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Old 09-22-2012, 11:23 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by researchhound View Post
A group of people here on PT know this about me already but many don't. I was a teacher as well - for 31 years no less.

I got into painting like many did - working in the summer back in high school. Continued to do so up through college but by then I was a crew foreman and making pretty good money for seasonal work. After I graduated I continued to paint in the summers - but as an employee of a company rather than as an independent as many teachers do. Eventually I partnered up with two other painters and we co-owned a company for almost twenty years. I put up the "seed" money for the formation of the business, painted full time in the summers, and then did all of the paper work and most of the bids for the business during the school year. Eventually I sold my part of the business and didn't paint at all during the last seven years of my teaching career - didn't need to and didn't really want to. When I retired in 96, I started getting calls from people wanting me to paint. So... I went and got my license (again) and formed a new company. Now my wife and I are doing very well as a team doing only interior work.

I enjoyed my career as teacher but I also enjoyed my work as a painter. In teaching your work is never done. No matter how much you accomplish there's always more you would have liked to completed and it's often impossible to truly measure what you think you did accomplish. Likewise, it is not a linear type profession - you never get from point A to point Z in the same way. Physically, emotionally, and mentally it can be one of the most demanding professions there is. Yes, you do get time off during the holidays (one of my favorite things since I could be home with our kids) and summers, but in my case I'd usually start painting the day after school was out and would often still be doing so weeks into the start of the new year. The benefits were good but overall the pay sucked. "You don't go into teaching to get rich", is a saying that has a solid foundation of truth in it.

For me, painting during the summers was almost therapeutic. Paint never talks back and you can work out a definite plan of attack for each job and usually follow it through to completion. You can also step back and see your results at the end of each day and when you are done - you know it. You get paid and then move on to a new project. I love what I am doing now. But I would not go back and trade my career in education for anything. That's brought back to me when I get calls out of the blue from former students just wanting to say, "Hi". Or get a college graduation or wedding invitation. I get requests from former students for letters of recommendation once or twice a year. About two years ago I had the honor of writing one for a young man applying to be a teacher in a nearby town - he got the job. The "friend" who's a lieutenant commander in the navy and whose letters from his assignment in Djibouti I have post here - is a former student.

I can sympathize with FP and his desire to find a new path in life. Teaching is far from the "easy" profession many outside it seem to think it is. I just hope he thinks through his decision carefully and plans his exit strategy using his intelligence and not just his emotions. Yes, the skills he's developed as a teacher will serve him well in business. I know mine have. But they will do so in many other fields besides painting so I hope he gets a taste of what the profession is all about before doing anything rash.
I got kind of a ***** just now
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:18 PM   #82
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^ Jeesh - get some control over those baser instinct would ya'?
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:27 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by FuturePainter9 View Post
I'm making $62,000 now but quite miserable. My simple, yet not so simple question is, can I make $40,000 - $60,000 per year on average after my first year or so?
I made more than that in Arizona working alone almost all the time and I know that New York wages are much higher.

If you present yourself properly, you can bid higher than most other painters and get the work.

I can't believe you want to get out of teaching. Don't you get a good pension from the State?

My mother and father in law are both retired school teachers and they not only retired millionaires, they make more money retired than they did working. You won't get that from painting, unless you are incredibly smart with your money, which is another ballgame all together.

You are working in a clean environment now and want to move into working in chemicals and paint fumes and having to wear respirators and all of the negatives that go with painting? You'll get burned out of painting someday too. You'll dread painting someday too. Every job has its ups and downs and negatives. How you handle those are really all in your head.

Why do you want to get out of teaching? What's the motivating factor?

If you want to learn how to make the big bucks painting, get my painters revenue guide for free and learn all of my tricks.
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