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Old 01-30-2011, 01:46 PM   #1
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Hello everyone - Just wanted to first say that I am a facilities maintenance guy for a high school in AZ.

My boss, who in my opinion is a blubbering idiot, keeps asking me when I'm going to get my electrical and plumbing license(s). Now to my knowledge, which may be wrong, the only way to get such a "license" is by going through and apprenticeship program with a school where they place you in a job and you work along side journeyman for 4 to 5 years and then you get "licensed."

If that truly is the case than my boss is telling me to quit my job for next 10 years get licensed then come back to work for him.

Please, can someone tell me if this is correct and if there is some sort of federal/state website that I can go to that says there is now way, no how to get licensed without doing it this way?

I think that would be the only way that he is going to be able to understand that you can't just go pick up a text book at a college for a 6 month course and know everything there is to know about plumbing or electrical.

Thanks for any help you can find!

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Old 01-30-2011, 02:23 PM   #2
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The apprenticeshep/tradeschool method is usually the only way. I guess he must want you to quit. Though I doubt I'd be working in school maintenance with both a plumbing and electrical license.

You'd make much more elsewhere

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Old 01-30-2011, 02:36 PM   #3
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Your issue is one which would be determined by your State's laws/codes. Some states, but not all, would permit you to do your type of work without a license because someone in the local school's maintenance staff would be licensed at one or both trades and you would be working under their license. This is also common in many industries. One person, usually a supervisory position would have one or more licenses, and the trades people would do the work. The licensed person would sign off on any papers necessary. I also would agree that IF you were to obtain either or both of those particular license, unless there is something wonderful in their benefit package, you should be working for yourself.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:13 PM   #4
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Your issue is one which would be determined by your State's laws/codes. Some states, but not all, would permit you to do your type of work without a license because someone in the local school's maintenance staff would be licensed at one or both trades and you would be working under their license. This is also common in many industries. One person, usually a supervisory position would have one or more licenses, and the trades people would do the work.
Well here the thing. I am just a normal everyday handy-man maintenance guy working for a high school. Basically I do most anything and everything. I patch holes in walls, replace general plumbing (J-Traps, extensions, garage disposal's ect...), replace light bulbs, ballasts and outlets as needed. The rest of what I do is moving, setting up for events fixing a broken leg on a table, fixing a broken chair (basically utility type work).

Our team lead is only certified in HVAC. We have no direct supervisor. Our Facilities Director was a contractor about 20 years ago and has not keep up on it. So basically no one there is licensed to do anything. That school is run so poorly in my opinion.

No one there does just drywall, or just electrical. All of us do everything.

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The licensed person would sign off on any papers necessary.
Our paper work is all interal, myself and the team lead are the only two to print off work order and sign them off in the computer system. Other than that no one else ever see's that paper what-so-ever.

From the sounds of it, I could basically go the state of AZ and ask for an application if I meet the requirements and passed them, then I could be a licensed Electrician/Plumber. Although, from a few web pages I found it seems like I would have to work directly with a journeyman of both trades for 4 years in a related job before I could even apply for such an application.

Does this sound petty?

Last edited by trav2001; 02-06-2011 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:33 PM   #5
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I don't know about the licensing process of either trade or you state requirements but it seems to me if you have already been hired for the job, they must feel you are qualified for their purposes. The only exception would be if say, there is a clause in your employment contract that states you must be licenses in electracal or plumbing or both by a certian time frame.

I know for example that public school teachers in NY state must have their Master's withing 5 years of employment or 10 if they are female or child-bearing years. If trhe employees of your school are union, you will have a contract.

It may be adaquate to explain to your boss that it is not a simple matter to obtain these licenses and that doing so would require you to leave your current employment and obtaining such would have you looking for higher paying employment.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:59 PM   #6
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I don't know about the licensing process of either trade or you state requirements but it seems to me if you have already been hired for the job, they must feel you are qualified for their purposes. The only exception would be if say, there is a clause in your employment contract that states you must be licenses in electracal or plumbing or both by a certian time frame.
There is nothing like that at all in our contracts. We are 12 months employees and we do have to resign that contract every year, but again there is nothing stated other than what is required of us on a daily basis.

Here's an example of how things are run. I've been there 4 years and have been told the entire time by my boss that I would be licensed to drive the fork lift with in a one year time frame; and 4 years later, guess what I'm still waiting on?

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It may be adaquate to explain to your boss that it is not a simple matter to obtain these licenses and that doing so would require you to leave your current employment and obtaining such would have you looking for higher paying employment.
I think it is just going to have to come down to this and hope he doesn't come up with some stupid lame excuse to try and fire me

Last edited by trav2001; 02-06-2011 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:17 AM   #7
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Well just an update as to what happened with the boss and this whole "license" thing. I looked on the AZ state website and called a couple of numbers. From what they tell me, I have to have been an apprentice in either trade for about 4 years and prove the work history with a plumbing/electrical company before i could even consider applying for any type of license. However, I could apply for a general contractors license, but that's not what my boss is looking for.

Last edited by trav2001; 02-06-2011 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:27 PM   #8
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Well just an update as to what happened with the boss and this whole "license" thing. I looked on the AZ state website and called a couple of numbers. From what they tell me, I have to have been an apprentice in either trade for about 4 years and prove the work history with a plumbing/electrical company before i could even consider applying for any type of license. However, I could apply for a general contractors license, but that's not what my boss is looking for.

Oh well guess he's as stupid as I thought...
The requirement of working for a licensed person in some trades is not unusual. What you are doing is classed as "illegal", because there is no way to determine if you really know what you are doing, what kind of training you have received, what kind of supervison you have or how many hours of electrical or plumbing experience you have performed.

Now that you have done some research, why not discuss this with your supervisor and explain what your license would cost the school district?

For the matter of working for a fool, this is a public forum. How do you know your supervisor has not seen your posts?
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:45 PM   #9
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Not really "illegal". Many states only require that an overseer be licensed. They are to check the other employees work and sign off on it. That's common in many workplaces.
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:43 PM   #10
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The requirement of working for a licensed person in some trades is not unusual. What you are doing is classed as "illegal", because there is no way to determine if you really know what you are doing, what kind of training you have received, what kind of supervison you have or how many hours of electrical or plumbing experience you have performed.
Ok, maybe I've not made this clear. I am the lowest man in the department. There is no supervisor for our team, and my boss who is the director does not have any sort of license. Since we work for AZ School System all of this is public knowledge and can be looked at. I understand that as a worker you should be working under someones license. I'm that not dumb. All I'm saying that is that he basically wants me to go take some 6 month to year long class at a college that shows you everything there is to know about plumbing or electrical; so that in his eyes your now "certified" to work on 408v or higher. To my understanding a certified electrical journeyman is supposed to work on that sort of high voltage electrical.

No one on the crew is certified to do any electrical, but yet we run circuits and rewire ballasts. But we only do so about every 4 months. So just real basic stuff.

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Now that you have done some research, why not discuss this with your supervisor and explain what your license would cost the school district?
I've already told him this part and he laughed in my face and told me that the school is not going to pay for it, he expects me to take care of the entire cost and upkeep for getting re-licensed when it comes time to do that. He doesn't want me in any sort of supervisory position or sign off any paper work, he just me to make sure I know what I'm doing. But don't you think that is going to the extreme? I mean if there was a supervisory position in view and I had a crew of people working for me then I could understand that. But there is nothing like that on the horizon.

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For the matter of working for a fool, this is a public forum. How do you know your supervisor has not seen your posts?
What I've typed on this forum is not different than what I would say when discussing these things with him. However with that being said, I know it's not the smartest place in the world to post things about work. Perhaps I will go back and edit those things out.

At this point I'm really just not sure what to do? I really like my job there and the people are great. But this entire thing about being licensed is really bugging me. How on earth can I afford to license myself for anything on a small wage? When I've asked for raises all I ever get is "why is it always about money? People go to school to better themselves, not to get paid more." So in the end my question of asking for a raise is completely shot down the toilet and obviously not going anywhere anytime soon. However I've already started looking for another job because this one is starting to go no where fast.

Last edited by trav2001; 02-06-2011 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:02 PM   #11
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trav,
I feel your pain. I work for a local govt department. We have a couple of retired school buses that are used for summer camp and other misc trips and a tandem dump truck. No one has a CDL license but that does not seem to be a problem. I have touched base with City Hall and the police chief so they are aware of it but I was never given an answer, just brushed off.
I sure would hate to be the supervisor who knowingly told someone to drive one of these vehicles without the proper license and that person was involved in an accident. Seems like it would be like the drunk who got hit by someone running a stop sign. The accident may not be his fault but I bet he goes to jail anyway!
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:19 AM   #12
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Well see we have a similar issue with our fleet of cars/vans/trucks. Most of the tires are dry-rotting and they will send a huge 11 passenger van full of kids and a teacher 40 miles away. There has been more than once where a tow truck was called and couple of cabs to pick them all up and bring them back to the school.

And the bad part is, we are a trade, and we have an automotive program that told administration about this and they blow it off like there is was no big deal. One of these days someone is going to die and then the law suite.

The one good think I can say is that whenever we need new tools the school is very prompt to buy them no questions asked. So many WONDERFUL things about that place that make me LOVE It.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:10 PM   #13
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Don't you like working for those who do not have a clue about repair & maintainance of safety stuff? Is it time to look for other oportunities?
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:05 PM   #14
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Trust me, I've been looking for a while now. But so far nothing appealing has been found.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:02 PM   #15
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simply put; if there is no exception in the licensing laws that would allow you to do maintenance work in plumbing or electrical trades without a license (I believe an L-11 for electrical and an L-37 for plumbing) , doing such work would be illegal. Anybody that does such unlicensed work would be subject to whatever penalties your state can impose. I know in my state it can actually result in being arrested.

If anybody is injured due to your unlicensed work, you bear a great amount of liability.

I would call the local inspectors for plumbing and electrical work and ask them about your situation. If the school has to hire licensed people for the positions, that that is what they will have to do. Of course, since you are the low man on the totem pole, it might result in your job being eliminated.

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