how to succeed in an apprenticeship? - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Forum > Electrician Apprentice Forum


Like Tree66Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-17-2016, 11:02 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: new england
Posts: 32
Rewards Points: 64
Default how to succeed in an apprenticeship?

hi guys, i recently got a union apprenticeship; i had no idea what i was getting into coming into this but i'm realizing that i kind of like it and i at least want to stick around at least long enough to get licensed.

as you can see from my username i am one of the Token Females at my local.

i am trying to figure out what skills are needed to succeed on the job? my background includes working in dysfunctional male-dominated environments and upper-level math work. i have no experience with mechanical things which is really tripping me up but i'm happy to learn.

what can i look forward to over the years and what are some things i can teach myself over layoffs that might make me more useful to employers? i was reading somewhere that drafting and plc stuff is good to know but then i also hear that's engineer work. unfortunately i don't think i'll prove much an asset on cable pulls.
Jamato and ANDYG951 like this.
TokenFemale is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-17-2016, 11:17 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 8,811
Rewards Points: 15,898
Default

PLCs are installed and booted up by electricians... fixed, too.

Drafting comes in very handy if you're an EC.

Dysfunctional males put man on the moon... and much else.

Electrical math tops out with imaginary numbers, trig, and second year algebra... for the most part.

You'll just love ladder diagrams.

Poke around ET for prior threads. There is much to ponder.
telsa is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 12:03 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
cabletie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: N.J.
Posts: 1,071
Rewards Points: 126
Default

Drafting is obsolete. Modeling is where it's at, in a word BIM. Any A&E or detailer that has not moved on to BIM is going to disappear with the hand drafters.

The A&E come up with the design intent. The contractors along with their detailers/modelers get it all to fit. Most of the jobs my employer does require 3D spatial coordination between the trades. Almost all of the detailers come from the trades. Some contractors that are not staffed with detailers, sub the work out to companies that will work with them. It is hit or miss if they are up to the task. Nothing beats a tradesmen that can also detail.
cabletie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 12:04 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
cabletie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: N.J.
Posts: 1,071
Rewards Points: 126
Default

Forgot, welcome to the forum.
cabletie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 11:25 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: new england
Posts: 32
Rewards Points: 64
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabletie View Post
The A&E come up with the design intent. The contractors along with their detailers/modelers get it all to fit. Most of the jobs my employer does require 3D spatial coordination between the trades. Almost all of the detailers come from the trades. Some contractors that are not staffed with detailers, sub the work out to companies that will work with them. It is hit or miss if they are up to the task. Nothing beats a tradesmen that can also detail.
Sorry, would you mind explaining what you're going about? What is A&E and do I need some kind of educational certificate to do all of this or can I just learn it on my own?

Was thinking about enrolling in some classes as the NJATC training scheme seems geared for the boys but I don't know where to invest my money.

Just a general question: much as I despise academia I seem to have some talent for that sort of thing whereas I'm all thumbs on the field. This is really bad but I realized about 3 weeks into it that my ADD was hella bad and I wasn't learning anything; didn't help that my journeyman was treating me like a "lady" and doing all the work for me UGH. I'm coming from a background of beyond mindless customer service jobs and while I'm beyond ecstatic to finally have something to sink my teeth into, I'm just not used to learning while working, or learning at all for that matter. The most intellectually challenging thing I did on my last two jobs was argue with my manager over how frequently I changed the trash I'm not ****ing kidding I was about ready to kill myself.

Imagine you'd been treated like a literal moron all your adult life and then someone gave you an aptitude test and decided you were smart and demanded that you perform: this is what I'm dealing with rn.
TokenFemale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 12:12 PM   #6
Safety Pin Member
 
PlugsAndLights's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 2,249
Rewards Points: 2,876
Default

Where to start............
To do electrical well you have to have a decent understanding of electrical
principals. None the less, the majority of an electricians day is spent with
basic physical questions like: how do I get a wire from here to there? and,
how do I mount this box to that surface and make it look ok? Understanding
how your decisions affect other trades and vice versa, comes with time.
So, practice doing the basic physical stuff AND spend some time inside and
outside of work to think about how the overall system works.
BTW, one way to get a little additional respect is to learn the code and know
it better than most of your co-workers.
Good Luck and welcome to the forum.
P&L
just the cowboy likes this.
__________________
Malignant narcissism is a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, aggression, and sadism.[1] Often grandiose, and always ready to raise hostility levels, the malignant narcissist undermines organizations in which they are involved, and dehumanizes the people with whom they associate.
PlugsAndLights is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to PlugsAndLights For This Useful Post:
TokenFemale (12-28-2016)
Old 12-18-2016, 01:49 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: NC
Posts: 18
Rewards Points: 36
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by telsa View Post
Dysfunctional males put man on the moon...
Did they put women on the moon?
MattM-NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 01:59 PM   #8
Deplorable-Electrician
 
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: God's Country of Virginia
Posts: 31,644
Rewards Points: 2,922
Default

Welcome aboard! PLCs is a great place to start reading up on and understanding. If I were you I'd read the actual electrical posts here and try to stay ahead of anything you are being taught in class.
__________________
I have never claimed to be a nice guy!

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" mlk
MechanicalDVR is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 02:00 PM   #9
Deplorable-Electrician
 
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: God's Country of Virginia
Posts: 31,644
Rewards Points: 2,922
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattM-NC View Post
Did they put women on the moon?
They have been put in space but no moon time, it's safer that way.
Frank Mc likes this.
__________________
I have never claimed to be a nice guy!

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" mlk
MechanicalDVR is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 03:55 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 8,811
Rewards Points: 15,898
Default

To the OP: PLCs may be your cup of tea.

Also: motor controls & VFDs.

Also: robotics.

You can buy an Arduino for peanuts over the Internet. They make great self-teaching aids -- because so many guys have up-loaded FREE videos detailing their own projects.

Many of the principles used in industrial PLCs are embedded within the Ardino.




udemy.com

If you respond to their ad... they're pitching their stuff at $49 versus full list price.


In contrast, the PLC crowd that knows its stuff only offers 'teasers' for free. They expect you to pony up serious cash to obtain their videos. For someone starting from scratch, I can't recommend spending any serious money.

You'll find a TON of PLC related posts in the archives of the ET.

Get your feet wet first -- on the cheap: $ 00.00

Last edited by telsa; 12-18-2016 at 03:58 PM.
telsa is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 04:19 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
cabletie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: N.J.
Posts: 1,071
Rewards Points: 126
Default

Tokenfemale, my response was to the fact that all the drafting is not only done by the architects and engineers (A&E). Even before all this Building Information Modeling (BIM) came along, contractors still needed a little drafting. Usually before the A&E signs off on the gear submittals, they usually want to see a drawing on how the room lays out. Their placeholder gear may be much smaller than the gear being proposed. That don't want to hear later, when the room is to small, "well you approved it. You should have known it wasn't going to fit."

Now in today's world, it's more intense what's in the job specs as far as drafting/modeling. In a BIM world there are five "levels of design" (LOD). The A&E are responsible for the first three. They always were. On a drawing you will see them in the title block. They will say 25,50 and 100%CD. At 100%CD (construction document) the job is ready for bidding and construction.

The contractor is responsible for the last two LOD. They are the shop drawings and the as builts. The owner and the A&E decide what software or file type they are to be done in.

Your hall may or may not have classes in this type of work. Our hall doesn't, but the halls north of me do. Ours will have it after the new training center is built. If you have an interest in this type of work, PM me when you have enough posts to be able to send a private message, and I can tell you how you can get some software legally, for free, to learn on.
cabletie is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to cabletie For This Useful Post:
aronsen (12-18-2016), TokenFemale (12-24-2016)
Old 12-18-2016, 04:27 PM   #12
Senile Member
 
macmikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 21,072
Rewards Points: 4,482
Default

Just learn how to use one of these

properly. The union needs those who can bend and install conduit . They need other fancier learned positions filled also, but that can come later. These guys here are telling you about things you are not going to be doing much of for the first 7 years. You are going on construction jobs in building to bend and install conduit, and then pull wire thru it, and then connect the wires. And be part of a crew of mostly males, so you need to not let them know how dysfunctional they are since the little dears get hurt in the ***** fairly easy. Study conduit bending. Become the pro at it. Make your mark in the crew as a real left handed bender person.
__________________
It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. David Rockefeller
macmikeman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 05:36 PM   #13
Member
 
Jamato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: North America
Posts: 99
Rewards Points: 120
Default

Welcome to the forum!!

Fire Alarm!!

Also, don't sell yourself short on the physical work.
Signal1 likes this.
Jamato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 09:08 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: NC
Posts: 18
Rewards Points: 36
Default

Hey Tokenfemale, keep at it. In my experience on different construction crews my whole life, how well a person or a crew works doesn't have anything to do with gender, any more than it does about race or age. Even with very 'physical' work. I've worked with a few women in a construction setting (not yet electrical), and they happened to be excellent workers, and provided a lighter more social atmosphere. There's something nice about a gender balance at a work space. (Though there are a couple awesome all male crews from my past that I'd kill to have back together again.)

Regarding strength,
While I am a guy, I'm not a very big or strong person. I'm 135 lbs soaking wet. My boss that' I've worked with for a couple years now is much bigger and stronger, and he just muscles through a lot of problems, i.e., trying to get wires through conduit, handling large ladders, or getting pipe to line up while getting a strap around it, etc. I learned after the first year or so that sometimes I need to find other ways to solve problems, because I just don't always have the strength to do things his way. Since then I've religiously followed two mantras:,
1:"work smarter not harder" and 2: "ask for help or die alone"

Everyone's got their strengths, so if you enjoy the work, go for it. You'll make your way.

And you WILL learn how to do it. Just keep doing it and you'll get better at it and it will get a lot more fun.
TokenFemale likes this.
MattM-NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 09:41 PM   #15
animal lover /rat bastard
 
wildleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: somewhere in FL
Posts: 12,433
Rewards Points: 600
Default

it is a well known fact that on the average, females generally pay more attention to detail. If you really are one of the lucky females to have good math skills (that's a 50/50 wager), then you are well suited to the trade.

The grunt work skills can be overcome with machinery (mostly), but some muscle building will be required (eat more meat). It just goes with the territory.

If you like the work, you will naturally gravitate towards the more technical portions of the trade, or management, or both. If you have the skills to avoid male BS, which you claim, then you are well suited, and just need to put your little nose to the grindstone for several years, soaking up all the required knowledge and basic jobbing skills so that you can become productive in whatever specialty you fall into.

good luck
TokenFemale likes this.
__________________
this message was sent from a dental floss farm using ZappaTalk and a pair of zirconium encrusted tweasers
wildleg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 11:02 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
brian john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Gilbert's Corner VA
Posts: 26,611
Rewards Points: 2,264
Default

YOU REALLY WANT TO GET ALONG ?


Drop the attitude about the token female crap and become on of the workers.

Accept the fact that you are blazing a trail for future women and if you have an attitude that makes fellow workers think you are PIA not only will your career be difficult you may complicate it for future women.
__________________
Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now
brian john is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to brian john For This Useful Post:
sparky970 (12-25-2016)
Old 12-19-2016, 02:19 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
John Valdes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Pleasure Dome
Posts: 12,680
Rewards Points: 1,252
Default

OP. I do understand how hard it is being a female in this mainly male trade of ours.
Its difficult at first even for us.
I questioned my decision to be in this trade for several years before I realized I had spent 90% of my working years in this trade.
I will never for get my first day on the job and the electrician opened a diesel electric locomotive panel.
I took one look inside that thing and proclaimed I would never ever be able to figure all this **** out.

The electrician talked to me over lunch and encouraged me to continue to keep at it. That even when you feel you are not learning anything, most likely you are learning something.
He also told me one day a light would go off in my head and everything I thought I was not learning would come to life and be understood. I was able to piece together the 3 years of training with an understanding.
That was the day I actually started to really learn. To build on what I knew.

Don't give up and don't sell yourself short. We all have things we may not be great at and things we excel at.
Your job is to find out what those things are. Before you truly get your answers, you may have to look back over many years.
Good luck and welcome to the forum.
The guys and girls here are great and they can help with most any question.

ps.....Physical ability in the beginning seems like a requirement and that may be the case. But smart people in this trade have left many of those duties to others as they progressed through the ranks.
John Valdes is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 05:38 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: US
Posts: 2,167
Rewards Points: 1,482
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TokenFemale View Post
Sorry, would you mind explaining what you're going about? What is A&E and do I need some kind of educational certificate to do all of this or can I just learn it on my own?

Was thinking about enrolling in some classes as the NJATC training scheme seems geared for the boys but I don't know where to invest my money.

Just a general question: much as I despise academia I seem to have some talent for that sort of thing whereas I'm all thumbs on the field. This is really bad but I realized about 3 weeks into it that my ADD was hella bad and I wasn't learning anything; didn't help that my journeyman was treating me like a "lady" and doing all the work for me UGH. I'm coming from a background of beyond mindless customer service jobs and while I'm beyond ecstatic to finally have something to sink my teeth into, I'm just not used to learning while working, or learning at all for that matter. The most intellectually challenging thing I did on my last two jobs was argue with my manager over how frequently I changed the trash I'm not ****ing kidding I was about ready to kill myself.

Imagine you'd been treated like a literal moron all your adult life and then someone gave you an aptitude test and decided you were smart and demanded that you perform: this is what I'm dealing with rn.
What do you mean the training scheme is "geared towards boys"?
TGGT is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 07:56 PM   #19
Member
 
Jamato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: North America
Posts: 99
Rewards Points: 120
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TokenFemale View Post
Was thinking about enrolling in some classes as the NJATC training scheme seems geared for the boys but I don't know where to invest my money.
Yeah, What does that mean, "geared for the boys"?

Quote:
Just a general question: much as I despise academia I seem to have some talent for that sort of thing whereas I'm all thumbs on the field. This is really bad but I realized about 3 weeks into it that my ADD was hella bad and I wasn't learning anything; didn't help that my journeyman was treating me like a "lady" and doing all the work for me UGH. I'm coming from a background of beyond mindless customer service jobs and while I'm beyond ecstatic to finally have something to sink my teeth into, I'm just not used to learning while working, or learning at all for that matter. The most intellectually challenging thing I did on my last two jobs was argue with my manager over how frequently I changed the trash I'm not ****ing kidding I was about ready to kill myself.
All thumbs in the field isn't going to fly. Do not sell yourself short! A lot of guys are "all thumbs" when they start out. As daunting as the physical things can seem, skills in the field AND in the books (Oh yeah, learn the NEC like its your job, cause it is) are imperative to your success as an electrician... Your journeyman wasn't treating you like a lady, he was treating you like you didn't know what you were doing. My guess is that he also wasn't a fan of you letting him do all the work... My advice to you is, drop the "token female" crap, put on your big girl panties, go out there and show them you deserve to be out there with the boys. Make it so your boss doesn't want to lay you off!
Jamato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 08:23 PM   #20
Member
 
Jamato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: North America
Posts: 99
Rewards Points: 120
Default

Also, Where in New England are you? I'm in CT
Jamato is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Apprenticeship DCOR Introductions 11 07-31-2016 09:30 PM
Apprenticeship DCOR General Electrical Discussion 0 07-31-2016 04:05 AM
Leaving the Apprenticeship BobSagget123 Union Topics 8 06-15-2016 07:39 PM
Sound and Communication apprenticeship reapedsoul Union Topics 1 04-10-2016 01:48 PM
Sound and communications apprenticeship NicoleH General Electrical Discussion 4 01-23-2016 11:36 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com