Switching Careers To An Electrician ? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-19-2011, 05:18 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


Hey everyone, I'm new here, but have a question for you.....

I've been a mechanic for 20 years now, and I am just plain tired of it.... I went to college to be a mechanic, and it was fun for a while, but I am ready to do something different...
The first thing that comes to mind for me, is I would like to be an electrician.... what I am wondering is, how much schooling do I have to take, if any ? Or can you be an apprentice for someone for a while ?
Let's say down the road, I would like to start my own little business as an elctrician... what do I need to have for a license or what to do that... I assume it takes 5 to 7 years before that is possible, but I really know nothing about it.....

Any help would be great guys........ Also, what I could expect for a salary just starting off being an electrician ? I suppose it all depends where a guy gets a job, but I'm just looking for a ballpark figure..... $15 ?????

I live in Wisconsin, if that helps at all..... not sure if wages vary from one state to another....

Advertisement

hotwire42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 06:37 PM   #2
Lic Electrical Inspector
 
electures's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Great Police State of New Jersey
Posts: 1,761
Rewards Points: 1,102
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwire42 View Post
Hey everyone, I'm new here, but have a question for you.....

I've been a mechanic for 20 years now, and I am just plain tired of it.... I went to college to be a mechanic, and it was fun for a while, but I am ready to do something different...
The first thing that comes to mind for me, is I would like to be an electrician.... what I am wondering is, how much schooling do I have to take, if any ? Or can you be an apprentice for someone for a while ?
Let's say down the road, I would like to start my own little business as an elctrician... what do I need to have for a license or what to do that... I assume it takes 5 to 7 years before that is possible, but I really know nothing about it.....

Any help would be great guys........ Also, what I could expect for a salary just starting off being an electrician ? I suppose it all depends where a guy gets a job, but I'm just looking for a ballpark figure..... $15 ?????

I live in Wisconsin, if that helps at all..... not sure if wages vary from one state to another....
Talk to a few local contractors. Attend a few IAEI meetings. Follow this link. Good luck!

Advertisement

__________________
All responses based on the 2011 NEC.
If you live in New Jersey click here. All other states click here.
Please check with local, county and state officials as laws may vary.
Sizing motors here. Online motor calculator here. Online calculators here.
electures is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 06:42 PM   #3
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,904
Rewards Points: 2,162
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


Figure a minimum of 5 years to know anything. IMO ten years to know enough to start your own business.

Starting salary could be anywhere from $7 to $15, maybe more in metro areas.
In your area I bet $10/hr is a lot for a green helper.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2011, 07:57 PM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 10
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


ok, thanks for the input guys..... I will ask around my area to see what the going rate for a greenhorn is....
hotwire42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2011, 09:18 PM   #5
Electrician
 
SD515's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Near Jackson Michigan Area
Posts: 1,451
Rewards Points: 502
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


We get paid to do this ???
__________________
Kyle

Just because you can, doesn't always mean you should
SD515 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2011, 09:31 PM   #6
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by SD515 View Post
We get paid to do this ???
Yes you do and I believe I have put some of your kids through college if you are near my age!

Anyhow, counsel to the OP. Never switch or even start pursuing a career with the money dangling at the end of the stick as the incentive. And don't get sucked into the crappy assed chants of "Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow!" Horse puckey. But find some middle ground that makes life tolerable.

And if you can, be proud of what you do or did at the end of the day. At least as few people or critters in the process of the day is my motto. I have found paint a fairly safe building material in this regard.

Last edited by user1007; 06-21-2011 at 09:42 PM.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2011, 09:38 PM   #7
Electrician
 
SD515's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Near Jackson Michigan Area
Posts: 1,451
Rewards Points: 502
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


__________________
Kyle

Just because you can, doesn't always mean you should
SD515 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2011, 11:18 PM   #8
I ask the impossible!
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
Posts: 1,074
Rewards Points: 508
Blog Entries: 7
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


Let me say this. I'm an engineer, and the job that I've had was getting kind of slow. I was enjoying the project I have been working on to wire a subpanel in my detatched garage and do a new service entrance for my house. I was thinking about becoming an electrician if I was out of work again and having a hard time finding another job again.

By way of background, I've been in engineering around 11 years now. Just under 5 years ago, Michigan's economic downturn started and I was looking for a job for the 3rd time in my career. The previous 2 job searches went fast - I got a job within 3 weeks from the first posting of my resume to my first day of work off of my 3rd interview. In 2006 it was different. After 4 months of searching I had no offers locally, I was averaging about 1 interview per month. Child #2 was on the way at the time I started looking, so having run out of money and credit I expanded my job search to non-local jobs and got one within 3 weeks.

Point being, I try to be humble, but I've never had difficulty getting an engineering job but for the economic situation...

Last year, we decided to leave my out of state job and move back to Michigan... We were financially in a position to manage without my income and without resorting to credit. So we moved back and I got a job in Michigan after a couple months - quite frankly I expected it to take longer.

Back to the present. Ironically, I had my first rough inspection on my project before Memorial day. Mind you, I'd done the work myself and unlike an apprentice, I didn't have anyone to check my work until that rough inspection.

Besides the first few things I did wrong, I learned a couple of things: 1) There's a lot more to the job of an electrician than you'd think, even if you've done a lot of DIY wiring work (in other words, I have a much greater appreciation for the pros) and 2) I'm not planning to consider it as a fall-back career option.

My original materials cost for this project was just under $1000. I haven't added up what I've spent fixing that over the course of 5 rough inspections, but I'm sure it was at least another $500. By the time I had my second rough inspection I had been notified at 4 PM of that day that the Tuesday after Memorial day was my last day. Today with my 5th reinspection I passed... As it happens, it was the first inspection I had after accepting a new engineering job. I wouldn't be suprised if my material costs on the job added up to $2000.

Putting my project in perspective: Considering I've heard a typical 200A service upgrade costs $2500, it seems that the material cost must be more than half that cost. I've been working on this since Easter to today. That makes it about 2 months. To be an electrician I'd have to do what took me about 2 months in probably 1 or 2 days...

Then you have to consider what you've thought of the cost of hiring an electrician... This is the attitude of the customers you'd be working for, and the kind of thing that can make getting the pay you've earned become a challenge.

Let me wrap this up like this: It sounds to me like you want to switch careers because you want something more interesting... I was thinking about the same possibility and going through my own project really gave me more insight into what I was considering.
__________________
Please do NOT consider any "before" picture of my house as any kind of endorsement of any particular construction method. In fact, you should probably assume that if I post a "before" picture, I am posting it because I am soliciting advice on a proper replacement for one of MANY things done wrong by a previous owner.
WillK is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2011, 06:29 PM   #9
Electrician
 
SD515's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Near Jackson Michigan Area
Posts: 1,451
Rewards Points: 502
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


Not to highjack the thread….

Thanks Will for the greater appreciation of the pros. At times it does take an in depth project like you took on for those not involved in the trade to really realize what we go through every day. Sure we can rip a project out in a day or two, but we didn’t get that efficient overnight. A lot of training and time went into it.

I wish some people that think we are ‘too high priced’ could have been at your side during your project to see what the challenges really are. It would have given them an insight to our job, and hopefully an appreciation of our talents.

I commend you Will for taking on your project, and I’m glad it’s coming out well for you.

To the OP, yes it’s a rewarding career if you make it so, but it takes time, and the grass isn’t always greener. If you do it….do it because you want to, it’ll be worth it. If you’re looking to do it for the money only….become a banker.
__________________
Kyle

Just because you can, doesn't always mean you should
SD515 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2011, 07:19 PM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 15
Rewards Points: 10
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


SD 515 is spot on.
If you love doing it , then what you are getting paid is not as important.
If you can wake up on a Monday morning and not be depressed because you have to go to work, then it is the right career for you.
Laurence is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Laurence For This Useful Post:
SD515 (06-22-2011)
Old 06-22-2011, 11:06 PM   #11
Member
 
Missouri Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Almost Arkansas
Posts: 2,764
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

switching careers to an electrician ?


Good luck to you. May I suggest you go to www.electriciantalk.com and toss your ideas around there. It's a professional site and you may get some good ideas there.

Advertisement

Missouri Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
complicating-updating new box for client, electrician messed it up-pics included Kraze Electrical 29 11-18-2012 10:14 PM
Licensed Electrician or Not? taras1 Electrical 10 04-29-2011 07:23 PM
Do I Need to Call in a Electrician to Check This Work? taras1 Electrical 6 12-13-2010 06:07 PM
Effects of electrician tape on cable richard7994 Electrical 4 08-11-2010 09:39 AM
handling unsafe work by an electrician wuxingming57 Electrical 1 11-14-2009 08:07 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts