I am 23 and have not been to college. I am currently working as a technician and panel builder for a small company that engineers and builds automation control systems. This is a decent job, but I feel underpaid due to lack of training, and want to step towards a field I'm personally interested in, which is audio electronics. I want to own a business designing high-end audio merchandise to be used in professional recording and broadcast environments, maybe some consumer hifi products. I had previously been interested in seeking an electrician apprenticeship, but have been increasingly considering engineering instead. I have no problems with manual labor, pulling cables, etc, but I am an analytical thinker with high expectations for myself, and think that I may become bored as an electrician. I don't have the resources to finance college and general living expenses simultaneously, so working and possibly part-time education might be the only option. I understand that an engineering degree and the topics of study in an electrician certification are independent from each other, but it may be possible to get an apprenticeship while doing part-time classes at community college for a "pre-engineering" associates. The apprenticeship pays more than I'm currently earning, and in the 4 years it lasts, I could get an associates (or two) and be ready to transfer to a larger university to get a BA, or find work as a certified electrician. The only problem with that plan is that the electrical certification holds no value in the field I want to work, the experiences may not help in PCB design, and it means I'll be doing more manual labor and less design than I'm doing at my current job. Alternatively, I could maintain the tech job at less pay, but may learn more about design and engineering. I could still take the pre-engineering associates program part-time, but time spent here isn't awarded with any credit towards a degree or certification. I'm not entirely happy here and feel like I'm running in place. There is also another school well known for recording and broadcast training, which has degrees available in pre-engineering and acoustic sciences, which would be a great addition for speaker and enclosure designs. The location is in a larger city, where I could find more opportunities for my career and hobbies. It would mean dropping my job and possible apprenticeship, and taking a greater leap into the unknown. There would be increased living and educational expenses due to a larger city and state school tuition. I am not sure how to get from this current spot in life, to my dream job of audio electronic design. I would like to get started working on simple electronics at home as a hobby, but have no idea where to start, or why resources are out there for someone starting down that path. I've found various kits and books, but they have that snake oil feel to them when reading reviews and sales pitches. I would greatly appreciate any advice or suggestions. I'm stuck in a loop here and have nobody with experience to really talk about this with. I want to get out and feel like I'm accomplishing something and working towards my aspirations.