(Advice Needed) Labor and Lifestyle of an Electrician? - 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 Tree34Likes
  • 3 Post By Martine
  • 5 Post By splatz
  • 5 Post By CoolWill
  • 1 Post By telsa
  • 2 Post By MechanicalDVR
  • 4 Post By 99cents
  • 3 Post By macmikeman
  • 1 Post By MechanicalDVR
  • 1 Post By Martine
  • 3 Post By Martine
  • 1 Post By jarrydee
  • 2 Post By just the cowboy
  • 3 Post By joe-nwt
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-03-2019, 05:28 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 4
Default (Advice Needed) Labor and Lifestyle of an Electrician?

TLDR AT BOTTOM! Sorry for the long essay



Hi all,



So I'm looking into the electrician trade from the outside (currently a struggling electrical engineering student in university). From what I've heard, everyone has said that labor will be a factor as with any blue-collared job (unsurprisingly). I've talked to contractors who I currently work for as an EE, not as an electrician, and they've said the labor isn't as intense as that of say a plumber or a masonry, but there is still labor.



My question is, how laborious exactly is an average day of work for you electricians out there? And better yet, what is an average day for you? I've had some career guidance on the subject and heard that the electrician trade can be very taxing on the body and that I may not be able to handle the work, especially as I get older. To give a bit of context, I'm a 20 year old male, 121 lbs, 5'5-1/2" so I'm not exactly ripped, but I'm healthy and somewhat lean. Does the labor involved crush people like me? And would I be able to stay in the industry until preferably retiring age (~65) without any major health concerns? I initially saw the labor in this profession as a means to stay fit since I would be working and being out and about instead of hunching over a computer at a desk for eight hours a day, but I recently had others (albeit non-electricians) tell me that crawling around tight spaces all day to wire up houses and buildings really takes a toll on the body especially as you get older.



My other question for the electricians here is what lifestyle do you guys have outside of the workplace? After work, do you come home to spend time with family? Do you have energy by the end of the day to do anything after work? I guess more than anything I'd like to enjoy the day at work and be able to come home to a family and still have enough energy to spend time with them and do things that I want, which is a concern that was recently brought up by relatives and friends.



I'm really interested in an apprenticeship and have already applied for a couple programs, one for a wireperson and another for a telecom installer technician, any advice on either of the two? Is one better than the other? For wirepersons, I would be working as an apprentice for 10,000 hours before getting an EJ whereas the installer technician will take 6,000 hours for an EJS. From the position descriptions, it sounds like the wirepersons have a much broader scope of work and have more labor, especially when it comes to conduit installation. Anything else to look out for from either position?



TLDR: How labor-intensive is it to be an electrician? Is it a viable career choice for someone who is very much interested in the path but also happens to be a smaller-framed person? Is the labor too much for most people to continue working as they get older, and maybe even up till retirement age? And does the labor ever take away from your way of life outside of work (i.e. using up all your energy during the work day so that by the end of it, you can't spend quality time with family).



Thanks for any answers and advice on the subject!
send_help 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 07-03-2019, 07:21 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Martine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Montreal, Qc
Posts: 304
Rewards Points: 606
Default

I’m 5’5 and weigh quite a bit more than you, and it isn’t muscle Hahahaha
You’ll do fine. I’m on a big job site with a lot of guys that are smaller AND shorter than me and they get on ok. You might need to get up an extra step on your ladder but that’s about it.

Labor wise, for the first few weeks I’d be wrecked when I got home, but I’ve been at it since February now and I get home and still have enough energy to go to the gym if that gives you any idea at all.

Just make sure you’re eating more to compensate for the energy expenditure and you’ll just get stronger as you get used to lifting bundles of conduit and whatever else you may need to grab.
Martine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 07:49 AM   #3
Hackenschmidt
 
splatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,840
Rewards Points: 316
Default

You are way to scared of a little physical work.



IMO - Smaller, lighter wiry guys may not lift as much or pull as much as the big gorillas but they are actually better suited to a lot of up and down ladders and foot mileage.



Not an electrician, but one of my best old (OLD!) buddies is 91 now. He's very fit but just 132 pounds. You may not believe this but he worked 25-30 hours a week on his son's water truck delivering two five gallon bottles of water all day until he was 80!



He was a firm believer that this work was key to keeping him fit later in life. He kept up with guys one third his age, pulled his weight - it's not like they gave him the clipboard and let him drive.



It is very possible to transition into less labor intensive jobs later on when the wear and tear starts to take it's toll. Not enough of those jobs for everyone though, some will have to make it to retirement as a journeyman.



If you work smart, you can dramatically reduce the toll the work takes on the body in most cases.



I don't see people coming home from cubicle jobs notably more or less energetic than people coming home from trade jobs. They are cleaner, though.
__________________
Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler
splatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-03-2019, 07:57 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
CoolWill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: SC
Posts: 2,547
Rewards Points: 3,382
Default

I got ketchup on my blue jeans. I just burnt my hand... Lord it's hard to be a bachelor man. I got girls that can cook. I got girls that can clean. I got girls that can do anything in between.

Point is, I have a Maserati with a ladder rack. I work 12 hours a week and have to use a tazer to keep the women off me. I sleep on a pile of money. Being an electrician for the last 8 months is the best thing I've ever done.
__________________
I'm With Her! Hillary 2016
CoolWill is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 08:22 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 14,057
Rewards Points: 26,360
Default

Your number is 47 -- and get on that oar... Ben Hur.

You serve this ship!
CoolWill likes this.
telsa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 08:30 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
MikeFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 5,658
Rewards Points: 204
Default

Every task brings different physical requirements and each job brings different tasks.

Are you looking at being a lineman or a PLC programmer?

Maybe underground utility construction?
__________________
Michael Gookin, President
GPS Timers

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

(833) GPS-TIME
MikeFL is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 09:16 AM   #7
Old Grumpy Bastard
 
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Old Dominion"
Posts: 59,910
Rewards Points: 2,232
Default

Welcome aboard @send_help!

Unless you really are afraid of physicality as you sound in your whining get out there and try or you will never know.

Damn young man little girls can do this job with great success!

Many of the things you ask vary from task to task and cant be generalized so readily.

Give it a shot, go Union!
MikeFL and send_help like this.
__________________
I'm as Christian as possible in the times we live in.

Always just a stallion in a china shop
MechanicalDVR is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 10:18 AM   #8
Petulant Amateur
 
99cents's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Perky Nipples, Canada
Posts: 21,088
Rewards Points: 12,543
Default

I’m a skinny chit with noodle arms and strength has never been my...erm...strength. You learn to use your brain rather than the muscles you don’t have. Some tasks require brute strength but that’s when you ask for help.

Like someone else said, small people are better suited to some tasks.
99cents is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 12:43 PM   #9
Senile Member
 
macmikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 27,459
Rewards Points: 17,275
Default

I hear Antifa is hiring.............
telsa, CoolWill and jarrydee like this.
__________________
JOBS GROWTH SOARS
RECORD WORKING
UNEMPLOYMENT 50-YEAR LOW
Drudge Report
macmikeman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 12:53 PM   #10
Old Grumpy Bastard
 
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Old Dominion"
Posts: 59,910
Rewards Points: 2,232
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmikeman View Post
I hear Antifa is hiring.............
True but that's such a dead end job!

Not a lot of real future in it.
Tweetyarcs likes this.
__________________
I'm as Christian as possible in the times we live in.

Always just a stallion in a china shop
MechanicalDVR is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 01:21 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeFL View Post
Every task brings different physical requirements and each job brings different tasks.

Are you looking at being a lineman or a PLC programmer?

Maybe underground utility construction?
So far I've applied to two apprenticeship programs: one for a wireperson and the other for a telecom installer technician. From the job descriptions, it sounds like the wireperson has a broader scope of work and more labor to do (I heard 90% of their work is installing/bending conduit).

Not too familiar with the more labor-heavy electrician work as all the jobs I've worked so far have been in the office.

Thanks for all your input!
send_help is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 09:45 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Martine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Montreal, Qc
Posts: 304
Rewards Points: 606
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by send_help View Post
So far I've applied to two apprenticeship programs: one for a wireperson and the other for a telecom installer technician. From the job descriptions, it sounds like the wireperson has a broader scope of work and more labor to do (I heard 90% of their work is installing/bending conduit).

Not too familiar with the more labor-heavy electrician work as all the jobs I've worked so far have been in the office.

Thanks for all your input!
I bend conduit 80% of the day most days. The biggest I do by hand is 1" and once you get the swing of it it's easy stuff and almost anyone can do it. We use a cyclone bender for anything bigger.

I think you're over thinking the physical aspect of it. I'd be telling you something different if you were coming into the trade disabled, but you're just slim is all.
send_help likes this.
Martine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 09:46 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Martine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Montreal, Qc
Posts: 304
Rewards Points: 606
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 99cents View Post
I’m a skinny chit with noodle arms and strength has never been my...erm...strength. You learn to use your brain rather than the muscles you don’t have. Some tasks require brute strength but that’s when you ask for help.

Like someone else said, small people are better suited to some tasks.
I just pictured one of those car dealership blow up noodle people and laughed way louder than I should have.
Martine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2019, 04:59 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Michigan
Posts: 72
Rewards Points: 144
Default

I have spinal stenosis, pinched nerves in my spine, and need a damn hip replacement, plus smoke 2 packs a day. I am only 44. ya, some days when I get home my back hurts pretty bad, but it goes away after relaxing for a while. if I can do it, you can do it. being shorter is a plus I think, you will be less likely to smash your head in basements or attics. The worst part that I can think of in my own experience, is when you have to crawl through a crawl space, or under a deck that can barely fit your body under it. Even that is not too bad. Standing on ladders for hours at a time with work boots on is starting to bother me a little, but then again I have a ton of **** wrong with me, You are young and healthy, should be no problem for you. I would kill to be your age again. I remember pulling home runs off 6 rolls of wires, damn near jogging across the trusses. youth is a great thing, use it while you got it! Good luck, and just DO IT!
stiffneck likes this.
jarrydee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2019, 05:55 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
just the cowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,660
Rewards Points: 18
Default

Size don't matter. But you said struggling with EE course, Electrician school is not easy either. I'm 61 and 5'-7" in industrial controls but I still get on the hands and knees almost every day to troubleshoot things.

As for the two jobs forget telecom installer, and be a real electrician the possibilities are endless. And like Mech said GO UNION for your training.

Good luck
Cowboy

PS don't take an apprenticeship if you are not sure, save the spot for someone who is.
joe-nwt and jarrydee like this.
__________________
A cowboy may get thrown down, but he always gets up and walks forward and don't look back at what thru him.
just the cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2019, 07:08 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
joe-nwt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 428
Rewards Points: 860
Default

Why are you dwelling on labor at 20 years old? At 20 I was fearless when it came to hard work. Now closing in to 60 I can still keep up with the best at physical labor. Might be a little more aches and pains at the end of the day. Ok, some days a lot more.....but still. Some of the best years in my 20's as far as earnings and learning were based on 12hr days with no time off for months on end. I make more money now, but never know when it might abruptly end.

Not to be nosy but do you have some disability that is making you shy away from hard work?

Seriously. If you are waffling at hard work at 20, you might consider staying where you are. IMHO.
tmessner, stiffneck and jarrydee like this.
joe-nwt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2019, 02:12 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
Rewards Points: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by send_help View Post
TLDR AT BOTTOM! Sorry for the long essay



Hi all,



So I'm looking into the electrician trade from the outside (currently a struggling electrical engineering student in university). From what I've heard, everyone has said that labor will be a factor as with any blue-collared job (unsurprisingly). I've talked to contractors who I currently work for as an EE, not as an electrician, and they've said the labor isn't as intense as that of say a plumber or a masonry, but there is still labor.



My question is, how laborious exactly is an average day of work for you electricians out there? And better yet, what is an average day for you? I've had some career guidance on the subject and heard that the electrician trade can be very taxing on the body and that I may not be able to handle the work, especially as I get older. To give a bit of context, I'm a 20 year old male, 121 lbs, 5'5-1/2" so I'm not exactly ripped, but I'm healthy and somewhat lean. Does the labor involved crush people like me? And would I be able to stay in the industry until preferably retiring age (~65) without any major health concerns? I initially saw the labor in this profession as a means to stay fit since I would be working and being out and about instead of hunching over a computer at a desk for eight hours a day, but I recently had others (albeit non-electricians) tell me that crawling around tight spaces all day to wire up houses and buildings really takes a toll on the body especially as you get older.



My other question for the electricians here is what lifestyle do you guys have outside of the workplace? After work, do you come home to spend time with family? Do you have energy by the end of the day to do anything after work? I guess more than anything I'd like to enjoy the day at work and be able to come home to a family and still have enough energy to spend time with them and do things that I want, which is a concern that was recently brought up by relatives and friends.



I'm really interested in an apprenticeship and have already applied for a couple programs, one for a wireperson and another for a telecom installer technician, any advice on either of the two? Is one better than the other? For wirepersons, I would be working as an apprentice for 10,000 hours before getting an EJ whereas the installer technician will take 6,000 hours for an EJS. From the position descriptions, it sounds like the wirepersons have a much broader scope of work and have more labor, especially when it comes to conduit installation. Anything else to look out for from either position?



TLDR: How labor-intensive is it to be an electrician? Is it a viable career choice for someone who is very much interested in the path but also happens to be a smaller-framed person? Is the labor too much for most people to continue working as they get older, and maybe even up till retirement age? And does the labor ever take away from your way of life outside of work (i.e. using up all your energy during the work day so that by the end of it, you can't spend quality time with family).



Thanks for any answers and advice on the subject!
finish your engineering degree, then look for a job

if you can't find a job in engineering, then look into becoming a tradesman

it is difficult to find a job in engineering since the market is saturated with engineers and there is also a slowdown in various sectors that employ engineers such as manufacturing or information technology

but if you work hard and want to find work, then you probably will
Corporate_Big_Shot 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



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com