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Re: First Class

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Posted by Tony Conner on December 11, 2004 at 06:53:59:

In Reply to: First Class posted by Doug on December 05, 2004 at 09:38:34:

I was a first class chief in Ontario for a number of years, prior to starting my own business 6 or 7 years ago. It USED to be a good job, but not for about the last 10 years or so. Too many MBA's and accountants running the plants, including the maintenance and engineering dept's. The inspection people are very much less than no help.

I'm not saying I'd refuse to go back for any amount of money, but it would take a LOT. Get ready to work a load of unpaid overtime, and be on call pretty much eternally. When I finally parted ways with the last outfit I worked for, they owned me 10 weeks in back vacation that I hadn't been able to take, because there was nobody to cover, and hadn't been for years. If I had it to do over, I'd have stayed on shift, or taken a day-shift maintenance job.

If you want to write the exams, go for it. But you may want to consider holding-off on actually getting the ticket. I personally know a shift engineer who did just what you're considering. At one point, he actually approached the licencing body about letting him drop back to a 2nd class, but they wouldn't let him.

I must say, I do know a few chief engineers who are happy with their jobs. But I know a lot more that aren't. And every year, I talk to at least one of the formerly "happy ones" who shakes his head when he tells me: "You won't believe what they're doing at my plant..."

There may be some important differences if you're not in Ontario, so you should check with the licencing body where you are. If I was going to expend the effort needed to get a 1st class, I'd seriously consider using the same resources to get a technologists diploma in mechanical or electrical engineering.

That's my "take" and advice on the situation as it is now, and has been for a decade. Heed it, or dismiss it as it suits you. Who knows, maybe in 10 years, things will be different. There's just no way to predict. Good luck with whatever choice you make.

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