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#163264 - 05/04/07 07:53 PM Need Advice on getting my foot in the door
LineC Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 2
Loc: VA
Here is my situation. I am 25 years old and currently in the Air Force for the last 7 years. I have no desire to get out of the air force but want to learn this trade and eventually get a journeyman's license. I have self taught myself pretty well with electricity but have no formal or apprenticeship experience. Very eager to learn this trade and work along side a licensed electrician and go to classes. I also have 9000 dollars to spend on a one time certification course through GI and VA benifits through the military.

Question is:
What are the better online schools to learn this trade. I know an apprenticeship would be better but I can not commit to a full time job while I am in the military. I think a online course would be best for me for this reason. Is there one out there that stands out from the rest?

Also for you business owners would you ever consider a person in my situation as a helper/apprentice. I can only work about 3 days a week 7am till 12 and some weekends. I have a security clearance and am already taking random drug testings. I have my own transportation and tools also. I am not scared to work, and can dig trenchs and crawl through crawlspaces with the best of them. My only downside is I need to be able to almost pick my own hours and I would be picking your brains constantly.

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#163266 - 05/04/07 10:59 PM Re: Need Advice on getting my foot in the door [Re: LineC]
Niko Offline
Member

Registered: 08/17/06
Posts: 358
Loc: Campbell, CA
Welcome to the forum.
As a small business owner, one man shop, i would love to work with someone like you.
I would not mind the part time hours, and wou love to pass on the knowledge and experience that i have gained over the years.

As far as schooling, i would recommend a city college if you can. On line courses you do not have interaction with students, and instructors where a live person brings in work related quetions and work experience where the whole class room learns from.

Others please pitch in.
_________________________
Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live


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#163268 - 05/05/07 01:22 AM Re: Need Advice on getting my foot in the door [Re: Niko]
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
What state or states do you plan to reside in after EAS? (Although it sounds like you're staying in...) I would look into what those states require in terms of requirements. Many wont allow on-line education, or are otherwise restrictive in what they accept as experiance - some are down right nepotisistic about it IMO and make it hard for guys like you, (and myself when I was the Marines) to enter the trade.

I had an electrical backround in my occupation in the service, but was much different that what would be considered an Electrician in the industry outside. (kind of a motor controls and power supply troubleshooter, diesel mechanic and occasional lineman work) So what I did was pick up odd jobs helping EC's off-base, and later I landed a job with Base Maint. attachment as a regular job for a while. (No easy task, but I was persistant.) Ended up working on Air Field lighting at Camp Pen... But none of that counts as experiance in most states! Recently the one I call "home" now became one of them.

Bear with me as I try to skirt the (tabboo) political aspects without PM'ing you, as others may need this type of information as well. As avoiding the topic only would be a dis-service.

On-line education, or for that matter even class-room education unless it is from a specific source is often not counted as many states have conveluted their licensing laws and entry to the trade through organizations that like to control the workers in the state. Union and Merit organizations alike - both want you to make money, and both want you give some of it to them for the priviledge of legally being able to work under the laws they purchased from the various State governments. Both types of organizations are either not savvy, or flexible enough to provide on-line education that counts in many states, or willing to count any experiance that was not gained though them in way of place of purchase, dues or indenture. Which is unfortunate for those like yourself, and others like you. (As you can be re-stationed without choice of states that will accept your experaince. Or if you got out and decided to return home, or anywhere else.)

Then there are states that either don't have any journeyman (worker) licensing, have strong 'right to work' laws that prohibit required association, or just plain don't have any mandatory worker standard at all.

Bottom line is that you need to be extra carefull to choose an education, and experiance set that will be accepted where you eventually want to be - if you even know where that is right now?
_________________________
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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#163276 - 05/05/07 08:14 AM Re: Need Advice on getting my foot in the door [Re: e57]
LineC Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/04/07
Posts: 2
Loc: VA
Thanks for responses. NIKO and plans on moving to Hampton Roads VA, real good fishing here \:\)

To answer E57's question. I will probaly reside in Virginia when I do get out. But I have a lot more places to experience before I come to a final conclusion.

It is good to see how you guys that see people come and go in this career field look at experience. I am seeing that the online correspoindence courses are looked at below an in class or OJT experience. Does it really matter though for the basics and fundamentals in this job. I really want to make sure that the training I receive will count and looked favorably on. Would it be better to not take the classes and try to run along side a licensed contractor for a longer period on time?

My job in the military is a lot like skilled trade also. I work on jet engines at a Test Cell but we rank experience by skill level, (1,3,5,7,9) I personally love to get fresh people in right out of boot camp/tech school because I can train them fresh. Always harder to break bad habits out of workers that have learned the shortcuts prior to the right way to do tasks.

I guess I can put this out there also. I get FREE school right now,.(thanks uncle sam).

We have one Tech center that offers classes in class but they do not conform to my scheldule and hours I have been looing here. Anyone have experience with this class.

http://www.pennfoster.edu/electrician/index.html

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#163278 - 05/05/07 09:02 AM Re: Need Advice on getting my foot in the door [Re: LineC]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
NECA/IBEW have begun a program to actively recruit veterans into the trade. Ask about the "Helmets to Hardhats" program.

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#163285 - 05/05/07 11:09 AM Re: Need Advice on getting my foot in the door [Re: renosteinke]
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Just to be clear the IBEW didn't start the Helmets to Hardhats program. It is participitory to varying degrees and locals, by many various unions and employers.
_________________________
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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