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#52481 06/05/05 01:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 65
Most electricians after a few years try both construction & maintenance work. Each type has certain advantages. The only thing I didn't like about maintenance work was being controlled by management ( the old money problem ). I would try and explain that to cut labor cost you have to spend a few dollars on materials. Many managers only see one quarter a time when it comes to expenses.
I guess that when I was working in business many felt that it was only a matter of time before the plant moved out of county so why worry about the future. I think that two of the plants I worked for are in Mexico or china now. At least construction is harder to out source. My advice to a maint. electrican is find an industry that is going to be around a few years with as much new ( state of the art) eqipment as possible. Pay is normally based on experience with certain types of equipment and if you change you take a cut. As someone said most companies don't like to spend on training. The first problem is to get in the door and then you try and learn the complete manufacturing process. If I were you I would send out a bunch of resume's and see if you get any responce. See if there are any training programs that you can go in under. Try and get that first 2 or 3 years of experience.

#52482 06/05/05 03:38 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
What a good thread. This could be the start of a book.
Thanks guys

Pierre Belarge
#52483 06/05/05 05:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,082
Likes: 3

If you can get in with a good Company they may have a tuition assistance/reimbursement program that would pay for any related courses that you take while employed there (as long as you get a passing grade).


#52484 06/06/05 11:42 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 7
Junior Member

If you have been a "new install" construction electrician (and already posess card certifications) you will be in better shape than I am now. I did just the opposite....started as an industrial maintenance electrician and am now trying to at least hold a journeyman's certification. I find now that my state (Alabama) will not even allow me to take a Journeyman's test because I don't have a Master's sign-off on 6k hours of "new installs" as an aprentice. The kicker is I just took a refresher/prep course on the 2005 NEC, made an "A" and the state turkeys still won't let me test. [Linked Image]

The courses you are taking should at least get your feet wet. Especially the PLC and Hydraulics. School helps, but in an industrial setting, nothing beats OJT experience. If you can get into the maintenance aspect of the electrical field I think that would give you a lot more options for your future. Maintenance troubleshooting/repair is whole different animal than construction. Good and bad to balance. It can be rewarding if you find the right place to work. I like it because I can work solo and there's always something diferent figure out.

#52485 06/06/05 11:55 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 7
Junior Member

"Too often maintenance folks are way bown the ladder, well beneath the production foremen."

I have not found this to be true in the plants that I have worked. Most often treated me with as much (or mabye more)respect than production managers. Can't tell you how many times a foreman has come up to an open control panel, shook his head and asked: "How do you figure this $*#! out?" [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by C Wyatt (edited 06-06-2005).]

#52486 06/06/05 08:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,370
Likes: 1
Cat Servant
C Wyatt, I yhank you for your response- when I wrote mine I was in a poor mood, and probably phrased things a little harsher than necessary. I am delighted that you have received due respect.
Maybe someday that will be the rule, and not the exception.

#52487 06/08/05 10:28 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 53
Andy.. Earlier in my carrer i worked alot in steam generating plants and seen lots of constrution crews coming thru doing the conduit and wire pulling work. and seen some of them try/apply for openings as maintance workers with us regs. the only ones that had the knowledege to be maintance guys were they ones that got in on testing out of the project, that is where you will learn motor controls and plc's. so yes you need to that the classes and get your employer to get you in on the test out part of jobs. just my advice, good luck, got add what all the stuff that C Wyatt said is very true of maintance verses contruction, you do have to know how many hanger to put on a conduit and wire fill to get a license, but if you know how to make the equiptment work again once it breaks down you can go anywhere and get a job

[This message has been edited by highvoltageguy (edited 06-08-2005).]

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