Four years in electrical shop at a Vo-Tech School, then employed by a local electrical contractor, as a 1st year app. then after that, four more years, completed the app. program then worked as journeyman, for another 5 years, then after the 13 years, i took the contractors exam, and then the real learning started.
Re: How did you start in the Electrical field?#55479 08/31/0509:44 PM08/31/0509:44 PM
Open the yellow pages and go to the page lisiting electrical contractors, begin at "A" and start dialing. I would look for small/medium sized shops- you can usually talk directly to the owner who has the power to hire and fire, so you will get less runaround with human-resources jive. If you are enthusiastic with a good attitude/work ethic and reasonably intelligent you should have a job before you get to the letter G. You *will* start at the bottom- no way around that, so get ready to learn, & learn to accomodate the various workstyles of the journeymen who will be your formal- yet unspoken teachers and judges- and get ready to eat some crow, because in the trades, respect is earned, not given, and you are going to have to personally earn every drop of respect anybody ever shows you. I say call small shops because really jobs are a lot like a popularity contest, if the boss personally likes you as an individual, then you are going to have a job because it is perceived you are an asset, whereas in larger organizations with more beaurocratic "HR Dept" style hiring, you are just a number and your paper qualifications will matter more in the beginning.
Re: How did you start in the Electrical field?#55480 08/31/0510:02 PM08/31/0510:02 PM
No offense at all intended toward the union folks, but staring out as the grunt for a knowledgable small shop owner / senior j-man is an awesome way to get an understanding.
There's less exposure to mutiple instructors, so if your foreman's got bad habits, odds are you'll pick 'em up, but is he knows his rear from a hole in the ground you'll get a great "one on one" learning experience.
And, much as I hate to bang the old guy drum, starting out at the bottom lugging supplies and tools out of the van helps you learn what...
Making holes, nailing boxes, and strappng pipes helps you learn where...
Measuring, cutting, threading & bending helps you learn how...
Listening helps you learn why.
Good luck in the field!
Re: How did you start in the Electrical field?#55481 08/31/0510:20 PM08/31/0510:20 PM
I forgot to mention the experience part. Everyone I know in any trade got their job/experience-
1. through a family member/family friend in the trades who hired them as a helper when they were highschool age
2. persistently calling shops until one of them "bit the hook" and hired them, kinda like #1 above
3. as part of a formal apprenticeship program
it is a bit of a fallacy to think anyone gets a job "with no experience".. everyone I know in the trades grew up in a family where their dad worked in the trades, or an uncle or a cousins, and it was something they just had around them all their lives- like speaking french if you grow up in france- it isn't something you really question, it's just there and always has been. I started by sweeping floors and cleaning up for my dad when I was 10, during summer vacation or on weekends. Everyone starts at the bottom and gradually you learn more and more, bit by bit, until you go from doing the grunt work to doing bigger things. If you are having trouble getting a job, or are discouraged by what the experience requirements are for a particular job, maybe it is a sign that you are aiming too high too fast. There is a sort of iron law in the trades that everyone starts at the bottom and claws their way up (nothing gets handed to you- ever), but the beneficial side of this law is that what you know, you know absolutely.
By the way, what sort of 1-year training was this? Local univerisities here don't really cater much to the trades, unless it is the light blue collar trades like autocad or CNC machine operators..
Re: How did you start in the Electrical field?#55482 08/31/0510:59 PM08/31/0510:59 PM
Marine SSGT says to me... "You have three choices, 0311(Grunt), Electrician, or Cook, the first one you will be reguardless, the second and third will be decided by some computer somewhere, for you, based on your score on these tests."
Thats how I started...
After I got out, I called all over, and found some guy who used to be in the Navy, who owned a service company, who taught me the ropes.
Truthfully, all employment is based on initial contact, and the relationship starts there. (Honesty really counts, people see right though BS) Look for companies that need and use a lot of grunt labor. (You'll be doing that type work until you can prove otherwise. And that WILL take time.)
Stop by job-sites. (At lunch) Or, supply houses. It might seem desparate, but the guy on the job will often give up the name of the person (That does the hiring) you need to contact faster than making it through the office. (Where paper is often shuffled into corners.)
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: How did you start in the Electrical field?#55485 09/01/0507:49 PM09/01/0507:49 PM
"If you are having trouble getting a job, or are discouraged by what the experience requirements are for a particular job, maybe it is a sign that you are aiming too high too fast. There is a sort of iron law in the trades that everyone starts at the bottom and claws their way up (nothing gets handed to you- ever), but the beneficial side of this law is that what you know, you know absolutely." ____________________________________________
Entering the trade any other way, you are only fooling yourself, the grunt work, is an important part of trade training, you can build on a good foundation. The easy way guys, will always argue this issue, I say, let them fly with holes in the wings.
With all my years in the trade, when a young electrician that worked his way up, has something to say about a project, i listen, because he is usually well grounded as opposed to the fast freddy type, that missed the grunt work years.
[This message has been edited by LK (edited 09-01-2005).]
Re: How did you start in the Electrical field?#55486 09/01/0508:00 PM09/01/0508:00 PM