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!

Featured:
   

2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

   
Recent Posts
Sprinklered equipment 26-008
by bigpapa
Yesterday at 04:24 PM
On Delay Relay with Auto Reset
by Potseal
12/01/16 09:59 AM
Wow, that was close!
by jraef
11/28/16 07:06 PM
Earthquake in New Zeeland
by RODALCO
11/27/16 11:25 PM
Calling all Non-US members!! (Non-US only)
by Tjia1981
11/27/16 06:33 AM
New in the Gallery:
12.5A through 0.75mm˛ flex (just out of curiosity)
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
gfretwell 15
HotLine1 10
Trumpy 8
Texas_Ranger 8
sparkyinak 7
Who's Online
0 registered (), 97 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#175890 - 03/13/08 07:00 PM Breaking in to the electrical field?
adroga Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 35
Loc: canada
How long did it take you guys tp get your first apprenticeship?

Im from Quebec, and here we go to school full time for 15 months (I did it nights while working full time) and then have to go find a company to hire us and give us a letter guaranteeing 150 hours in order to start the apprentice book.

So far Ive had no luck almost 1 year later.

I get the typical responses of

a) we just hired

b) we want a 2nd or 3rd year apprentice

c) I dont hire apprentices/I work alone.

Im started to get a little discouraged, but a few people I have spoken to here said it took them around a year to land their first job.

Any motivational stories or advice would be appreciated.

Top
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....

#175892 - 03/13/08 08:10 PM Re: Breaking in to the electrical field? [Re: adroga]
BryanInBalt Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Baltimore
That is a messed up system.

Most guys here break in by actually working for someone
and **then** getting enrolled in apprentice school.

Some (union) do appr school from jump but it goes along with work assignments in a variety of things.

In both instances the school (appr & JM) is paid by the employer.


Monday morning at 6:30 am show up at one of the electrical supply houses near you dressed and ready to work (boots/jeans/etc). Have your tools and coffee and lunch packed. Have some 'business cards' printed with your name and phone number on them (any slip of paper will work).

Don't be annoying about it but make yourself noticed and ask NICELY to everyone that comes through the door: "who is looking for help". No point in talking to anyone who isn't actually looking, right?

Don't forget the guys behind the counter or to check the bulletin board for adverts. Plan to be there until 9am and to go back between 11 and 1 and again at closing.

If it doesn't work on Monday repeat the process on Tuesday at another supply house.

Good luck.


Edited by Trumpy (03/13/08 11:58 PM)
Edit Reason: Edited to remove bad language
_________________________
Design-Build isn't supposed to mean design *as* you build.

Top
#175894 - 03/13/08 11:56 PM Re: Breaking in to the electrical field? [Re: BryanInBalt]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
 Originally Posted By: BryanInBalt


Monday morning at 6:30 am show up at one of the electrical supply houses near you dressed and ready to work (boots/jeans/etc). Have your tools and coffee and lunch packed. Have some 'business cards' printed with your name and phone number on them (any slip of paper will work).

Don't be annoying about it, but make yourself noticed and ask NICELY to everyone that comes through the door: "who is looking for help". No point in talking to anyone who isn't actually looking, right?

Don't forget the guys behind the counter or to check the bulletin board for adverts. Plan to be there until 9am and to go back betw 11 and 1 and again at closing.

If it doesn't work on Monday repeat the process on Tuesday at another supply house.

Good luck.


That is actually how I met my 3rd apprentice, Bryan.
While we are on the subject of employment, how many of you guys actually have and keep an up-to date CV or resume`?
If a person is going to employ you, they need a reasonable idea of what you have done in the past.

Adroga,
First off, welcome to ECN, mate,
I had to "wait" about 2 years to find an apprenticeship here in NZ, I worked in a slaughter-house to pay the bills, but, not once did I ever think I would not get an apprenticeship.

The key to finding an employer is asking around EVERYONE that you know, getting your name out there, I visited a million places and handed them a copy of my CV.

Now lets be realistic here, at most places, the CV will go straight into the waste paper basket, but, one will eventually call, it is up to you to make sure you contact as many prospective employers as is possible.

Finally, that phone call will come when you least expect it too, but it will come.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

Top
#175904 - 03/14/08 06:42 AM Re: Breaking in to the electrical field? [Re: adroga]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
First of all, I'd contact the appropriate government ministries - the ones that regulate apprenticeship programs - and find all the apprenticeship programs in the area ... and apply to all of them. For example, here there are two such programs. I'd also inquire at the local community college, as they are usually involved - so the courses apprentices take get college credit.

Second, I'd not forget the 'related trades.' That is, jobs involving:
-Maintenance in industrial plants;
-Low voltage stuff (alarms, central vacuums, data, phone, CATV, satellite TV, etc;
-Other construction trades, especially drywall, HVAC, and even (gasp!) plumbing.

Top
#175906 - 03/14/08 08:30 AM Re: Breaking in to the electrical field? [Re: adroga]
bill woods Offline
Member

Registered: 11/21/01
Posts: 45
Welcome to ECN adroga. I recently hired an apprentice from Montreal. My company is located in Alberta! I received a call from a plumbing company about this kid. He wasn't even working for them. He was working for a roofing comany! This kid moved to AB and shortly thereafter started with a roofing company. He told everyone on the work sites about his schooling and asked if anyone was hiring apprentices. The plumbers were working alongside him and were so impressed with his work ethics and attitude that they tried to hire him but the kid said he really wanted to be an electrician. The plumbers immediately called me. A short interview later I had him working for me. He has construction and maintenance school training. The only difficulty we have had is with the paperwork from Quebec. Believe it or not Alberta is not a bilingual province and the Apprenticeship Board needed all his education paperwork translated into english. It took some time but he is now registered as a first year apprentice and is going to challenge the first year apprentice exam. When he passes he will officially be a second year apprentice. Then he will challenge the third year exam...and so on... This kid was persistent, patient and always had a good outlook. He knew he would eventually get an apprenticeship. And he did! It took a little over a year and relocating 3000km but his dream has come true. He wants to move back to Quebec when he has his journeyman ticket. That means I will only have him for three more years. Too bad cuz he is an awesome electrician! There are different ways of apprenticing to become an electrician in different parts of the world. Lots of pro's and con's for each system but in the end when you get your ticket you get to light up the planet! Sweet! Just be patient and get your name out there to as many companies as possible. Have a great and safe career! By the way it took me almost ten years to get my apprenticeship. Long story for another day.

Top
#175907 - 03/14/08 09:15 AM Re: Breaking in to the electrical field? [Re: renosteinke]
Elviscat Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 214
Loc: Seattle Washington USA
This is an area where networking is key, do you have any buddys who might know an ec? or an aprrentice? From my experience a lot of EC's have a hell of a time finding people they can be fairly sure can perform right off the bat, they'll be elated, as it means no sifting through garbage employees to get to someone decent.

So put the feelers out there, figure out if a buddy's friend's brother goes drinking with an electrician on Fridays, and see if you can get recomended up the line, even the guys who work alone/like to hire cheap day labor will sometimes hire an apprentice on if he comes with a solid personal reccomendation.

Best of Luck-
Will

Top
#175909 - 03/14/08 09:48 AM Re: Breaking in to the electrical field? [Re: Elviscat]
adroga Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 35
Loc: canada
I appreciate all the much needed advice.

I will keep pushing my name out there.... I'm trying to learn all I can on my own to perfect the skills I already learned in school. All I can say is that I love this trade and want to learn everything I can so persistence will be my key.

Thanks!

\:\)

Top
#175986 - 03/17/08 04:31 AM Re: Breaking in to the electrical field? [Re: adroga]
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
For me, my apprenticeship consisted of being "raised" on jobs, working with my Father.

Beginning back when I was in 3rd grade, I was taught some of the more simpler things - strapping, mounting boxes, makeup and device installation.

By 5th grade, my Father decided to see how I could handle a "Hole Hawg" (heavy duty low/high speed drill, used to bore holes via an auger bit).

Did all right in high speed through a single stud, but when I first tried drilling through a Double Top Plate, that's when things became much different!
Got to experience the famous "Hand Meets Stud at 50 MPH" scenario many times with Double Top Plates.

Occasionally got to experience the more exciting "Hit A Nail On Slow Speed - Become Temporary Helicopter - Cord Wraps Around Body" event, which gave me a new found respect for the old Milwaukee Hole Hawg, and a certain level of reluctance to use on low speed setting!

By Junior High (7th to 9th grade) I had been taught Plan Interpretations and more advanced stuff - such as Transformers and Motors.
In 9th grade I had a Mechanical Drafting class, where I could apply the trade stuff to class work.

By High School (10th through 12th grade) I began running some "lighter" projects, and becoming more interested in theories + engineering.

After graduating High School, I worked in the field partly with my Father, and with a few other Electrical Contractors.
During this time period (1983 through 1989) I studied advanced theories, material / device technical details and applied Electrical Engineering + Project Design techniques, using any resources available (lots of Libraries, Book Stores, and College courses - even the occasional correspondence course!).

Did my first large scale Design/Build Plan set in late 1989.
Prior working Plans were either some type of residential project, or Service Upgrades, but this one was an entire loan center!
Lighting, Power, 1 line diagram, panel schedules and Energy Compliance forms!

Between 1990 and 1993, I bounced around with a few different ECs, and eventually was asked to come back to work with my Father.
From early 1993 up until September 2001, we dealt with as many aspects of the Banking industry that were available - in addition to Commercial / Industrial projects, but the vast majority was bank work.
Retail Branches, Main Branches, Loan Centers, Real estate offices / centers, training centers, corporate administration campuses - anything related to the Banking Industry!

My Bank experiences included the actual installation of Electrical stuff, Designing + Engineering Power, Lighting, Comm/Data + Security/CCTV systems, performing as a Consultant, being involved in "Y2K Compliance" upgrades design and documentation, Project Management, General Contractor representative, ATM + ATM room design and installations, and several extremely large "As-Built" (Records Drawing and site identifications) projects - where as many as 10 different ECs were subcontracted by the GC to perform "Conversion" upgrade work, ATM upgrades and other large scale upgrades to existing and active Branches, Loan Centers and Training Centers.

Performed and As-Builted at least 30 "In-Store" Branches.

We even did some "Marketing" installations (installing the advertisements at retail branches).

Everything came to a stop for me, just before the 9/11/2001 events.
In fact, my own personal "9/11" took place that monday before the events.
Do not want to get into what occurred, but it was sad.
Long time working relationships my Father and I had with the GC came to a final, long expected end.

After this, I worked with a competing GC who had an in house EC and Electrical Division, and was back in the Banking Industry once again!
I worked in the field for about 6 Months, then became a P.M. + Designer. Now I was bouncing all over Northern and Southern California designing Security / CCTV, LAN and Training Center upgrades.

The amount of work I was doing became overwhelming, beyond the 8 hours a day, 6 days a week normal. It became 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and my "Boss" (the lead of the Electrical Division) was becoming too difficult to deal with.
He was going through a bitter divorce (I found out later - way too late in fact), which made him irrational and paranoid.
The "Big Boss" (owner of the Company) was very familiar with me and my past work, and as time went on at his company, he began to see the opportunity to expand the Northern California "Division" with me in charge of the Electrical division. All that was needed was a suitable candidate for the Building division, which we eventually came across.

Man, things were all setup for me to head up the Northern California Division!
I would be responsible for all associated with the Electrical Contracting and Designs.

What killed everything was the Big Boss's excitement and enthusiasm towards me taking this position, and a mistaken interpretation by "My Boss" (the electrical lead) thinking that his own job was in jeopardy, or reputation was at stake.

Unfortunately I became aware of this just after things went tragically wrong!

After that, I bounced around with a few other ECs, did a bunch of Designs for various ECs I met in the past, and finally stumbled across a total career change.

The projects I deal with now are mostly Refrigeration-Based applications, with the occasional T.I. here and there.
All in the Office - no field installations.
No crazy trips to Northern California with only a day's notice; no more doing the work of 4 people by myself; no more 7 day work weeks or 12 hour days!

I getting to like this side!

So there you have it - my career story abridged.

Scott
--
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

Top
#175994 - 03/17/08 03:55 PM Re: Breaking in to the electrical field? [Re: adroga]
u2slow Offline
Member

Registered: 09/18/03
Posts: 198
Loc: Salt Spring, BC, Canada
When I started, I applied at the local union hall. They took me right away.

I'm not for or against the union system. That's just my experience.

Top
#176036 - 03/18/08 04:15 PM Re: Breaking in to the electrical field? [Re: u2slow]
adroga Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 35
Loc: canada
I tried talking to the biggest union here through a rep, and he was basically useless until i get hired and into the union, then i qualify for help.

So much for recruiting new members...

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



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