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Old 03-24-2019, 02:28 AM   #1
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Default Designing and building.

It's been awhile since my last post. But I have about a year into my apprenticeship and am a little worried about the whole design and building aspect of being an electrician.

My question is, does it get easier or better as I accumulate experience throughout my apprenticeship??

I Just fear that I won't be good enough and that I will fail in the end as I get closer to becoming a journeyman.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:31 AM   #2
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The term of art you are stabbing at is: Design//Build.

It's well above your pay grade -- the kind of thing that the office crew takes care of.

So don't sweat it.

You only need to worry about the 'building it' aspect of our trade.

Let your PM, foreman and license holder worry about design issues.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:45 AM   #3
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Kid, you're gonna be fine. Just show up for work on time ok? And no texting. Give it some time, You will know exactly what to do when the time comes, which is to come here and ask how. One of the fifty answers is going to be the right answer. Good luck with your journey.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:52 AM   #4
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Okay, then that's what I am talking about the building aspect then. I can't seem to see the big picture yet and my current journeyman keeps stressing that to me.

My current building skills as they stand, are not great, at all.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmikeman View Post
Kid, you're gonna be fine. Just show up for work on time ok? And no texting. Give it some time, You will know exactly what to do when the time comes, which is to come here and ask how. One of the fifty answers is going to be the right answer. Good luck with your journey.
Having creativity seems to be a very important skill to have in the field and it seems like I don't possess that ability.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:10 AM   #6
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Apprentices are granted a boner forgiveness.

Just don't tap that forgiveness too often.

Universal Rules for Apprentice Success:

1) Never be late to work.

2) Two ears and one mouth mean that you should listen twice as much as talk.

3) For heaven's sake, keep a small note pad with you at all times. The very act of writing down essential info anchors it in your mind.

3a) Stuff like how high should a $ box be?... a GFCI in a bathroom?... a common receptacle... a TV (up high) receptacle... a fire alarm horn-strobe deep box?

If you're REALLY smart, you'll take this stuff and post it on your PC at home on your own time. This way you have a cheat sheet for all manner of otherwise forgettable details.

Stuff like guys names, phone numbers, what you've worked on, stuff that's nagging you in your off hours and which you wish to bring up with your j-man -- but keep forgetting to do so.

That's the thing about computers. They have terrific memories -- and can be re-edited endlessly.

Never take your computer to the job. You'll ruin it// lose it. Just have a sheet or two folded up in your back pocket that carry the critical stuff. As an apprentice, it won't be much.

If you have a smart phone -- use it to take pictures -- not to jibber jabber. When you see other guy's work that looks terrific, take a snap shot -- when no-one's looking, of course.

At your stage in our craft, all that you want to do is learn the names of all of our minor materials -- our slang, too. There's a LOT of it. It even drifts depending where you are in our nation.

Like magic, your j-man will have you learning by doing.
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telsa View Post
Apprentices are granted a boner forgiveness.

Just don't tap that forgiveness too often.

Universal Rules for Apprentice Success:

1) Never be late to work.

2) Two ears and one mouth mean that you should listen twice as much as talk.

3) For heaven's sake, keep a small note pad with you at all times. The very act of writing down essential info anchors it in your mind.

3a) Stuff like how high should a $ box be?... a GFCI in a bathroom?... a common receptacle... a TV (up high) receptacle... a fire alarm horn-strobe deep box?

If you're REALLY smart, you'll take this stuff and post it on your PC at home on your own time. This way you have a cheat sheet for all manner of otherwise forgettable details.

Stuff like guys names, phone numbers, what you've worked on, stuff that's nagging you in your off hours and which you wish to bring up with your j-man -- but keep forgetting to do so.

That's the thing about computers. They have terrific memories -- and can be re-edited endlessly.

Never take your computer to the job. You'll ruin it// lose it. Just have a sheet or two folded up in your back pocket that carry the critical stuff. As an apprentice, it won't be much.

If you have a smart phone -- use it to take pictures -- not to jibber jabber. When you see other guy's work that looks terrific, take a snap shot -- when no-one's looking, of course.

At your stage in our craft, all that you want to do is learn the names of all of our minor materials -- our slang, too. There's a LOT of it. It even drifts depending where you are in our nation.

Like magic, your j-man will have you learning by doing.
Thanks for the advice.

The journeyman im with has a ton of knowledge but from time to time has been degrading me and sometimes snickers at me when something isn't done entierly his way. His mindset is its my way or the highway.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky Iv View Post
Having creativity seems to be a very important skill to have in the field and it seems like I don't possess that ability.
Anyone encouraging a first year apprentice to be creative has their head up their ass, that's totally backwards.

There are a lot of nitwits that think unconditional criticism is the best way to develop an apprentice. One of the lessons that you can learn from them is how to suffer nitwits, which is important.

If he can't give you more specific criticism than "not seeing the big picture" and being insufficiently creative, you're probably doing pretty well.

Thicken your skin, and keep an eye out for an opportunity to work with a better mentor.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:27 AM   #9
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after you do something 1000 times, some solutions will be obvious, and creativity isn't required. What you need to learn is: how to learn. Learning is an art in and of itself. When you walk through a job, start getting in the habit of observing all the solutions that others came up with to perform their tasks. Eventually you will see the work all around you, and you will appreciate workmanlike solutions that you observe, and you will see different solutions to the same problems you face daily in your work, some good, some bad. You will be able to see the good and the bad in the manner in which workers around you perform their tasks. This is when you will have learned to learn, and you will be able to improve your own workmanship all by yourself.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:34 AM   #10
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I knew what you meant by design build. Every day is a design challenge. Things like how am I going to set up this pull, What circuits am I going to combine in a multi-wire branch circuit, How am I going to get up there to work safely. Right now all those things should be explained to you as you work along. Your journeymen should be explaining his thought process while he makes his decisions. With not even one year into this you would never know these things. I know looking forward you are wondering how you will, but you'll get there.

As far as your journeymen making degrading remarks, theirs no reason for that. It actually gives you a little physiological look into where he's at with his own problems. There is absolutely no reason for insults. Anybody can get their point across without them. Some people go overboard with insults. Like I said it gives you insight into them. Others it may only be occasional. Maybe frustration, maybe a few other things. For that you just have to toughen up and give your work the best shot you can.

With time you will be the product of all the best journeymen you have worked with. Don't be a product of the worst. You never stop learning. Youll actuually learn more after you are a journeymen. Apprenticeship just lays out the ground work. Like Wildleg said "Learn to learn".

Even as a foreman you will still be learning. I was doing a job years ago. One of the guys was nearing retirement. He helped me a lot. One thing he said with a chuckle always stuck with me. A Shakespeare quote.

"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

It is when you have things thrust upon you that you really learn.
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Last edited by HertzHound; 03-24-2019 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:16 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for all the helpful advice and tips. I will keep all of this in mind. I appreciate the feedback.

As far as thick skin goes I'm working on it i have gotten better over time but my own worst enemy is myself since I am too hard on myself.

Anyways thanks again everyone.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:23 PM   #12
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At this stage in your career, for everything one thing you know, there's one hundred things that you don't. Knowledge only comes from years of hands-on experience and at home study of the fundamentals of electricinity
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