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#4392 - 09/21/01 08:58 PM electricians
wapam Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/21/01
Posts: 1
Was let go from my last job as an electronics technician and was thinking about going to school to become an electrician. I think some of my education/experience could transfer over. I'm hoping to hear from some electricians about the day to day tasks, sort of the "good, bad, and ugly" of the job.
How long are you an apprentice before being eligable to advance to journeyman? To master? What salaries can be expected for apprentices? Journeymen? Masters?

Has anyone "started over" later in life (I'm 38). By the time I'm an experienced journeyman I could be in my mid-forties.

Oh well, just trying to figure out what I want to do.

Thanks for any advice,

Joel B.

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#4393 - 09/22/01 03:45 AM Re: electricians
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
It's a livin' Joel, it ain't so bad being skilled labor i say that because i've been unskilled labor
The 'good-bad-ugly' is there, mostly when it's cold out you'll be out, if it's dirty, you'll be rollin' in it, and if there are nasty customers you'll be on the recieving end....
Apprenticeship lasts 4 yrs, so figure 4 yrs of night school, this & 8000 hrs makes you eligable for your journeyman's in many states ( too bad it isn't a gold standard )

another 4000 hrs, and your eligable for a masters.

there was a thread a while back on $$$$, but i can't find it, beats a lot of things though.

it would be best if you could find a larger co. that would pitch for schooling...

Good Luck

#4394 - 09/22/01 04:31 PM Re: electricians
ken m Offline

Registered: 08/14/01
Posts: 61
Loc: south carolina
it usually depends on which state you are from as to the requirements for becoming a licensed electrican. like here in south carolina you can do elec. work up to $2500 without any type of licenses....go figure..i personally worked in the industrial field for nearly 27 years before going to the construction sector. i could repair mulit-million dollar equipt. but couldn't drive a staple. it's a whole different ballgame but i learned it the hard way. like sparky mentioned the apprenticeship is by far the best way to learn. if you don't want to go that route then maybe take a few courses at a tech school on the construction's like feast or famine, but you are your own boss. so you will work that much harder. good luck! ken m.

#4395 - 09/22/01 05:41 PM Re: electricians
golf junkie Offline

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 511
Loc: York, NE

I have a BSEL in electronics and worked as an engineer for 12 years before switching to the electrical field at age 36.

I was faced with having to move my family again or find another way to make a living. I'm glad I made the change.

As an engineer I was under constant stress to produce. Now, what doesn't get done today will wait for tomorrow......and when the deadline looms, I get paid very well for my extra hours.

I would second those who say that you should go to work as an apprentice. That way you "earn as you learn" and you will find out very quickly if you want to stay in the electrical trade. You can go to school, run up a big loan balance, and then find out later you don't want to be an electrician. Besides, you already know basic electricity......what you need to learn is how to run pipe and wire, hang fixtures, etc.. These are mainly mechanical tasks that you learn by practice.

Good luck in whatever you decide, let me know if I can help you with any other info.


#4396 - 09/23/01 02:16 PM Re: electricians
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England

I wear both hats myself, and I find it makes a change from concentrating on the same thing day after day.

I have my cozy workshop at home for electronics work, and go out on local electrical jobs as and when called. The outside wiring work is much more physical, which to an extent compensates for the rather sedentary work I'm doing the rest of the time.

I must confess that after spending three straight days crawling through somebody's dusty attic running cables, it's nice to have a day at home in clean clothes working at the bench.

Obviously you'll have no problems with basic theory like smeone startin from scratch, so you can concentrate all your efforts on the practical and code side, both of which the other guys here are far more qualified to help you with, as things are somewhat different here in England.

I'd echo what some of the others have said about getting into some sort of practical "on-the-job" training though to see if you're going to like it first.

I enjoy a lot of the work (not all!), but I have to say that I wouldn't want to be at it 5 or 6 days a week non-stop. I like my restful days in the workshop!

Good luck.


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