What's the best way to get into commercial work? I seem to have trouble convincing the guy interviewing me that I can learn it even though I have very little experience. I currently run my own jobs(residential new construction). my boss checks my work and it's on to the next one. I just started bending pipe and I know good and well that if I was exposed to pipe every day, that it wouldn't be long(relatively speaking) before I became highly skilled at it. I work for another contractor nights, and weekends, so I put in more hours than most guys which is why I believe my learning curve seems to be higher than most....ok..i hate to hype myself up...but I suppose I am only trying to phsyche myself up for the next interview.
Can anyone give me hints on how to sell myself more evffectively?
Loc: Honolulu, Hawaii
Switch employers. Commercial is boatloads of fun to learn. You will not often get to thread and bend much 4"grc on a residential job. Or hookup transformers and switchgear. Pay attention when working on lighting fixtures, some of them will be at 277 volts and take it from me, it hurts to get shocked from that guy. If you live out in the sticks though you are not going to get exposed to that much of commercial so location plays a big factor. Good luck and happy bending.
Loc: South Australia
Consider this. If you are an employer what is easier, 1 change you to commercial and have to get a good residential guy (2 people to train) or just get a commercial guy to train, (1 guy to train) sometimes if you are good at your job people dont want to move you. But they may rethink it if you were going to leave, no one wants to lose good people!
just be honest. Tell it like it is. explain WHY you want to switch to commercial. What ever you do -do not inflate your talents! you will be found out. I have been doing commercial for the last 21 years and find it loads of fun. Every job is different, a much more array of materials, and equipment. I enjoy the challenge of finding a way to make it happen.
[This message has been edited by luckyshadow (edited 02-16-2006).]
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Experience is fine- but your experience is limited by what your employer throws your way.
Education is also critical...especially if you want to get into the parts of the trade that can't be learned by rote.
If, in three years, your employer has not seen fit to enroll you in a formal apprentice program, with structured classes in the evening...well, you really deserve a better employer.
In lasting three years, you've shown a fair amount of reliability and stability- traits that are in demand. Soone spring will be here, and the seasonal work will pick up. Now is the time to approach various employers, setting the stage for moving over when work picks up.
I'd write prospective employers a note, explaining your experience and goals....and asking if they would consider talking to you in person. It worked for me.....
i agree with active1. we get candidates all the time who are strictly resi, they want to get into commercial, but lack all the necessary skills. Yet, when I indicate that they will have to take a lower pay scale for a little while, they refuse and can't understand. I mean their bills aren't changing.
I attempt to explain that they may have 4-5-6 yrs experience in resi and can work with limited supervision. but they lack experience on comm and will take longer to perform tasks than they should. it's vicious.
but if you really want to get into commercial, be willing to sacrifice for a short period of time 1 to 6 months (depending on your learning curve)
find a good employer, work with them and they will work with you.
Loc: Fairborn, Oh, USA
Residential and commercial electric are worlds apart. If you want to get into commercial electric. Take the pay cut and get with a commercial E/C and get into an accrediated journeyman program. A commercial E/C puts less weight on your residentail experience and more on if you show up for work and work hard. It is easier to train someone who knows nothing than change someone who thinks they know a lot.
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