Thanks. Teaching pays terribly. The going rate for the type of schools I teach at, and the kind of classes I teach, is about $3k a semester. if you teach 3 classes a semester, you're making $18k a year before taxes. FT and tenured jobs are extremely scarce and getting rarer, so insurance and benefits are nowhere to be had. Staff jobs in education are a little better, I just quit a job as a shop tech at a "top" school here in NYC. The students were paying $45k/year for their degrees, and I was getting $37k with union mandated 3% raises (inflexible rate). Benefits were good, but it was the most stressful, soul crushing job I've ever had, and in the end it wasn't worth it. after taxes, I was making around $500 a week for basically running the entire sculpture department. and living in NY, my rent is around $900/mo for one bedroom, not to mention transit, food, etc. Was ending up with about $500/mo after living expenses.
Fabrication pays better, in large urban markets like NYC or LA, I can make around $55k. However, it's very difficult to find jobs that have any benefits at all, most of them are long term 1099 freelance gigs. and the hours are long and physically very demanding. Part of the reason I'm trying to get out of it is that continued exposure to particulates and vapors over the last decade has given me some health issues.
As I alluded to before, I've decided to go back to school to be an engineer/designer. That way I can still use the skills and knowledge I've acquired over the last 15 years, but move forward and not have to be in the grit in the shop all day everyday, and hopefully make a bit more money. It is a passion of mine, and I know what to expect as far as the ups and downs, and I know I can manage those. I'll do motos on the side for fun and maybe a little profit.