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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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If you were applying for a job with one of the electricians I know, part of the answer would be to be prepared to demonstrate that you can handle the thinking part of the job - the (fairly straightforward) math for load calcs, understanding the mysteries of 3-phase, all the either/or parts of the code, all the decisions and choices, the constant focus on safety.

Troubleshooting a missing neutral takes some intelligence.

A friend of mine with a general contracting license and an electrical license washes guys out of the electrical part of the business and into the general building part, when they show that they either aren't smart enough, or don't have the patience for it.

If you want to be in the construction trades, and you're able to do it, it's a good choice. You can make a living and not beat the hell out of your body.

Good luck. I'm interested in the sparkies' responses.
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What's the law say about apprentices in Indiana? In California the rule is essentially that electrical work has to be done by the contractor or by someone in a real apprenticeship program, so there's a healthy demand for apprentices.

I'd sure emphasize that you're interested in being an apprentice, not just a helper, or you could find yourself carrying spools of cable around for the next 5 years. An apprenticeship program has dates and targets.

Good luck.
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Texas Dept of Licensing and regulation states that an apprentice shall work under the direct supervision of a wireman, journeyman or master. No rule here for having to be in an approved apprenticeship.

Might have something to do with the weak union presence here.
Or you can be a journeyman here, of course. When they passed the law, they had a test to certify existing journeymen. They all flunked the test and enforcement was delayed a few times, maybe for about 5 years.
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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.
Who does residential electrical work in PA? Anyone?
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