Re: What to expect in the Tech field?
It's NOT a good idea to go into the repair trade. I'm in it now but only part-time since there just isn't enough work to go full-time. It suits me because I'm only using it to move onto greener pastures in the future and to keep my 'hand in' so to speak.
I work for a callout company right now and whilst that's all well and good, there are pros and cons in going through a company that I'll (briefly) try to outline.
You get your taxes dealt with (not sure what the score is on taxes in the US.)
You get jobs allocated to you without having to search for them yourself.
You can always put on your CV that you've worked for 'X' company for 'X' amount of months.
People will haggle regardless because they think you're self-employed no matter what you tell them. This might not sound like much, but it can really try your patience.
If you don't have the right tools and your own reliable transport you don't stand a chance.
Sometimes a job will only be as fast as the customers system will allow and for that you very often get disgruntled customers despite it not being your fault (since they will pay via the clock.)
If you get called to a rough area it can be VERY scary. I've done jobs all over Manchester including some of the hellish-rough areas like Gorton, Rusholme, Longsight, Salford, etc. You literally feel that sometimes you aren't going to walk out of the building in the same physical state as when you walk in... or at least will all your belongings (and wallet) in tact.
Apart from that, I have to say I enjoy this kind of work. Especially when you help out and do a good job for somebody that appreciates it.
One final word of warning:
I worked full-time in a small lab. Yep it's great for the first 2 weeks, but then it gets BRUTALLY depressing. Go for field work if you choose to go down that road.