Hi all! I am Brazilian(living in brazil). I am an electrician with deep experience and diploma. I need to know if there is some way to engage a apprentice program in US. If positive how much it is competitive. I do not have any kind of permission to work in US but I will need to work soon to sustain myself. It is possible to get an student visa for learning period? Sorry my bad english. Where can I start this jorney? Thanks a lot.
Your economic prospects are better in Brazil than in the US.
1) No growth -- particularly in the electrical and construction trades. Brazil is in exactly the opposite situation.
(Itaipu dam is still not fully tapped. It's the cheapest electricity in the hemisphere.)
2) Journeymen (electrician) wages have been going backwards for forty-years in the US. This is true for both union and non-union journeymen. [ inflation adjusted ]
3) The cost of living in the US is dramatically higher than anything you might imagine. In all major cities, rents are very, very, high. They negate America's low cost food advantage.
4) Your deep knowledge will not count in your favor: as an applied art most of your knowledge will prove wrong or useless. More than you can believe, you'll end up starting from zero. No employer, no IBEW local, will credit you for foreign experience.
Some idea of how this plays out in practice: in Iraq and Afghanistan, American master electricians find that they have to practically re-learn their craft to deal with the totally different materials and designs there. (French and German standards)
One example out of many: blue wire in America means the C phase in three-phase power -- at 120 VAC; in Europe blue wire means the neutral/ grounded conductor -- at 0 VAC.
5) You also have to purchase a slew of American standard tools, metric stuff won't do the job.
More generally, immigrants to America are of three types:
a) Blood relatives that receive family support;
b) Dirt poor aliens that must settle for sub-standard wages and living conditions -- being illegal aliens. At this time, millions of Mexican construction workers have left the US, returning home because of the massive layoffs everywhere. Further contraction in the trades is dead ahead, residential housing is now so expensive that new home sales are falling off -- a lot.
President Obama's proclamation stipulates that amnesty of any kind will not be extended to anyone illegally entering America after January, 2010, but that was four years ago.
c) Highly degreed aliens that have a corporate sponsor -- and who sign an indenture, typically for three years. After this period, they are typically sent back home.
6) There are MILLIONS of unemployed Americans who stand in front of you for every working class/ practical trade job that opens up.
7) It's bad enough that many seasoned electricians have left the trade, shutting down their shops to do so. This situation was not predicted by the experts -- ever. So you never will read a negative prediction about the economy -- and job growth.
8) Americans migrate within the nation all the time. Ten years ago, a major flood of talent surged into California. The wages looked terrific. Quickly the new arrivals discovered that rents and expenses were DRASTICALLY higher than they expected -- and the income taxes, too. So they ended up returning home in a state of shock.
Our governments and free press never spread bad economic news. Politicians and advertizers hate bad economic news. It kills votes and sales! So anyone outside the nation gets a distorted, glowing, economic picture.
If you really want to make big money, check out the OPEC crowd. Saudi Arabia ALWAYS has huge turn-over. They import trade talent in huge numbers -- but only by contract -- and only for a handful of years. This means that they're hiring fresh talent even when their economy is shrinking. They pay wages far, far, above those available anywhere else. You can make more money (saved: zero taxes on income) from one contract there than a lifetime of American work. (high and rising income taxes)
Further, the Middle East is a mix of equipment from all over the world. You'll be sure to find stuff that you're expert in.
Then you can return to Brazil with so much money you can do anything: buy a home, start your own shop, even retire.
Dubai is STILL building like crazy. They also have no taxes and pay high wages. They use the contract system, too. They hire from everywhere, you'd fit right in.
When you come back, you'd be well positioned to work for Brazil's national oil company -- which is actually a good prospect for you even now.
You need to go where the action is. And its not America. We're built out. After a century of construction, we've got too much of just about everything.( that needs building )