What do you do for a living?

Thread Starter

k1ng 1337

Joined Sep 11, 2020
1,029
Hi,

What do you do to earn an income and what are your qualifications? I'm interested in reading everyone's story.
 
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BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
9,278
I pay a couple of hundred dollars for the privilege of being terrified as the lovely wife Morticia and I dance before an audience.

Before retiring, I was a compiler developer. MS in computer science.

Bob
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
17,142
Before I was forced into early retirement due to a motor vehicle accident, I was a Sr Staff Design Engineer at a large semiconductor manufacturer writing design rule checkers and other automation (layout correction, MIM cap synthesis, etc) for bleeding edge processes. Early in my career, I worked in corporate R&D for a large equipment manufacturer.

Now I live off the fruits of my labor and do things I never had time for while I was working.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,265
I retired a few years ago from a university where I worked for 15 years. I started working for the electrical engineering department and retired as a director in an organization that provided ((mostly) non-HPC) computing including desktop, benchtop, embedded and servers, communications technology, and other applications of technology for departments in the colleges of engineering and science. I was also a consultant to a wireless research group.

Prior to that I did many things from designing and building recording studios, working in them as an engineer, radio and TV production, selling and repairing (non-BS) audiophile gear, and designing, building, and maintaining science museum exhibits for a major museum, teaching operating systems and networks, consulting mainframe shops in desktop computing transitions, working as a freelance author for computer magazines, and working in advertising and marketing—among other things.

The above is not in any particular chronological order.

Since retirement I am developing a photography practice doing landscape and wildlife photography as well as particular commissions. I am also continuing some consulting for university research groups.
 
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ZCochran98

Joined Jul 24, 2018
305
I stare at computers all day trying to figure out if the computer is stupid or if it's just me.

Or, to be more precise, I work as an electrical engineer, which, for what I specifically, involves a lot of RF design (not much testing yet, but that's in progress - my research group at work is still working on getting the appropriate equipment). I also do a lot of 3D modeling and simulation (mostly electromagnetic stuff, but some thermal analysis too). So far, I've spent about equal times learning and doing research and equal times actually doing design work. And a lot of paperwork, too. As I'm still new to the industry (after getting a B.S. in both Physics and EE and an M.S. in EE), I haven't done a whole lot yet, but I'm hoping to get more involved in the RF design/testing process, as well as try my hand at stuff in photonics/optics. I'd also like to go back and get a PhD in physics, but that's for the future (but not too far in the future - that only gets harder to do with age and life).
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
10,276
I was beginning to think that I was the only one here still working!
I work for a small firm that designs and manufactures emergency lighting and off grid power systems, before that I worked in Professional Audio and Lighting. I have an Master of Arts degree in Electrical Sciences.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
28,829
Acquired the very valuable knowledge in order to maintain all manner of Industrial Electronic equipment on the spot, without the end user or customer having to go to the manufacturer, where a Technician would be flown in, if and when at the customers expense with resultant time delay and loss of production.
Also custom design and retro-fit such equipment for unique application(s).
.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,839
My qualifications are not documented on any paper apart from my paystubs and the stacks of invoices I keep. With much unsanctioned practice and after-hours self study (much of it taking place on this very website), I made myself proficient at things I wasn't qualified to do, and then I went into business for myself. I design/build/program/troubleshoot control systems for automated machinery. Currently I have a full-time employer, as one of my biggest customers offered me a job a while back amid a dry spell and I accepted because I was desperate, and then I got comfortable there. They title me "Controls Engineer" (as did my last full-time employer, who was also a customer prior to being an employer) but in my own business (which I still operate on the side) I can't call myself an Engineer because I don't have a PE license, because I don't have a degree, so I call myself a "Controls Specialist." In that endeavor I don't design or Engineer anything; rather I assemble and sell bespoke control system kits that typically come pre-programmed, documented, and with free installation. I sell products, not an Engineering service.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,767
My qualifications are not documented on any paper apart from my paystubs and the stacks of invoices I keep. With much unsanctioned practice and after-hours self study (much of it taking place on this very website), I made myself proficient at things I wasn't qualified to do, and then I went into business for myself. I design/build/program/troubleshoot control systems for automated machinery. Currently I have a full-time employer, as one of my biggest customers offered me a job a while back amid a dry spell and I accepted because I was desperate, and then I got comfortable there. They title me "Controls Engineer" (as did my last full-time employer, who was also a customer prior to being an employer) but in my own business (which I still operate on the side) I can't call myself an Engineer because I don't have a PE license, because I don't have a degree, so I call myself a "Controls Specialist." In that endeavor I don't design or Engineer anything; rather I assemble and sell bespoke control system kits that typically come pre-programmed, documented, and with free installation. I sell products, not an Engineering service.
I hope you don't use the title `engineer' on business cards that customers or state regulators see in Texas.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,767
Could you please elaborate, for the benefit of non-Americans?
There is a law in some states, (most strictly applied in Texas) that says, in order to represent yourself as an engineer, you must have an engineering degree. You are allowed to have a job title that contains the word, "engineer", if you do not have a degree, but you cannot use the title with outside entities to imply thst you are an engineer.

When I was working in Texas, the "Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors" had a lot to say who could call themselves an engineer. Whether sn employee of a company or an owner of a business, whether a "Professional Engineer" or someone with an engineering degree who does engineering work - the word "engineer" means someone capable of doing the work and liable if they do the work incorrectly. There is even ethical language that says an engineer cannot accept payment from two different parties for the same work (to allow prosecution in case someone accepts a bribe or tries to design to two different design criteria.

the whole law came About when 300 kids were killed when a high school boiler exploded and root cause was traced down to gross miscalculations that any boiler engineer should have known but the boiler was designed by a non-engineer with on-the-job training.

the former attorney General of Texas ,
"The Texas Engineering Practice Act ... does not allow an in-house employee of a private corporation (company), though classified internally as an `engineer' or under another engineering title, to use the title `engineer' on business cards, cover letters or other forms of correspondence that are made available to the public,"

this law was a big deal forTech companies trying to set up in Austin and whether or not a Software Engineer or Computer Engineer was, in fact, "an engineer". I don't know how that turned out but, as of the early 2000s, it was a big deal and background checks were commonly done to make sure people really had the engineering degree that the job required.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,839
I am aware of the laws, especially here in TX, hence the careful wording of my post. Technically it doesn't matter if you have an Engineering degree; you can't represent yourself to clients as an Engineer (with the implication that your services are for hire) unless you have a PE license, which most degreed Engineers do not. 80% of degreed Engineers are in the same boat as me, whether or not they or the masses know it.

Despite there not being any documented rule about it, the Board of Professional Engineers will not grant you a license without a pedigree, so it is a de facto law, and the source of much confusion.

My employer is allowed to call me Engineer and I am allowed to use that title even in introduction to clients, because the company does not solicit my services externally. I only design things used in-house. In my own business I steer well clear of the word Engineer in all contexts, and even other words that smell like someone could construe them to mean the same thing (design, plan, invent, develop, etc.). I am a Controls Specialist as my business card declares, and I sell products, not services, and certainly not the work of Engineering.
 
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