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Side Project Opportunities

Side Project Opportunities

Side Project Opportunities

I received a call from my first employer out of college (Contractor Company) who mainly does small maintenance/construction inside of 2-3 local refineries whom I am very close with and have worked many projects with during employment and after.

They have these small platforms (to get to tank hatches etc...) they design and fabricate on a regular basis inside of specified refineries which don't require a specified seal. In a new refinery their client is requesting a stamp on these moving forward which is why I got the call to gauge me interest.

Being 30 years old and mainly working in the consulting world this is my first time being approached with an opportunity such as this that I actually feel comfortable doing. None of this would conflict with my current employer....however before I'm all ears to more experienced licenses as to what pros and cons and pitfalls have you guys seen associated with such work?

Thanks for any replies.

RE: Side Project Opportunities

I'd be careful about the liability here. If you make a mistake, then who pays for it, and what is being paid for? The contractor won't have professional liability insurance, so they're not going to pay for a design mistake. That'll be on you. For a refinery, you could be paying for the damaged platform, the injured (or worse) employee, or - the most expensive of them all - lost revenue for lost time at the refinery. If they have to shut down for a day to remove the failed platform and do an investigation and that investigation (and the follow on court proceedings) finger you as the cause, they can usually recoup that lost time from you. That's no small sum. As a result, a lot of places like that require engineers to have pretty good insurance. I worked in a steel mill briefly and I think we required outside engineering consultants to carry a minimum of $3M in coverage. So check on that.

If you can get over that and/or meet the requirements, then go for it. It could be your first step to writing your own ticket. I did it about this time last year and, though I'm exhausted and work like crazy, I have zero regrets.

RE: Side Project Opportunities

Probably best that former employer hires you on an hourly basis (high hourly rate, but no benefits or guaranteed hours). Then you just do the work, and it is "their" product and liability they sell to their client.

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