I have some questions regarding work that require a little back story:
I am a relatively fresh graduate with an MS in mechanical engineering. I moved to a town with absolutely no industry (tourist town) and couldn't find a job that I wanted for 6 months. There were a few interviews and one offer that I didn't accept (shitty "engineer" position in a factory 1 hour away.) I was getting desperate, so I started interviewing for anything that I had skills for: CAD positions, teaching positions (I've been a TA twice), and basically anything that required a degree. I went in for a CAD draftsman interview with a guy who owned a small engineering contracting company. When I got into the interview, he asked me why someone with my degree would move to that particular town, because there were absolutely no engineers there. He basically hired me on the spot (few more interviews after) for whatever reason (lack of other candidates or me being awesome, I don't really know/care) and I was friggin ecsatic. When we were "negotiating" pay, I gave him some numbers of what I would expect and he added 10 grand to it (I bid high because I was expecting 10k LESS). As a fresh grad, I was making 100th percentile for my graduating class. He sent me off to a job site to work for 6 months, making my salary and overtime AND per diem (money for living expenses that I get to spend as I see fit.)
The problem: I am not doing any engineering work. I am basically working as a CPA in the power industry. I like making ridiculous amounts of money, but I want to start learning some real engineering skills. I sit at a computer looking at spreadsheets and calculating costs all day. It is really a bore and not what I wanted to do with my career.
I recently found a company that is willing to train me to be a construction supervisor because of my new-found intimate knowledge of the money side of the power industry, my technical degree, and my willingness to travel to job sites. I would be getting paid about the same but learning the skills that I actually want to learn. As of right now I know almost nothing of the actual mechanics of a power plant. I walk the plants and have no idea what this valve or this pump is or how this turbine works- it is kind of pathetic in my mind. This company is another contractor that I am working side by side with currently, so hiring on to them would be a breach of ... something? I know the general rule is that you don't hire your contractors, but I am working with these guys, not for them. We are both contractors for the same power plant. Is there anything wrong with this?
So cue 8 months later, still making awesome money, not progressing in the direction that I want to go career wise. I could make a career out of what I am doing, and the top guys doing what I do are making 60+ base hourly, but I would rather be doing something technical
. I could go work for this other contracting company as a construction supervisor, but I feel like I owe loyalty to my current boss. He has been nothing but awesome in regards to, well, everything. EXCEPT: He is a PE (professional engineer) but he isn't really teaching me any engineering. The work I am doing does not count towards my 3 required years experience for my PE license, and I really want to get that. He has said that he would have engineering work for me eventually, but I keep getting these same jobs. I don't want to be pigeon-holed into this.
I guess my biggest caveat is that I don't want to abandon the guy who threw me a huge friggin meaty bone when I was starving. It would be the best career move ever, but I feel like I owe him for getting me on my feet when I was so desperate, and not even taking advantage of me in my bad situation. Honestly, I would have taken so much less than what he is paying me.
SOOOOOOOO H/A, does anyone have any insight into my situation? What would you do? Sign on with the new company and learn what you want to learn without giving up any moolahs? Stay with current company and keep doing what I am, eventually becoming a powerhouse of both income and boredom? Donate all my money to whoever most satisfactorily answers this post?