Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by juanisthebigdog, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. juanisthebigdog

    juanisthebigdog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    What does everyone think about my situation. I work for The Texas Dept. of Corrections i make about 31,000 a year I have retirement I have medical insurance that is ok. Right now am making about 1000.00 a month doing yards I also attend college I need about 14 more classes to get my bachelors in Education. My problem is that am happier doing yards that I am at work. I have 2-echo 230 trimmer, 1-echo 230 edger, craftsman 48inch deck tractor, 2-lawnboys mowers, 1-toro mower,1-murray mower (backup) 2-echo blowers,1- echo hedger, 1-craftsman vacuum blower, 7 1/2 X 12ft. trailer with 4ft. mesh all the way around and a 95-Ford F-150. So I think I would be ok on equipment.I have about 20 yards twice a month. I even started cleaning houses. I dont mind the hard work. I am going to have to switch to graveyard shift at the prison in order to keep going to school. What would You Do? Stay at the prison and school or find more yards and stick with lancscaping and school
  2. stexasrookie

    stexasrookie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Sounds familiar. If you really want my advice.... keep doing what you are doing for about 6 months. Save all you can, which isnt easy. Get your name in the yellow pages (remember it takes a year to print) when the ad comes out, quit the dept. of corrections, buy commercial equipment of the best quality you can afford, make sure your truck is reliable and get going. Dont flat out quit right now, get your name out first.
  3. cajunboy

    cajunboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Thats a tough decision. I just made a similar one myself. I was employed as a store manager for a large grocery chain here in Baton Rouge, La for 11 years. I was making 65k a year with benifits and retirement and in A/C. Had been misrible for 2 or 3 years and finally made the decision to quit. I figured if I am going to work hard I would do it for myself. I was on salary and worked horrible hours. Now I work when I want and as long as I want. I cashed in my retirement and bought my equipment. I work alone and usually home by 1:pm and I just started in July. Oh and now I have 3 accounts for that same grocery chain. I do there lawncare and make almost the same money as I did when I left. The only downfall is I don't have medical insurance. Next year I plan on hiring a guy to help me and pick up somemore accounts. Hope this helps. Do lawncare by day school by night.
  4. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489

    Keep the day job and continue enjoying the extra cash.
  5. lawncutr

    lawncutr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Go for what stex says....I think yellow pages is a little bit of a waste, you can advertise in neighborhood newsletters for cheaper and pass out a lot of a Scag 36 adjustable deck mower and you can mow 8 yards a day by yourself. (throw the weedeater guard away and go for it)...get your degree no matter what though.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I'm confused why you are attending college to get your degree in Ed.? I guess you need to decide whether you want a career as a LCO, a Corrections Officer, or as a future teacher...or some combination of 2 of these fields.

    Only you know this answer.
  7. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Stick with the job until done with school. Regular hours and less chance you'll miss any class due to putting out fires with customers. It's working out ok now and is contributing to your retirement which I hope your employer is matching. Let's suppose you leave there went employers contribution and what about med insurance? I'm sure you're carring work comp on yourself but that won't pay for a trip to doc. because of flu or other ailment. It's a few months stick it out. Maybe while your there you can find out how one of the prisoner work programs works and have a cheap crew. there are companies here that hire them, saw and article in the paper about it a few weeks ago. Swift Trucking uses them for bodyshop work.
  8. The Captain

    The Captain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    This may be unwanted advice from a 'Sixty-Something" old guy. Finish your eduction. Another fourteen hours is nothing, compared to the time, money and work you've already put in. Once you have that degree, regardless of the field, no one can take it away. Should something happen that you, can't continue as a lco, you've got something (that degree) to help you out.You didn't say anything about family status, but your actions now will impact that situation also. I wish the best for you and believe just because you've asked, you're smart enough to make the right choice.

  9. wagner17

    wagner17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I would definitely say to finish up your degree in Education ... but that being said, with education the way it is today, it will be difficult to find a job. Unless you have a specialty or a connection, in decent districts there can be as many as 500 applicants per position. In the lesser districts, it is easier to find a job, but it is easier for a reason - the pay and the type of kids. I have been a teacher for 9 years and cannot wait until the end of this year to quit my job. Granted I am a Special Education teacher who deals mostly with children labled as severly emotionally disturbed, but I have seen it all. At my school I have been choked, had a student attempt to stab me, have broken up numerous fights, have seen my share of drugs dealt, had a male student nearly beat a female student to death, and am faced daily with complete disrespect of authority - and this is not just the special ed. kids, but regular ed. kids as well.

    I hate to rant, but I have 2 master's degrees and have been working 9 years and I still don't make what my wife made her first year in the corporate world!! Money isn't everything, but you will make less as a first year teacher than you will as a corrections officer, and trust me the clientle is very similar (I was in law enforcement for several years before teaching). I have been doing lawn care part-time with a buddy during the summer for 5 years and will be making the transition to full-time and I cannot wait!!! Fortunately, my wife makes a fantastic living and has great benefits, so I can afford to do this.

    You've got to finish your degree as something to fall back on, but don't count on education as a step up. Just as in corrections, it takes a special person to be a teacher - especially these days! I hear a lot of people say how lucky I am to be a teacher and have summers off, but trust me, the lack of pay and the fact that you will need 2 1/2 months to recover cancel out that benefit. There is nothing like being your own boss, being outdoors, and having ultimate control of how much money you CAN make.

    Sorry to go on, but I am truly excited about going full-time this year, and just had to vent about all the reasons why I will not miss being an educator.

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