ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Shout Box
Recent Posts
Ronald and Nancy Reagan in GE commercials
by Bill Addiss. 03/13/19 08:12 PM
Carflex in an RNC connector?
by gfretwell. 03/12/19 05:21 PM
Reverse-feeding transformer in PV system?
by HotLine1. 03/11/19 08:37 AM
Vintage stage lighting and equipment catalogs
by Albert. 03/09/19 06:21 PM
TJX Recalls Heating Pads
by Admin. 03/08/19 09:33 PM
New in the Gallery:
What is this for?
Plug terminals
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 26 guests, and 18 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
getting started? #54998
08/13/05 12:24 AM
08/13/05 12:24 AM
StevenW  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
I'm interested in joining the electrician field however I'm not sure how to get my foot in the door.

I was thinking of taking an electrician course at one of those trade schools like you see on TV ( for an example), but I don't know if something like this would actually be useful in the real world.

Any information that could help would be appreciated.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: getting started? #54999
08/13/05 01:20 AM
08/13/05 01:20 AM
u2slow  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 200
Salt Spring, BC, Canada
Math 12 and Physics 12 were selling points for me. I also had some experience as a construction labourer and working at a autowrecking yard. No prior electrical training.

I was hired and indentured from my 1st day on the job.

IMO, the clincher for this trade is mechanical aptitude. If you can demonstrate/prove this through jobs/hobbies/etc. you really improve your chances.

Also look for "Pre-Apprenticesip" programs... sometimes called "Entry-level Trades programs". Employers usually prefer people who have taken these. However, these programs (at least around here) are expensive and take 10 months to complete.

Re: getting started? #55000
08/13/05 05:05 PM
08/13/05 05:05 PM
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
You can't beat on the job training. Just get a job working for an electrician.

[Edited to correct my goof - changed can to can't]

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 08-14-2005).]

Re: getting started? #55001
08/13/05 07:11 PM
08/13/05 07:11 PM
growler  Offline
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 65
Marietta, Ga. 30060
The Electric Eagle is right go with on the job training to start with. It will let you see if yor are going to like the work or not. If you decide that you don't like there is no use spending a lot of money on training and if you do like it the training will be easier to understand and retain with some real world experiece under your belt.As far as getting in the door, call the first add that says no experience needed ( your qualified ) or call some of the companies in your area and explain your situation to them ( always a demand for green help ). Good Luck and work safe.

Re: getting started? #55002
08/13/05 07:56 PM
08/13/05 07:56 PM
HotLine1  Online Content

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,081
Brick, NJ USA
Among the things that I do, I teach entry level; usually guys who are thinking about electric as a job choice. Yes, some are also homeowners.

A few think that "Basic Wiring" (ET101) will make them capable of wiring a house, or more.

I teach at a County Vo-Tech; (Adult Ed [Linked Image] part time, 1 or 2 nights a week. You should check with the local county/city Vo_tech Schools in your area to see if they have an Electrical Trades Course available. AND get a entry level job with a local EC to see if it's what you thought it was.

"ON THE JOB", and experience is a great teacher. "Private" Trade Schools around here are $$$$$$$$$.

My first night class explains the facts of the trade; what it entails, working conditions, etc.

The tuition at Vo-Tech is $110 to $125 a semester (13 nights) and the course is about 14 semesters if you only go 1 night a week. Most guys do 2 nights; some do 4 nights.

If you need any other info; my e-mail is in my profile at this site.


Re: getting started? #55003
08/14/05 03:04 AM
08/14/05 03:04 AM
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
Originally posted by Electric Eagle:
You can't beat on the job training. Just get a job working for an electrician.

Fixed it for you [Linked Image]

While I agree that the courses are great for the theory (Thompson/Education Direct grad myself), to get a real education you've got to get out in the field.

Try to get a gig with a local spark. Starting at the bottom (helper) gives you a better understanding than lots of books and no hands-on.

(Trust me, the "practical lessons" most mail order places send you will achieve technical proficiency, but with no outside reference & feedback, you'll be lost when you hit the street.)

Good luck.

Re: getting started? #55004
08/14/05 11:32 AM
08/14/05 11:32 AM
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
I suppose most any course- even the matchbook sover one- has value. One does need to learn "the alphabet" before they can read,after all.
But, just as knowing the "ABC's" doen not make you Shakespere, 'doing a course' doesn't make you an electrician.

Keep in mind that large parts of the trade have nothing to do with electricity. Or theory. Or code.
You'll spend a lot of time 'on the dumb end of a shovel." You'll bens lots of pipe. Climb lots of ladders. Crawl lots of attics. Drill holes in everything from boxes to concrete walls. There's a reason it's called "Work."

You'll need to learn how jobs are run, about different types of construction. You'll have to learn a little about HVAC, alarms, CATV, and how the phone company does things.

I guess what I'm aying is that it takes as much time, effort, and smarts to become a "journeyman" as it does to be an engineer or doctor. There really are no short-cuts, and only part can be learned in a classroom.

By far the best route is through an apprenticeship program. Consider other (related) jobs and courses as preperation for the apprenticeship program.

And when you become a journeyman- the learning really begins!

Re: getting started? #55005
08/16/05 08:11 AM
08/16/05 08:11 AM
StevenW  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2

Re: getting started? #55006
08/17/05 06:18 PM
08/17/05 06:18 PM
foestauf  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 49
Show up first day at the shop with your tools on:-) Thats always good for a laugh.

Saw two new guys, brand new belts/tools and new shoes... Standing infront of the wharehouse ready to go LOL.

I just so wanted to be like "So ya gonna wire the wharehouse?" heheh. But I didn't say anything, we all gotta start sometime in life... just I didn't have my tools on until I got to the job site:-)

Now I purposly rust like my 5/16th driver and other non moving tools so it looks like I've been doing it for 20 years:-) hehe.

Screw the school and bleh bleh bleh. Goto work for a company as a helper, get into a FEAT or ACT program. They are OJT+Classroom schools, and most the times the company will sponsor them.


2017 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2017 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
Posts: 70
Joined: June 2012
Show All Member Profiles 
Top Posters(30 Days)
Admin 11
Albert 3
Popular Topics(Views)
253,871 Are you busy
190,311 Re: Forum
180,015 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1
(Release build 20180101)
Page Time: 0.029s Queries: 14 (0.005s) Memory: 1.0044 MB (Peak: 1.1723 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2019-03-20 11:24:53 UTC