I have a degree in Biology, with a Chemistry minor, and I have monitored the swarming behavior of motor vehicles for the last 6 years for the City of Eugene. Part of my job there was drawing and/or approving temporary traffic control plans for work in the City's right-of-way.
I learned to draw traffic control plans while living in San Diego in the mid-90's. I ended up working all over So. Cal. for about 3 years, until I moved back to Reno in 2000.
In my search for what I want to be when I grow up, and the necessity for continuing income, of which there is currently none (having left my City job when I moved), I called a flagging company that I had worked with and offered my services. They allowed as how they would be "stupid not to take advantage of my experience" (their words). So, I'm again an independent contractor preparing traffic plans for this company. They will have me working all over, including Vancouver, WA.
It's actually kind of fun - I get to satisfy my inner geek by playing with the cad program I have, and I know that I'm doing a service by drawing a plan that will keep the workers and the traveling public safe.
I got one plan done today - getting used to the program again slowed me down. I'm also waiting for a call from the utility to clarify the work they're doing. The next few that are in the mail (20 locations in Salem - woot!!) shouldn't take so long.
It will be interesting to get feedback from the company about my work. It's very different from what their in-house people do (using a cad program allows for more accuracy and detail). We'll see!
Anyway, it's good to be working, even though it isn't necessarily steady, it's something!!