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plasmarb

Becoming A Subby

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Hi All

 

I'm after a little advice here, i'm a fully qualifed security enigneer (Tavcom Diploma + manufacturer training) and been working in the industry for around 6 years now. I've installed & maintained multiple IP camera systems aswell as analogue systems including access control, intruder alarms with some door auto work for my current employer.

 

I'm looking/exploring the idea to become a subby. I have my estate vehicle with roof racks for ladders etc, full tools, laptop, handyset etc..

Is there much demand for self emplyed engineers? I don't want to jump out of the frying pan into the fire as such lol.

 

All advice appreciated.

Edited by plasmarb

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Hi plasmarb

 

Firstly can I ask why you want to become a subby? Whats the appeal?

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Good luck with that.


Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.


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Earn more, ability to pick / choose work, own hours,

I think you will find you cant have your cake and eat it only one of the above works as a subby

 

 

ability to claim tools etc back on tax

 

Not that I am trying to put you off here or anything but, the tax man doesn't pay you for the tools you just pay him a little less. So its not free tools its just less tax.

Personally I would have a chat with your boss about whats on your mind, you have nothing to lose if you are thinking about leaving anyway, your boss may have a better career choice for you. Being a subby is not all its cracked out to be, you need insurance and all the H&S certification cards, some co's will expect you to have up to date cards for MEWPS and platforms along with your own PPE and harnesses. You will get work from co's that don't ask for these but you wont earn the money.  

Subbies that I used have all these, I only use subbies that I know and trust.

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You better have something going on the side

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cheeky question what are getting as an employee v expecting as a subbie ?


busy twisting coloured wires & hanging off ladders....

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All you guys started somewhere so why all the negativity on these type of threads?

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It's experience talking


Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.


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All you guys started somewhere so why all the negativity on these type of threads?

i thought everyone on here were born an alarm engineer :proud:

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All you guys started somewhere so why all the negativity on these type of threads?

 

Chap has asked for advice he thinks that being a subby is easier and that he can pick and choose, that's unlikely to be the case, he thinks he will earn more, that's also unlikely unless he is happy not to pick and choose, and he thinks the tax man is gonna buy him a new set of tools.

 

Its not negativity I am all for people moving up in the world, I don't think becoming a subby is necessarily a move upwards. Especially if you think you can pick and choose. Whereas a chat with the boss about where you want your career to go, there is a good chance he will respect the fact that you want to move up and find somewhere you can move up to (If he wants to keep you) 

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Try it is the only way to find out.

 

The reality is you may not find it an easy ride, especially if your not being flexible.

 

The tax man wont buy you Jack, but the tools you buy for your work can be off set against your income to lower his tax bill.

 

I would need someone to be desperate for work and would do what jobs I had on my books, not I will do that one but not that, at the moment what jobs come in I do some are great and some are **** but work is work, iif you don't do it you don't get paid.

 

I would like to have someone at the moment that I could phone and they be available at the last minute (but that's unrealistic as they are going to try and get regular work if they can) I may drop lucky with the odd one or two, but would need long term regular work for anyone to be interested also I need someone to build a working relationship with, as I need to be able to trust them.

 

The joys of it all.

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My week so far as a subbie.

Left house at 3:30am monday, drive to Birmingham, start work at 5:30am finish at 17:00, three hour drive home, leave at 5am the next day to go to Staines, work until 18:30, two hour drive to Birmingham, stay away for night, on site at 5:30am, finish at 17:30, three hour drive home, 5am this morning, back to Staines, then over to Southampton for the afternoon, Southampton tomorrow and again on Saturday.

Picking up callouts in between, emailing constantly all day, staying on top of the other five large installs we have finishing in the next two weeks, fighting with site contractors, fighting for the hours on jobs, fighting to get equipment sent out correctly to every site, fighting for payment on time, fighting an over stressed monitoring station/tech support to get everything commissioned correctly, the battle goes on and on and on.

Actually a good week as I've been home two nights out of three.

There are two types of subbies, ones which float around on average day rate, picking up jobs from medium size companies, easier life in some respects but has the risk of being picked up or dropped when needed and you're actually not much better off for all of your troubles in the long run.

Then you have subbies which are in it to make it into a buisiness. To be this kind of sub-contractor you have to have the experience and the right contacts right from the word go. It's no good just doing 6 years of install and expecting to know every aspect of running a project and co managing a contract at the same time as installing it and dealing with the rest of the shizz. You have to go over and above what's expected, you need to position yourself so that you're invaluable and can't be easily replaced and get on contracts which normal day to day engineers can't cope with.

Or you could be lucky like me and partner up with someone who is already well established.

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My week so far as a subbie.

Left house at 3:30am monday, drive to Birmingham, start work at 5:30am finish at 17:00, three hour drive home, leave at 5am the next day to go to Staines, work until 18:30, two hour drive to Birmingham, stay away for night, on site at 5:30am, finish at 17:30, three hour drive home, 5am this morning, back to Staines, then over to Southampton for the afternoon, Southampton tomorrow and again on Saturday.

Picking up callouts in between, emailing constantly all day, staying on top of the other five large installs we have finishing in the next two weeks, fighting with site contractors, fighting for the hours on jobs, fighting to get equipment sent out correctly to every site, fighting for payment on time, fighting an over stressed monitoring station/tech support to get everything commissioned correctly, the battle goes on and on and on.

Actually a good week as I've been home two nights out of three.

There are two types of subbies, ones which float around on average day rate, picking up jobs from medium size companies, easier life in some respects but has the risk of being picked up or dropped when needed and you're actually not much better off for all of your troubles in the long run.

Then you have subbies which are in it to make it into a buisiness. To be this kind of sub-contractor you have to have the experience and the right contacts right from the word go. It's no good just doing 6 years of install and expecting to know every aspect of running a project and co managing a contract at the same time as installing it and dealing with the rest of the shizz. You have to go over and above what's expected, you need to position yourself so that you're invaluable and can't be easily replaced and get on contracts which normal day to day engineers can't cope with.

Or you could be lucky like me and partner up with someone who is already well established.

your still a subby tho,and if the co your subbing for allows you to work those hours in their name id ask just how important you are to them

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Even as a subby they have a duty of care.


Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.


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your still a subby tho,and if the co your subbing for allows you to work those hours in their name id ask just how important you are to them

It's not that they "allow" us to work those hours, most of the time they have no clue where we are or what we're doing. As long as their contracts run smoothly, customer happy, jobs finish on time, everyone's a winner. Can let anyone else step on your turf.

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It's not that they "allow" us to work those hours, most of the time they have no clue where we are or what we're doing. As long as their contracts run smoothly, customer happy, jobs finish on time, everyone's a winner. Can let anyone else step on your turf.

it gets worse..have an accident and see how invaluable you are..

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We have easy weeks and hard weeks, just been flying along lately.

tomorrow and Saturday combined I'll be getting 16 hours for about 4 hours work all in all so can't complain lol.

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We have easy weeks and hard weeks, just been flying along lately.

tomorrow and Saturday combined I'll be getting 16 hours for about 4 hours work all in all so can't complain lol.

if i was running a project/site you wouldnt set foot on it

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In fairness mate, I usually stay in hotels, just this week I had to drive home.

its not just that its the blatant disregard for h&s you show,theres not a member on here that hasnt done daft hours or ghosters in the past but you cant do it these days to many laws and penalties and if your working on major sites with clerkys/site managers a red card is coming soon

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yes but some sites arnt like that

there not but should be,give any engineer a chance to chase the money and they will,its a fine line 

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back in the day I did a few cabins...

say 500ml traveling, more than a dozen pir's, contacts, rkp, speaker, endstation, bels ect...

a day working hard just f#cks up the following day


busy twisting coloured wires & hanging off ladders....

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