First, a small(ish) backstory on me. I have loved physics most of my late teen an adult life. Not just pop-science stuff, the ability to explain the workings of everyday life in math is very intriguing to me. I had pretty rough grades in my Texas high school, due to my participation. I skipped most school days to work. I had the ability to do well in school, I only passed due to my high test grades in all my classes, I just didn't do most of my work. I didn't skip class because I didn't enjoy school, I skipped because I enjoyed money more. I would make $300-$400 everyday I skipped class. I would usually end up with about $1200 a week when all the work was done. I was a money and power hungry 16 year old kid. After high school I looked heavily into college but ended up taking a job in oil and gas pipeline construction. At 18 I was bringing in about 70k a year. I moved up quickly and became a foreman at 19 and superintendent at 20. On my 22nd birthday I was promoted from superintendent to project manager making around 150k a year. I was 20+ years younger than most of my employees and spent plenty of time getting odd looks from across boardroom tables. I don't say any of this to brag. I am telling you all this in hopes to get across my determination by seeing what I am leaving behind. Fast forward to now, I'm 26 and working as an independent consultant in the oil and gas industry. Specifically in pipe manufacturing and corrosion protection. The past couple of years have been boring and empty. My career is still going great but I have found how pointless chasing money is. It doesn't excite me like it used to. But my affection for physics remains. I spend most of my free time sharpening my math skills or flipping through several second hand college text books I have ordered, all in an attempt to keep my mind sharp. I have a wife and one son. About 8 months ago my wife sensed my emotions towards my work and we agreed at the end of this year I would start college in hopes of starting a new more fulfilling career. My first thought was a physics degree. I would start off in a community college before transferring after two years. But it sounds like jobs you get with only an undergraduate physics degree wouldn't be very fulfilling. So I would need grad school. Would I stand any chance trying to get into a grad program as a then 30 year old with two years of community college making up my undergrad degree? Would I be able to do it with a family even if I could? My wife works and makes enough money to support us. But how much time will it take from my family? Would I put putting my family in the poor house? All of these questions are pushing me into going for an engineering degree. I just don't know if engineering will be the right answer. I really don't know what to expect from this post l. I guess I'm writing this to help me sort out the things in my head. If you have read this far, thank you. I would love to hear your opinion.