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Finding an apprentice/helper position

4081 Views 25 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  dielectricunion
Anyone have suggestions on the best way to go about looking for a job in the electrical field? My experience is mostly a range of independent remodeling work, some time working for a total hack GC, and working for a small carpentry shop.

I have done a fair bit of residential electrical in Chicago (I know - this is totally frowned upon), and studied the NEC when I have free time.

Last year I moved to Bloomington IN. I looked into a community college here that offers electrical course programs but between paying tuition and taking time out of my schedule, I probably wont be able to afford to live.

The AHJ here for electrical licensing/permitting is Monroe county and they use NEC 2008 with Indiana amendments.

Anyway, I would really love to work toward a job as an electrician. I know as an apprentice, the pay will suck and it will most likely take a long while before I can legitimately call myself any kind of electrician.
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Without actually having been there, I suspect you'd have a pretty tough time becoming a qualified electrician without at least a modicum of formal coursework. OJT is fine for swinging a hammer, but there's a heckuva lot more theory involved in the electrical field.
It's my understanding that "officially" there is only one type of electrician. I'm referring to the official title. A licensed electrician needs to know how to install your light switch and provide power to a new shopping mall and everything in between.

Now I know people specialize, but the knowledge for the actual license requires that? Am I right?

I know a few actual electricians, but they're all college graduates with electrical engineering degrees. And they only do commercial/industrial. I actually don't know any residential licensed electricians. Not one.
In Philly you need to be a licensed electrician to pull permits. And, you need permits for everything. Obviously, people do things without permits all the time. But, they are required.

Outside of the city, I don't think that is necessary. I say that because I know two guys operating electrical businesses in bucks county with no formal training. I know they know what they're doing. They've been in business for a long time. They both in their 50's. But no license, no college, no formal experience.
Ain't that the truth!
Too funny. Damn autocorrect
I fixed it in the edit
The electricians that I know are very anal about their work and extremely meticulous. Their panel boxes look extremely neat, everything labeled, very organized.

I've opened boxes that looked like they had a bowl of spaghetti inside.

They also don't hire anyone with experience. They prefer a great guy with a great work ethic that knows absolutely nothing about the electrical field but is willing to learn. Their philosophy is, they don't have time to break someone's bad habits. Better to train like a baby: crawl, walk then run.
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