The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!


2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Recent Posts
Son of Sparky
by HotLine1
Yesterday at 07:43 PM
Speaking of Plugmold ...
by gfretwell
10/17/16 02:37 PM
Broken battery charger? Check for cobwebs!
by gfretwell
10/17/16 02:30 PM
230 or 345 kV transmission lines?
by annemarie1
10/12/16 01:23 PM
Is this a fix or just a bandaid?
by gfretwell
10/10/16 06:49 PM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 11
renosteinke 6
HotLine1 6
ghost307 5
Potseal 4
Who's Online
1 registered (Tjia1981), 255 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#15922 - 11/01/02 06:49 PM Your Apprenticeship
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Like most of us on the ECN Forums, I undertook an Apprenticeship, to acquire the skills that I now have.
I am inviting comments from members, on what they thought about their own training,
(Re the poor wages, nasty jobs and mistakes made during your training).
Don't worry we've all been there, don't be scared now.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#15923 - 11/02/02 01:44 AM Re: Your Apprenticeship
gramps Offline

Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 120
Loc: ohio
well, i'll begin this thread then, i guess. i spent the first few years bending rigid pipe with hand benders, building and installing unistrut "trapezes", (crawling around 20-30 ft. in the air, hanging from bar joists) and cranking away on the handle of a ridgid hand threader. the "grass certainly looking greener" on the residential side of the fence, i asked, after a couple of years in industrial, if i could "branch out". but, the old-timers" in the industrial division apparently liked the idea of me carrying their tools for them, loading and unloading the truck for them, and soaking up all that excess cutting oil with my clothes, for them.

ahhhhhh!....those were the days......back when "men were men, and a good helper was certainly worth his $1.10 an hour"....

#15924 - 11/02/02 03:48 AM Re: Your Apprenticeship
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
First year mostly residential with a really great company. First big commercial job was wiring a new "alternative lifestyle" bar in Boston's "combat zone" late nights on that job were really odd for a young 18 year old. Spent another year wiring a 67 unit apartment building. All old work and lived in apartments. Thats where I got my excellent wire fishing skills. Did some more commercial for a while, got license and went solo. Mistakes as a helper, drilled through new roof, drove ground rod through dishwasher, (long story), backed van into boss's truck, ran over sprinkler on lawn, broke VERY expensive crystal chandelier. Thats enough I'm starting to think I'm a dope. All that for five bucks an hour.

#15925 - 11/02/02 04:11 AM Re: Your Apprenticeship
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Myself, i've worked a good mix, with every possible boo-boo with the exception of the DW {could be a good story E-Scott..... }
in my defense, i had no knowledge of any safety practices until i got on line ....

I'm left with the notion that a large majority of the trade has little respect for a true 'apprenticeship', what obligations really exist here except 40 hrs & possible tuition reimbursment?

By the latter, what comparision can be made to the "old days", or that of the term 'appenticship' out of the US ?

My sense is a good difference......

#15926 - 11/02/02 09:50 AM Re: Your Apprenticeship
ElectricAL Offline

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 615
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA
Dishwasher?!!! Ground rod through!!!! ROTFLMAO

I started my apprenticeship in the summer between my 2nd and 3rd years of college. I'd figured that some hands-on wiring would help me with my electrical engineering studies. By pure luck, I was hired by Paul Denny, Denny Electric, Fremont, Nebraska. I don't think I could have had a better Master! I worked side by side with him. He tolerated my cocky engineer questions with good solid practical answers, and only occasionally got irritated with me. I helped with a lot of new residential construction, adding AC outlets, and smattering of just about everything else.

Thanks Paul!!!
Al Hildenbrand

#15927 - 11/03/02 03:25 AM Re: Your Apprenticeship
fedup Offline

Registered: 10/26/01
Posts: 32
Loc: alabama
When I started back in '81 I apprenticed for a man that got his card in 1936.He made me learn things the hard way (or so I thought at the time)I learned not only a trade but respect for the trade and how to take care of my employers tools (without them the job doesn't get done)A lot of the apprentices I see today think that once they finish 4th year and get to top scale the education is over.I have almost 22 years and still try to learn as much as possible (that's why I visit all of the different sites on a daily basis)and always remember the three rules of electrical contracting. the GC only yells at you because he loves you,
the longest slab feed is most likely to get broken
and the more expensive the equipment the easier it is to let the smoke out

[This message has been edited by fedup (edited 11-03-2002).]

#15928 - 11/03/02 04:05 PM Re: Your Apprenticeship
harold endean Offline

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
I started out in the trade in 1975 working for an alarm company. We installed alarms, burg. and fire and hold up stuff. Liked the work but hated my boss. Quit that job and went to work for an electrical contractor. We did everything, res., com., ind., etc. I learned a lot, however my old boss was not too keen on the code. To my advantage he made me look up the codes when ever we had to do something different. It was good for me but bad for him. He never stuck his nose in the code book after getting his lic. He made me do it. I worked for him for more than 8 years and I left at $7 per hour in 1984. I got my own lic. and went on my own.
P.S. My brother worked for my boss, but when I got my own lic. my boss fired my brother.


ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals