1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Career switch

  1. Mar 28, 2010 #1
    Hi all. Im a precision engineer with 10 years under my belt. I want to switch to a physics related career. My school is to college level, mechanical and electronic engineering (in Europe that is not University), I am studying for a BSc in physical science, part time. The problem is the time and cost, im 27 this year and I expect at least another 3 years to finish my degree.

    I already crunched the numbers on my AMA. I worked for 50eur a week for 4 years. While my forklift driving friends were laughing at me, making 250eur a week for an unskilled job. After 6 years working I have worked out I am still at a loss behind my friends. My education has not offset my low income from college, despite higher income now. I only pulled this off because I was still living with my folks.

    I am looking at science related jobs, very broadly speaking as I find the entire subject fascinating. I see their starting salaries arent really fantastic. The cost of a BSc part time is around 5x the price of an AMA, assuming a realistic career, I cant see how it would pay for itself within a reasonable time.

    I know people will say take the option I really would prefer to do, ignore the finance. This is true, I would prefer a career in modern physics, but I also really enjoy having a roof over my head too. Ideally I would like to switch career before I complete my degree, then I would at least be gaining industry relevant experience and a recognised qualification. Anyone have any thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2010 #2


    User Avatar

    What is an AMA?
  4. Mar 28, 2010 #3
    So you became a precision engineer when you were 17? I hope you meant you were 37
  5. Mar 29, 2010 #4
    AMA = advanced modern apprenticeship. Its 4-5 days workplace training, 1 (damn long) college day per week. Its way to get papers and a wage. No, I started in the industry at 16. Finished training at 20. So thats almost 11 years in the industry, almost 7 working solo.

    I dont get what you mean by you hope I was 37, please explain. Mechanical engineering is not exactly rocket science or brain surgery, even most doctors dont need 20 years training.

    This is all besides the point, how many forum readers have gotten into a job they love and higher education without having to go full time to uni?
  6. Mar 29, 2010 #5
    My bad, i meant 27. =)
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook