The most those at home courses can teach is theory and perhaps how to read the code book. They are at best a aid for on the job training. The only way to become an electrician is to work for an electrical contractor and get training thru a good course. There are some good instructional material you can buy, but you will need an instructor or mentor to help you and explain the many ins and outs and changes to this trade. There is no short cut.
Re: training for the masses?#38739 06/01/0406:54 AM06/01/0406:54 AM
Not all programs are all that bad. I find there are many more electricians that have plenty of experience, but can't perform a single calculation or conceptualize the flow of current during a fault than there are those who know all the code and theory, but can't bend a stick of conduit. Experience is over rated, educaton is the key. This is the best program around, check it out: http://www.code-electrical.com/trainingintro.html
Bryan P. Holland, ECO. Secretary - IAEI Florida Chapter
Re: training for the masses?#38740 06/01/0409:18 AM06/01/0409:18 AM
In Canada, the Electrical Trade is a regulated Trade, which means all people wishing to enter the trade must go through an apprenticeship or prove they have worked at the trade for at least ten years before being allowed to write the Exam for an Electrical Licence.
The apprenticeship involves attending at least two sessions (most go three) at a community college. For about three years I taught apprentices at one of these colleges. Basically the curriculum was Theory, Code and Practical exercises.
What I observed was most of the apprentices lacked or had very limited knowledge of Theory and Code. They got practical experience out in the field, however this was sometimes limited. (i.e. somebody who worked solely in the residential field lacked experience with Conduit and Motor Control.) In school at least they received some practical training that exposed them to the stuff they were not exposed to in the field.
Everything that we as electricians do, installations, trouble shooting and repairing, designing electrical installations, all have a reason and cause. It all basically comes from Electrical Theory. The Code is written to Provide Safety Standards to protect people and property and if really analyzed is generated as a result of Electrical Theory and all our installations should follow this guide.
What I’m saying is if this type of training system is not available and you want to be a good electrician the "Learn at Home" courses will at least give you the Theory and Code portion of the trade that is also very important.
The only thing that I would say before signing up for a “Learn at Home" course is check out the company providing the course material and make sure they are reputable and have good “Training Material”
Sorry about the long winded reply,
Re: training for the masses?#38741 06/01/0403:43 PM06/01/0403:43 PM
Just a fine point here - but I believe the code (NEC) has one main concern, and that is the prevention of electrcially caused fires. All other safety aspects are not strictly code issues.
I too have met many electricians who do not know what an amp really is, or how to compute much of anything in the electrical field. I have also met many brainiacs who could not bend conduit worth beans. And as one who taught basic electrician classes at a local community college for 20 years or so, I would never discourage anyone from getting some education. However, as a foreman running crews, give me journeymen who can install electrical work without thinking overly much about how it works.
That said, the journeymen were never asked to size anything or choose products to install. Our journeymen had sufficient training and education to know when something is wrong or unsafe. Foremen, project managers, field engineers, and electrical contractors should all have an understanding of how electricity works. Foremen & contractors should also have superior installation skills (not saying all do).
Just my 2 cents worth, Radar
There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.
Re: training for the masses?#38742 06/02/0401:08 AM06/02/0401:08 AM
I agree that good courses are a lot of help in understanding this ever growing and changing field. No one is going to understaand this without both hands on work experience and book training. The best book training is usually in the classroom. There are some good self study courses out there and there are some that are not worth spit. That said, I still say there is no short cut to becoming a good electrician. You need both the electrical theory, safety basics AND hands on work experience. Then once you finally get to be a journeyman then you still need to keep learning and appling your skills every day. Please get into a study habit new things come out almost every day. Jobs in a varity of places occur every day.