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Options on joining, worried about wages...

InBloom

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Hey guys,

Wondering about joining… I come from a military family, have always kind of planned to join. I went through the entry pre-requisites once when I was 17.. But then I had a change of heart, finished high school and then went to technical school for computer networks. I worked for IBM for a year, the government for 3 years then decided to Join again. Once, again at the age of 23 I went through all the pre-requisites, I think I even got my Sworn in date, and then again decided to accept another job while I was waiting.

My biggest problem now, I am 27 and I am once again thinking about joining, But I don’t know that I can handle the pay cut. I know how much military personnel make after taxes and it is unbearable for the first few years, and even 20 years in… it’s still nothing special. For me it’s more about the adventure, family tradition and honor, so I can take the pay cut to a point. But I do have a family to support and things are comfortable financially but still slightly tight. Joining the military now would basically cut my pay in more than half.

I am wondering… Is there any way that if you’re skilled in a trade that you can get a pay hike to start? I have 8+ years as a professional Server/Network Administrator and a network diploma in computer networks. I have heard they no longer do signing bonuses? My other thoughts is maybe I go back to school and go to RMC… then I could bare the wage. Not really sure what to do here or if it’s even worth looking at, I need to think about my family too.
 

bick

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If the pay is your main concern, I think you should think about the Reserves. That way, you can keep your better paying job and still get some adventure on exercise with your unit.

Good luck.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Server/Net Admin is just a part of some jobs in the C & E world.  I doubt it (your skillset) would get you an initial occupation training bypass which you would need for a semi-skilled or skilled entry.

:2c:

 

The_Falcon

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InBloom said:
Hey guys,

Wondering about joining… I come from a military family, have always kind of planned to join. I went through the entry pre-requisites once when I was 17.. But then I had a change of heart, finished high school and then went to technical school for computer networks. I worked for IBM for a year, the government for 3 years then decided to Join again. Once, again at the age of 23 I went through all the pre-requisites, I think I even got my Sworn in date, and then again decided to accept another job while I was waiting.

My biggest problem now, I am 27 and I am once again thinking about joining, But I don’t know that I can handle the pay cut. I know how much military personnel make after taxes and it is unbearable for the first few years, and even 20 years in… it’s still nothing special. For me it’s more about the adventure, family tradition and honor, so I can take the pay cut to a point. But I do have a family to support and things are comfortable financially but still slightly tight. Joining the military now would basically cut my pay in more than half.

I am wondering… Is there any way that if you’re skilled in a trade that you can get a pay hike to start? I have 8+ years as a professional Server/Network Administrator and a network diploma in computer networks. I have heard they no longer do signing bonuses? My other thoughts is maybe I go back to school and go to RMC… then I could bare the wage. Not really sure what to do here or if it’s even worth looking at, I need to think about my family too.

Skilled applicants are people with the full military training required for a particular occupation (ie someone who released and is looking to come back)
Semi-skilled, you have some of the qualifications required (usually ones that have civillian equivalencies such as med-tech).  If you believe you are in this category a PLAR will be conducted to see what, if any qualifications you may be granted.  Unless a signing bonus/accelerated promition is being advertised, you won't get one.  And you will still require whatever additional military courses you need for your paricular occupation, in order to get promoted.

As has been said numerous times, if pay is your motivating factor, seek life elsewhere.  Plenty of people have taken the paycut to join the military, because they were interested in the military for reasons beyond a simple paycheque. You are not a special and unique snowflake.
 

Quirky

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Another thing to keep in mind is your pay is linked to your trade and rank. You might be the best at your trade in your unit, however you get paid the same as the laziest, most inept dude/gal next to you. Unlike in the civy street (for the most part) more responsibility, qualifications and stress does not earn you more pay. Keep that in mind. As far as pay, unless you live next to an oil patch, CF salaries are very good considering all the benefits you get with it.
 

Van Gogh

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Pretty easy to decide.
Whats more important for you, the money you make or the job you go to?

If you are planning to join military then I can already guess you are not happy with your current job regardless of how much you make.
So the choice is between what you want more, money or potentially a more exciting career. Your call.
 

UnwiseCritic

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Hopefully you don't bow out this time. If it's adventure you're looking for... I would recommend looking elsewhere (The Navy might offer it). And tradition might not be enough of a motivator given your previous history. But if you are willing to take a pay cut then obviously you're not enjoying your current line of work.

Quirky said:
Another thing to keep in mind is your pay is linked to your trade and rank. You might be the best at your trade in your unit, however you get paid the same as the laziest, most inept dude/gal next to you. Unlike in the civy street (for the most part) more responsibility, qualifications and stress does not earn you more pay. Keep that in mind. As far as pay, unless you live next to an oil patch, CF salaries are very good considering all the benefits you get with it.

I'm sure your previous work with government has enlightened you to this  ;D

However you might love it, and you can always get out after your contract and make the big bucks again. I'm sure it will enhance your life and resume once you're finished. And you may have enough downtime to do computer contract work from home. (Not sure what it is exactly you do)
 

vivelespatates

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Van Gogh said:
Pretty easy to decide.
Whats more important for you, the money you make or the job you go to?

I don't think this is the right way to unerstand the Dilemmaa he has.

Like he said, it's more about being able to make enough money as a ''Military member'' to be able to give to his family a good quality of life. Which I think, is something normal to worry about when you have kids and wife.

 

The_Falcon

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vivelespatates said:
I don't think this is the right way to unerstand the Dilemmaa he has.

Like he said, it's more about being able to make enough money as a ''Military member'' to be able to give to his family a good quality of life. Which I think, is something normal to worry about when you have kids and wife.

And there are many thousands of members past and present who are somehow able to do just that.  ::)
 

RedcapCrusader

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Many military members join with spouses and children; some join single and later create families and live comfortably. If you really want to join the Canadian Forces, you will learn to budget and live within your means. It'll be tough at first, but the pay goes up quite quickly after Basic and hopefully the spouse is employed as well.

Yes you will take a pay cut most likely (depending on trade, NCM/Officer and what you currently make)/but everyone will tell you: "don't do it for the money."

What's it up to for Regs now anyway? $60k (gross) after 4 years (Cpl)? That's pretty good.
 

George Wallace

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Hatchet Man said:
And there are many thousands of members past and present who are somehow able to do just that.  ::)

Oh come on!  You darn well that hundreds of thousands of us, past, present and future live like hobos in shanty towns around military bases, carrying out our waste in buckets, drawing water from the river, walking uphill both ways, to and from, work through seven feet of snow, and have to get up two hours before going to bed in order to make it to work on time.  Good money.  Money for raising a family.  Luxury.
 

GAP

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George Wallace said:
Oh come on!  You darn well that hundreds of thousands of us, past, present and future live like hobos in shanty towns around military bases, carrying out our waste in buckets, drawing water from the river, walking uphill both ways, to and from, work through seven feet of snow, and have to get up two hours before going to bed in order to make it to work on time.  Good money.  Money for raising a family.  Luxury.

and it was.....good times all...... :nod:
 

Paladium

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vivelespatates said:
I don't think this is the right way to unerstand the Dilemmaa he has.

Like he said, it's more about being able to make enough money as a ''Military member'' to be able to give to his family a good quality of life. Which I think, is something normal to worry about when you have kids and wife.

I would have to agree it will certainly be tough at first, actually doubly tough in that in the past year they got rid of separation expense so that now you have  to pay you mortgage/rent as well as rations until you are linked with your family - so that is another $600 bucks a month coming out of your pocket.  It can be done, but you need a plan on how to deal with a shortage of funds in the short term.  Life in the CF has a lot to offer, and in your case you will need to make some sacrifices in the front end.  The other option, I think someone mentioned is to start in the reserves, become fully qualified (up to a three or four year process) and then component transfer and your family could move with you immediately.
 
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That's a tough situation to be in,especially with a family.  As far as pay goes, your skills MAY  qualify you for a specialist trade where you would make a better pay once you reach Corporal. If the time it takes for you to gain rank to get that pay raise is too long, maybe another profession would be more suited to you. Or you could always take a look at the Reserves. They have a lot to offer, and you can still work your civy job and live at home. Best of luck.
 

The_Falcon

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ReadyAyeReady17 said:
As far as pay goes, your skills MAY  qualify you for a specialist trade where you would make a better pay once you reach Corporal.

Perhaps you should refrain from explaining how one quailfies for specialist trades, since you have never worked in recruiting, and you haven't started BMQ yet.
 

The_Falcon

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Stacked said:
I'm still curious how skills "MAY qualify" you for a spec trade! Should have let him run with it.

The only thing that qualifies or disqualifies you for a spec trade is your CFAT results and whether or not you've completed High School.  In some cases you don't even need High School to enroll in a spec trade (ie: sonar operator)

Some specialist trades are like that, others require specific post-secondary education, but in those cases the required education is quite specific (like MP, requiring police foundations) and the folks in recruiting have a list of approved courses/instutions for each occupation.  As I explained above, the only thing prior learning can do, is in some cases you may be enrolled as semi-skilled and have some waivers granted for parts of your training.  This applies for specialist and non-specialist occupations.
 
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