It’s not new that engineers leave the profession for a different calling, no matter how lucrative the pay is in their high-paying jobs. Some just manage to get a grasp of reality that they are meant to do other things.
This is the case of Jon Meier, an engineer from Pearland who gave up his engineering career and built shipping houses instead out of containers. And he says it is the best decision he has ever made.
After acquiring his aeronautical engineering degree from Purdue University in 2009, he worked in Boeing in St. Louis and in the oil and gas industry a little later in Houston. But he gave this all up for what he loves to do them most.
“My job was relatively secure, but I was watching the doors close around me. My boss was let go, and I didn’t want to be the next,” he says.
It was a good riddance. That decision allowed him to bring his vision to life, and that is to convert rejected containers into good use while still using his expertise in engineering.
“I always see these broken down containers on people’s yards and shipyards. There’s millions of them in Houston, and they go to waste.
“Then I was thinking, I can get everything done to build these tiny little homes,” Meier tells.
He is a one-man team, building the container homes all by himself on a 37-acre property in the rural area of Needville. Each model can be 20- or 40-foot long, 10-foot wide, and with varying clearance height for space maximization.
Meier sees no problem with this and even said it works on his favor.
“I wanted to build the first one by myself without anyone knowing, because I wanted to gain the confidence to know I could do it,” Meier confesses. “It was scary. I was an engineer. It was a very sturdy job. I paid a lot of money to get my degree from a good school, but when you’re comfortable with something, it’s not scary anymore.”
From there, he put up a business he calls Backcountry Containers and advertised over social media. He got the interest he deserves even as far as South America.
Moreover, this wasn’t just what happened: he earned himself a spot on the TV show “Tiny House, Big Living”.
Interested buyers can have a piece of Meier’s masterpieces for a price ranging from $25,000 to $50,000.