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Back Up/Second Career

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  • Back Up/Second Career

    As I have done my research a couple things have come to my attention. This career comes with a lot of downtime and what if I get permanently injured. That being said what do any of you do, if you do, for a second career or have a back up career set up? I am exiting the service and have the GI Bill at my disposal. I plan on going to a local college to get my firefighting certs then, while I'm testing at fire departments, majoring in a prospective career that I could possibly do in my off days and utilize if I get permanently injured. Also if anyone is involved in anything rather lucrative please fill me in as I have 3 children I plan on sending to college and I'm not afraid of hard work. Thanks in advance for all your help.

  • #2
    fire5555

    I will be going to school at CSN in Las Vegas, NV but am very willing to travel to another state if I can get hired by their fire department. They are currently hiring in the region but the only department that doesn't immidiately require EMT is Clark County, I plan on applying their the first day it opens.

    I will start doing research on the RN field, thanks for the advise.

    After I get my firefighting cert I was going to transfer to UNLV while I'm testing and try to get a degree in my back up field. I was thinking about studying Personal Finance as that is a field that i think could benefit my family and could do some freelance. Although, I wouldn't have the resources of working full time for a major company and I do not know if one would hire part time. I am open to other suggestions from firefighters (or even stories of people you know) that have success in a second field that requires a degree to obtain to open up my options. Even info of second careers I should avoid because it would just become a wasted degree that I wouldn't be able to utilize.

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    • #3
      USMC. There is already a huge lack of family time that's for sure. I'm a Quality Assurance Representative / Helicopter Mechanic (power plants, drive train and flight controls) / Aerial Observer (Aircrew).

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      • #4
        mwells2127,

        When I came off active duty with the assistance of the GI Bill and tuition assistance from the National Guard I started going to school for nursing. Since I was working full time, in the Guard, on the fire department and then a few years later working part time as a duty driver on Saturdays at the stations I was going to school part time. It was taking me about a year a semester and the nursing program I got in was 5 semesters long for my BSN after prerequisites were done. Joked I was on the 10 year plan. After I was in program about two years I got the call. Did my tour which with train up, deployment, etc. was about 18 months. We're a combination department and when I was winding up my first tour one of the guys retired. Started the application process from Iraq and got home in time for the civil service and got hired. Really debated about going back to school or not because I was burnt out on it. With the help of guys willing to trade shift coverage I was able to finish and get my RN about a year and a half later. Really glad I finished it.

        Now I work part time at a psychiatric hospital. They call it PRN (as needed status), I tell them these are the days I can work and they plug me into the schedule. Pretty good part time job. Also pretty sure that anyone who reads this will confirm there is a shortage of RN's so there are a lot of options. Depending up the schedule of my "real" job I contract for 1-2 days a week there. For example, I was on shift Monday, yesterday was a day off and today I was going to work at the hospital but got put on stand by due to low census. Tomorrow I'm on shift.

        As anyone can tell you, going to school with a family is not easy. It's even harder if you have to work as well. All I can say is keep plugging, if I can do it, anyone can. Years ago my goal was to retire from the Guard with 20, work for the fire department and nurse part time. It took time but I'm there and I can't complain.

        My advice if you are willing to consider an RN degree is to contact a local program and see what their prerequisite classes are. See how that would combine with another degree you may be looking at. Double dip all you can class wise and take some of the nursing prerequisites as electives. Don't be afraid to do them at a community college instead of an university as well.

        Keep in mind there are Bachelor's of Science, Nursing degrees and there are diploma programs through community colleges. The diploma program will finish quicker. If you chose to go diploma and get to work sooner that's just fine but don't stop there. Take advantage of one of the programs that will allow you to complete a BSN. When you start there's not much difference but when you start looking at job postings you'll notice almost all the manger and upper level jobs require a BSN.

        Besides, if you wind up with a nursing degree and keep applying it won't hurt your cause. It'll show that you can stick with things to see them through, you can adapt, you can work under pressure, you're a team player, etc. Add in a military background, keep your nose clean and you'll get a job.

        My only question is if you can understand the medical field since the Marines require Mama Navy to put their band aids on. Go Army!

        Please let me know if you have any questions.
        Good luck,
        Walt
        Train like you want to fight.
        www.kvfd.net

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