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#35999 - 03/26/04 08:53 PM New Member with a question for the pros!
AndyL Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 03/26/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Buhl Idaho, usa
Hello, This is a great place you fellas have going here, lots of information!

Recently I had a real eye opener as to the profesion that im in now which is farming. I have farmed 4000 acres on Magic water for the last 10 yrs which is in Buhl Idaho. We use 22 pivot systems and quite often there are electical problems that we face, which leads to usually calling an electrician to fix the problem.

I often admire the skills of an electrician and the trouble shooting ablitys.To make this story short I am currently in the process of going through bankruptcy which will leave me no option but to start my career over.

I am 33 and married with 3 kids. My wife Sharee is a RN Nurse at Magic Valley Hospital, so I do have somthing to fall back on for money.

The Career that I am looking at will be an Residential and Comercial Electrician. I would like to work on wireing new homes and other Big projects such as comercial buildings.

I am aware that I will have to start from scratch but am a little confused as how to work up to the top. I need your advice as to if I should just head to college for classroom time or somthing like a online distance ed program offerd would work?. I am aware that you need to be an apprentice for 4 years or 8000 hrs of job time, is that correct? What sorta time frame does it take to be your own man sorta speak?

I also wonder of the possiblity of just going to work for an electician now just to get an idea of how things work. Do I need to go to school to be an electrcian or can I get on the job experiance and take the state test that way to become an electrician? Are the online courses that some of these schools are putting on any good or are they a hoax sorta speak? The program I have found that seems the best is located here [url]=[url] That seems like a good option for me as I will have my children to deal with during the day. But I will do what it takes.

The end goal of mine is again to have a buisness of my own but this time I would like alot more sucurity in my future. I know I ask alot of questions but I am trying to find out all my options, Thats why I am asking you the Experts!.

Thankyou for your time.
Andrew Larson
Larson Magic Farms
4600n 600e Buhl Idaho 83316
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
#36000 - 03/26/04 09:05 PM Re: New Member with a question for the pros!
PCBelarge Offline
Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 681
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
Sorry to here of your situation, but I am glad to see you are ready and willing to do something about it.
I would definitely go to work for a licensed electrical contractor. If there is no 'book' training with that job, than an online course is a great option if you have the discipline to work on your own.

Pierre Belarge
#36001 - 03/26/04 10:17 PM Re: New Member with a question for the pros!
DougW Offline
Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1143
Loc: North Chicago, IL
That's a pretty good class -

(Of course, I'm biased... I took it! )

It's no replacement for hands on experience, however. If you can do both, the correspondence class will give you good theory background to supplement your "real world" experience with an established EC.

Good Luck!
#36002 - 03/26/04 10:18 PM Re: New Member with a question for the pros!
BuggabooBren Offline
Registered: 11/15/01
Posts: 328
Loc: NM
Andy, you have come to a great place and one which can offer about 1,000 years worth of experience collectively (from my guessitmate).

You can also do a search on key words like "apprentice" or "education" in the forum search and see prior posts that offer advice to the same or similar questions.

One piece of advice I might offer is to look at the forums and gain some insight in to the differences in 'quality or qualified' work and the slipshod output of those who are careless or cut-throat. Some of the safety issues, up-to-code installations, and pride in work go along with becoming a qualified electrician. Set your sights on being above average and excelling in the field and you'll be back giving similar advice to the next generation who pursues the same dream.
#36003 - 03/27/04 02:06 AM Re: New Member with a question for the pros!
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Training to be an Electrician is not easy and there are lots of other people that will tell you that too!.
But it sounds to me,that you have the right attitude towards Training.
In our world where instant results are expected, the thought of doing an 8000 hr Apprenticeship+ Night classes, is inconceivable, but I think you are on the right track, ask most of us, we've done the time, I even did 2 Apprenticeships, but that's another story.
Once you have the piece of paper in your hand, it's just the best!
Hey just do your best with an Electrician, the results will come.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
#36004 - 03/27/04 02:36 AM Re: New Member with a question for the pros!
rizer Offline
Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 91
Loc: bradenton ,fl.,usa
you have many options. in hindsight i would have started my career in industrial electric because the learning curve is huge compared to commercial and residential. you would have to inquire as to which companies do that kind of work. i would also inquire (if a non-union company) wether or not they put there apprentices through the training program (abc program, etc).
as far as taking an exam each state has its own requirements for job and classrom experience. i would work in the trade at least 4 years before taking the journeymans test. as for the masters exam its trickier to answer as to when one is qualified to take the exam.
#36005 - 03/27/04 06:16 AM Re: New Member with a question for the pros!
George Corron Offline
Registered: 05/16/01
Posts: 717
Loc: Lorton, Va USA
Sorry to hear about your misfortune, it does happen, but doesn't make it any easier.

Think that can't happen to electricians (especially those in their own business)??? Lemme tell ya about the early 90's

There are several ways to become an electrician, but like the guys above said, there are only a few traditional methods.

Basically - go to work for an electrical contractor. Work for him for 4 years while attending night classes (do a search in your area for "adult education" classes) then sit for your journeymans exam.

Some rural areas (may I make that assumption here) are kinda thin on the apprenticeship classes, so on line may be the only choice.

I took a 4 year IBEW (Union) apprenticeship, but I have been teaching for the VA State Apprenticeship council for 20 years, which is non-union. That's why ya get lotsa different answers from this board.

And by the way, this board is a danged good place to come to for answers, dumb questions, and Oh yeah..... poking fun at Trumpy for living on the other side of the world, Bill the forum moderator for being a blonde headed Yankee, and most other things too!!!!

Good luck, please join us in your new career, check in often, ask lotsa questions.... if you become a sparky, you're home here.

[This message has been edited by George Corron (edited 03-27-2004).]
#36006 - 03/27/04 07:41 AM Re: New Member with a question for the pros!
AndyL Offline
Junior Member
Registered: 03/26/04
Posts: 3
Loc: Buhl Idaho, usa
You fellas are awesome! Great replys and well informed answers to my questions so far.

Thanks a bunch

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