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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2
Stan64 Offline OP
Junior Member
I was wondering if someone had any advice on the best way to get into the electrician trade for someone in my position. I was recently laid off work (damn economy!) as a programmer. Before I got back more into computers, I originally started out studying to be an EE major, but never finished because I became more interested in programming instead. I was wondering what kind of school would one go to do get into doing this line of work. When I was studying EE, I finished all pre-engineering courses, and a few of the core electronics classes and an instrumentation classes (although it was nearly 10 years ago now!). I like working with my hands, and have always been messing around with electrical things and hobbie electronics off and on (which is why I started out studying EE). Also what kind of salaries does one make in this field (starting and average). Any advice anyone can offer would be appreciated, and thanks.


[This message has been edited by Stan64 (edited 03-24-2002).]

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 53
Trades in employment opportunities, cold calls, join a union. But the two don't mix well as in any trade. Salaries vary on experience, and also geographical location. Start at $7.00 and get into $30.00 plus, benefits vary greatly. Poor boys beg for overtime.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 6
Junior Member
As NonLinearLoad so eloquently put it, there are a few options. It depends on what part of the electrical industry you want to be in. If you truly enjoy working with your hands and are physically fit and don't mind working out in the elements, with your schooling you may enjoy being an electrician.

You will need hands on training, which usually means starting at the bottom, then grow as your learn the trade. It can be a very rewarding career if you enjoy the work.

Other avenues may be working in the wholesale supply field for suppliers/manufacturers of electrical equipment and parts or even engineering if you have a degree. Also, don't overlook regional power companies for opportunities.

Best of luck,


Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 38
Being an electrician is a truly rewarding career for me after being an aviation electronics tech(airline moved out of town).
I served my 4 year apprenticeship and attended trade school as well. Out here in Colorado a 1st year journeyman makes around $42K -$50K a year, depends who you work for, union or non-union, etc. (I work non-union). A first year apprentice usually starts at $10 an hour. Again, depends who you work for.
I thought my previous schooling in electronics would count for the apprenticeship school, It didn't. But the troubleshooting experience helps me a great deal now.
Good Luck!

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 41
Stan64 [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

It seems to me that with some of your past experience you are a prime candidate for working with PLC’s. Check out the AB website for information. They also have some training class info. I suggest taking a look then find out if any there are any integrators in your area.
Good luck.
Repost if you have any specific questions

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 440
Likes: 3
Stan, step into my office. Up on the examining table there, and let's have a look. Hmmm. I see. So, no fever lately. OK, you want to be in the electrical field? I usually tell people who want to be in the electrical field that they need to have their head examined, but I'll try to make the proper diagnosis without having to consult "other" professional help. So, open your mouth, and say ahhh. I see. Nurse, sidecutters, please. Stan, your going to feel a little pressure.
Well, Stan I see no problems. I'm going to prescribe an "established" apprenticeship program. With a balanced diet of on the job training. You will need plenty of exercise in pipe bending, theory, installation of equipment, methods, materials, etc., etc., etc. As The Watt Doctor, I would advise you to seek out local resources to help you with your employment ailment.
You can take this industry as far as you want. Otherwise, take two wire nuts, and call me in the morning.

Wattologically Yours,

The Watt Doctor
Altura Cogen
Channelview, TX
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 324
First, find you state requirements for licensing. Second, get a job in the field tomorrow! Third call your local tech school and get enrolled. And last, never put down your side-cutters. I love the electrical field... eat, sleep and drink it. I went back to tech school after graduating college with a BS in Communications. Education is the key. Besides knowing how to do it, you also need to know why you do it.

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2
Stan64 Offline OP
Junior Member
Thanks to all of you for all the great replies. I appreciate all the information you provided.
rkukl: Thanks for the links you provided! I will begin researching them further asap. It most definately sounds like something I will want to follow up more. And Watt Doctor, thanks for your humor and the prescription! [Linked Image]
I am currently preparing resumes to go out both locally and quite possibly to other states in an attempt to get another job in a similar area to what I was doing most recently, as fast as possible. If things don't pan out for me too well and as time goes by more, I will probably start leaning toward some kind of trade, and probably electrical work! It's what I started out studying originally and have played around with the most in a hobbyist aspect in the past.
Thanks guys! [Linked Image]

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6
Junior Member
Well looking back now to 1976 when I got into the trade,I had the option of that or working for a telephone company. Should have went with the phone company...geezz we even have to run pipe for them to come along with 8 guys to pull in the wire. The trade has totally wrecked my back and have been out of it since 1989.
Depending on your age you will have to consider this is not just putting in light switchs and light bulbs...thier is alot of heavy manual labour involed, my fist job was a 12 story apartment...guess who was running the bundles of pipe up the stairs to the top floors...yep ME.

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 53
Watt Doctor you my friend arequite hilarious!!!! And I could use a little help myself, carpaltunel, tendonitis,bad knees, bad back, split open fingers(the cold factor), a few small burn scars, brain damage, but I love the hell out of this trade, if you need a challenge, like to read, and I mean a lot of reading, challenge yourself on a daily basis if you have initiative, and like to be really cool, cause as one one buck said to me "Electricians get all the awsome BABES I heard!".

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