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Old 10-21-2012, 01:51 AM   #1
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I was just wondering how you all got started as electricians. My (crappy) finance 'career' basically went up in smoke, and after a long period of unemployment I've had to rethink my direction/calling. Maybe that's a good thing because I never liked that industry to begin with, am tired of the corporate game, and enjoy working with my hands/fixing stuff much more. So I guess my biggest questions are: 1. what's the best way to find out if this is for me 2. what/who would be good information resources? At 36 I'm not even sure this is realistic, but I'd sure welcome any advice you could provide with regard to training, job prospects, industry trends, required education, allied fields, etc. Thanks so much!

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Old 10-21-2012, 02:13 AM   #2
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Glad to see that you want to do something about your situation instead of being part of the ...

It helps to have your location in your profile......if your on the east coast....your not going to be doing anything unless your in a union....which means you need to start off as an apprentice...

Anywhere else....find an electrical contractor to work for....then work your way up.

Good luck.

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Last edited by BigJim; 10-21-2012 at 08:19 PM. Reason: Easier reading
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:16 AM   #3
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Goin to be very hard but start reading basic books then a little more advanced. walk onto construction sites look around and try to use what you have read to understand what's going on. If you are still interested find a one man company that's willing to train you, chances are you won't be making much in the beginning however if you show your interest and continue learning you will either get a raise or you can move to a bigger company........
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:38 AM   #4
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Your advice is to walk onto a construction site??

If you really want to get into it, take a look at some info on the net about starting pay and local requirements. Each area is vastly different, and union/non union makes a big difference as well. If you decide that you would like to continue, try to find someone who will let you work with them for a trial period. There is no better way to learn than by a hands on approach.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:55 AM   #5
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My father is an electrician. So I was pretty much born with dykes in my hand. Dad started teachings when I was a kid. Went on co-op at16 with dads company. Been working ever since. Check out you local vo-tech school and see if they offer any classes.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz
Your advice is to walk onto a construction site??

.
Absolutely just wear a hard hat do they don't throw you off.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberwood View Post
...what's the best way to find out if this is for me...
Well I started right in at age 3 when I took apart an electric train (to see what was inside and made it go). My dad made the mistake of leaving me with the train and a screwdriver.

And then all growing up I took apart electrical things because I was curious how they worked - what was inside.

Anyway that was/is my spare time interest. Something I did for fun (and later did for work).

With that said, electrical and electronic things are constantly changing. It is a BIG help if you like to do that sort of thing in your spare time - are curious about it and are interested to read about new things (in your spare time). Can learn about new things on your own.

Anyway if something like the following is interesting to you, and you could read the following and be curious enough to research it further. Maybe spend a couple of hours searching for terms used in the following and reading about it, then that would be a good sign an electrical or electronics career would be for you...
http://ecmweb.com/nec/grounding-and-...ved-ac-systems

If you are not interested in reading the above, then I would suggest thinking about what you do in your spare time for fun. Is there a career related to that? If yes, then that might be a better choice.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:36 AM   #8
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Thanks so much for the advisement. Sorry I forgot to include my location (duh)--I'm in Wa State. I like the idea of taking some intro classes; I'm pretty sure I'm in for a ton of classroom work first anyway, which is good because this is entirely new to me. I don't think they'll be impressed with the small amount of physics I had in college . Maybe I can explore some of the other trades this way as well--plumbing, hvac, flooring, etc. Have certain fields of trade been hit harder than others by the recession? My parents had hardwood floors put in recently and our installer said he was living day to day, but better now.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
Well I started right in at age 3 when I took apart an electric train (to see what was inside and made it go). My dad made the mistake of leaving me with the train and a screwdriver.

And then all growing up I took apart electrical things because I was curious how they worked - what was inside.

Anyway that was/is my spare time interest. Something I did for fun (and later did for work).

With that said, electrical and electronic things are constantly changing. It is a BIG help if you like to do that sort of thing in your spare time - are curious about it and are interested to read about new things (in your spare time). Can learn about new things on your own.

Anyway if something like the following is interesting to you, and you could read the following and be curious enough to research it further. Maybe spend a couple of hours searching for terms used in the following and reading about it, then that would be a good sign an electrical or electronics career would be for you...
http://ecmweb.com/nec/grounding-and-...ved-ac-systems

If you are not interested in reading the above, then I would suggest thinking about what you do in your spare time for fun. Is there a career related to that? If yes, then that might be a better choice.
Thanks Billy Bob--I'll take a look at that. And you've touched on my biggest problem: I've never really known what I want to do or where my natural strengths lie. Sure wish I'd focussed more on that before going to college. With my history of learning disabilities, no one academic subject seemed more interesting than the next--it was all blood sweat and tears (especially as a student athlete in college).
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberwood View Post
Thanks Billy Bob--I'll take a look at that. And you've touched on my biggest problem: I've never really known what I want to do or where my natural strengths lie. Sure wish I'd focussed more on that before going to college. With my history of learning disabilities, no one academic subject seemed more interesting than the next--it was all blood sweat and tears (especially as a student athlete in college).
Well people go to college to learn. One of the things you can learn is what you DON'T want to do!

So far as "learning disabilities", sometimes it is the case a person is more intelligent than most other people and the school classes are going too slow! (Thus bored.) These people do better reading/learning on their own. Then can go at a faster pace...
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
Well people go to college to learn. One of the things you can learn is what you DON'T want to do!

So far as "learning disabilities", sometimes it is the case a person is more intelligent than most other people and the school classes are going too slow! (Thus bored.) These people do better reading/learning on their own. Then can go at a faster pace...
Yeah I wish I had that kind LOL--i.e. Rainman. Science/physics wasn't exactly my strong suit so this might not be the best field for me...
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by timberwood View Post
Yeah I wish I had that kind LOL--i.e. Rainman. Science/physics wasn't exactly my strong suit so this might not be the best field for me...
I think you are making a mistake. If you have a degree in finance, you should stick to finance at least for the short term.
Becoming an electrician is not easy and it does not pay as good as many might lead you to believe.

Stay with finance as it will eventually pay way more than you will make in this trade.
I have been in this trade for over 35 years. It was good to me. I worked hard and raised 3 daughters.
Would I do it again? Knowing what I know now? No way.
I would be a financial adviser.

Last edited by Gary in WA; 10-22-2012 at 11:02 PM. Reason: Removed quote from text.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post


I think you are making a mistake. If you have a degree in finance, you should stick to finance at least for the short term.
Becoming an electrician is not easy and it does not pay as good as many might lead you to believe.

Stay with finance as it will eventually pay way more than you will make in this trade.
I have been in this trade for over 35 years. It was good to me. I worked hard and raised 3 daughters.
Would I do it again? Knowing what I know now? No way.
I would be a financial adviser.
Well...Actually, I don't have a degree in finance, and my 'finance' job paid no where near what electricians make. My goal at this point is to find something for which I'm better suited, I'm good enough at to make a living, and doesn't make me want jump off a bridge at the thought of going to work in the morning. Pretty basic stuff, but important I think. But you're right, I'm gonna have to work my ass off. But I think that's true for nearly all career changers, minus those lucky enough to land cushy gov jobs. I've talked to tons of people in tons of different professions, and the one constant I've found is this: "why the hell would you want to do this!"

Last edited by timberwood; 10-21-2012 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:50 PM   #14
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Timberwood, go visit your local tech school. They can give you a lot of information and steer you in the right direction.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:53 PM   #15
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If you going to change the jobs you will have to start from bottom and work it way up.

And expect first couple years will be pretty rough but if you are willing to go thru the rough spot and listen to the experinced personalles you will able to do the task ( you will learn alot more as the time go by )

I have heard some older peoples did apply for electrician job postion the last person I did ran into he was in mid 50's and I did refered him to one Electrical Contrator and go from there and seems doing pretty good so far what I heard.

I been in the trade in both USA and France side for over 25 years and still counting.

Wish ya the luck to get into and also check the vocational school they may have something as well.

Merci,
Marc

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