3rd yr Apprentice; starting on first commercial job monday and looking for advice! - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:26 PM   #1
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Default 3rd yr Apprentice; starting on first commercial job monday and looking for advice!

Hello everyone! Kind of nervous posting here, first time.


I just joined the union and they have me going out to my first commercial jobsite Monday to start! I am very excited, but also extremely nervous. I was apprehensive to make the jump but my union recruiter convinced me (along with my own conscience) that this was the correct career decision in the long run no matter how difficult it is to make the leap now.

Just to be brief, I am a third year apprentice (almost 4th) and I've been working for a non-union shop doing 90% residential and 10% commercial service work for these last 3 years. I have been running a service van for about 2 to 2.5 years of my time with the non-union shop and doing panel upgrades, service calls... any residential job you can think of for the most part. The limited amount of commercial work I've done has been service calls for older restaurants, maybe running a circuit out of existing switch gear for an office building, or a circuit out of a sub-panel in a workshop. I have bent plenty of EMT up to 1 1/4", but bent no rigid or threaded any either. I have most of my experience in single-phase. It's hard to describe myself in one small paragraph so feel free to ask for details if it helps provide advice.


**The point of this post is that I am seeking advice for someone who may be new to a union (or any) commercial jobsite in general. I don't really have very much experience reading blueprints overall and I feel a little behind the 8-ball in terms of what I may be expected to know and do. I am just hoping to get any advice from seasoned journeymen on things I could be able to google and read up on to help learn and be more useful on a jobsite rather than like a deer caught in the headlights when asked for something by whoever I am working with.

That said, I am extremely humble and ready to learn and go through the learning curve of this new experience now that I am diving in head first. Any advice about what kind of commercial jobsite tools I should be familiar with, things I may be expected to know, or any advice at all would be extremely helpful. I'm confident that I can learn anything new once exposed to it, but nervous about letting someone down with their expectations of what I may be expected to know already.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I really appreciate the time.
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:36 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard @619Apprentice!

You say you are a 3rd year, did the union take you in at that level as well?

The best advice is to just do as you are asked, if you are unsure about anything ask.

Sounds like you have the basics down already.

Be early, leave your phone in your car, ask questions, and do as requested.

Better to express interest in doing things the proper way than doing something you are unsure of wrong.
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MechanicalDVR View Post
Welcome aboard @619Apprentice!

You say you are a 3rd year, did the union take you in at that level as well?

The best advice is to just do as you are asked, if you are unsure about anything ask.

Sounds like you have the basics down already.

Be early, leave your phone in your car, ask questions, and do as requested.

Better to express interest in doing things the proper way than doing something you are unsure of wrong.
Yes they did. I am not in their apprenticeship, but rather as a CE as they call it. I am an Electrician Trainee in their eyes and the eyes of the state. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'll take your thoughts to heart
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:45 PM   #4
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like mech d said, but dont ask so many questions that make you look incompetent. show what you know and ask guidance for the rest. commercial is very different from resi, often easier, but it takes some experience. by the way , welcome and learn!
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:46 PM   #5
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Yes they did. I am not in their apprenticeship, but rather as a CE as they call it. I am an Electrician Trainee in their eyes and the eyes of the state. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'll take your thoughts to heart

You're welcome!

Oh okay.

You should do fine.
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:58 PM   #6
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Congrats my friend, you'll enjoy it. You'll be forced to think in new ways which is always good in this trade.


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Old 07-22-2017, 10:04 PM   #7
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just wish some of the 'engineers' and 'designers' werent thinking so much without being in the field!
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