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Another poll -- what do you do for a living?

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#1 MikeBOKC


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Posted 17 May 2013 - 01:12 PM

The age poll currently running here is enlightening and has resulted in an average age for amateur astronomers around 50, which is not surprising. However I find a lot more diversity in the occupational realm in my local club. There just does not seem to be a way to pigeonhole folks by job/profession who are drawn to this hobby. Yes, we have a couple of engineers and professors in the sciences, but I also know an HR person, a police officer, a funeral director, a classical radio station manager and many other occupations. So I thought it might be interesting to informally poll CN folks as to what they do or have done for a living to see how wide the cross section is.

In my case I have been a newspaper reporter (specializing in crime), speechwriter for a governor and a member of Congress and freelance writer. Also an adjunct English/Speech professor.

What's your occupational background, and did it (or not) connect you to the hobby>

#2 Sorny


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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:01 PM

I'm a Sr. Field Service Engineer for a rather large player in the Semiconductor Capital Equipment industry.

I've taken wrenches to multi-million dollar Zeiss optics and adjusted them. To be fair, the optical components of the tools seldom are the problem, but then again, the optics are the least complicated part of the tool...

The job had no bearing on my interest in Astronomy, as I was interested as a kid; it wasn't until after I got the house & vette that I could justify yet another expensive hobby.

#3 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:04 PM


Don't think my profession in any way influenced my astronomy love. Well maybe being a visual guy helped. Also the love of how things are put together doesn't hurt either... You know like when tinkering with all the fun Astro gear... Maybe it does influence it in some ways.... :cool:

#4 csrlice12



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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:14 PM

Retired Military (1995), now an auditor. Was stationed at the North Pole for a year, not much else to do during the winter except to look at the stars....it was beautiful in its own way, but I was glad to get back to civilization....

#5 dpippel



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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:17 PM

Systems Support Analyst (IT) at a large public university.

#6 Greyhaven



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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:19 PM

Well I've only had two professions in my now retired life. I for 30 years I worked in the automotive parts and paint and body shop supply industry as a outside salesman, store manager and sales manager.Then I had 3 heart attacks and a triple bypass and thought I needed to switch to a job that would rub against a whole different set of nerves, so my last position was making tampons,yep, they really make them in factory not in a hollow tree. I am retired now, but still have friends there so if anyone needs employment I may be able to pull a few strings and get them in.
Be Well

#7 FJA


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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:21 PM

Currently unemployed. :(

Over the years I have worked in customer services, in office admin and assembling things in factories.

#8 csrlice12



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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:22 PM

Tampons....pull a few strings.....you really didn't mean that, right??? :lol:

#9 Greyhaven



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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:28 PM

Yes, for 13 years I did everything from handling the raw fiber to sewing on the strings, just think of them as little refractors, astronomy is a natural progression with members of that particular trade.
Be Well

#10 Classic8


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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:41 PM

Insurance Underwriter.

Only for about 7 years, and no connection to my hobbies.

#11 Terry Dactile

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:48 PM

I was a welder for years, specializing in pressure vessel and hydraulics welding, moved on to programming welding robots, then on to Quality management ISO and QS systems, and am currently managing a warehouse for a major supplier of telescoping multi-stage hydraulic cylinders (you find them on large dump trucks).

#12 jgraham



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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:59 PM

Contract research for 35 years. I have been blessed to have the honor of working on scores of interesting problems.

#13 newtoskies



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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:18 PM

Well nothing glamorous on my end. Spent 8 years in the USMC/USArmy, worked in manufact. and construction/renovations until a few years ago. Unemployed atm due to health issues.

Always interesting to hear what people do for a living. Your profession really doesn't matter when you have the same hobby or interests as others and have that common ground in which to build friendships...as I have done hear on CN, and my own forum.

#14 csrlice12



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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:23 PM

No matter wherein the universe we are or what we do, and probably even what planet we live on, we all look up at the sky in awe...

#15 Mike B

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:35 PM

Architectural background, now a freelance CAD drafting technician for Arch/Eng'rs. As part of my partially-self-under-employed reinvention due to the '08 crunch, i'm now also a Math tutor for local kids.

So i guess it's been Math for me, nite & day. :lol:

Got hooked on visual astronomy as a ~12 year-old, and have been at it (hot & cold) ever since... started with an Edmund Sci 4-1/4" F10 Newt, have moved up thru several scopes, to end up with the current 15" F4.55 Dob.
:grin: mike b

#16 Gary Riley

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:35 PM

Senior pastor of a church. Been pastoring for 25 years. Before that worked in the metal fabrication industry for approx. 13 years.


#17 jerwin


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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:45 PM

I've been an IT Network Administrator for 10+ years, switches, routers, firewalls, wireless, that type of stuff. Age 33.

No real connection I can draw. I'm a very logical thinker, and think about thinks from a lot of different angles. Good memory, so that helps with navigation of the sky.

I think I'm in this hobby for one reason and one reason only, I saw Saturn through a 70mm refractor. :jump:


#18 Pinbout


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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:51 PM

What's your occupational background, and did it (or not) connect you to the hobby>

I'm still trying to figure out what I do...job/hobby :foreheadslap:

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#19 John Kuraoka

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:53 PM

Freelance advertising copywriter. Started out in ad agencies; been freelancing for 20+ years now. It's great!

I've always been interested in the stars. If there's a connection with my business it's not on a conscious level. Although it's really, really nice after struggling with something or other, to go out under the night sky and just relax.

#20 roscoe



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Posted 17 May 2013 - 04:01 PM

I'm a carpenter - I've built and restored houses, barns, boats, musical instruments, and most everything else. I lately mostly build furniture pieces, but it looks like a timber-frame barn is in the works for the summer. Today I played hooky because it was such a nice day, and pulled sawlogs that I cut last winter out of my woods and to my sawmill with my 65-year-old half-restored farm tractor, which I also use to make (and sell) 400 bales of hay every year from our farm.

#21 azure1961p


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Posted 17 May 2013 - 04:30 PM

Tattoo artist by night, maintenance tech by day. Used to do commercial illustrating, kids books, medical illustration, architectural and oil painting. I'm taking a new approach to oils this summer.


#22 obin robinson

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 05:00 PM

Aviation Structural Mechanic - United States Navy (active duty). I have several thousand hours of time on F/A-18 A-D "legacy" Hornets. I also worked on the MH-53E Sea Dragon mine countermeasures helicopter as well. In between airframes I did a tour in Iraq doing non-aviation jobs with the US Army. Right now I am in Texas on a shore duty tour hence all the time for telescopes.

obin :)

#23 GeneT


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Posted 17 May 2013 - 05:29 PM

Retired Air Force Colonel (28 years service); worked five years as a bank marketing officer; served the past 15 years as an ordained Catholic deacon (no pay--but the benefits are great! :grin:) My job did not connect me to astronomy; astronomy connected me to my job because as a hobby, it framed most of my dreams (day dreams :grin:)

#24 mich_al



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Posted 17 May 2013 - 05:51 PM

Software engineer for a company that built airborn spectrometers. Started out as a hardware guy for one of the first companies to ever put a microprossesor (4004) into a workstation. I tend to keep computers, except for a hand controller, out of the mix when I observe.

#25 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 06:24 PM

Interesting question, some interesting answers.

Over the years, I have worked at a number of occupations, lab tech on the Glomar Challenger (Deep Sea Drilling Project), commercial fisherman, truck driver, truck mechanic. to name a few.

But for the past 26 years, I have been a research engineer/scientist working in the field of materials science at a major research university in San Diego. The professor who heads the group is quite famous as theoretical/analytical/numerical guy who believes such work must be supported by experiment. I am the hands on side and over see the laboratories, the grad students research and my own research, over the years I have designed a lot of equipment, some that has been duplicated in various university and military laboratories.

We are involved in wide variety of research, investigating things like meteorite damage resistance of the space station hull, electro-active polymers, negative index materials over a broad range of wavelengths, from microwave to acoustic, acoustic wave management, dynamic fracture reduction in blast loadings, basic research in ceramic armor, dynamic fracture measurement of ceramics. I am coauthor on a number of papers in the field as they were based on the techniques I have developed...

It's a wonderful job, I am basically on my own, free with my time, free to develop new techniques and methodologies. I work with brilliant young minds, challenge them, nurture them, watch them as the grow to be the amazing people that they are..

Jon Isaacs

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