Hey all, so I'm at a bit of a crossroads. I recently graduated from a community college with what would probably be considered a biological technician or laboratory technician diploma. I've worked for approximately a year in my field, but got laid off a few months ago. There just seems to be an abundance of labour in this field. I originally did this program because I have a three year biology degree and I figured it would be quick and easy with my background. For instance, anyone who graduates a university with a bachelor or masters in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, environmental science, microbiology, or agriculture is my direct competition. Other people I have worked with and/or graduated with are in a similar predicament, with only 20% of my graduating class being employed. Several people I know have begun night courses in accounting for a CPA designation - one of which has a master's in analytical chemistry and several published papers on chemotherapy delivery. The lab work itself is also somewhat mundane and repetitive (when I went back I was under the impression that a research job would be readily available when I graduated and I could really use my head to try to solve problems). So I'm considering going back to school and doing a mechanical engineering technology diploma or starting an HVAC apprenticeship, because both are specific professions. By this I mean that there is some type of governing body which regulates the credibility of the profession, and has to be in contact with a community college in terms of graduate requirements rather than just a generic laboratory technician diploma which has no governing body. Also, I always enjoyed physics in high school and I think the work in both fields would be a lot more varied, covering multiple fields. Both mech techs and HVAC guys need to know some chemistry, electrical/electronics, manufacturing methods, fluid mechanics, etc. Which leads to my questions: 1) Is there a strong demand for mechanical engineering technologists? 2) Do technologists have a specific place in the mechanical/manufacturing hierarchy? Eg. Engineer --> Mech Tech --> Tradespersons. 3) Is the work varied? Or are you simply doing the same thing day in day out? 4) A lot of the college promotional videos seem to talk a lot about machining and CNCs, and lathes. Are mechanical technologists just supervisors for tradespeople? Do they just do the designing/drafting and supervising that engineers would do, but it's cheaper to hire a mech tech? 5) Can a mechanical technologist be self-employed? Ie. Start a consulting firm or run their own business? Or is that more of an engineering or tradesperson career option? 6) If there are mechanical technologists on this forum, I'd also like to know if they could do it over again, would they a)have done a trade b)pursued engineering c)chosen mechanical technology. Thanks in advance for the answers.