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Thinking about becoming an electrician

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  marioo 1 month, 1 week ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #667525

    jzmtl
    Pro
    Montreal, QC

    The forum ate my last thread right after I posted it, so let’s try again.

    Long story short, I’m looking for something new.

    I’m thinking about becoming an electrician, but really don’t know much about the field and hoping you guys can help me out here. So far the course looks like 18 months of study, then 5 years of apprenticeship, then exam for master electrician. Does sounds right?

    How is the pay and employment opportunity/stability in the field during apprenticeship and after becoming master electrician? What type of electrician and work can I expect to be doing?

    My biggest concern is I’m not young anymore, I don’t know how physical is the work and could I expect to do it until retirement, since I don’t want to look for something else when I’m 50.

    Any guidance, especially if you are an electrician in Montreal area, would be greatly appreciated. 😀

    #667603

    Doobie
    Pro

    I have a few clients and friends that are sparkies. For some reason I’ve always gotten along with electricians. It’s a good trade. The risk of geting elctrocuted is there, but I’d say it has a lot less wear and tear on the body than a lot of other trades with the exception maybe being the hands. Lot’s of guys get carpel tunnel.

    Income can be all over the map, but I’d say that working FT once licensed, a guy makes at least 80K a year. One place you may get better insight is by calling their union and pickin their brains. I did that when I was lookin at getting into my field 3 decades ago. Rather than talk to companies that were simply trying to recruit me, I called industry association groups and such. In the case of looking into a trade, you can look for something similar as well, but you may also find that their union is a great resource as well to talk to. Unless Quebec is different, IBEW (Inernational Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) is their union.

    One of my closest friends since childhood is an electrician. When things were slow for him decades ago, he ended up getting data cabling jobs on the side. Now he’s a data systems project manager for Bell and hardly ever does any hands on work any longer. Pretty well only for friends and family stuff now. He put in my panel in my shed build and is coming back in the spring to install the ground rod we couldn’t install in December as the ground was already frozen. I talk to him often, so if there are any questions, maybe I can ask him for you.

    #668131

    jzmtl
    Pro
    Montreal, QC

    I have a few clients and friends that are sparkies. For some reason I’ve always gotten along with electricians. It’s a good trade. The risk of geting elctrocuted is there, but I’d say it has a lot less wear and tear on the body than a lot of other trades with the exception maybe being the hands. Lot’s of guys get carpel tunnel.

    Income can be all over the map, but I’d say that working FT once licensed, a guy makes at least 80K a year. One place you may get better insight is by calling their union and pickin their brains. I did that when I was lookin at getting into my field 3 decades ago. Rather than talk to companies that were simply trying to recruit me, I called industry association groups and such. In the case of looking into a trade, you can look for something similar as well, but you may also find that their union is a great resource as well to talk to. Unless Quebec is different, IBEW (Inernational Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) is their union.

    One of my closest friends since childhood is an electrician. When things were slow for him decades ago, he ended up getting data cabling jobs on the side. Now he’s a data systems project manager for Bell and hardly ever does any hands on work any longer. Pretty well only for friends and family stuff now. He put in my panel in my shed build and is coming back in the spring to install the ground rod we couldn’t install in December as the ground was already frozen. I talk to him often, so if there are any questions, maybe I can ask him for you.

    Thanks, it doesn’t sound bad, I’ll have to look into it a bit more. I guess I’m concerned about job opportunity/stability. There’s a good chance I will move away from QC in a few years, so ease of finding a job will come into play.

    #668151

    Doobie
    Pro

    I guess I’m concerned about job opportunity/stability.

    When the economy goes bad and construction slows to a crawl, that’s where finding work in the trades is a lot more difficult. Especially if you don’t have many years into it yet.

    #668172

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    becoming an electrician is probably one of the higher paid jobs in the trades. Also one of the easiest IMO. Most of the time you will be working in enclosed structures, not all though. also most of what you have to lift is not as heavy as a lot of other trades. Don’t get me wrong, electricians have to work hard and it is not a gravy job by any means. As Doobie said, In a downturn the trades do get affected. One way to prevent that is to make yourself valuable to your employer. Know more than the rest of the crew, work faster with less mistakes and be a good representative of your company to the customer. when things are slop, the cream of the crop is typically taken care of.

    #668180

    ChadM
    Moderator
    East Palestine, Ohio

    I know a few guys who made the switch from carpenter to electrician and they like it. Better pay, union benefits and I have to agree with Kurt that it is one of the easier..they still work hard but it isn’t quite like humping 5/8″ ply up a ladder lol.

    Chad

    A Working Pro since 1993

    Member since 12/07/2013

    #668231

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    I know a few guys who made the switch from carpenter to electrician

    And with two skills you can always find work in a downturn.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #705128

    I did 5 years in Industrial electrical work. If your will to travel that is a great way to go. I’m in the southern U.S. so there isn’t really a strong union drive down here. I was able to make journeyman in 2 years, although I have been complimented on having a high learning curve.

    Working in the industrial environment was easy as it didn’t require licensing or extremely difficult labor. Just a good midset for safety and showing up on time everyday. You would be amazed at how little it takes to be an exemplary employee in that world.

    Pass a drug test, show up everyday on time, and try to get at least a little progress done in a long day. They will absolutely love you. And ask you to follow their team to the next job.

    I made good money traveling, but didn’t pursue it further when I landed permanently in Louisiana. Residential and commercial work just didn’t appeal to me, so I picked my hammer back up.

    Good Luck.

    I'm the only person I ever hit in the head with a hammer.

    #723940

    marioo
    Pro

    I remembered this thread when I found this reference. Average salaries are based on the US though, and it says that electricians from Alaska and New Jersey are the highest paid. Upward mobility is below average, but job itself is stable.

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