Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Is $33,000 enough to live in Denver?
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 2 of 3.  <<First   <Prev   1  2  3   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By GhaMby
From Heaven
Jun 6, 2012
I just sent my 'future' supervisor an Email asking if there was any lee-way on pay/steps and how long I should expect to be bumped from a GS-5 to a 7, and if there is some form of loan forgiveness. I hope that I don't burn any coming bridges especially since this job would be perfect (except that it's in the big city instead of cozy bishop!!!). I really want to get my foot in the federal door, if the job isn't as cool as I think it is hopefully I can find something with the forest service in timbuktu, or wyoming.

Does anyone have any experience negotiating a federal job? Who do I negotiate with, they supervisor or HR? Being that I have very little engineering experience (4 months of interning), I probably don't have a lot of leverage, especially in today's market.

Thanks again for the help/advice. I did figure that I should get 20 days a year paid leave plus 13 sick days, is there a way to combine those? I really want to go back to spain.

FLAG
By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jun 6, 2012
Stoked...
take the bloody job... foot in the door etc. If you like the job and excel at it the money will follow. I would kill for a professional job in denver. . . well not kill but u get the point.

FLAG
By GhaMby
From Heaven
Jun 6, 2012
Morgan Patterson wrote:
take the bloody job... foot in the door etc. If you like the job and excel at it the money will follow. I would kill for a professional job in denver. . . well not kill but u get the point.


I'd kill to climb as well as you do, well not kill, but you know. . . anything but work hard!

FLAG
By ErikaNW
Jun 6, 2012
Rapping off the Matron October, 2010
Take the job. The salary might be low, but since it's a federal job I would take a close look at how much your benefits package is worth - especially your health insurance. Take that plus your vacation time (20 days is a LOT for a new hire - did you include all the federal holidays in that number?) and figure out your total compensation package. Sounds like this may be your first job and you admittedly don't have a lot of experience in the field - they may feel they are taking a bit of a risk on you as it is. Go in there, work hard, prove your worth (asking them on day if you can take a bunch of time off to go back to Spain will probably dampen their enthusiasm for you - just sayin'...) and see where it takes you. Good luck! And yes, you can absolutely live on $33k in Denver, just depends on your lifestyle.

FLAG
By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jun 6, 2012
Stabby
Most people don't get anywhere near that kind of personal time off, nor the other bene's that come w/ a Fed job. Also, a lot of professions have taken big hits in pay scale. You are sort of looking a gift horse in the mouth.
As for your finances, you are going to have to come up w/ a good chunk of change for a down payment on a house which will take a few years if you are starting from scratch. I'm ignoring the dichotomy of your professed desire to keep up the vagabond lifestyle of a climber and also wanting to hook up w/ a significant anchor in a house.
The biggest key to deal w/ your income level is DO NOT START UP W/ KIDS YET. Then you'll be fine.

FLAG
By GhaMby
From Heaven
Jun 6, 2012
DB, I don't want to buy a house right now, I just want to rent a house. If I wanted to buy I'd need a combined income of $100,000, which isn't going to happen any time soon. Also I'm a vet so I should be able to get a VA home loan for the first house, but that's 5 years or mor from now, and in a place I know I want to live.

FLAG
By Ben Beard
From Superior, AZ
Jun 6, 2012
roo, my only son, the stare that takes down a herd of 'stock
For a guy with a masters in enviro and undergrad in civil, I would think that there would be entry level jobs in the consulting world out there. A lot of these consulting firms have office in big cities like Denver, Vancouver, Salt Lake City, etc. $33k seems like an insanely low salary for your education. I know the mining world is taking undergrad civil engineers and starting them off at above 60k.

FLAG
By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jun 6, 2012
Stabby
sweagan wrote:
DB, I don't want to buy a house right now, I just want to rent a house.

Are you going to initiate a "Where should I live?" thread?
If you do, I predict the responses will follow a pattern similar to this:
Boulder
Boulder
Boulder
Boulder
Boulder
Golden
Boulder
Me: Lakewood
Boulder
Boulder
Golden
Someone: The Highlands
Golden
Boulder
Boulder

Boulder and some of Golden excluded; plan on house rent around $1200-$1400, $200-$350 in bills. Don't forget lawnmowing.

FLAG
 
By Princess Mia
From Vail
Jun 6, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks
You can get a job at McDonalds and make more, good benefits and flexible schedule....and if you get fired who cares....... Just saying......33k is an insult!!!!!!

Golden
Golden
Golden



LOL

FLAG
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jun 6, 2012
If you are considering a fed job, just getting your foot in the door can be very worthwhile & that's where having the veteran's prefenence pays off. Although the starting salary and pay grade (GS-7?) may kind of suck, usually engineers are on a career ladder and you gan work your way up to a GS-12 (~$80k) pretty easily without having to compete for promotions. Plus once you're in the fed system it's easier to post for internal openings and transfer to other agencies.

I started out in a similar situation many years ago, unfortunatley taking a job in Atlanta as a GS-7 engineer, but was able to escape the south within 2 years and make it to Denver, and then worked my way to a GS15 pretty fast. As I reacall unemployment was around 14% when I graduated from college, so hang in there, it could be worse!

FLAG
By Hayden
Jun 6, 2012
Water Resources huh? My firm is looking for someone. Have a look at the job posting and let me know what you think.

lytlewater.com

The company pays 100 percent of my families health care, has given me a Christmas bonus every year including 2008, and is pretty flexible when it comes to dealing with life before work.

FLAG
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jun 6, 2012
More on the fed system questions. There is very little wiggle room for managers to negotiate salaries, especially right now, so don't expect much from that. If they give you credit for military time you start off at 6 hours per pay period annual leave = 20 days/year (not what the normal starting leave is for the general applicant). Sick leave and annual leave are not able to be combined and you're not supposed to use sick leave unless you're actually sick. You can take leave without pay or sometimes earn comp time for overtime work to bank time for big trips. I did that for a couple of expeditions. Plus, remember you're in Denver, you can leave work in the evening and get almost a full day's worth of climbing after work. PM me if you want and I can give the whole run down on the fed system.

FLAG
By GhaMby
From Heaven
Jun 6, 2012
I already know where I want to live, as close to downtown Denver as possible, hopefully in a house with a yard and a garage. I was hoping my wife wouldn't have to work the first 6 months so she could get her thesis written up, but we'll see about that.

FLAG
By plantmandan
From Brighton, Co
Jun 6, 2012
J Tree after blizzard
I work for the Fed in Denver. Like any employer, there is the good and bad. The best part is the benefits. The worst part is the massive amounts of red tape.

There are a few details that you should fully understand about the offer before you take it. Is this position Temp, Term, or Permanent? If it's permanent and if you work for three years, you become a priority hire in the eyes of the Federal Government. That will broaden your future opportunities significantly. If it's Term, find out where the funding for your position comes from before taking it. If your funding is not solid, this job may not last long. If it's Temp, it's probably not worth it as you don't get the benefits.

You have nothing to lose negotiating your salary, but unfortunately it's unlikely they will budge. As far as salary goes, you will be pretty much locked in based on where you start. Your pay will increase gradually over time but not by a lot. They do have a matching 401K that will add to your overall compensation if you contribute, and health insurance is relatively affordable, so you need to factor that in as well.

PM me if you have any additional questions.


FLAG
By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Jun 6, 2012
As a vet be sure to check in with these guys: veteransgreenjobs.org/

They have lots of connections with companies that really want to hire vets.

Good luck,
Mal

FLAG
By PosiDave
Jun 6, 2012
I wouldn't take less than 40k. I am a Graphic Designer and make 45k in a more expensive state and it is hard to pay loans and lives off anything less than 40ish (I am in same loan range)

FLAG
 
By boman
From Boulder, coloRADo
Jun 6, 2012
moon hill
Oh man, 33k for engineers... I'm going to be hosed when I'm done with my masters with even more debt. But still, it's definitely livable here... even comfy on student loans.

The big thing about Denver compared to other cities that don't suck: RENT IS CHEAP. You can live in an apt Cap Hill / Cheeseman / other parts close to downtown for under 600 / month with roomies. Don't live east of Denver... it's lame and further from mountains. But if you want a yard & garage try Wash Park or Wheat Ridge. I may have a few leads on housing... shoot me a message if you want.

Also check out padmapper.com/ it makes looking for housing a lot easier.

GOOD LUCK!

FLAG
By GhaMby
From Heaven
Jun 6, 2012
If my wife gets a job we should be able to afford $1000 a month, but otherwise we'll be looking at $600, hopefully without roommates.

FLAG
By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Jun 6, 2012
As far as I know, working for the Feds counts as public interest work and should entitle to you to loan forgiveness. That would mean making the minimum loan payments for 20 years and assuming you work those 20 years in the public sector, they forgive the difference at the end of the 20 years.

FLAG
By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Jun 6, 2012
It's actually 10 years (120 qualifying payments). The only issue, which no one knows yet due to the novelty of the program, is what are the tax implications at the time of forgiveness.

While the salary isn't that great, the benefits are likely great, which you need to consider in calculating the value of the compensation package. You may be able to get a private sector job that pays an additional $10k, but the employer may have crappy benefits, e.g. expensive or non-existent health insurance.

FLAG
By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jun 6, 2012
Stoked...
sweagan wrote:
I'd kill to climb as well as you do, well not kill, but you know. . . anything but work hard!


Hahah... ya unfortunately that's the only thing that will get ya up the grade ladder.

FLAG
By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Jun 6, 2012
OMG, I winz!!!
My wife and I have supported a child and own our own house in Westminster on under $40k the last two years. I wouldn't say it was fun but it's definitely do able. No child helps out quite a bit as would income from your spouse. Our situation was temporary (a couple years) and we'll be making more than double that starting in the Fall but it's doable for a while.

FLAG
By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jun 6, 2012
Stabby
sweagan wrote:
If my wife gets a job we should be able to afford $1000 a month, but otherwise we'll be looking at $600, hopefully without roommates.

This, plus you want to be close to downtown means your best bet at first will be Capitol Hill, maybe something in the Highlands if you can get lucky. Start out at CH with a 6 month lease, then figure out where to from there. But you can get part of a house (they sectioned a lot of them off into dwellings) w/out roommates

FLAG
By Jeffrey Dunn
Administrator
Jun 6, 2012
Don't have any advice, just wishing you good luck man!

FLAG
 
By GhaMby
From Heaven
Jun 7, 2012
Thanks all for the advice. I certainly won't turn down the offer if its the only one I get. I'm sure I'll get by with this pay but not ahead.

FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 2 of 3.  <<First   <Prev   1  2  3   Next>   Last>>