Hey everyone. Looking to make a career change to become a licensed electrician. I know all the protocols and such but looking for more information on trying to get my foot in the door as an apprentice/helper. Anyone have any experience or advice for getting into this trade?
A lot of shops are busy right now. There are a lot of entry level opportunities. My advice is to target ones that do residential commercial and industrial so you get a well rounded experience.
Hi I am a licensed electrician. They are changing the rules you will need a bachelors degree and 2 years approved apprenticeship or 4 years of approved electrical school and 2 approved apprenticeship to be eligible to take the exam. I think right now all you need is 5 years apprenticeship working under any electrician. I am a non union contractor the advantages to working for the union is that the provide free education and there apprenticeship programs are approved threw the board of electrical contractors. The issue right now you can get a job for Billy’s electric for 5 years making peanuts but if he does not have an approved program the board won’t except it in the very near future. I would call the board of examiners in Newark and ask for info.FYI you cannot be a felon or have a DWI to be approved to take the exam. A union electrician makes almost 60 an hour now. A plumber and HVACR contractor need 4 years of school to get a license but a electrician doesn’t right now crazy.
Check out /r/electricians on reddit or call an IBEW local near you
I can recommend some YouTube channels as well
Join the electrical union , best way to do it.
Great info Sparks. Thank you. Oh and I have a squeaky clean record! I will also apply at IBEW in Parsippany to see if I can get accepted. Plan right now is to enroll in the program at Lincoln tech. Do you get paid while learning in the union?
Do you get paid while learning in the union? <- I think it's called "part time job"..
I suggest skipping Lincoln tech or other schools that advertise on daytime tv. Get your tool belt on and learn. There’s a lot of work to do out there.
a fair wage with benefits sounds great to me. No one is offering pension , annuity and medical anymore but the unions.
Easier said than done Yolanda. It's hard to find a company to give me a chance without any electrical education. If you know someone, message me please. My entire career has been in IT so I've only wired RJ11 and 45 plus some camera and access control systems.
Curious why you want to leave IT? You can make 6 figures easily in that field and sit in chair all day.
I had the same thought Sacks. I worked in IT for the last 25 years (changed from the photo industry to IT) and I am now comfortably retired with a healthy 401K from my IT career. The only electrical or plumbing I have done was work on the houses we owned but would never consider that a career I would want as I grew older. Running wire in attics or basements or roofs is not my idea of a good time.
Not interested in IT. Never really was. Just did it for the money but I'm tired of sitting at a desk being micromanaged and worrying about what the idiot end users are going to break. I hate technology now more than ever and I want out immediately. It's only making people dumber and lazier. I'd much rather have a product or accomplishment at the end of the day that I can see and be proud of.
I’d rather be an IT grass is not always greener. Good luck in your ventures.
Sounds like he is in Help Desk and not happy about that. IT is a lot wider than Help Desk so you might want some other area but good luck with whatever you do.
Grass isn't always greener in corporate sparks ;)
Actually a system admin/engineer and not interested or passionate about pursuing other avenues. I was never a work indoors guy. Love working with my hands and fixing things. IT had it's day and it's changing drastically and not for the better. It's served me well but it's time to move on.
Morris County VoTech has a 4 year Electrical Apprenticeship program. Class is 2nights a week while you work.
Last of the IT jobs are being outsourced to India, unless you are absolutely the TOP of your game. Even then they will try to move you out. Companies are not even interested bringing over IT workers on visa's anymore. Lowest cost wins.
I wouldn’t bother with going to Lincoln Tech. Either go to the union hall or find an electrician that is looking for help.
Wires Electric in Hackettstown is a union company. Might want to hit them up first.
Yeah I took the tour at Lincoln tech in Union and it looked like a prison release program. The curriculum, class rooms, and tools they give you were very impressive but the student population left a lot to be desired. I will be checking out the mahwah campus as well. I would ultimately like to find a small local guy willing to try me out as a helper/apprentice though. Morris county tech has a real nice apprentice work program but it doesn't start again until next September. I want to get the ball rolling on this asap. Thank you for the useful suggestions everyone.
Future Journeyman- go for it!
Great career path.
You’ll become a money machine.
Co workers son is in the process- almost there.
Very happy and satisfied.
Great article on the shortage of electricians. Best of luck to you!
I agree with dodgeball and also agree with you Future_journeyman about the problems int he IT field currently. Corporate politics, big company restrictive and inane policies. Always having to worry about being 2nd guessed, outsourced, downsized and scared about having your hourly rate/salary reduce due to competition Add to that the late night call-outs for Sev1s and the scheduled overnight and weekend systems changes that you have to stay up all night for and you got a lot of negatives to live with there, and for what? All of it has gotta take at least 5 years off of your life span.
Electrical work is here to stay, cannot be off shored, has to be done right here, that's a good thing that will always need to be done. Lot of work out there for this.
I think its a problem that if a persona has one blemish on their record they are being drummed out of society for the rest of their lives. Seems harsh to me.
With your IT background you might consider going into the BAS area. Companies are looking into how to save money with building automation. I know jones, Lang lassale does BAS. Maybe something to consider
What's you age?
How about Electrical Switchgear/UPS Maintenance?
there's a local company that's looking for help, and with an IT background, that would help.
I would also look at data center work both low voltage and multiple phase - its clean well paying work (not bending conduit in a ditch) and you can start on the low voltage side with a low barrier to entry (ethernet / fiber)
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