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#18503 - 12/10/02 10:21 AM New kid on the block
jwdDawg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 3
Loc: Acworth, GA USA
I don't know if this is an appropiate time to jump in and please forgive me if you believe I may be bit disruptive in this discussion board.

I understand I am very new here on this board surrounded with electricans, filled with widsom and expertise. I realize I must be humble because I do not know one thing, other than basic wiring, about electricity and what it takes to become a electrican.

Since I am in the process of a career change and am very enthusiastic in learning to become a electrican, I felt this board might be a good place to start asking. Please let me know if this is not the good place to start and I will abide and move on.

Please allow me to tell you a little bit of myself. I am 39, hearing-imparied and currently working for a government agency as a closed contract specialist in the Marietta, Georgia area. I live in Acworth, Georgia and married to a wonderful wife and have four sons.

Some of you might ask why I didn't become a electrican to begin with. For this reason was because of my overprotective mother who worries that since I am hearing-imparied, I may get killed by electrotion. I was so eager to become an electrican after high school, but the thought of death by electrotion frightened my mother so I abided to her wishes against my own will and went to a safer path which turned out to be a clercial desk job at a government agency. I have been on the job ever since for 17 years now. It's a miserable and a dead end job and a totally waste of time and a waste of my untapped talents.

This is why I am very eager to make the career change, but I am having trouble trying to find a good way to start and figure out how to obtain experience. I thought about joining an apprenticeship program and learn from there, but don't know where to find them. I hope this is not asking for too much, but I would love to hear any tips or suggestions from any electricans here and tell me where he thinks I should start.

I'm willing to learn and I'm not asking for money. All I want is the knowledge and wouldn't mind working with a electric contractor on a part-time basis if possible. I know it would be an honor to work with an expert electrican.

I appreciate you reading this and I am going to stop for now.

Any suggestions or tips will be graciously appreciated. Y'all have happy holidays! And I hope to meet you on this board.

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#18504 - 12/10/02 11:10 AM Re: New kid on the block
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
i like to think the trade takes care of it's own, so welcome aboard.

#18505 - 12/10/02 01:39 PM Re: New kid on the block
Roger Offline

Registered: 05/18/02
Posts: 1779
Loc: N.C.
jwgDawg, I second Steve's sentiment.

Start with checking out book's by Mike Holt, Tom Henry, James Stallcup, and many others.

Mike Holts books are available in the book store here.

If you can hire on as an apprentice with some one, it is a big help in using the information in the books. (see the actual applications hands on)

Many employers offer apprenticeship programs, we do, you can also check with your closest community college.

But always check in here, class is continuously in session.


#18506 - 12/10/02 01:50 PM Re: New kid on the block
CTwireman Offline

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 839
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Hi jwdDawg, and welcome to ECN! Feel free to ask questions! Because of the diversity of people here, you are always likely to get an answer.

But always check in here, class is continuously in session.

Roger is absolutely right. The information never stops flowing here. Stick around, and you will be amazed at how much you learn in a relatively short time.


[This message has been edited by CTwireman (edited 12-10-2002).]

#18507 - 12/10/02 02:03 PM Re: New kid on the block
jwdDawg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 3
Loc: Acworth, GA USA
Pleased to meet you, Roger and Sparky!

Thanks for breaking the ice and making me feel welcome!

Mike Holt's books sound like a great idea. I'm not even sure what's in them so I'm gonna have to check on them.

I figured if I enrolled a community college, it may consume so much time before I acutally get into at least an entry-level electrician job. I really don't have much time as my job situation is probably not good as we may be laid off within a year. I am trying to get training as fast as possible.

There is one option I feel is the fastest path to get an electrician job which is to take home study courses and obtain a diploma within 6 to 12 months and then submit a resume to employers that are hiring entry-level electricians at least on a part-time basis if I still have my current job at the time.

I don't know if this is the best approach, but I would love an opinion from you guys. Do you think home study is feasible? What do you think about this following link which is the course I'm considering in signing up?

I figured maybe once upon the completion of the diploma, I can add this on my resume and it would look more impressive and give me a better chance to get hired at least at the entry-level and grow from there?

I'm really curious if you don't mind my asking how y'all ended up becoming electricians? Where did you learn the trade?
Does it brings you an income that you're happy with? have you ever been electrocued? Of course, you wouldn't reply if that ever happens to you! ;-)

Many thanks for the suggestions. Please feel free to correct me if you think I'm not going the right path. I can take critcisms and be humble!

God, I'm so hungry for knowledge!

#18508 - 12/10/02 03:19 PM Re: New kid on the block
Roger Loock Offline

Registered: 10/04/02
Posts: 16
Loc: Hillsboro,Oregon,USA
Welcome and good luck!

I started with community college and apprentiship, let's see-- some 20 years ago.
Never regretted it. Personally, I do not recomend home study.

#18509 - 12/10/02 03:45 PM Re: New kid on the block
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Welcome jwdDawg! It's great to have another Bulldog on board. Football aside, I'm an electrical contractor in Alpharetta. I'm not looking for any new helpers now, but I probably will be after the first of the year. My suggestion in that you get a job as a helper for an electrical contractor if you really want to change careers. I don't know what type of pay you're used to, but I'm sure you will have to take a step down for a while. For example, in my company we don't pay anyone less than $10 per hour, but if you have little or no experience that's where you'd start. You would be expected to be able to do most task without instruction after a few tries. So, you basically need to hit the ground running, but that doesn't mean you have to master every task the first day, just prove that your competent.

If you're serious, just open the AJC this Sunday and call every electical contractor that is hiring. Somebody will give you a shot, but be patient, the last time we put an ad in the AJC we got 65 calls before lunch on Monday and we only had one position open. Call first thing in the morning and again after lunch if they haven't called you back. Good Luck!

#18510 - 12/10/02 04:19 PM Re: New kid on the block
bobp Offline

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 73
Loc: Puyallup, WA, USA

My vote goes with getting hired as an apprentice. If you're going to take classes (which I strongly recommend) don't waste your money on the home study courses by PCDI or other equitable ones (unless an employer requests it). If you're good at home study, then go to the book store and purchase some good books. Either way, you'll only get the basics, but the book store is cheaper. Call your state or local licensing authority, talk to electricians and ask about continuing education classes. You'll get a list of private and public institutions that conduct them. Combine your basic education with apprenticeship, developing a working relationship with local electricians and the continuing courses and you'll get there. I was 43 when I started and I love the work, so work and study hard and you'll get there. I run my own business now. As for this forum, you'll get a world of education here, but beware that electricians are not the most tactful folks around, but our bark is worse than our bite.
Welcome and good luck.

#18511 - 12/10/02 04:19 PM Re: New kid on the block
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6792
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Welcome jwdDawg, you found a good place to "learn" a few things....
Personally, I don't like the home study thing...A local Tech school or Community College is a great place to go.
Like Electric Eagle says, go thru the paper, make the calls.. you may have to take a pay cut for a while, but if it's what you want to do, it's worth it.
Just don't think you can make $$$$ in the begining. Like all the rest of us here, you have to pay your dues.
Shoot the questions out, there are a lot of us here to help

#18512 - 12/10/02 06:17 PM Re: New kid on the block
jwdDawg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 3
Loc: Acworth, GA USA
Wow! I'm totally blown!

I'm truly glad y'all have put a screeching (did I hear that?) halt on home study courses. It was tempting, but home study courses are now out to the door! Many thanks!

What's the next step? Mike Holt's books? I'll buy one. Would "Electrical Theory" be a good start?

Some of you have suggested to check in the ads and call electrical contractors for any job openings. Electric Eagle says, 65 people call in one morning for only one position! Holy cow! Talk about desperation out there. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a lack of labor out there so you can get hired right away??? Probably will never happen. :-)

For now, I'm not going to be able to leave my current job because my wife will freak out if I committed economical suicide and then take a pay cut with no benefits. But one way or another, eventually it will probably happen. So the best thing I can do is just hit the books based on your recommendations and learn from it as well as learn from electricians on this board. If any electrical contractor here in the Atlanta area can offer me a part-time job at nights and the weekends, I would be happy to do that as well. This would be the best situation for me for now.

I appreciate all the suggestions and thanks for making me look smarter!

For Electric Eagle:

Indeed, GO DAWGS!!! Hard to believe Dawgs finally are the SEC Champions after 20-year drought?!! Just wait until next year when we become the hated especially from the Vols and Gayturds! I sure like this status! There's nothing more satsifying than seein' Dawgs rubbin' them down to medicory!! I want Coach Mark Richt give them misery for the next 20 years!! Are you with me??!?!?

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