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Author Topic: Supervisor Calibration Lab: Location: Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands  (Read 11792 times)

Offline scottbp

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I'm not job hunting, but a few months ago in an A.D.D. moment, I saw a really cool PMEL job for Raytheon in Alice Springs Australia.  It was at Pine Gap (or something like that) I think, which is outside of Alice Springs.  According to some websites I found (still in the A.D.D. moment) that place is like our Area 51, and there were reports of flying saucers doing crazy aerobatics, etc.  That would be a cool place to work.  Problem would be, then after you did a tour there, you couldn't tell anyone about it (the great advantage to not doing it, as I can share freely what I don't know).

Among other things, there is also a NASA facility out there to maintain communications with satellites and other spacecraft when they're on that side of the world. I remember seeing something about it on one of the Discovery/History/Science channels. Just like Kwajalein Atoll, anywhere there are radar and communication facilities at any little outpost in the world there is going to be a nearby repair shop with some sort of PMEL support...
Kirk: "Scotty you're confined to quarters." Scotty: "Thank you, Captain! Now I have a chance to catch up on my technical journals!"

Offline clacoste

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Well, I've been down here in Australia since 1982, starting in an instrument firm calibrating and repairing - then calibration officer at another university and now here for many years at this university.  Ex-USMC PMEL and have worked for Tektronix and the old wonderful airline TWA...Anyway...except for a few Saudi contracts I've been living here in Perth since then.  What can I say....sometimes I miss the US a little....or think about another overseas contract wherever...but mostly I'm very happy here - as are nearly all Americans who've come here.  Metrology/calibration is an oddly newish field downunder....there hasn't been the legal incentive or cultural quality impetus that other countries have had - to ensure accuracy and traceability.  Last 2-3 years things have changed.  Personally I work for a university here...very nice place..they keep threatening to downsize or eliminate my department but so far I'm still kicking...I work for a biology department, supervise a few biology lab technicians, repair and calibrate lab equipment, do some IT support.  My current salary in USD terms...$43.30 an hour...plus I get another 17% into my retirement fund (similar to 401k)...oh, and I get 4 weeks leave every year, a 2-week paid Christmas shutdown....and 13 weeks off every 7 years for what they call - Long Service Leave...2 weeks sick leave/personal leave on top of that - which accumulates if you don't use it.  In addition, I get a subsidized car (leased almost tax-free from the university) - my latest wheels are a new Jeep Patriot 4WD.  Change over every couple years...And get a new computer every year thru a tax free purchase thru the employer.  Pretty good package....I have seen a couple calibration adverts lately - they seem to pop up once a month or so here....but I'd take a 15k cut to move back into the field...Nice work but not cost effective for me...Industrial instrumentation is very much in demand - if you have the skills and experience - you can make $120 - 150k yearly working up north on a fly-in fly-out basis.
That said, if you are thinking of a change...life is good down here.  People are great, weather is fine, beaches are the best on the planet, countryside (and there is plenty of it) is beautiful - and you are a long way from the rest of the world...which has its advantages.  There is none of that $7 an hour bullsh!t you see for menial jobs in the US.  Everyone here makes a decent amount of money - it may not be great in some jobs.... but it's not that sleeping on park benches crap either.  Stacking cans at the local supermarkets is $17 (18.20 USD) an hour currently.  Oh, and we have free universal medical care....that means you won't die in the gutter because no hospital will take you because you can't pay them - or lose your home to the medical fraternity just because you got sick....or suffer in pain because you can't afford the treatment.
Disadvantages - well higher salaries mean higher costs...think Hawaii prices and add about 20%.  Taxes are higher, so are benefits....free medical, unemployment payments without end until you get a job (not long for most people - 5% unemployment here, 4% locally), good infrastructure, schools, parks everywhere, and everything works just fine down here..  Anyway, if you are considering moving someplace different - consider Australia.  My only regret is not doing it sooner....Frankly, this is the best place in the world to raise a family.
Check out this fantastic country on the web....and contact the nearest Australian embassy/consulate for the latest details on how to move here as an immigrant.  You won't regret it, and neither will your children and grandchildren.  It's a big move - and the smartest one you'll ever make.

« Last Edit: 02-12-2012 -- 14:30:33 by clacoste »


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Please stay tuned for the following message from the Australian tourism council... The previous message was a paid advertisment LOL

Offline metrologygeek

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  • Woof
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I thought it was a good, objective view of the differences between working here in the US and working down under. Just because the writer made it sound good doesn't mean its a "paid advertisement". It might just be possible that their system is a more equitable arrangement between workers and corporations. Maybe that's why it sounds good.

Offline Spacenut

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I can (mostly) second the praises of living downunder. I'm a retired 324X0 ex-E7 living on the Gold Coast of Queensland. Moved here in 2000 and was able to bring up family w/2 kids on my retirement check! {{'Course it was 2 to 1 in my favor then}} Metrology isn't prevalent everywhere but I did knock back an offer of $70k/yr because I didn't want the 1 hour drive each way to city. 
   And yes, the beaches are some of the best and that's what keeps me here.            AW


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If I was a single man I would have considered Australia for sure. I was not knockin the guy just trying to be amusing the key word there is "trying" oh well... I do have to say that it must be pretty expensive over there if the gas station attendents get over $18 an hour. Just an observation.


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