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Old 02-01-2011, 09:48 PM   #1
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17 year old looking to learn the trade


My name is Tj. I recently cleaned out my grandfathers old workbench in the garage and made it my own. With my dad hospitalized and also not that useful at repair, I've taken over the home repairs and have been teaching myself everything I can since there's no one to teach me.
As a junior in highschool I'm asked what I want to do after highschool a dozen times a day and recently I've realized with the work I do that I love fixing and building! It's no question that I'm pursuing it as a career but my worry is how am I going to learn all aspects of the trade? I've read alot of books and work each day building something new but I wanna be like the contractors on DIY Network who seem to know it all. I'm sure many of them had a neighbor or family member who taught them but I have nobody. I need more experience and people to help teach me. Hopefully this website will help.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:03 PM   #2
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17 year old looking to learn the trade


Welcome to DIY Chatroom! I know we can help, it all takes time..... Find the topic you are interested in and do a "Search" in the box above to read some of the many responses from professional tradesmen and avid DIY'ers. Glad to have you aboard.

Gary
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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17 year old looking to learn the trade


Right On TJ.
Welcome to DIY, As to your question about being a contractor. This summer when you get out of school, go to any home or office that has some trades working at them. Walk up and talk just as frankly as you wrote in here. Laborer seems to ring a bell. Ask Tradesmen/Women if they are hiring a laborer. The rest will all be history for you. Thanks for stepping up on the post. Took me back a couple of years ya did..................
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:44 PM   #4
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17 year old looking to learn the trade


Good for you TJ for having a strong desire to learn. I would talk to your guidance counsilor at school and he or she will be more than happy to help you out in all the local options available to you.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:55 PM   #5
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17 year old looking to learn the trade


My local highschool was/is affiliated with a vocational center. In your senior year, you could spend 1/2 the school day learning one of many different trades: carpentry, pulmbing, pipefitting, robotics, all-sorts of things for those planning on going to work after high school. I 2nd talking to your guidance counselor and seeing what is available for you.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:42 PM   #6
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Is it sort of like an apprentice job?
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:15 AM   #7
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17 year old looking to learn the trade


Welcome to the forum.
Mike
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tj1516 View Post
Is it sort of like an apprentice job?
We have what they are talking about around here, the schools let you go work for half your school days credit. So you'll take your important classes in the morning and go to work in the afternoon. You guidance counselor should be able to help however you'll probably need to talk to them before the end of this school year so its all lined out for when you start your senior year.

As for apprenticeship there are many trades have both union and non-union apprentice programs where they put you to work while also teachung you the trade. Your best bet is gonna be research all the different trades via online, talking to people in person, maybe watching a few people in action to see which you like the best.

Good luck and good job getting started now. I wish I had done the same at your age instead of wasting 10 years doing stuff I hated :P Also don't forget about College courses in the fields your interested, they will help greatly!
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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17 year old looking to learn the trade


Your process will be a life time learning experience as there will always be some thing different to build and materials and processes will constsantlly change. I sometimes make light of the concept of a master carpenter as it is a trade where one cannot know every thing. I'm still looking for a master carpenter who can explain to me the methodolgy to lay out a declining tangent scrole based on a hyperbolic spiral
Strive for perfection, learn frome every one, be patient and teach others
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cmudr1

We have what they are talking about around here, the schools let you go work for half your school days credit. So you'll take your important classes in the morning and go to work in the afternoon. You guidance counselor should be able to help however you'll probably need to talk to them before the end of this school year so its all lined out for when you start your senior year.

As for apprenticeship there are many trades have both union and non-union apprentice programs where they put you to work while also teachung you the trade. Your best bet is gonna be research all the different trades via online, talking to people in person, maybe watching a few people in action to see which you like the best.

Good luck and good job getting started now. I wish I had done the same at your age instead of wasting 10 years doing stuff I hated :P Also don't forget about College courses in the fields your interested, they will help greatly!
I'm Deffinately going to bring this up to my guidance counselor since junior interviews are all next week. Idk what my school does with carpentry and other trades but I sure hope they can point me in the rite direction. Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:51 AM   #11
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Welcome to the board.

I'm kinda new here too.

kanepe

Last edited by kanepe; 02-07-2011 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:55 AM   #12
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Welcome to the site !
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:13 AM   #13
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17 year old looking to learn the trade


I applaud you TJ on a number of grounds. Stepping up in the family. Looking for people to teach you?, with your attitude, you'll find loads of them. People who love what they do are always willing to teach others who are interested. And, the more interested you are in what they offer, the more they will offer. It's human nature. The value of the trades has never been at a lower point than today IMO. If you have a trade under your belt, a service that people are willing to purchase, you'll always be able to support yourself, even if it isn't your life's pursuit. It's widely understood that we are funneling too many people into college, even people who don't belong there, and are better suited for the trades. That has resulted in a shortage of quality help and skilled tradesman. Even schools are focused less and less on vocational training and more on college. People are entering the trades later in life after failing in college, white collar jobs, and misguided dreams. They're forced to learn things that should have been learned at your age, and it's harder, and they're requiring money that isn't justified by their experience. A lot of them are the hacks that trouble the pros. Another problem arising from our misallocation of talent is a disconnect from the "old school". People pooh-pooh the old school because of modernized products and techniques, but without the knowledge of it you can be shorthanded. Wood and it's qualities haven't changed. For the painter, the enviornment and the damage it does to structures hasn't changed. The only change has been our approach. What if that approach fails? What do you fall back on? Look at it this way, If you opt to not learn math and how numbers work together because a computer can do all that work, what happens if your computer fails, or you don't have access to one? You're stuck. The basics are fundamental, and rarely change. My advice to you would be to find a master of your area of interest and tell him what you told us, and that you want to be his apprentice. Use your mouth and ears in the proportion you have them, listen twice as much as you talk. Respect his position and his knowledge. And, ask questions, lots of them. It's important to know what to do, but it's more important to know why you do it. The why is where the principles come in. Simply knowing what to do is comparable to memorizing for a test, if the questions are identical to what you memorized you're fine, if they vary the question you're sunk. Knowing why is understanding, it connects the dots. You have the desire and the focus, and, at your age, that's all you need, the rest will come. I wish more young people were like you. Good Luck.
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