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Is a study or course a requirement?

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  • #331239
    Doobie
    Moderator

    I bought myself tons of how to books over the years, but I started to discover some of them had either missing or inaccurate information and techniques in them.

    Also being in a full seasons climate you get info in some books that are written only for people who have year round nice temps. You definitely have to be careful what you find in books some times.

    #331541
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    To me nothing beats experience. Books, courses, etc are great but they cover the basics and the ideal situation. Experience is where you get out and learn how to solve real world situations and is really an education that money can’t buy.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #331545
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Experience means actual work, and that’s a dirty word to many nowadays.

    #331627
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I got a BS degree in construction engineering. when I graduated and went to work for a large commercial contractor, it was basically sink or swim. I used a little of my estimating courses but that was about it from college, they never taught us anything about checking shop drawings or a lot of what I did. You had to learn fast as you went.

    As far as the carpentry skills I have, I learned most of those from my father and have expanded them a lot on my own. I don’t use much of what I learned in college now days other than the estimating. I think the biggest gain I got from my engineering degree was the thought processes and how to use them to figure things out.

    #331631
    TopNotch
    Pro
    elmwood park, NJ

    Construction knowledge can be learned by study but tool skills or efficiency.

    If there is a trade I think Electrician. I keep getting Emails from Ashworth College. They have online classes for a couple of months and a certification. I am so tempted to see if I can add a legal trade under my belt but not sure if the apprentice requirement is across the board or just union.

    Working Pro since 1993

    Tom M

    #331634
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I think Plumbing and electrical trades would be well served by schooling. they have a lot of codes to follow, sometimes I think more so that the carpentry trades.

    #331636

    Sometimes there are benefits of knowing why you are doing something instead of just knowing how to do something. I view education or formal training not as making you smarter than the others but giving you a baseline to get the job done and giving you the knowledge to make decisions on varying situations which will happen on the job.

    #331673
    TopNotch
    Pro
    elmwood park, NJ

    Sometimes there are benefits of knowing why you are doing something

    More like always a benefit. I put in about 175 hrs in night courses for codes and inspecting, then studying on my own and taking test. I was doing construction 20yrs before taking learning that stuff and I thought I knew what I was doing….I only knew code standards for products I frequently installed, everything else was learned by failing an inspection or jumbled information from other guys in the business. And the amount of guys doing construction for 30-40 yrs and still doing know things I learned by 35 is staggering. I wish I did it sooner

    Working Pro since 1993

    Tom M

    #331731
    redwood
    Pro

    My state, Calif., requires no formal training, only experience. However, there are tests (mainly law) that require some self study or classes. I chose the self study and like Ethan, I’m pretty much self taught. I was self employed by the time I was 20. I did go to college though and got a degree in Civil Engineering. Like Kurt, I don’t use much of what I learned. For me, the most I got out of college was the drafting process and how to use my brain. Of course now Cad programs have pretty much supplanted that need for drafting instruction.

    Be really careful with the how to books and video’s. A lot of them are just fluff or are missing a lot of the most important smaller details. Some are just wrong.

    Mark E.

    Pioneer, CA

    Working Pro 1972 - 2015
    Member since Jan 22, 2013
    www.creative-redwood-designs.com

    #331733
    Warren6810
    Moderator
    Akron, OH

    Of course the book work is also important. Being a specialist also helps rapidly increase your knowledge. The one thing that the vocational training failed to provide, was the physical aspect of the job. Also, I think it is important to talk with those you are working with, exchanging ideas, methods, tips etc. I know guys have learned a lot from me, but obviously, I learned it somewhere else.

    #331755
    Rob
    Pro
    Birmingham, Alabama

    I intentionally took 4 years of carpentry trade school and added to that by asking questions and finding mentors /masters to work with.
    I recommend both.
    Some guys and girls in the work place are brilliant but
    they don’t take time to give you the basics which will help you clarify the way you will want to work in the future.
    Always be a learner… never stop.

    #331842
    EthanB
    Pro
    South Kingstown, RI

    I’ve learned an amazing amount from books and videos and online forums BUT, even with close to 20 years of construction under my belt, you have to USE the info to retain it and figure out why it is done that way. The folks who excel at their field have developed an almost unconscious work flow and intuition about what is coming next that makes their work superior and far more cost effective.

    I think we can all agree that if we built the same project five times in a row, the fifth project would go far faster, cost far less and have a higher level of overall quality than the first one. That’s why I hammer on the importance mentoring. With a good mentor you can skip years of bad habits and hard lessons in the first week.

    #331901
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I’ve learned an amazing amount from books and videos and online forums BUT, even with close to 20 years of construction under my belt, you have to USE the info to retain it and figure out why it is done that way. The folks who excel at their field have developed an almost unconscious work flow and intuition about what is coming next that makes their work superior and far more cost effective.

    I think we can all agree that if we built the same project five times in a row, the fifth project would go far faster, cost far less and have a higher level of overall quality than the first one. That’s why I hammer on the importance mentoring. With a good mentor you can skip years of bad habits and hard lessons in the first week.

    I can agree with that completely. No mentor for me either, just self taught in most things. As you know, there are growing pains when you are trying to work something out without having done so before. It’s funny how certain processes can become so routine and engrained that it’s almost difficult to verbally describe it to a novice…like hanging a door, for example.

    It’s a simple enough thing to do, but there is a method to it. How long did it take you guys to hang your first door?

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #331921
    DesertDeuces
    Pro
    Indio, CA

    I had a friend who didn’t finish high school. But he was able to come up with some complicated paint formulas that were so good that a major paint company bought them from him. He’s a self-taught contractor. Built his own house and a second house to rent out. Just goes to show that hands-on experience is much more valuable than classroom stuff.

    Pat

    #331946
    MRenes
    Pro
    Vienna, Missouri

    It sounds like most people agree with each other. Honestly it just depends on the person and what you are expecting out of life/work etc. Not every person can reach the same skill the same way or with the same speed. For me college helped me to be well-rounded and problem solve. I don’t know everything but I can work my way through things to get the correct answer.

    #332031
    Warren6810
    Moderator
    Akron, OH

    It sounds like most people agree with each other. Honestly it just depends on the person and what you are expecting out of life/work etc. Not every person can reach the same skill the same way or with the same speed. For me college helped me to be well-rounded and problem solve. I don’t know everything but I can work my way through things to get the correct answer.

    My brother went to college in his late thirties and had basically that same experience. Originally he balked at taking the general courses, but at the end he said it did make him well rounded.

    #332038

    Our community has an excellent TriStar program for high school and adults. They agree that 4 year degrees are good for some but not everyone. They teach hands on programs from cnc operators to welding to construction. Still schooling but with real life training. I think programs like that offer a lot of value to a community.

    Andrew

    A Working Pro since 1995!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #333939
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I think Plumbing and electrical trades would be well served by schooling.

    I did 8000 hrs. apprenticeship, plus 300 hrs. of schooling, 25+ years ago, and they may require even be more today. Plus we’re required to do 15 hrs. of continuing education each new code cycle.

    #333957
    jdw1865
    Pro
    Dewey, OK

    Yeah and that;s what I meant. Let merequiered to get all kinds of education and licenses, and still the contracters know shit.

    Yes you can. I did. My college training is in cattle nutrition. 9 yes worth. Now I remodel and build houses. I guarantee nothing in my classes had anything to do with construction. Well maybe something about heat abatement but that is it.

    I’m very quick to learn and very good on self-study. Would you say a course or a study is a requirement to become a professional? Contracter or whatever?

    I’m thinking there are certain things that really need study (working with certain materials) but some maybe don’t.

    #334040
    Jummul
    Pro

    Thanks everyone for your opinions, really helpful honestly. In Holland we don’t really have codes. There is one for electrical work but it’s not legal bound, just a guideline (that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t follow it).

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