Looking for career advice
When I was on the path to licensure, I had to complete my day in the field, then spend my off hours drafting what I had collected that day and occasionally turning a hand on drafting others field data. In my situation, field crews started at 6:00 and finished at 2:30 unless we were working out of town or had an hour or two from completing the survey. This allowed me 2 1/2 hours most days to work with the office staff. Not only did I achieve my goal of gaining the office experience, I got a good reputation for being motivated and having initiative. If you like the place you are employed, see if something similar will work for you. Not knowing all of the rules of a union office, being union might throw a monkey wrench in those plans unless you get prior approval. Good luck!
then spend my off hours drafting
Are you saying you did this off the clock in order to learn? Admirable but a union would not allow that-only as paid overtime.
Yes, most of that time was off time. After the first month, the owner noticed I was spending my off time getting the product out, so he authorized me to get paid as a journeyman draftsman for time at the computer. It was less than my hourly rate in the field but better than no pay at all. Like I said in my reply above, I do not know what the unions allow or does not allow. I can only speculate that something similar to my situation would require prior approval or special negotiations in order for it to pass their litmus test.
I stand corrected about the actual bureaucratic requirement for a year of office time in California. If the union won't give you office time, work for an independent surveyor for a year. My point is that you can self-study into the skills before outside circumstances cooperate.
Yes I need a year of office time before I can get the other LS to sign off on my application. I’ve offered to stay after work and I’ve done that a few times but most of the time I come in my boss would have some emergency out in the field that I would have to attend to. I’ve tried to do as much as I can on my own with TBC, civill3d etc but it’s not the same as having a mentor show you everything. The union definitely puts a damper on field guys getting in to the office. Ideally I would love to do both. Thanks to everyone for the replies and advice
Every decision is a tradeoff. You need to set your limit on how long you will wait for this shop to take part in your advancement. At this point in my career that's about 14 seconds, but you are in a different spot.
Keep in mind your education may limit portabilty in years to come. You need to find a short path to initial licensure if that is a concern..
You'll never get rich Surveying.
Would you elaborate on that comment? No offence but I am puzzled. 😎
@flga-2-2 I for one, charge twice as much, work half as much, have considered myself semi retired since about 45-yo. And at 52 am still earning what I consider to be a good living. Sweet freedom comes at cost. So far I have been only too glad to pay. On the holy cow retirement plan. Work until three days after my funeral.
I know this is not who or what you asked. I could not help myself. Thanks for your friendly indulgence and forgiveness.
Work until three days after my funeral.
I wanna know how you arrange that.
Congrats on your success so far. To pass the FS and be a dependable field member to management is a great achievement in its own. I'm glad you are headed toward licensure and making the best out of this profession.
I'd like to recommend something you can ask from your boss that might be an easier transition 'in' toward the office path. The success of every survey crew depends on the information and field package they receive before heading out for the day. See if your boss would allow you to prepare field package material for the survey crews...it'll expose you to city/county deed research, pulling plats/records of survey, figuring out benchmark monuments, and many other things that'll come together once you learn the rest of the office side. I suggest this because it's something that is initially easier to teach and also moves the job forward which the PMs like.
Keep getting your feet wet with Civil 3D and TBC. They are extensive programs which take lots of hours in front of the screen alone and with a guide to help you through. For what it's worth, Ascent makes a great Civil 3D fundamentals book for surveyors (it won't teach you what to do verbatim, but it does provide in-depth detail on the buttons/commands you click which would benefit any hungry-to-learn drafter that doesn't have any bad habits yet).
I remember being in your shoes years ago. Just know that work is always a business first. Your boss wants the best for you, but the company money-making model could be that everyone stays in their lane doing their assigned job because that's the best flow for the business. Ask others how they got their "in" to the office...if everyone says that they found it elsewhere before they landed there, maybe it's time for you to find your elsewhere.
Good luck, we are all rooting for you here.