I am an Electronic Technician in the Kansas City area. I graduated in 2000 with an associates degree. After 3 years I have decided this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. Being only 24, that is a LONG time to suffer at a job I dont enjoy. I make $17.93/hour and that is not a bad salary for my age, or so I am told. I like the money but it's not worth the money if I dont enjoy the work.
I have been trying to think of careers I would like to pursue. I love to make or build things and work with my hands. I loved shop and advanced shop class in jr high and high school. I built my iguana a cage last summer and am currently planning a cage for my other iguana. Here are some pics of the cage I built: http://www.planetlong.com/iguanas/habitat/
As you can see I am somewhat skilled with my hands. I dont mean to brag but I think it is good for my first big project. I have started planning all the electrical part of the cage and luckily found a local hardware store that is closing down and had everything 60% off! I was like a kid in a candy store! I only bought what I needed for the cage though. I plan on going back to see what "toys" I can find.
Ok I guess I should get to the point. I was thinking about going to electrician school and change my career. I had an appointment with Vatterott College yesterday to see if it is something I would like to pursue. Any advice would be great! Pros and cons to being an electrician, anything you can think of to help me decide if this is something I want to do.
I found out I should start an apprenticeship instead of paying the $26,000 that Vatterott College charges for tuition. I really dont know much about apprenticeships. Can anyone help me out? I am also concerned about the starting pay of an apprentice. I make $37,000 right now and live by myself. I want to either stay in Kansas City or move to the St Louis area where my boyfriend lives.
You might also look into hiring on with a local EC (Electrical Contractor) to get a feel for the job.
$26k is a lot of money without a guarantee of job placement. My correspondence class (great for theory, crappy for hands-on) ran $900 something by the time it was all said and done; it was that, combined with several years of "hands on" with a local ECs that allowed me to finally challenge the Municipal exam and get my own EC "ticket".
Any apprenticeship program worth it's salt is going to have to give you approximately 4 years worth of knowledge - both theory and hands-on - before they let you "wander loose" to challege any tests, and play with sparks as a journeyman electrician.
If you can, please post a link to the college's course description for the class, would you?
This business has it's own rewards, and, while there are higher paying gigs out there, it sure beats flippin' burgers, or doing something you're miserable in.
[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 04-28-2004).]
Elisa.... Your crafts(wo)manship in your work & attention to details would be an asset to you in the electrical trade Doug pretty much covered all the bases in his post already... I'm just curious about something.. How long is the college program? There's a trade college here in CA that has a 9 month course dealing with everything from basic residential to electrical theory to motor controls, VERY thorough course with about half "hands on" & it runs about $3500 out the door.. For $26K, I'm really interested in their lesson & study lines!
I can almost guarantee an apprenticeship will start you around $8-12/hour..(CA rates) But once you've honed your skills & have some time into things, don't be suprised to be in the mid $40/hour range, maybe more
I've more or less been in the electrical industry (via family) all my working life, I enjoy it alot & I couldn't really picture myself doing anything else. My bottom line advice, Get in touch with a n electrical contractor in your area, tell them you're interest & find out if they can walk you on a couple jobs so you can get a bit of an idea of what your new work environment may be like... There's a few different specialties in the electrical industry as well... Field service, Utility work/Line crew, as well as your basic new construction (residential, commercial, industrial) Hopefully one of these facets will be something that clicks with you!
They told me the next step is to see if I qualify for up to $10,000 in grants. After that I can sit in during a night class just to see what it is like. I think I will let them check if I qualify for any grants just so I can sit in a class. I dont plan on paying that much for schooling especially when I can get it for little or no money through an apprenticeship & get experience too.
Elisa (url removed)
[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 04-29-2004).]