The money is decent but you have to completely sacrifice any meaningful kind of personal life to do it. The hours are long and irregular, you barely sleep, you’re constantly around people with substance abuse issues and are at risk of falling into that yourself, you are always stressed, and work can suddenly end on a dime making budgeting and financial planning extremely difficult. Regarding my first point, maintaining romantic relationships with anyone who doesn’t work in the industry is extremely difficult (the divorce rate for my union is around 80%) because the majority of people don’t understand the precarious nature of the work and the hours. If you have children, I hope you never want to really know them as people.
It was a fun, cool job in my 20s but there’s a reason I went back to school to do something different.
Marine Biology/Conservation. I was naive as fuck.
I had an interest in it. I grew up loving the ocean and wanted to help stop the global extinction of wildlife around the world. But you know, you also need stable income and security, and to not have to constantly apply for thousands of jobs and to have every job have 2,000 applicants. Many places now just use volunteers instead. Volunteers will literally pay thousands to come and work for them. So why would they pay someone to do the work when they can get paid for someone to do it. All they need is a couple of professionals who know what they are talking about and then they can have an army of volunteers that they teach how to do the job.
It’s rewarding when you finally get something but my god it’s not worth the stress, I’d rather just volunteer instead as a hobby.
The health hazards associated with FF just isn’t worth it, imo. The mental challenges of seeing gore is a part of it too. Elevated premature death rates from cancer and heart attacks was enough for me to leave the service. This career is grossly romanticized.
Career advising, I strongly advise against it.
The world has enough mechanical engineers. Study a different branch of engineering, something with electrics, computer programming, or controls ideally.