I just got out of the navy a few months ago, I did four years as an Interior Comunications Electrician. I'd like to continue in an electrical or comunication field, now that I'm out. So, what do I need to do to get started as a journeyman electrician?
Make sure you get documentation for all of the schools/classes (B.E.E. for example), shipboard qualification doc's. I was able to get 140 hours knocked off the "classroom" part of my apprenticeship. It all depends on what your local apprenticeship committee will allow as previous experience.
#58102 - 10/30/0501:31 PMRe: How do I get started as a civilian electrician?
I too did this back in '94/'95 when I got out of the Marines as an 1142(MOS).
Dare I say it, training in the military left much to be desired as I soon realized. Although many of the fundimentals were rock solid, most instalation was field expediant by nature. (Not very usefull in the real world) I expect your situation to be simular in that light. However, I did find that I had one thing going for me when I got out. Those fundimental made it much easier to learn about the standards of the "Civilian" side out here, and quickly put me ahead of people who never had them. Something that also helped me was that I did a short hitch with Base Maint. before I got out, and it gave me a primer for what to expect.
Like Dnk mentioned, they are two different animals, although you will find that many EC's have started to marry up Comm. and thier bread and butter electrical work in both Residential, and Commercial work. You may find that will help you out to have a good basis in Comm. out here. As many EC's and thier other employees don't have a good tack on it. Also, Like Dnk. mentioned, depending on what state you're in, some, or none of your military experiance will count for much. (Sad to say...) Many states are bound up in "Formalized", "Recongnized" "Appenticeship Programs", as pre-requisite to enter and work in the trade. Which only has benifit, if you followed that states formular for it. Anything outside of that may or may not count. (Meaning you are starting at zero!) States without these types of formalized worker entry to the trade will allow you to work under the licence and responsability of your employer, like I did here in California. (Although that is due to change very soon.) If you are in a state that will allow you to work for someone willing to train you, I think just by backround of past military you have an edge, for this reason: You'll be much more able to learn, and recongnize standard practices (SOP) than others will. (I say that, and could explain it but would take a few hours....) You'll also be showing up with a much higher standard of work ethic than the average guy off the street. (I say that, and could explain it too, but would take a few hours....)
So, some advice.... (If your state allows you to work without starting completely over...) Check the licencing requirements of your state, as it applies to "workers", Not Contractor Licensing. Check with your states employment board, +/or License Board
Hit the books a bit... Find out what Code your state is on, and get the "Handbook" version of it, its costly but will help a lot. (This site actually has a really decent selection of other trade related books too.)
Find someone willing to take you under thier wing and show you the ropes. I got lucky when I got out, and found a job with a former Navy (Vessle) electrician, who totally understood what I was going through...
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
#58103 - 10/30/0505:56 PMRe: How do I get started as a civilian electrician?
Well, first of all, I really didn't learn that much from my job in the navy. Interior Communications Electricians work on phones (sound powered and conventional), alarms, sensors gyros, and other comunication related equipment. I however didn't get to work on any of these. I worked in a shop with brand new equipment, and hardly any thing went wrong. So what I've got to work with is basic electrical knowledge and my time in the navy, that, from what I understand, I can apply towards an apprenticeship. I open to going for a comunications related apprenticeship or a conventional electrician apprenticeship. I live in Napa CA, there is an IBEW chapter here, but I haven't contacted them yet.. Thanks for the advice guys...
#58104 - 10/30/0509:01 PMRe: How do I get started as a civilian electrician?
"You'll be much more able to learn, and recongnize standard practices (SOP) than others will. (I say that, and could explain it but would take a few hours....) You'll also be showing up with a much higher standard of work ethic than the average guy off the street." ____________________________________________