Suggestions for becoming an Electrician? Would like advice from current electricians.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by EFraelich82, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. EFraelich82

    EFraelich82 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I know this may not be the right forum for this question however I want the opinions of people like you who are already electricians. I already tried Google and other searches but there seems to be no definitive path.

    I'm a 27 year old male in Dallas Texas who has always been fascinated with electronics and electricity in general. Since I was old enough to walk I have been tearing apart old electronics and mechanical devices to see how they work, what they do and how to put them back together. I'm extremely mechanically inclined however for some reason, pursued a career in financial services. I'm currently in the mortgage business however I am really burned out after 8 years doing it. Would love to start to start a new trade and get out of Financial Services altogether. At this point, I'd rather enjoy my job rather than always trying to make more money. When you hate what you do for 9 hours a day, the money means nothing anyways.

    I have no formal electrical education in this field however I am extremely intelligent and would easily and happily attend whatever type of courses necessary to become a professional in this trade. I tried searching for specialized trade schools in Dallas and found quite a few however not sure if they are even required. I know in my business for example people try to get in the door with financial degrees however with mortgage, the degree means very little and there is no licensing requirement (for operations at least) so experience in the field is all you really need to land a solid job. You just have to fight your way in the door somewhere and prove yourself. I know as an electrician you must be licensed however I have no idea what it takes to get there. Again I tried google however everything I found seemed way too vague and specific to the geography of the area. If I call the local schools they will just tell me whatever it takes to get me to enroll at their schools, whether I need it or not.

    So basically, starting from zero, what would you recommend I do to get on track to get into this industry? I'm not in any rush so I would like to take evening or weekend classes somewhere and then perhaps do a part time internship. Do I acquire some type of degree (and if so, what type of degree) and then do some type of apprenticeship? Then is it just a matter of getting hired on by a reputable company or are most electricians owner/operators? I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
     
  2. Lightwave

    Lightwave New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Try asking on Mike Holt's forum and on www.electrical-contractor.net. These are the big forums for electricians and allied trades. You'll probably get much more input from there.
     
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  4. andrew79

    andrew79 Licensed Electrician

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    some schooling would help but if you want i can go through step by step on how things work....the beauty of doing an apprenticeship is that you get paid right from the start.....it's not much but it's better than nothing :)
     
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Although electrical work in one aspect is a mechanical trade....you have to learn how to handle and install cables, boxes, etc. and in the new construction side of the trade, you could build a high rise and never see "live" electricty. But overall, you really should start in that trade with some "book learning". You probably could never go very far in the trade if you do not learn basic electriciy fundamentals. That is really a school subject. Most folks could not just pick that up "on the fly". So look for a trade school, look for possibly an apprentice program which would get you to the trade school, etc.

    Here in San Diego, which is overall not a big union town, the IBEW sponsors an excellent apprentice program.
     
  6. EFraelich82

    EFraelich82 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Thanks guys. That is some helpful info. Seems like there are many different paths I could take. Yeah I would definately like to get some formal schooling first because I would like to enter the profession having a very good solid knowledge of electrical properties and reading schematics, etc. Just not sure what is a "good" school to go to.
     
  7. Jeff1

    Jeff1 New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    So Cal
    You could look into the military. If you do, be sure to get all the info from the recruiter before you sign up. The schooling is top notch and you will get lots of experience.
     
  8. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    The school of life. I'd take a 27 year old apprentice in a heartbeat if he had mechanical skills and was able to take direction and retain information.....and didn't smoke. The last "kid" I worked with didn't know how to put a ratchet/extension/socket together........seriously. He stood there butting the pieces together with his head turned sideways like a puzzled dog.

    Get some tools and get a job. It's as simple as that. A natural mechanic will pick up things quickly but the learning curve is a big one.

    This job sucks though. It always has and it always will. It's hot or cold and dirty. You will dig trenches and climb ladders/scaffolding. You have to try and figure out what some bonehead did before you and you have to assemble and install things designed by idiots. You also have to occaisionally follow rules that make no common sense.

    And....27 is a bit old for the military.
     
  9. hj

    hj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A knowledge of "electrical properties", other than that it can kill, may not be much benefit. And there are few "schematics". Either you get a blueprint with the outlet and switch locations marked, and YOU figure out the schematic to connect them, or, if it is a commercial installation, you may get a blueprint with the main panel detailed, and numbers at each opening telling you where to connect the wire to at the main panel, but you still have to figure out how to run the wires between the two points.
     
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