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This might be a long post.

Its been on my mind more and more as of late.  Currently i run cnc machines at my local factory but what i used to enjoy about it has faded.  Im 31 and kind of at a cross road of stay put or make a leap into a totally different career. I see men that have busted their asses for 40 yrs that can hardly walk by the time they leave this place and most are dead within 5 yrs of retirement.  Ive also had relatives work in the field only to be laid off 20yrs later and trying to find work in there late 40s and 50s.  

So ive been looking into becoming a CO. i like giving back and i feel i could help my community by making sure the people that need to be away from public are while trying to help some people get back on their feet and fix their lives.  Corrections is big in my wifes family 3 retired state COs one is currently heading for state trooper training but is a CO in utica. Her dad is someone i look up to and he was a CO for 30yrs.

So my question is any advice for someone trying to make such a career change in their 30s? And any COs on hear with any advice?  

Thanks for any input you might have.

 

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one of my best buddies is a CO.  The worst part of it is the beginning where you have to start downstate.  Not sure where you hail from but he had to be away from home a lot at first and you keep transferring closer as time goes by.  Now he is back home and has been for a few years and is a LT so he did well but it took a few years to get there.  He even shared an apt with 10 other guys for a while with a cot as a place to crash in between shifts.  He would work all doubles for 3 days then go home for 3 days etc.. Benefits, pay and the ability to change and switch schedules is great though for sure. He said he actually liked a lot of the Max prisons because they were so secured and regimented and always other CO's avail.  I had an offer to do this years ago when i worked for the DOT to transfer but just didnt want to be in a prison all day long either.  

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You're still young enough to pull it off . I started working as a machinist still in high school , 5 years out of high school i started my apprenticeship as a  mold maker . I remember having the same thoughts around that same age . Deep down i just knew i wouldnt be truly happy doing something else . Fast forward to 5 ish years ago i took a job as die maker in the auto industry , i really miss being a mold maker . Are you maybe just not challenged enough at work or are you really done with the trade  mentally ? Thats the question you need to answer.  

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Make sure you are real passionate about becoming a CO. Making the change is one thing but It's a total different type of job. Good luck and you are still very young, go for it and don't look back! 

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"We Feed 'em"

"He Breeds 'em"

Legends Lodge, "Where Legends are born"

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Should of stated going for my county or next county overs jails.  Less then state but same bennys but ill take the lesser pay to be close to home.  

Jeremy i thought it was a challenge thing and went to a harder more challenging area in the shop and it hasnt changed.  I enjoy machining ive learned alot and met alot of great people. but its gotten to the point that i dont feel like i get anything accomplished.  My father always told me you dont have to love your job but be able to tolerate it.

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I've made 2 career changes, once around age 31 and again at age 37. You can do it if you want it bad enough. I'll probably be semi-retiring in a year or two but will still work some sort of part-time job, no doubt I'll be doing something different once again. I don't think prison or law enforcement would be something I'd be good at, but good luck in your endeavor!

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4 hours ago, Swamp_bucks said:

Currently i run cnc machines at my local factory

I got started in a Toolmaker's apprenticeship in the 70's and started specializing in CNC's in the 80's when CNC was new. The pay was good, but the real money was made with working tons of overtime, off-shifts, holidays, etc. A short week was 50 hours, and long weeks were 70-80 hours sometimes working as long as 20 days in a row without a day off. That would have absolutely killed me at the age I am now.

In the 90's I was given a chance at working into lower management as a shift supervisor (same company). I stayed there 21 years as it grew into a 200 person, multi-site company and left as VP of Ops, and work as that today in a manufacturing/non machining company in a different city. 40-ish hour weeks mostly, haven't worked a holiday in 11 years, probably have only worked 20 half-day Saturdays in that same span.

If I could offer you advice, shoot for a management position, and shoot high. White collar beats the snot out of blue collar in a manufacturing industry from a salary standpoint. The knowledge you have gained in machining makes you valuable to your current industry and gives you a leg-up on competition that comes out of college with a high degree, but no progressive working experience. The manufacturing business is booming right now better than it has in almost 25 years and companies are struggling to fill positions at all levels. Don't devalue the experience you've gained and the ability to parlay it for higher paying positions.

But only you will know if that feels right for you.

ps - I let one other person hunt our place besides family. He's a young local man who left a warehouse job and went to the Corrections academy 2-3 years ago. Works as a CO in a state prison now. Holy crap, the stories I hear! It doesn't bother him, but he says most academy grads wash out in 1-2 years. I certainly couldn't do that line of work!

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I'm currently on my 4th and 5th careers (simultaneously) in 45+ years of working. I go for about ten years before I get bored. Then I weigh the pros and cons and pull the trigger. Life is too short to be miserable, and it's not work if you love what you're doing.

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"It's fun to win elections." -- Bill Whittle

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In my younger days, after leaving the Army, I bounced around doing construction work like framing, and concrete finishing. Then some long haul trucking and finally into graphic arts, and printing presses. Worked for years in commercial shops, where the money was decent and LOTS of OT. 15 years ago, I had an opportunity to go to work at a local school district, heading the graphic arts department. The benefits were so much better, but I would take a pretty good pay cut to make the switch. It was the best decision I ever made! Working with the staff and special education students has been the most rewarding thing I've ever done. And when I retire I will have a much better pension plan than I would have had. So in the end the money part will even out. Even though I am not what some would call 'well off' money wise, I do enjoy coming to work each day!! And to me, that is worth a fortune.

My brother, nephew and a few others I know are CO's. In my opinion something changed after they got in, and we are not close anymore. Or perhaps it's me, who knows? But they seem so much more agitated, and aggressive now, even with their own families. When they have get togethers, and other CO's are present, the stories and cockieness is too much for me to listen to. And alcoholism is very common with the job stress that I'm SURE they endure. It's just something I have seen first hand, from a few guys that I knew very well, who became CO's. It in No Way means that they all are like this!! Or am I disparaging in any way, CO's or any law enforcement or first responders. It just seems that there is a huge burden placed on these folks. And some deal with it much better than others. Just something to consider.

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Well you always have cnc to fall back on. I think your better off trying to become a law officer than co. Seems co get wierd after awhile seeing all the bs inside the same walls.  Dec was hiring for academy.. perhaps that would suit your wanderlust better..

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I've hunted almost everyday of my life.. the rest have been wasted!

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I know a few people who were CO's. Majority of them got off on mental disability and full benefits/pay for the rest of their lives. It may be crazy hours and some wacky stuff to deal with it, but you also may be retired in 10 years.

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"The sportsman lives his life vicariously. For he secretly yearns to have lived before, in a simpler time. A time when his love for the land, water, fish and wildlife would be more than just part of his life. It would be his state of mind."

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My brother in law just made the career move to CO and hes right around your age. If you think you have the mentality for it I say go for it. You seem to get placed downstate first then move your way back closer to home. He's coming up on a year and already has some flexibility by working a bunch of doubles then being home for 4-5 days in a row. He thinks he can get closer to home in another year but it's truly just a guess. I don't know if he would call it rewarding but he seems to enjoy the work.

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Work hours ill be fine im used to working longer hrs and screwed up shifts.  As for the mental aspect i feel i could do it but who knows.  Ide love to work with people with disabilities worked a job 10yrs ago and loved the residents and ive looked into it but the by the end of the day i need to support the family and they just dont pay alot in that field.  

Grampy to the cockienese part i know what your talking about ive seen it.  But im married to a woman with a heart of gold but she would have no problem telling me to shut up and get over myself and keep me humble.

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45 minutes ago, Swamp_bucks said:

Ide love to work with people with disabilities worked a job 10yrs

Coincidentally, for the last 11 years I manage a manufacturing/assembly/packaging operation employing people with disabilities. Over 125 employees with disabilities.

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I was in automotive for 13 years, never to late to change fields.  Now I am into computers for 19 years, never looked back.  Not the best pay but my body is in better shape because of it.  Your still young, GO FOR IT!

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I have several friends who are in corrections and everyone of them say they love it. Lots of time off to hunt.

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In the same pickle myself but not a career change.had one already when i went from retail work to machining.just a different company where i see a potential for advancement.only 27YO and need to look ahead at my future.i say go for it!!!!

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I made the brilliant decision to leave a fledgling computer company to go to a food broker in 1992. So I’m a fountain of excellent advice


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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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I made the brilliant decision to leave a fledgling computer company to go to a food broker in 1992. So I’m a fountain of excellent advice


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Left apple to work for Jerkman Meats?!?!


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My uncle was a CO at Rikers...did his 20 years-out at 43 with a sweet pension and now he does home remodels(all cash jobs only) and turns down more work than he takes. He went into CO with that plan - kept his head down, did his job but didn’t make it his life.


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Try it locally in your County first. You can start part time in most cases and see if it's for you. It's the same criminals that the State gets, they're just not sentenced yet. You'll develop a sick sense of humor and meet a lot of bizarre people.    

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I’m a CO for the state. The job takes a certain kind of individual. It’s not a rewarding job but has a ton of benefits. I have my schedule made for the rest of the year and will work under 130 days not counting OT and have oct 1 until dec 22 off.

 

 

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Left apple to work for Jerkman Meats?!?!


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That’s great


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I find a duck's opinion of me is very much influenced by whether or not I have bread

-Mitch Hedberg

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