I've been working for 7 years as an RF Design Engineer, but now I want to get out of it despite a strong analog and RF knowledge base of discrete design (which isn't getting used at all).
The RF engineer seems more involved with manufacturing - more than anything else. I just hate manufacturing and in general I just don't feel that an RF Engineer is a very good job. It seems more like an auto mechanic job without the grease to me. But the real issue with me is lack of design opportunity and being forced to test stuff out on a production floor. I just don't feel like I should have gone to college for menial tasks.
So, after all these years of working, I've come to the conclusion that I should have gotten my PhD in electrical engineering - so I could do design work.
By the way, I've got a BSEE from a UC school and an MSEE from USC. I'd like to get into the type of work that has nothing to do with manufacturing and nothing to do with testing stuff in a lab. As a side note I do enjoy lab work a lot - just not at work - on a factory floor with production workers - it isn't the same at all.
Moving forward (and away from manufacturing environments)
Is it realistic for me to change careers into something like firmware or even software given my EE background (almost no computer classes). I did take an HDL class and we used Xilinx FPGAs (totally fun). I have messed around with small microcontrollers as well - but I wouldn't describe myself as advanced in this area - but see no reason why I could not find an entry level job in this domain (other than no interest from industry!)
I think a large part of the problem is that I have a lot of experience in analog and RF circuits. So, the only companies that have an interest in my resume want me as an "RF Engineer" - however the issue I have with an RF Engineer Position is that it's too grunt with nearly zero design - not the reason I got a BSEE and MSEE.
Any help is appreciated!