Roller coaster careers - advice needed!

Sunday, June 30, 2013 7:12 PM
sirloindude's avatar

Or an airline! Honestly, I get far more opportunities to actually get out there and ride things than I ever did working at a park.

I think it's important to do what you love for work because you're going to be doing it for the better part of your life, but you have to decide if certain things make a better hobby than a career path. I went to school for mechanical engineering in hopes of getting into ride design, and though I got the degree, I wound up not even becoming an engineer. A lot of that was my fault despite the horrible economy I got into, but I found a career that is not only enjoyable, but has allowed me to travel like I never could have imagined possible. If I stuck it out with amusement parks, my track record would probably be cut in half.

All that said, I think designing rides would be totally cool, but for me at least, I worry that it would possibly kill my enthusiasm. Burnout is very real. In my case, my last park job was a Ride Operator on Top Thrill Dragster in 2006. This year is the first year since that job where I've been desperate to get back out there.

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

Sunday, June 30, 2013 10:01 PM

The valued comminalities of the amusement park industry and the rest of the corporate world is finance and legal.

Perhaps you or anyine else who is interested can choose that path. If it works out...great....if it doesn' least there are countless other ways to use your skills.

Just a thought.

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

Sunday, June 30, 2013 11:58 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I also wanted to be a ride designer when I was growing up. But, this was back when there were no advanced computers. An idea for a new ride, or coaster, had to be worked with by many different people who had specific tasks. With computers, they can feed all the information into a computer, and the ride will practically design itself, and cut the time the design process down to a fraction of what it used to be. So, there really isn't a great need for the large team effort anymore.

I still have some ideas for some pretty wild coasters, but most of them have all been built, as if someone read my mind. As well as some thrill rides. But, my main interest lately has been designing ride through, or walk through haunted houses. Or maybe even a haunted roller coaster. Though, the designs I want to build would be quite elaborate, and from what I have seen of rides Disaster transport, parks want to say they have a special effects ride, than not put in the effects. Of course I am not talking about rides like the ones a Universal, mine would be different.

Besides that, I also want to get into Arcade design, and coming up with games that people can actually win, or at least be easier to win. There is nothing sadder to me, than seeing a child cry, because they got ripped off of all of their allowance money trying to win a cheap stuffed toy. I am all for the trade up scale. Where people can trade up the toys they have won for a better toy. Our carnival did that, and they made tons of money, as people were eventually satisfied with their toy, and didn't go after spending $100.00 to win the big stuffed bears or Tiggers.

I'm guessing there is probably more demand for park planners, and landscape artists, and theme artists. Then there is for designing coasters. But, lately parks have been hiring regular planners, then theme park planners, as it is cheaper for them in the long run. It's not an easy business to get into. But, being a regular park employee probably is.

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Monday, July 1, 2013 12:44 AM
ThatStrangeKid42's avatar

Timber-Rider said:

I still have some ideas for some pretty wild coasters, but most of them have all been built, as if someone read my mind.

I actually made a RCT3 looping coaster named "Leviathan" long before the Gigacoaster. Funny coincidence, but, oh well...

Monday, July 1, 2013 2:03 PM

And actually, you don't have to work directly in the theme park industry at all to maintain your focus ON the theme parks. I am working on a book regarding certain theme parks, quick histories, planning stays at these parks, what you will find for coasters, etc. Whether or not it will sell enough to be worth anything is unknown at this time, but I am not affiliated with the parks and still get to try to work NEAR the industry.

Last edited by bunky666, Monday, July 1, 2013 2:04 PM

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Monday, July 1, 2013 2:22 PM
Carrie J.'s avatar

The best career advice I can think of surrounds being as open-minded as possible about the opportunities that you seek and that present themselves to you. Focusing on the culture of an organization that has opportunities doing the kind of work you have the most talent to do is far wiser than limiting yourself to a specific industry.

One of my mentors taught me to choose the thing that offers the most choices. That has served me well over the years.

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

Monday, July 1, 2013 2:26 PM
LostKause's avatar

Yea. I was going to mention that too. Take Jeff, for example. He owns a few park-related websites that get him very close to the parks, but he doesn't work for them. It's not his main job, but I wonder if he considers it a second job?

There are many career path you can choose that would get you close to the parks but not working at the parks. You could be the guy who delivers goods to the park. You could work as in advertising sales at a newspaper of TV station and have a park (or two) as your client.

I hope this topic is getting some younger people's gear turning in their head.

Monday, July 1, 2013 3:04 PM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

If you're familiar with the latest in broom technology, you could be a midway sweep.

Honestly, if you're *really* familiar with the latest in broom tech, I'd suggest trying out for the Quidditch team - top-rated players can make big bucks!

Monday, July 1, 2013 9:41 PM
Jeff's avatar

LostKause said:

He owns a few park-related websites that get him very close to the parks, but he doesn't work for them.

That's not entirely true. I've been doing contract work for the industry on and off almost since the beginning. That's part of the reason I don't participate in rumor mongering, and there are a lot of things I don't comment on because I know the real situation.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Monday, July 1, 2013 10:34 PM

Aw, c'mon, give it up. We won't say anything.


Monday, July 1, 2013 11:47 PM
ThatStrangeKid42's avatar

RCMAC said:

Aw, c'mon, give it up. We won't say anything.

Or will we...?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 12:08 AM
Jeff's avatar

Why are you quoting the previous post?

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 7:27 PM
ThatStrangeKid42's avatar

Sorry, I just get so excited about things, I often don't see what I'm doing. But I think I brought up a subtle but valid point there. We people like to talk, and might not realize what we say. It's a natural mistake. No offense to anybody here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 8:48 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Uh oh. We've been around this block before. Overly excited, overly confident in the quality of his own posts, won't listen to the advice of long time regulars. Not this again...

R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 8:54 PM
ThatStrangeKid42's avatar

That's not exactly true. I don't see myself being too confident in my posts, seeing as I've only been a member of Coasterbuzz for a few months. I'm just trying to be helpful - and hopefully get help in return. Like I'm what I'm trying to in this topic. Just tryin' to look out for myself here, you know?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 9:09 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Please, just don't turn into another Tyler. You seem enthusiastic, and pretty intelligent, so just take the advice of those of us who you see posting regularly, and you'll find your groove.

R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
Tuesday, July 2, 2013 11:56 PM

I haven't been posting here constantly for about 5 days. As I've said before, this website has spurts of addictiveness with me. That and the fact that I've found a forum that is all nolimits and have been working hard on is why the posting has slowed down.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 2:14 AM
sws's avatar

Can we recommend a good 12 step program to deal with your addiction??

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 2:16 AM

No. I'm not addicted to it anymore. My plan was the "more nolimits" program.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 3:25 AM

Tsk. It's never a good idea to substitute one addiction for another.

Like the time I had to start smoking again to get off the patch...


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