lawton's upcoming online Permaculture Design course and combine it with what horticultural classes are available. If you can communicate in the academic language of horticulture and the practical language of permaculture you can be the bridge between the householder that wants a beautiful place but doesn't know how to get it and having his paradise and paying for yours.
 
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I am passionate about living off the land and having the smallest footprint I possibly can. coming up with ideas on how to create less waste or something would be great! maybe I should try to look into the green technology careers popping up.



Either green tech or ag, or both plus some adult courses in things like welding, electrical, construction, cooking/nutrition, Master Gardener's course, basically anything that will give you knowledge in the permie lifestyle but you'll also want to specialize in one thing to be good enough to make a decent living and it should be something you enjoy. Could be market gardening or diesel repair, whatever. I will say the diesel mechanic work is heavy work. All those components are 50, 100, 200 lbs or more.

If you take the adult learning / shorter courses first, you'll become handy and it will give you different options for "that one thing". Might turn out that you like and understand electrical really well. Then you might want to take that further, maybe get an electrical engineering degree and/or get into the alternative energy part of it.
 
pollinator
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As a young man, my husband offered to work for free as a helper so he could get an idea of what trades he would enjoy working at.  He was able to learn tricks in different fields.  He ended up learning carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, mechanical all of which helped him throughout his work life and our home life. He built the house we now live in.  Best education he didnt have to get in debt for.
 
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Tina Hillel wrote:As a young man, my husband offered to work for free as a helper so he could get an idea of what trades he would enjoy working at.  He was able to learn tricks in different fields.  He ended up learning carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, mechanical all of which helped him throughout his work life and our home life. He built the house we now live in.  Best education he didnt have to get in debt for.



I also did that, Tina.
I worked as an electrician's apprentice and earned money while learning the trade, then I started my own business which I still work in today. I learned how to do lots of other things from the other tradesmen and used the experience acquired over the years to build our house.

In my opinion, working as a trade apprentice is way better than any trade school because you are gaining experience from the instant you begin to work. And instead of paying to learn in school, you get paid to learn in the real world.
 
pollinator
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I don't have much advice on career path(huge topic) but when I was getting my degree(psychology, what a waste, now that I look back) I worked in landscaping on the side to make extra cash - you'll learn a bit about plant health, irrigation, runoff management, and maybe get into light stonework/handiman stuff, all of which is great knowledge/experience for homesteading.  you could work for an existing company, or start your own business.
 
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what is this discussion about? Profit is better than wages, let no tell you otherwise. When tomatoes and even peppers sell for $1 each, growing them is like growing money. Every job is a terrible job if it is not what you want to be doing
 
Greg Mamishian
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G Moffatt wrote:what is this discussion about? Profit is better than wages, let no tell you otherwise.
When tomatoes and even peppers sell for $1 each, growing them is like growing money.



That's good advice, G.

Working for yourself for your own profit is more financially and emotionally rewarding than working for someone else for wages.

Every job is a terrible job if it is not what you want to be doing



If you can find your calling and do it, it won't seem like work because you are fulfilling your purpose.
 
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Franak Ostapowicz wrote:im currently taking classes for a construction management degree, and have kinda decided because I'm afraid of heights that I want to change to a diesel technician degree. I want to start homesteading/farming once I save some money. what's a good trade to make enough money to put some away and also be helpful on the farm?



I can't think of something that would be more practical. Electrical trade skills are also very useful and might be easier to get work, but really depends on where you are.

IMO a diesel technician is probably one of the most useful trades in relation to permaculture. If you can get work where you are, or willing to travel I would go for it. Depending on where your farm is your skills could probably get you free landscaping and freight with various diesel machine operators, unless of course they do their own repairs and maintenance.
 
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For the OP, beware. There are many trade schools that are nothing but diploma mills. ALWAYS find out the % success rate of THAT particular school at THAT particular campus in placing graduates. Otherwise you are going into debt for nothing.

As far as trades:

* diesel
* residential electrician
* welding

These are always in demand trades and fully applicable to use on the homestead.
 
Maybe he went home and went to bed. And took this tiny ad with him:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
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