I have a few questions I hope that I am able to throw at you guys. I have been in resturant management now for 4 years, and am really begining to question my job choice. After much thought, and way too many fake resturant smiles have come to a decision to become an electrician. The traning course I have chosen is a distance learning course is from PCDI. Does any one know anything about this course as far as skills needed in the field? Is this type of course respected as well as a college/tech school course? I have spent countless hours in these forums sponging knowledge. This is truly a forum of quality minded individuals of whom I wish to become. Any other information that you are kind enough to extend is very helpful.
An apprenticeship would be a far better choice. For one thing, you get paid during the apprenticeship, as opposed to having to pay for the distance learning course. For another, there are experience requirements for becoming an electrician that an apprenticeship can help you meet.
An apprenticeship provides the best of both worlds; hands-on PAID work experience plus classes (which you usually don't have to pay for)on the theory and work practices of electrical work.
Many electrical contractors won't hire you as a full-fledged electrician without the required work experience-at most they'd hire you as a helper or apprentice anyway. Mind as well look up your local chapter of the IBEW and do it right.
I'm a graduate of the Harcourt Learning Correspondence class myself... nice diploma, and decent background info, so I'm a supporter of that school, and correspondence schools in general.
HOWEVER - NOTHING is a replacement for hands-on work, as others here have said, and as any of us in the business can vouch for. Try to hook up with an established contractor... the IBEW is good, but anybody that knows their stuff should provide a good resource.
Depending how much wiring background you have, you can start right away, or take part of the class to get some background, and then get a place somewhere.