T Nation

A Degree & Technically Skilled

Need opinions from older and more experienced people.

I’m in College and I’m going to Graduate school at the end of my senior year. But at the same time, I’m thinking of getting certification as a Electrician, H-Vac, Gunsmith, etc. I want the technical skills so I can be self-sufficient and save money down the road. I just want opinions on how difficult this can potentially be, have other people done it, and what skills would they leave out.

Technical skills: Electrician, HVAC(Heating Air Conditioning), Gunsmith(personal fun), and Pluming(basic stuff).

Career Goals: Human Resource Manager

It sounds like you’re looking to save money on doing stuff at your own residence down the road…if that’s the case…I wouldn’t recommend getting ‘certified’ in any one thing…you don’t need to be a ‘master electrician’ to do basic electrical work and any schmuck can put a new toilet in…

If I had it to do over again…(queue flashback to teenage Sen Say complete with dangling hoop earring and bandana underneath a Malcolm X cap)…I’d get a job in the summertime working at a car repair place…you could get hired as a ‘helper’ and if you’re smart maybe by the end of the summer you’d be doing some repairs on your own…you’d at least learn how to change oil, plug tires, do stuff with other engine fluids, probably brake jobs…they’re pretty easy.

I’d work that job for one summer, then get a job working someplace else the next Summer…I don’t know…a deck building company maybe…learn how to build decks for a year…

A lot of places might not want to hire you on to basically ‘learn on the job’…but…if you present yourself to the owner of a smaller business and keep applying, you’ll find someone that’d be happy to have anyone that can arrive on time and not be stoned.

As for plumbing…volunteer your time over Christmas break…tell the plumber you’ll work for free…do the heavy lifting, etc…and if he WANTS to pay you…great…but…you’ll learn how to take apart a garbage disposal and re-set a toilet I guess…

Good luck.

I agree, you don’t need any certifications. In 20 years, I have never taken my car to a mechanic unless it was under waranty, because I’ve learned to fix it myself. If the dishwasher or clothes washer breaks, I order the parts and fix it myself. I never went to any kind of class to fix these things, I’ve just learned how to do them myself. Books, internet, etc. My dad was the same way. I guess if you are completely mechanically handicapped, most comunity colleges will offer no credit classes for things like this.

Thanks Sensay and J-Street. I appreciate the info.