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#68797 - 08/16/06 03:51 PM Does this sound true to you?
Theelectrikid Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 854
Loc: Levittown, PA
One of the teachers aides at the local vo. tech school told me this:
"Most of the electrical students we train are hired by SEPTA right after graduation." (SEPTA=Southeast PA Transit Authority.)
Does that sound true to you? I found something fishy about it, but I can't put a finger on it. If they're hired by SEPTA, could it be easy to get a job with a local EC? (I know one around here who's one specialty is traffic signals.)

Ian A.
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#68798 - 08/16/06 04:13 PM Re: Does this sound true to you?
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
I'd consider the statement a major warning flag. Here are two pitfalls to be aware of:

Every vo-tech school seems to have one or two local employers that hire virtually every recent grad who applies. The employers do this cynically, knowing that they have no intention of retaining more than one or two; they're simply "fishing" for the top students... or coasting on low-paid inexperienced help.

Also, in most areas electrical contractors have little use for vo-tech grads- at least asa electricians. They will consider the training as a plus, but the vo-tech diploma is of absolutely no help in the apprenticeship programs. To be an electrician, you simply must go through the apprenticeship. This is not to say related training or experience is not relevant; rather, the apprenticeship is structured to expose you to all parts of the trade, to suppliment it with practical experience, and to ensure that you've spent enough time in construction to have some idea as to how a job site is run, and what the other trades need.

This is not to say that working for SEPTA is a bad thing. Indeed, such a place has things you won't find anywhere else, and can be a proper trade in its' own right. The problem is, your "qualifications" are an unknown to other employers, and much of the training you'll receive is of use in very few other places.

When an apprentice completes the program, and has his Journeyman card, he now has a credential that no one can take away from him.

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#68799 - 08/16/06 04:54 PM Re: Does this sound true to you?
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Kid:
I see your in PA, but this is 'Jersey style'

I teach Part Time at a County Vo-Tech, Electrical Trades, Evenings. Our school has a state approved apprenticeship classification. In my classes, I have apprentices to homeowners to Architects to guys thinking to enter the trade, both young and 'seniors'. Working in the trade, and not.

We have an apprenticeship director, who also does job placement.

TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, THE SCHOOL DOES NOT GUARANTEE EMPLOYMENT.

Local EC's call for applicants from the FT & PT student pool, the job opening is posted, and anyone may apply to the prospective employeer. May the best man win, or buyer beware?? The choice is up to the EC.

As it's aCounty school, the PT tuition is really 'cheap', compared to the private schools with the same trade courses. I don't know the FT tuition rates, but I would guess it's a bargain also.

As to 'working on the RR'...as stated by RENO, not many EC's would give that any weight for doing resi or comm. However, a career with a RR could be a good thing, IF you stick it out.

Lastly, as in any trade, the new guy has to do the gopher work, and pay his dues; IF it's what you decide you want to do....stick it out!

John
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#68800 - 08/16/06 06:13 PM Re: Does this sound true to you?
Theelectrikid Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 854
Loc: Levittown, PA
Here's the words from the school's applicant handbook:

 Quote:
"In studying Electrical Occupations young people are introduced to basic physics and mathematics, learn the principles of DC and AC circuits and how to interpret construction plans and electrical diagrams. They receive detailed practical instruction in residential, commercial and industrial applications and troubleshooting including wiring, metering, security systems, motors and controls. This comprehensive training prepares them to become journeymen electricians or progress to a degree in electrical engineering."


If it makes any difference, everyone in that course has to completely wire a two-story model house, in a team of others, in the shop. And I forgot to mention, this is a 9-12th grade vo-tech school.

 Quote:
"Lastly, as in any trade, the new guy has to do the gopher work, and pay his dues; IF it's what you decide you want to do....stick it out!"


Believe me, I've read these boards enough, and talked to that signal contractor enough, to know about that.

Thanks so far for the advice guys,
Ian A.

[This message has been edited by Theelectrikid (edited 08-16-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Theelectrikid (edited 08-16-2006).]
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#68801 - 08/29/06 02:09 PM Re: Does this sound true to you?
Theelectrikid Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 854
Loc: Levittown, PA
OK, lemme ask this:
After graduating from this course, would it be easier to get into the IBEW apprenticeship? Or would other training still be needed/good to have?

Ian A.
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#68802 - 08/29/06 05:30 PM Re: Does this sound true to you?
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Ian:
To get a 'actual' answer to your last inquiry......go to the "horses mouth"

Locate a IBEW Local in your area, call & make an apointment (if necessary) and ask your questions.

I have IBEW Apprentices in my classes at Vo-Tech. I'm not 'up' on the rules, but it would make sense to go to school while you're working.

John
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John

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