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  1. Hello All, It's been quite a while since I last posted on the site - the changes and updates are looking good! Wasn't really sure where to ask this though so I hope here is ok. Long story short: Trying to make a long term career choice and need some advice from those in the field. I'm about to turn 40 and aside from some aches and pains I'm still in pretty good overall shape. Good enough to work anyway...(ya' know what I'm sayin'). I'm considering my options going forward. My background: home renovations, water heater install/tech, A&E appliance tech (I know...) for about 6 months, building/property maintenance, etc. I've done many house calls and dealt with many types of customers in different situations so that's all familiar and I'm good with my hands/mechanically inclined. Bloodied many a knuckle over the years. I have a basic understanding of tech sheets/electricity but would need the MST training for sure. I worked for Sears a few years back as a laundry tech and picked up the basics pretty quickly, and felt comfortable doing the work, but left to get involved with buying and renovating rental properties. That's all fine but it doesn't throw off enough to live off of so I'm comparing some options, one of which is going back into the appliance repair field. I'm sure I'd be looking to go out on my own as soon as would be realistically possible, but not for a while. That brings me to you guys. I'm sure you've gotten these questions before but I used the search function and only found one thread that was similar to this. It was great but I was hoping to get some more specifics. A few questions if you don't mind: (I know there are variables within each of these questions but please humor me - feel free to answer any or all...) - What's a realistic pay range for an employed tech that can read schematics and good troubleshooter but no sealed system work? - What's a realistic pay range for the same tech self-employed? - Does sealed system work make that much of a difference in a career? - For those self employed: Can you balance work and family? Are you pretty much always working nights and weekends? How do you make for personal/family time? (All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jill a rich widow) - Is it possible to do this as a self employed owner/operator but limit your hours (without killing your business)? - I hear warranty work sucks. Can anyone give me some details? Is it still worth doing even if it does? There's a 5 week whirlpool training class close to me I'm considering. - Has anyone with little experience purchased the MST training, practiced at home and gone directly out on their own with success? Is that possible? - Would you recommend this field? Why or why not? I really appreciate anyone's input on this topic in whatever way, shape, or form, and will be thinking through any and all suggestions. Thanks in advance, Dave
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