What's Your Job Like?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by FormerHangie, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Industrial Engineer with an MBA. The job title is "Division IE" or something like that. I work on a lot of different things, which I enjoy.

    Currently, I'm finishing up as project lead/manager for a new manufacturing facility. That was ~1/3 of my role for the last three years. We spent >$100M and have quite a lot to show for it. Missed a few things on the facility design side (a couple of areas are short of space), but I've/we've done large greenfield and brownfield projects 4 times previously, and inevitably, there is an over-optimistic assumption somewhere. We're already looking at a major expansion, where we'll add a lot of floorspace and I'll figure out a way to fix the minor warts in the existing space. Other than a few wrap up equipment modifications, the initial phase of the current project is over and I'm in wrap-up mode dealing with the purchasing and accounting folks to prove that nobody got a new RV-10 out of the rounding errors.

    Another big recent project has been to do the business modeling, then design, build, equip, and populate a facility in Asia to serve that market. I'm currently doing the same kind of thing in Europe. I'm gonna enjoy the European travel better than the Asian travel...

    Today, I sat through a quarterly 3 hour training session (not great, not bad), took care of some administrative stuff (buying things, updating some financial projections), and spent the balance of the day putting together cost estimates and a product review around competitive products from others in the industry. I'm one of the senior operational guys in a billion dollar business that spins off a huge portion of my employer's profits. We've grown that business from nothing in about 25 years. It is very rewarding to realize that my work (in part) has resulted in the employment of thousands of people, 95% of who are in the SE. US of A.

    And then there's trying to answer all of the questions and build the next generation of engineers and managers. That one never ends.
     
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  2. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    Same 'ole crap that's going on with our political elites. Orgies, drug use, affairs, backstabbing, assassinations, etc. etc. Same 'ole same 'ole... just a different country. What's funny is the guy was once knighted, then they de-knighted him, and more or less exiled him out of the country. He had something on somebody. This guy's a character. Talks a mile a minute with a thick British accent. You have to decipher what he is saying as he uses all proper/old english terminology so it's like reading between the lines and just nodding your head in agreement. The cigar lounge crowd will spend hours captivated, by listening to all of his cockamany stories he has of his travels and experiences with the blue bloods. His ecstasy stories are the best. ;)

    What I do is so far away from any mainstream corporate job that I'm entirely on another planet. I was kind of giving you a jab, just because you exemplified to a tee the robotic structure of most companies and their cultures these days. No harm no foul. I wish you luck in your endeavors.
     
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  3. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude

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    And one here who can't imagine doing anything other than engineering. But my job is apparently very different from the average 'cube rat.'

    Nauga,
    ...and the things he as done...
     
  4. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    You may be one of my future YouTube subjects. You definitely have an interesting JOB.

    Azblackbird,
    not all engineers are boring...
     
  5. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    that has always been a complaint of the engineering job. too sedentary. our beloved trunk monkeys like navigators and flight test engineers get around that common vocational complaint by getting some air under their rear as part of their month to month. i think its a good niche, and hey you still get to wear a flight suit and people think youre a pilot when you say you "fly airplanes".;)
     
  6. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Pattern Altitude

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    Small world - we're in Park Slope as well. It's a phenomenal neighborhood, and it's awesome to have Prospect Park just a couple blocks away.
     
  7. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude

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    My job is far from sedentary regardless of whether I'm flying or not.

    Nauga,
    who gets dirty
     
  8. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I’m not.
     
  9. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    What kind of non-sedentary work does an FTE do when not in the air? Genuine question, sounds like a good compromise overall.
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sourpuss. :incazzato:
     
  11. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude

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    Depends on the company and the FTE. For example; I have, in various roles, been installing equipment at austere sites, operated that equipment, stuck underneath a sim installing and testing hardware and software, hour after hour (after hour after hour) in those sims testing model fidelity and control changes, picking pieces out of the desert, operating remote aircraft or gear, building airframes or installing hardware, and so on. By all means, there is sedentary work, including designing and analyzing all the stuff in the tasks listed. I enjoy the challenge, and when it gets boring I find a new challenge.

    ...and then on Tuesday...;)

    Nauga,
    who doesn't like to sit still
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
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  12. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Pizza day?
     
  13. Cardinalguy

    Cardinalguy Pre-Flight

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    I'm a zip line maintenance/guide at Sunrise Ski Resort in NE AZ.
    Day starts at 7-8 am with inspection of the line and equipment.
    Tours start an hour later, we gear up the guests and talk safety before taking the ski lift up to the start of the zip line. Two guides take groups of 8-10 guests on zip line tour that lasts 2+ hours. We'll do 2-3 tours a day and then go lock up so I've zipped the full tour up to 5 times a day. I work 5 days a week usually weekends and holidays. In the winter I work at the same resort as a ski instructor with about the same schedule. I retired from a school district in Phoenix after 35 years of service, this job is for extra AMU's for avgas and aircraft maintenance!


    It is fun though.
     
  14. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Pattern Altitude

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    ^^^^ that’s cool!
     
  15. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    That is cool, but how did you learn the ropes? (see what I did there?)
     
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  16. Cardinalguy

    Cardinalguy Pre-Flight

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    I had worked as ski instructor for two years at the resort and was hired about a month before the initial opening of the zip line. The company that designed/built it did a very in depth training for us during that month. Also recurrent training every year. That's how I learned the "ropes":)
     
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  17. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    Brace yourself for the uninteresting.

    Business: Natural Gas Processing
    Title: Sr. Operator

    I'm qualified to operate 2 cryogenic natural gas processing plants in SC Oklahoma. One plant processes up to 185 mmscf/d with 4 separate cryo trains and propane fractionation, the other is a two train 400 mmscf/d plant. We process natural gas gathered from several oil and gas producing formations in the area including Woodford Shale, Golden Trend, Hart, Springer, SCOOP, and STACK in the Anadarko Basin, and deliver pipeline quality dry gas customers all over the state and beyond, as well as Propane, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), and condensate.
    I typically stay at the smaller of the two and assist at the larger plant when necessary. We work 12 hr shifts, 7 days on, 7 days off, alternating day and night shifts. A typical day starts at 7am, spend a few minutes talking with the night shift operator(s) about anything pertinent from the previous night, spend 30 minutes or so looking the plant over on the computers to make sure I'm set up like I like it, then settle in for the day. After getting settled i, and if everything is running ok, I spend about 2 hours writing down plant readings/data and inputting data into reports. At some point after the paperwork is done, grab a hard hat and a radio and get out in the plant to check all the equipment. We have 13 recip compressors, 3 screw compressors, and a gazillion pumps, fans, heaters, tanks, transmitters, gauges, sight glasses, etc. that need to be looked at and/or tended to regularly. I usually spend 2-4 hours a day doing hands on work in the plant if everything is running okay. More if something is wrong. Additionally, the operators are responsible for recognizing and reporting any actual or potential equipment issues, and at times, fixing them ourselves, although we do have mechanics that do the heavy maintenance. My main job is to monitor/control all the plant processes and equipment via a PLC/Computer interface and coordinate all the various daily functions within the plant. From the minute I walk in the door, the entire process is in my hands and my responsibility, so although most of the day is spent in a comfy control room, I never get to stop thinking for the 12 hours I'm there, and although it's not rocket science, it requires my attention pretty much 100% of the time. Our processed gas is what powers the nearby power plants and what fuels people's home furnaces, stoves, water heaters, etc. so it can be a little stressful having sole control over such an important utility. It's also a bit stressful, but somewhat satisfying to be trusted with half a billion dollars worth of equipment, all by my lonesome at times. Now, there are days where I can mostly just sit around and babysit a smooth running plant and even watch some TV, and there are days where I hit the ground running and work balls to the wall for 16 hours. Most of the time, it's somewhere in between. Night shifts are quite a bit less busy. The night shift guys are not expected to do much other than keep it between the ditches. There is a little dab of paperwork and some brief plant walkthroughs just to make sure nothing is broken or leaking. The rest is done in the control room, usually with the lights off and the TV on, again, unless something is wrong.

    Things I like: Money is pretty good (from my perspective), good benefits, good co-workers and supervisors, it's a stable job, close to home, 7 days off at a time (most of the time anyway), I like that I'm kind of regarded as the go-to guy (not in a narcissistic way, but in recognition of a decade of hard work)

    Things I don't like: Night shifts suck, stuck in one spot for 12 hours at a time, can be monotonous, can be very stressful at times, usually end up working more than I'd like (nearly 700 hours of OT this year)



    It's a good job and I'm happy to have it. I'll never get rich doing it, but it keeps my family well fed, a roof over our heads, and an airplane in the hangar, just barely.
     
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  18. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    I used to install cathodic protection systems (on location) at many of the gas plants and transmission lines throughout the D-J, Powder River, and Williston Basins. Pretty impressive operations in their own right. My job was basically to help you guys from blowing something up by monitoring/preventing any corrosion on your lines so they don't leak. ;)
     
  19. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    Right on. I've never worked directly with cathodic protection as a plant guy. We have a bunch of corrosion techs in the gathering and transmission pipeline groups that take care of that. In the plants, most of the pipe we're responsible for is above ground, so cathodic protection isn't necessary. My Dad, however, spent many years as a pipeline construction supervisor, among other things in the gas business, so I have been exposed to it to some degree. I'm actually a 4th generation natural gas man. You'd think in 4 generations, one of us would have figured out how to make some real money, lol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  20. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Go home??? Where is your workplace
     
  21. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    While at IWA, did you work with Irving Rodriguez, aka RZ? I'm betting you work with some controllers now that I used to work with at DM. ATC is too small to not know someone in common.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  22. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    Pasta Man
    I'll play

    Since 1996 I've been a consultant.

    I think in 2005 I had a long talk with my Dad that started with "Seriously, what do you do for a living."

    Briefly - Clients buy very expensive and complicated software to run their business. ERP systems is the generic term. Then they hire someone like me to analyze their business and configure or modify the ERP to meet their needs while complying with accounting practices.

    Typical day depends on phase of the project. When it's in design/build phase it is REALLY interesting and I enjoy learning about their business, seeing the processes, hearing how they differentiate themselves in the market, and then recommending and modeling solutions for them. Then the test phase is fun, lots of interaction, revision, personal satisfaction when the ideas work well and have acceptance. Then the implementation phase is REALLY challenging since it is moving that work to the whole organization instead of just the small handful that were involved previously.

    Eventually it goes in to support mode. Ravioli OUT! Nothing more mundane than working support tickets and playing find the $0.15 variance. Really, it happens. My bill rate is typically $150-$200/hr (wish I got it all) and I've been asked to explain $0.15 in inventory variance? I don't don't do that anymore. (I send the guy with the $100/hr bill rate :) )

    I go wherever the client is, so tons of travel. Usually plan to arrive at client site by Noon on Monday and leave at Noon on Friday. Four nights a week in a hotel.

    I think Dad understood it, since he stopped asking!

    Another funny one was my eldest brother telling me he didn't understand why companies would pay $8,000 week PLUS expenses instead of just hiring their own people to do it. I asked him, "Is it possible I'm just one of the best in the country at what I do?." He said, "No, there must be some other reason." [Ravioli thought "I love you too, Bro]
     
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  23. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Non-degreed "engineer", though in the great State of California I'm not supposed to call myself that. This, even though I'm a partner in a small firm. I design building systems - HVAC, plumbing, some fire sprinkler systems.

    Being a partner I spend half my day actually designing systems in AutoCad. The other half of the day dealing with personnel issues, writing articles for our web site, writing proposals, writing collections emails, invoicing in Quickbooks and managing one or two junior engineers (real ones...).

    I used to design hospitals, prisons, high rise buildings, wineries and an occasional medical cannabis dispensary. Then, last year, California passed the recreational cannabis law to go into effect in 28 days.

    Well, guess who was the "specialist" in the industry when this happened? I wrote a few articles for our website, my partner got interviewed by a local newspaper - and the next thing you know the phone started ringing.

    Since our office is adjacent to the famed Emerald Triangle of northern California, and since the City of Santa Rosa decided to open their arms to the industry, we are busy as hell. About 50% (and growing) of our work is now designing cannabis indoor grow facilities, extraction facilities, processing facilities and dispensaries.

    There is a mad rush for construction and this is a surprisingly technical field. I have to admit, I'm kind of excited about my job for the first time in years. Learning about this is a whole new challenge.

    Also the industry has a ton of money and they don't nickle and dime us like most of our architect clients.

    Pros: I like designing stuff. It's given me enough money to do a lot of cool stuff, including building and flying my own plane.
    Cons: I've been doing it for 40 years, have no pension and no good retirement plan and no good way to get any real money out of the company partnership. (Yes, I know this is my own fault). Trying to figure out how to retire financially. At some point I'll just say screw it, quit, and trust that something will work out.
     
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  24. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    These companies that are building the pot growing facilities, see if they'll allow you to invest in them. If they're a public company you can do so on your own. Might work out for retirement.
     
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  25. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    My work was from flange to flange. Basically from your plant compressor stations where it flanged off underground in to the main transmission line, then to the first booster station and then on down the line. It's been over thirty years since I've been in a gas plant, are you guys running all turbines these days, or are there still plants around running the big locomotive engines?

    How do you get paid from these MJ companies for your services? :dunno:
     
  26. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

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    RZ was there when I was. He was in training when I left. He was the only DM person I recall at the time I was there. There aren't any DM guys here at the TRACON. Worked with a couple at the tower here. RZ is good people for sure.
     
  27. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Broke Engineer
    Full time student.

    Wake up at 6am and finish work I should've done the night before. Leave the house at 8, 15 min drive to the main campus. Go through 4 classes, swing by home or a restaurant for lunch, go to my off campus Engineering class, then back to the main campus for my final class of the day. Then Go home/attend clubs/mess with my various hobbies. After I got my PPL in September, the weekends now seem to consist of browsing POA, flying, working on my trucks, or trying to figure out how to earn some more money to be able to fly the next weekend :D

    Interesting to see how many members on here are engineers and their feedback on being one and I'm in the process of becoming one.
     
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  28. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    If the replies from some of the engineers here is not enough to scare you away, I don't know what is. :p

    If I was to get in to engineering these days, I'd go in to the robotics and AI fields. Nowadays you have robots building robots. Somebody has to initially design, program, and build those robots so they can build other robots. That's where I see the future. ;)

     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  29. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    I wake up in the morning (monday-thursday), check my roster, at this time of the year, it's usually empty. I go to the beach.
    Repeat 4 times, then I have 3 days off.
     
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  30. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    I'll definitely agree those fields will be a significant part of the future, but they aren't really where my interests lie. Current plan is to get my Mechanical engineering degree, not sure what industry I'll get into after that though. Long term I can't really see myself working for someone else my whole career. At some point, maybe once I've gained a decent financial standing, I plan to branch off on my own and be my own boss, not necessarily in an engineering field. Members of my family have had decent success going this route, and I plan to try the same. Simply working under someone's company as a mechanical engineer will not get me to the places I want to achieve in my life time. There's stability in working for one of the big companies and having a steady paycheck, but as I'm sure you can relate to @azblackbird after seeing your past business ventures, that's not the route I want to be apart of.
     
  31. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't blame you one bit for wanting to be your own boss. Life is way to short to be taking other people's s**t and allowing them to have control over your destiny. I've always said it's better to be the puppet master than be the puppet. ;)

    You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. I'm sure you'll figure something out. I wish you luck. :thumbsup:
     
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  32. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Another room.
     
  33. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ...with rubber walls...
     
  34. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Old dog w/o new tricks
    yeah... so?
     
  35. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  36. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    fewer bruises. duh!
     
  37. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yeah, plus with the padded walls, they don't make me wear the damn helmet the entire time.

    You know how it is.
     
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  38. pmanton

    pmanton Cleared for Takeoff

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    Job?----I've been on a long weekend since 2000. Do people still have to work? :p
     
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  39. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    We actually don't run any turbines in the plant. Most are electric driven recip compressors for inlet and residue compression. We do still use 3 gas recips in one plant, one 8 cyl White, and a pair of 12 cyl Waukesha. In the field, the booster stations on the gathering side are primarily gas recips, mostly 16 cyl Caterpillars. The transmission side is mostly gas turbines, particularly on the big interstate transmission lines.
     
  40. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Electrics are incredibly expensive to run. Nice from an operational perspective though until it's time for overhaul. Wauks are robust. Old Cats are a pain with something breaking every other day but the new ones seem to be very nice operationally. Haven't worked a turbine.