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#74051 01/11/07 09:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 449
I truly feel bad for anyone who does not enjoy their job on some level. To me, its not all about the money. If it was I would have kept my middle management job in a factory. I made more money and had benefits like paid vacation, good health insurance, profit sharing and job security(the company has never had a layoff in 105 years). The problem was I had little to no personal satisfaction in my job. I love being an electrical contractor. I love the challenge of not only doing a job better than the "other guys", but doing it better than I did it the last time. I do that for me. I was raised to never expect someone to pin a rose on me for doing my job. I was taught to set high standards for myself and learned the satisfaction of meeting or exceeding those standards. I know other sparkys who do just what it takes to get by and they seem to make a good living at it. I just couldn't be happy with that. I've been told that I do too much for too little sometimes and that all that matters is how much money you have when its all said and done. What good is a big pile of money if they have to pay 6 guys to carry your casket to the cemetery?

#74052 01/11/07 10:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 821
"I can't argue the fact about the money, however I would have to ask you what made you want to be an electrician? Was it just about the money?"


I was working at an all night gas station pumping gas when I began getting interested in doing electrical work. A friend of mine came in one night when I was working the overnight shift and he said he was getting a whole $12 p/ hour working as an electrician. That was a helluva lot more than the $8.00 I was making, and having to work overnight just to make that! The next week I visited a Navy recruiter, was offered electrician school in the Navy as a trade, and the rest as they say is history.

I really love the trade, and money is definitely not as important to me as it was when I was 19. But I wouldn't do it for free! [Linked Image]

#74053 01/11/07 10:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 866
Likes: 4
The satisfaction of getting the end result is the best part of the electrical jobs.
The machine works, the lights are on, the powerpoints are live and working, customer happy !

Some jobs may be tedious or awkward but afterwards flipping that switch gives a great feeling when it all works.

In the utility industry, the streetlight faults finding and repairs are the most rewarding because it is the most visible job in the POCO industry.

Also every time I drive past I remember that relay controls that string or that pilot system.

Of cause, after a HV fault closing the 11 or 33 kV switch and see everything jump into live is great, then the dismantling of temporary generators etc is the tiring part of the job but has to be done.

The product of rotation, excitation and flux produces electricty.
#74054 01/12/07 12:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,430
Likes: 3
I can only but agree with you mate!. [Linked Image]
On the same side of the coin, putting a fuse back in and switching a house back on has the same effect on me.
I truly feel bad for anyone who does not enjoy their job on some level.
Any job must have at least some redeeming features to it.
I used to look at a lot of factory workers when I was doing my time, stuck in the same old job, with no real means of advancement.
Being a trades-person means that you can advance your skills and pay-scale.
I'd take skills over money any day. [Linked Image]

{Edit: One thing we have to remember, we are not young, spoilt football players here, where we have buckets of cash thrown at us, we have to WORK for our livings.
I have a new apprentice that likes the idea of hard work as a means of earning his pay check.
He even told me the other day, "You give me the money and I'll work for it!".
For once, the interviewer saw real talent.
This guy is going to be a legend from what I have seen.} [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 01-12-2007).]

#74055 01/12/07 01:04 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
I love my job so much that when I have caught up with my current duties every day, I come to forums like this one to offer assistance to others. I love coming to work; I consider myself to be a true crafstman and enjoy helping others. Any trade these days is so closely-restricted by costs but there are rare occasions where people will "just do it right", even if they don't make as much money. In my case, I just can't cut corners and I maintain this stance to a fault.

True, there may come a point in time where money rules and there will no longer be a need for fine craftsmanship and longevity in the work that was performed. I just hope that this is determined about a month after I am dead and gone.

There is quantity and then there is quality. I will stick with the latter and know that I gave my best, even if my pockets were empty when all was said and done. I am just that way. I would rather be a poor man with a smile on my face than a rich man who doesn't know if his "friends" will be there tomorrow.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
#74056 01/12/07 11:49 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19
I have to agree with the majority here. To me Job satisfaction is more importatnt than the money. You could pay me 4 times what I get now, but if I am not happy I cannot see me applying myself 100%. I get a fuzzy inner feeling when one of my machines does like the customer wanted and knowing I did that.

#74057 01/12/07 04:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 399
As an inspector I don't do it for the money, although I wouldn't be doing it for free.
My signature goes on every service release and I initial every Certificate of Occupancy.
I don't want to be the guy they are talking about some day in the future when they say "Who the H* ever approved this mess."
I feel good when a job is done right and the customer is happy, and the electrician got paid. I am saddened when I have to make someone that should know better go back and do it right.
I really hate it when I am telling the people that just had a fire, and didn't have renters insurance, that they have to find someplace else to stay. Especially when the FD list it as an electrical fire and while caused by electricity had nothing to do with anything any electrician ever had his hands on.
There are good days and there are bad days. I just try to keep the playing field level so the good players have a chance against the corner cutters.
I tell people: Less than the Code is a violation. More than the Code is probably what you want. 200 A instead of 100 service: Some extra outlets behind the video center so the multi tap doesn't have to be used. Some extra outlets in the garage where the work bench is going to be installed.
I like to remind them that the new furnace has a ten year warrenty and cost three grand. The electrical system will last for the life of the house.
It can always be done cheaper. And it can always be done better. Ask the customer what they drive, and if they would want something cheaper or better.

If it was easy, anyone could do it.
#74058 01/13/07 12:24 AM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 110
This reminds me of when I was helping a family friend with his small addition and new outbuilding. I was honestly surprised when he handed me a check after the first week, I had assumed he was just letting me tag along. In all, though, the couple of months of hard summer work (doing things I like- carpentry and electric) were awesome and the money was a mere bonus.

#74059 01/13/07 01:07 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 806
Indeed, it seem that we thrive on being invisible. That is, the only time our work is noticed is when something breaks .... so we're quite happy to remain anonymous.

That's the "prime directive" if you will of my current occupation(s).

As a projectionist especially, I am the "Unseen Showman". The film must hit the screen in frame, in focus, with the sound at the proper level and balance. And, as in the case of the University I run film at, each reel change must be seamless, so as not to pull the audience out of the story. Last night's film was a prime example..full house (300) and BOTH of the film's director's were present. They complimented me on how nice the film looked and sounded.

Despite the tremendous pressure of my current installation job (for a major agency representing many celebrities) the payoff is in the finished product. (About another three days on this job.)

And that job's EC's were very pleasant to work with, and not only complied with my specifications but had the professional courtesy to discuss why I made the specs as I did. And they agreed with the reasons without any negativity.

Overall my job is quite rewarding, not always monetarily (is that even a word?) but with the client's satisfaction, and continued positive referrals. [Linked Image]

I find it hard to believe sometimes that I have been in the business for over 24 years now. [Linked Image]

Stupid should be painful.
#74060 01/16/07 08:02 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,213
I dunno, reno, I *do* get satisfaction flying a desk! I enjoy engineering work, and I get a great deal of satisfaction from finding good solutions to technical problems. I work more closely with the electricians in my present job than before, but I also act as an AHJ now and get to see my system in action.

On my last job, it was a bit different- I'd toil for months on a drawing package they weren't even going to start work on for 6 months. Nobody ever praises the engineer, either- we get blamed for every typo on the drawing and every problem on the waterfront, whether it was actually our fault or not, but if the drawings are perfect and all goes well? Not a peep. If the work was local and I had a good excuse to be in the area, I'd usually try to pop in during construction, but I rarely had the chance. My greatest satisfaction was always seeing my work on TV, man that's a great feeling. Almost always in the background, but sometimes the history channel or discover will focus on it and talk about what a great capability it gives or just how much they use it. Often, its the first time I get to see it fully installed, too!

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