Education & Skills needed to work online from your Rig

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As a Van Nomad,  have you ever imagined taking FREE courses from Harvard University ?

That would kinda break the stereo type of a poor bum living over by the river in his/her Van wouldn't it ?

But Harvard has a lot of courses listed now for distance learning and they are free.  They also have others you can "audit" (meaning to sit in on just for learning...but without a certificate)  Some of these could be helpful to those working from their rigs.

Harvard isn't the only University doing this either.  Imagine a "Harvard Business School" bumper sticker on your rig ? Harvard is known for their business school if you should decide to take any free business courses.

Below two links that will take you to those resource opportunities.  First the free stuff.[min][date]=&start_date_range[max][date]=[/url.]
A few days ago PBS News Hour aired a piece titled, "Work Shift".  It starts at 38:00 minutes into the hour and (goes to 45:14) offers many insights into why there is so much need for skilled workers today, exceptionally high wages being offered to those with the skills & willing to work, and the dilemma employers are faced with in not being able to find skilled, willing to work employees.

One employer is interviewed stating plumbers today can make 6 figure incomes if they will just come and do the work, and to get plumbers he is offering on the job training with very good pay.  And it isn't just plumbing jobs. 

There is an old saying, "If ya gotta Trade, ya got it made".  Even if you are college educated and don't have a trade,  you could find an employer willing to offer well paid on the job training today.

When I first got out of school and hit the road in my rig looking for work I was among a flood of kids that occurs each year in May.  All waving diplomas and hopeful.  Fortunately I could parlay my Art training and learn the skills of layout and hand lettering so that I could work in a big Sign Shop. I quickly realized the guys who were no good at pictorial painting but could letter could do much less work and make far more money quicker than I.  So as I learned to letter with a brush and could also produce pictorials, I had a real skill. Soon I had a trade where I could work out of my rig with a minimum of tools and be my own boss.  I specialized in vehicle & window lettering (as I didn't have to build a sign, paint it and then letter it...and possibly be stuck with erecting it on site)  The vehicles and windows were already the sign, it just needing to be lettered & possibly some graphic work such as a logo.

In the many interviews I had "business school types" were always telling me, "Today the cheapest thing I can hire is brains cause everyone has sent their kids to school.  The most expensive thing I can hire is labor as no one is into sweat.  But the most rewarding thing I can hire is talent as talented people with developed skills can create wealth.......but most of them realize what they got all too soon and go into business for themselves"   I learned from that and quickly.

Recently I met an older woman on a message board who cooks on a River Tow Boat 28 days on and 28 days off.  She makes good money at it.  But she purchased this big sewing machine that can sew Quilts.
(a type of bed blanket comforter)  She is getting her daughter into business with her. As she told me everyone has to eat and sleep so she's got something for both.

A factoid presented at the end of the broadcast stated that in 2020 there were 630,000 people in the USA training as apprentices to trades.  This compared to 12 million kids enrolled full time in College & University. 

And don't forget a lot of people go into the military for a hitch to learn trades that can be used in civilian life. (and avoid trades that can only be used in the military warfare...dealing with weaponry etc)

Here is a Youtube video of the broadcast of PBS News Hour:

PBS News Hour 1/28/2021
eDJ_ said:
.... at the end of the broadcast stated that in 2020 there were 630,000 people in the USA training as apprentices to trades....

Here is a Youtube video of the broadcast of PBS News Hour:

PBS News Hour 1/28/2021
Paid training is always a good deal. Most of what I learned in the electrical trade was on the job. You rode around in a truck with somebody, they drank coffee and you did all the work. Then you had to pass tests to get your cards.
Some reading thru this thread may wonder why the discussion of Trade's when it's about having the skills to work from their rig as a Digital Nomad ?   Well,  Trades people who work self employed will likely want to have a website, facebook page listing their skill/service, and have the skills with accounting software like quick books, and so forth. 

If a person wants to work for an employer as a trades person an punch a time clock they may still need to be able to use their Cell in their work with various Apps for reporting the progress, materials they have used, etc on their job assignment.

Imagine for a woman being an elder care giver working form your rig.  You may need a website, business cards,  facebook page, and a Cell.  People will find you thru your facebook or website and review the services you can offer.  The elder person may be bedfast and asleep much of the time you are there and the man & woman of the house are at work.  If you can read aloud well,  you could read the newspaper to them when they are awake in their bed.  If you cook, you could offer to have an evening meal prepared when the working members return home in the evening.  If you have domestic skills, you can run the vacuum cleaner, dust, do some cleaning about the kitchen etc and cover a number of jobs they may have to hire several people to do.  Than can increase your value and ability to ask for a real rewarding wage. 

People with elderly family who need to be looked after know how expensive Nursing Homes are, and to get these services for a fraction of that price while still being quite rewarding to the care giver could be a good job for someone who is "domestic educated".   And they may still benefit from digital skills to let the area they live in know that they are available.  This would enable one to work in both the virtual and real world.

For awhile I had a job where I served a three year apprenticeship as a machinist.  I still carry my IAM-AW card. (International Association of Machinist & Aerospace Workers)  I was paid on the job but in those days it wasn't really high pay.  It was good pay just the same.  What is making the difference now is that so many of America's skilled workers are retiring leaving a gap.  Those who have the skills today may not be able to pass drug test etc and those wanting to work simply don't have the skills. But so many of these skills can be acquired free now online and they don't take that long to learn.
So presently there is a golden opportunity for those who would realize it and take advantage of it.

I also went thru a certification school that I paid $1500 for the 5 weeks.  It got me certified in central office telecom & fiber optic.

These are things I did beyond "school". 

If I were right out of school and doing it all over again,  I'd license a small business so that if I went to a certification school I would be able to write the cost of it off my income taxes.  This is one of the benefits of being in a small (micro) business.  You would be needing to make enough money to cover the cost of our training and then some,  but you will have some tax advantages by being in some small business.  Still a lot of people prefer to work "under the table" or for "barter".  This may work best for those who are single.
A couple of post back I mentioned a woman working as a caregiver.  That was based on a woman I know
who does these things.  She was just putting business cards on cork boards around grocery stores, hospital boards (buy & sell public interest), court house,  etc.  It was getting her work but only sporadically.

She was working for a person I knew and volunteered with.  He was in his mid 80's and just needed a domestic helper.  She was trying to build a clientele of a few dependable families that would be able to offer her 15 hours a week of work where she could offer full services at around $20 an hour.  So she asked for my help with a website and some 8 1/2 handbill advertising.

I generated this image for her to showcase her skills and suggest her ability with multitasking.


We got a legal size secretary's vinyl tablet and slid one of these under the clear vinyl cover on the front of the tablet.  So when she first met with a client she would take notes as to their contact info at work,
the needs of the one she would be looking out for, whether she would be working during the days or nights, week ends etc.  If domestic chores, what those would entail. If she were to cook for them what they would like to eat and she had numerous meal plans to offer with photos of her cooking in her face book.  She had an 6 quart instant pot pressure cooker she could bring along with her and would inquire of the appliances they had in their kitchen. If she would be expected to do any grocery shopping etc.  All of this led to making as much as $25 an hour for some clients.

She never went beyond high school in her education.  But she learned her domestic skills when growing up.   As she told me there are a lot of women who just don't want to do this work as they are educated and making six figure plus incomes now.  Her having a website and advertising,  coming to an interview with a tablet (much like a "Day Timer",  menu hand outs,  and so forth made her a cut above other people doing the same thing. 

For me the art work was simple as I lifted a graphic from a photo ready software I owned and modified it.  This was used in the website and for her handbills and establishing a "brand" for her work.

She mentioned to me that in the interviews she was often asked about the dependability of her car.  She would mention that it had a recent State Inspection sticker on the window after tires, brakes, battery, etc were all checked out and the vehicle less than five years old.  So she had dependable transportation.

She told me that often the people she was looking after were asleep m of most of the time she was there, thus enabling her to do the domestic chores and have a dinner meal on the table when they arrived home.  She figured their dinner meal if they ate out including the tip would cost at least one hour of her service.  When I asked her about cooking she indicated she had gone to the County Health Dept and had a TB skin test, and sit thru a two seminar to get her food handling certificate card. (which was free)

The purpose of this post is to assure those reading it that you may be better than you realize even without higher education, a trade, or technical skills.   If you only have a Cell and can check emails, text messages, and voice mails, you could be in business like she was.
I just learned of a program in Ohio that may be of interest to anyone interested in becoming a licensed Drone pilot. (a UAS certification...Unmanned Aircraft Systems license)  Other States may offer such courses too.

If you were to license a small business so you could work remotely from your rig, you could do aerial inspections of roofs, rain gutters, chimneys, windows of multiple story buildings, and survey's of areas that are hard to access by foot.   Commercial Agriculture is making more and more use of Drones now
to keep track of herds of animals, predators to them, and movements of crews of machines from HQ offices.   A pilot with Drones who lives in a rig could be quite useful to them and have good paying employment.  Newspapers & TV Stations may want to employ such services to get photos for their
news coverage.  Use your imagination to discover applications for a Drone Reconnaissance Pilot.

Your Drone & other equipment will be considered "capital equipment" and be deductible from your Taxes if you are a licensed small business.  If you have a dedicated Cell for this to use for video recording then it too and  it's monthly cost will be deductible.   Your accountant who would do your quarterly report will explain many other advantages you would have.  Just keep every receipt for purchases you have made.  You may need to purchase business insurance for this type of endeavor.


ODOT offering free online Unmanned Aircraft System course
Thank you Cammalu ;) 

Since I've been developing this thread I've been astonished at how much free education with certification is out there.   With a few weeks of effort anyone could get themselves set up to find any number of good paying jobs which would enable them to live well as a Van Nomad.

The woman I helped with her elder care site only travels 10 miles in any direction for work as she's driving a car.   But when I showed her this site and explained how if she had a small Van with non build basics she could extend her range or staying time at a client's place.  It had never occurred to her that "she" could do something like that.  She had never been outside the sticks and bricks to realize it until I showed her my rig.  When she was laid off her job and started house cleaning and later sitting with elderly people she explained how she felt like she had made a major break thru.  Then she laughed and told me that if she had a rig like mine she would feel like a kid again playing with her "Barbi Beach Bus" toy.
Yes. I often go online to look at small interiors and dream. Lots of she shed interiors are fun to look at and some are even quite glamorous.

And, for a smile, who could ever forget the inside of Jeanie’s bottle?

At this point of being prepared to work online from your rig, or out of it if that's the case,  it would be wise to have a web presence.  By that I mean a website.

Your website will represent you 24/7 and have the information you wish to make public to an employer or client if you are in some kind of business which will most likely be service related.

You can find cheap website host and you hear about them or see their advertisements all of the time.
Such as GoDaddy, Wix, HostGator, Hostinger, DreamHost, etc etc.  These may cost you from $40 to $100 a year and offer numerous features. One of the most common features people seem to want is a top level domain, such as a .com, .net, etc after their site's name.  But in this case of having a website
for employment that isn't that important.  So you could just use the Host name with the com after your site's name....for free.

This is all about low bucks & free.

For the purpose of this post I'll focus on an online resume site with a few photos.  One should be a good photo of yourself, dressed as though you are going to appear for an interview.  Just clean & basic.

You may have your resume typed up on a Notepad document and saved to "My Documents", or "Documents" or whatever your computers Document file is named by the operating system.  It should be short and to the point. In this case under 150 Kb in file size.

If you are working in the Trades you  may want a photo of you working at your Trade and one of your work environment there.  If you are an remote office worker a photo of your computer set up & work space.  You may want to indicate the tools you are proficient with if a Trades person or the Computer equipment & software you are proficient with if an Office worker.  Then any Certifications you have from training.

Often employers will request references.  It is wise to indicate in your resume that references will be emailed on request.

Now, if you have ever used Facebook,  using a web editor won't be that difficult.  Even posting on a message board should make using a website editor a fairly simple transition as they both look quite similar.  So you don't have to be afraid of it. You can always find others to help you out.

So for getting fixed up with a 100% Free website Host, I'll suggest "Bravenet" as they have been around for some time now and I've dealt with them since long ago.

I will list their link below to sign up for a free site. (simple and small)

Vista Print link for getting your business cards printed cheap.

And a website I put together as an example in a little over 30 minutes from registering to finish. Just for show.

So here you go.

Bravesites Free Website Print cheap business cards of a site eDJ put together in about a half an hour
Thumbs up since I can’t hit the like button any more.
I've had people say to me that they could never make their own "website".   Various reasons most frequently stating they don't know anything about HTML and those other things.  But today so much of it
is automated for the beginner working at the personal needs level that they can make a website with little
difficulty.  In fact if they can create a post like this using the CRVL post editor, place a photo or link in their post they will likely be able to make their own site using Bravesites.

As an example,  the post editor in the CRVL Forums looks like this.


The Bravesites editor isn't that much different.  Just a few other bells and whistles.  The eDJ's Free Site
sample was built using the Font (the type of type) and Size (24 for topics & 20 for typing the content),
the Insert an Image, (pictures) and Insert a Link buttons on the editor.  That simple.   If you have posted on the CRVL or other forums and have been able to post a photo or links you can do it.  It may take some time and yes you'll probably make some mistakes but the HELP button will explain how to overcome those problems.
Another nice feature of the Bravesites is that once you've created your site on a desktop computer, it will display on a tablet or cell phone screen. In the past this had to be specially optimized but web editors are getting better at serving mobile devices now days so this could be a big advantage.


If you type your resume or cv on a Notepad document and save it, then it can be uploaded into the site
you are building.  Bravesites allows you to have more than one page and I would suggest that you post your resume on a separate page so that if a HR person wants to print it from your site it won't be any problem for them to print that page.  OR,  if you are asked for a paper copy of our resume or cv when you are applying for a job in person, you could go where you can use a printer and print a copy from your site to submit to those asking for it. (it will always be handy this way)

A word to the wise,  keep your resume brief.  Try not to have it more than one page.  HR people have to read so many resumes that they often don't even look at the page 2 or 3.   So a brief resume or cv
is well received.  You may do well to have your references written on a business card to carry in your purse or wallet. (just the name, phone #, & email of each person.  Cover that in clear cellophane tape so it won't smudge.  Having this information ready to offer will make a favorable impression. 

In my resume I have scans of certificates, and documents like pictures on a separate page following the
resume page.  I've had HR people tell me that they were impressed with the ease and simplicity that reviewing my application was for them.  And that they would expect this from people in their twenties but for an older applicant it was a surprise. 

To take screen shots I have a free download  of an app called PicPick (free version).  This lets you capture anything you see on screen.  It will take awhile to learn to use but it isn't that complicated.


Free Version Download
Cammalu wrote:

Thumbs up since I can’t hit the like button any more.

Thank you Cammalu.   :blush:  LOL  If you  or anyone else reading this thread has any questions or thoughts to develop,  please ask them and I'll see what I can do to address them.

Having a website is a great way to embed your resume, photos of you on the job or samples of your work,  and copies of documents or certifications.  I would suggest not putting birth certificates, anything with your social security number, home address etc on it.  You can send copies of that if they request it via an email or snail mail.  But always b careful with secure information about yourself.

Here is a website full of sample resume's for those who may be put off by writing their own resume/CV.
Lots of people stress over putting together their own resume,  but it is important to have one even if you decide to pay someone to help them out with it.  Most HR (personnel) are looking for straight to the point info and it doesn't have to be written in fancy language.  They are looking for candidates with the skills they are seeking,  to interview.   So think of the resume as the road to the interview where you may land the job.

In other parts of the world a resume is called a CV which means, "curriculum vitae" or the record of your work life.

This site has plenty of samples for different trades & occupations.  Just find the one closest to what you do and study it for awhile.  Then open a notepad doc and put your info down similar to the way theirs
is shown.  Then save it to My Documents etc.   When you put your website together (remember, only use your email for contact info and keep your anti virus updated)  have one page just for your resume as my  "eDJ's sample site"  shows.   I often use Public Library computers if I see an email from someone replying that  I don't recognize and open that email on a Library computer as their antivirus is generally superior being an institutional level security.

Zety com resume examples
Thank you for sharing this. This Covid pandemic really did a terrible thing to lots of people. I also lost my job during this pandemic. It was hard for me to find a job because of lack of experience. After landing to one, this pandemic came and I lost the job again. I was so sad at that time that the only thing that cheer me up is when I’m playing Soul Knight on my phone which is also now available on pc. the-sims also kept me going. For a couple of months, I tried and tried to look for jobs but still failed. Maybe I should try and check out your free courses to add to my resume. And also, thank you for sharing the lists of sites where I can look for possible online jobs.
In the Blog section of the eDJ's Free Website I've posted a couple of Blog entries.

The first is for Federal Government Full & Part Time Job listings.  This site arranges them in alphabetical order.

The second entry is for State Government Jobs in all 50 States.  These may be full or part time also.

I have some other ideas to develop in it in time.

eDJs Blog page
If you're a digital nomad/former student with student loan debt that you are trying to retire there are any number of free debt management app's that may be of use to you.  Once you have a stream of income you can use any of them to find a way to pay them off within a few years.  Once those are out of the way you can begin to build a better credit rating and have the advantage of stating in job interviews that you're paying off your student loans or have retired them for good. Like "bragging rights".  It  IS  and accomplishment you can be proud of, and it could be useful in an interview with a personnel
rep to describe the kinds of jobs you engaged in to pay off your debt.

Forbes Magazine list these four app's, but there are plenty of others available with a Google search.

The Wayward Home Site features a page titled, "40+ Van Life Jobs".  (a collection of jobs you could do and what's even better is that many of 40+ offer free classes you can take to get certified in these fields so you can more easily get these jobs & better pay once in them)  This site could be quite useful for those wishing they had the skills to work online from their rig or to make better use of working online.

Forbes Magazine 4 Best Debt Management App's

40+ Van Life Jobs to make money from your Campervan or RV
This year 2021 National Ag Day will be celebrated soon.  Last year some 20,000 jobs in agriculture went unfilled.  With the worlds population now over 9 Billion producing food to feed everyone will continue to grow jobs in a wide range of endeavors.  These could be listed from science, tech, and labor, with some being performed by remote workers who are mobile.

Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.  When is Ag Day?  Ag Day will be celebrated on March 23, 2021.   National Ag Day falls during National Ag Week each year.


This year a video Podcast has received an award for promoting Ag Day.  Podcasting both audio & video is a skill that isn't that difficult to learn.  In following post I will address this skill and tools to
use in making podcast.  Podcast are often embedded in websites for business as well as resumes with job hunters. 

I have a big clean up from the flood here in the Ohio Valley starting later this morning.  I had a foot or so of water in the downstairs so I'll post more about this after the clean up. 

This video podcast in Youtube below is one of the award winners. The other was an essay.
eDJ_ said:
This year 2021 National Ag Day will be celebrated soon.  Last year some 20,000 jobs in agriculture went unfilled.  With the worlds population now over 9 Billion

Just a point of fact... The current population is between 7.6 and 7.8 billion. Estimates for future growth range from 25% by 2050 to zero percent. The estimate of zero comes from female education being the greatest correlator of birth rate, so we may actually see a stagnation.