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Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 440
Likes: 3
When I was 19, I joined the Navy. My dad advised me to become an Electrician's Mate. It was a wise move. Four years later, I entered an apprenticeship program and landed my Journeyman's License. Fast forward three years, and I'm an Estimator with a Master's License. From there, things took a strange turn. I ended up working for a road construction contractor supervising their electrical work. Let's just say that it was heavy on the construction and light on the electric because I had more to do with concrete, heavy equipment, rebar, traffic control, and cranes than I did electric work. In another twist of events, I found myself in Afghanistan for a little over two years. I came home to a job I hated. As it turns out the feelings were mutual. They ran me off after about three months (one of the best things that ever happened to me). I sort of drifted for a few months (which was exactly what I needed after being in Afghanistan). During my job search, I ran into my kid's high school choir teacher at the Big Blue Box store (I had a project going at the house). I told her I was looking for something to do on a daily basis for pay. She told me to send her husband an email with my resume. Long story short, I landed here at the Cogen. It's been eight years, and the best job I've ever had. Essentially, I'm back doing what I was doing at 19 years old: keeping the plant running. I recently finished a degree in Instrumentation, and I'm contemplating a degree in Engineering (a huge commitment). At 55, I don't plan on retiring any time soon. I was looking, and noticed that I joined this forum in December of 2001. It's been a short - almost - 20 years. It's hard for me to believe that this kid from the East side of Houston has made it this far. The common thread through it all has been electrical work. It's been an interesting career, and I don't see an end in sight. Forgive me for waxing nostalgic, but this forum holds a special place for me. I spent a lot of time here back in the day. Anyhow, it's good to see a few familiar faces.

The Watt Doctor
Altura Cogen
Channelview, TX
3 members like this: Trumpy, Bill Addiss, luckyshadow
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 6
New Member
Nice. I have one question for u. What u learn from ur life. Please share ur thoughts.

Last edited by Fridayrack; 12/07/21 01:38 AM.
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,116
Likes: 4

Very happy to hear from you!

My Dad was in the Navy too. Thank You for your Service, Due to a Spinal Fusion in my teens I wasn't eligible to serve.

I've had a variety of different jobs since my working age days... Supermarket Stock Person, WaterProofer, Auto Reconditioner, Mover/Packer, Maintenance Man/Supervisor, Master Electrician ... and finally where I am now.

Every job (and interaction with other Trades) has taught me something and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,380
Likes: 7

Welcome back!

Thank you for your service. I had a similar issue like Bill and did not serve, although I wanted to.

As to work, I did my time with a few starter jobs, spent 17 years in the retail (food) sector, then went straight to the electrical trade. After a few years working for an EC, I took the plunge and went out on my own.

I did that for 25 yrs, and decided to take a position as an inspector, now, 20+ years later, I'm still at it.

Best parts are a steady paycheck, benefits, and NOT have to be concerned with cash flow issues and the occasional employee issues, although I had a relatively good crew.

Take care and be safe

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 336
Welcome back and thanks for your service. I remember you looking a bit younger for some reason.

Anyway, to go back and contemplate an Engineering degree, now that takes some good attitude. I am not sure if I would care to jump through all those hoops again, as I skipped several and finally talked to a counselor as I was ready to graduate. I had skipped several low level courses and they were not pleased. I ended up substituting 15 credits of masters levels classes for these, and that would not be allowed today with computers verifying everything now days.

That being said, please do, though look into the school you choose very closely. Electrical Engineering programs differ greatly, there are so many specialties and most have little to nothing to do with most types of electrical work.

As for me, I started out designing ultrasonic instruments (discrete analog design, with some digital), and have ended up where I am now for over 30 years. I enjoy getting out on the ground and have done from lightning protection, communications, building electrical, distribution, solar and hybrid, one hydro dam, green houses, controls, sewer systems, and the list goes on. It is fun and rewarding, especially as I have gotten multiple helicopter flights, snow mobile and ATV trips, back country horse and hikes, etc. and have been blessed to see some beautiful country.

Shane, Husband, Father, Grandfather, PE

Last edited by sabrown; 04/04/22 11:12 AM. Reason: Correct the one misspelling I saw. Likely more lurking..
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
I'll be 65 soon, it's been a wonderful ride, i was fortunate to have some great mentors, albeit most are in the 'great job in the sky' now. What would i have done different? Well, maybe listened to a few of those old timers a tad more closely.....the older i get, the more i miss 'em ~S~

Last edited by sparky; 04/12/22 08:21 PM.
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 2
New Member
In general, working as an electrician is very exciting and interesting.

Joined: May 2022
Posts: 2
New Member
In general, working as an electrician is very exciting and interesting. The main advantages of the electrician profession are relevance and relevance in any field, since we use electricity everywhere. An electrician is needed at every private enterprise, in every public institution, when servicing apartments and houses, in shops. A good electrician is simply irreplaceable. Other advantages: the development of logic and fine motor skills in the process of activity. Not so long ago, my cousin became the head of electrical contractors in the city. I'm proud of it!

Last edited by Marienauripod; 05/22/22 11:21 PM.
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,917
Likes: 29
I Went to Navy FT school and that got me a job at IBM in computer hardware. That pretty much ran it's course in the 80s and I got into designing and building computer rooms. I also did the completion inspections for the draws. I was getting pretty used to looking art big commercial installations. Then I crossed paths with Joe Tedesco IAEI road warrior. over a couple years on Prodegy, he pitched his whole road show. Six of us got IAEI certified. I also sat for the SBCCI that became ICC.When Florida started licensing inspectors, I was an early applicant. Because 67 counties and a couple dozen cities had different amendments to the NEC so the state permitted and inspected their own projects. They didn't want to submit 100 different design plans for where something might be built. When the state needed licensed inspectors I bid and eventually won. I was #3, #1 withdrew and #2 never responded. I retired from IBM and took the job of state electrical inspector for 5 counties. I only looked at state projects that were 99% "commercial" so I was pretty happy there. It was always something new and interesting. The equipment and wiring methods were common but the venue was different. Prisons were interesting and I really only had a couple of exciting adventures. DOT weigh/inspection stations are interesting and a toll plaza is fascinating. I had no time pressures on me and travel was the biggest time killer so an extra 20 or 30 minutes talking about the project was OK with everyone. We were all government employees wink
I learned a lot about a lot of things.
The one that caused me to look hardest and spend the most time was when Park Rangers thought they were electricians. You really had to look at everything. It got to the point that it was easier for me to bring them into compliance and teach them the right way.
The strange part of my job is that I really had zero authority. I had to "reason" state employees into compliance. They could always say "Screw you, I ain't doing it" and start a pizzn match between 2 state departments as a contractor. I do believe I never walked away from a hazard.
After Florida finally got a state wide code and the counties were on the same page, that program wound down but it was a great 8 years.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Hey Greg,
Great to see you again!

Mike T.

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