Veteran Employee Story – John Hull

Amtrak  |  Amtrak Wants You!  |

Published in the July/August 2010 issue of print Search & Employ®  |

John Hull, a senior analyst in utilities management for Amtrak, served in the Navy for four years, leaving as a Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class. He operated main propulsion equipment, turbo generators, and auxiliary equipment, handled JP5 fueling distribution, and repaired various types of equipment. Hull’s been in his current position for seven months; previously he was the property manager for the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.

“I work for the finance department to identify utility usage anomalies and energy conservation opportunities (ECO’s),” he said. “This includes going to site locations and performing energy audits. Once anomalies or ECO’s are identified, I work with site staff to eliminate waste by developing capital projects to address the inefficiency. Examples might be replacing inefficient lighting, fixing water leaks, or installing controls on equipment.” Hull said he came to Amtrak because it is a large and stable place to work with good benefits – and because he knew he could use his mechanical background to be successful there. He said that veterans should consider Amtrak as a place of employment because 40 to 50 percent of the Amtrak work force will retire in the next five years.

“There is an outstanding opportunity for upward mobility as many of the long-time railroaders retire,” Hull said. “I really like the multitude of opportunities across several different departments and locations. Amtrak provides the opportunity to work in every region in the U.S., as well as the opportunity to work in numerous different departments. I believe this gives an individual the ability to find their niche without having to move from company to company. I work in the finance department today, but I could just as easily work in mechanical, engineering, or transportation.”

Hull also had some advice for men and women who are getting ready to leave the military. “If they want to go into management, they should get a degree in engineering with a minor in finance, or get an accounting/finance degree,” he said. “These two career paths with give you the widest breadth of opportunities in the largest number of industries. If you are going to follow a blue collar path, which can be very lucrative, I would join the electrical union, get a technical degree in direct digital control/building automation (DDC), or get into HVAC. DDC is the wave of the future.  A good control person can make$50,000 to 100,000 a year, especially if they are union. You have to get a technical degree, such as an associate’s or trade-specific credential. There is a shortage of well trained techs. You can never go wrong as an electrician or HVAC tech.”

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers