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Old 06-29-2019, 02:52 PM   #1
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Default Journeyman Electrician to Project Coordinator/estimator?

Hi there ,

So i am currently on track to get my journeyman electrician ticket within 1 year or less. I have most of my hours, i just need to finish 2 intakes of school. I do not however want to do labour for the rest of my life. Waking up at 5am everyday to sweat and work hard all day gets old pretty quick. Also at the end of a work day you go home and all you want to do is sit on your couch because you've been doing labour all day and your soo tired. Don't get me wrong the money is great but I have come to the conclusion that I would be willing to invest some time and money into a comparable career into which I could transition to smoothly.



I came across the Construction Engineering Technology program at NAIT and it peaked my interest. I was always looking at getting into the estimating side of construction anyways because I like numbers, the business side of construction and as I mentioned before im not keen on doing labour everyday. I have done some research on this course and what ive gathered thus far is the course load is heavy and there is lots of math involved? That is actually good for me since my strong point is my math skills.



Im just looking to see if anyone was in a similar situation as me; where they got their journeyman ticket quickly and transferred to another career. Also if anyone could further outline what a regular day in this field looks like; what tasks do you do on a 9am-5pm day? I am also open to other careers that would work well with my journeyman ticket. I am also introverted to some extend so If this position requires lots of presentations I don't know I would be like that.



I am 23 years old now, so i figure I should set myself up right now for long term career that is not labour intensive. Because I sure do not want to be 40 years old bending conduit and pulling wire!



Any suggestions,tips, or guidance would be greatly appreciated.



Thanks
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Old 06-29-2019, 03:24 PM   #2
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School is great. The more the better. Do all you can.

Expect to get that journeyman ticket and work as such for 5 or so years before someone's willing to put you into estimating. Good estimators make good money, most of the time.
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Old 06-29-2019, 03:57 PM   #3
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I was lucky to get out of the field at an early age. I got my Masters license after eight years experience. Went into business for a while, but realized I knew nothing about the business. I took a job at a company as a estimator/PM trainee, and started counting circles and squares. Had no clue what I was doing, and then I went to seminars on estimating (this is before software) and learned nut&bolt takeoff and assembly takeoff.
I never looked back. I became a very good estimator. I had my own business for ten years, but went back into the corporate world and was a chief estimator in commercial construction for 34 years.
I'm retired now, but I will tell you....estimating is the mother of all skills in this business. Every EC owner I know that has been a success was and still are estimators. Every project manager in every office were/are estimators, because you can't manage if you never went the estimator route. Sorry...you just can't.
My advise for you is to get a job as a junior estimator under the guidance of a good chief estimator for a good established EC. Take seminars on the software they use, and learn their strategies of bidding jobs because the actual skill of estimating is only part of the job....bid strategy is the key to winning jobs.
I don't want to discourage anyone from going to schools, but what you will learn in actual contractor experience is invaluable.
Good luck!
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Old 06-29-2019, 05:34 PM   #4
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I would say that you still need to have a decent set of journeyman skills to fall back on.
Office work is nice but, you are expected to work 10 hour days in some shops.
I would look into doing sales. You can set your own hours and schedule.
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Old 06-29-2019, 05:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaptorsSparky View Post
Hi there ,

So i am currently on track to get my journeyman electrician ticket within 1 year or less. I have most of my hours, i just need to finish 2 intakes of school. I do not however want to do labour for the rest of my life. Waking up at 5am everyday to sweat and work hard all day gets old pretty quick. Also at the end of a work day you go home and all you want to do is sit on your couch because you've been doing labour all day and your soo tired. Don't get me wrong the money is great but I have come to the conclusion that I would be willing to invest some time and money into a comparable career into which I could transition to smoothly.



I came across the Construction Engineering Technology program at NAIT and it peaked my interest. I was always looking at getting into the estimating side of construction anyways because I like numbers, the business side of construction and as I mentioned before im not keen on doing labour everyday. I have done some research on this course and what ive gathered thus far is the course load is heavy and there is lots of math involved? That is actually good for me since my strong point is my math skills.



Im just looking to see if anyone was in a similar situation as me; where they got their journeyman ticket quickly and transferred to another career. Also if anyone could further outline what a regular day in this field looks like; what tasks do you do on a 9am-5pm day? I am also open to other careers that would work well with my journeyman ticket. I am also introverted to some extend so If this position requires lots of presentations I don't know I would be like that.



I am 23 years old now, so i figure I should set myself up right now for long term career that is not labour intensive. Because I sure do not want to be 40 years old bending conduit and pulling wire!



Any suggestions,tips, or guidance would be greatly appreciated.



Thanks
Being that I've been up since 5 and working on a Saturday I'll give you my 2 cents..

Sounds to me like you got into the wrong career. As a 23 year old third year, you already know what you don't want to do, and by the sounds of it is electrical WORK. Not sure if the work is what's scaring you away or what, but maybe you shoulda done a bit more research before getting into a trade that can be physically demanding most days. We work outside in all weather conditions from -50 to +50C, snow, rain, winds, etc.. Some days it's inside terminating a panel, the next day you might be outside running underground conduit in 3' of mud.

Every project manager, foreman, several consultants, inspectors, etc. I've worked with has been a tradesman for longer than their apprenticeship. They have to know how to do the job as well as the administrative side, or you'll have zero credibility with the people who work under your supervision.

IMO..If you're looking at changing paths, then at least stick it out til you get your ticket. Then switch careers and at least you'd have a ticket to fall back on should you one day have the need for it.

Let me know when you find the high paying, easy job! I'm sure we'd all like that!!
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Southeast Power View Post
I would say that you still need to have a decent set of journeyman skills to fall back on.
Office work is nice but, you are expected to work 10 hour days in some shops.
I would look into doing sales. You can set your own hours and schedule.
A self-described introvert that's obtuse enough to post

Quote:
Because I sure do not want to be 40 years old bending conduit and pulling wire!
is not going to do well in sales.
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:06 PM   #7
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I could think about hard work all day. I don't know what it is, but I just love the idea of work. Hard work ain't easy. Slow work takes time. I wish I could just be a mentor.


I actually have a hard time staying awake for eight hours behind a computer. Do they still make crank?
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Old 06-29-2019, 09:42 PM   #8
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When I went from being an inspector to being a plans examiner I was concerned about 2 occupational hazards. Getting a broken nose as my head impacted the drafting table because I couldn't stay awake reading plans all day, and getting a papercut in the eye from flipping sheets of 24x36 plan sets all day. It takes some adjustment to go from the field to the office, but I must say, after some time at it you realize how good you have it. When we first went from hand drawn to autocad that really used to knock me out. The cad people obviously were not up to speed on layers and line widths and at first it all blurred together.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
I would look into doing sales.
What do you think estimating is?
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:41 PM   #10
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School is great. The more the better. Do all you can.

Expect to get that journeyman ticket and work as such for 5 or so years before someone's willing to put you into estimating. Good estimators make good money, most of the time.
So how come i hear of local big electrical contractors hiring junior estimators who have zero electrical experience?
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by glen1971 View Post
Being that I've been up since 5 and working on a Saturday I'll give you my 2 cents..

Sounds to me like you got into the wrong career. As a 23 year old third year, you already know what you don't want to do, and by the sounds of it is electrical WORK. Not sure if the work is what's scaring you away or what, but maybe you shoulda done a bit more research before getting into a trade that can be physically demanding most days. We work outside in all weather conditions from -50 to +50C, snow, rain, winds, etc.. Some days it's inside terminating a panel, the next day you might be outside running underground conduit in 3' of mud.

Every project manager, foreman, several consultants, inspectors, etc. I've worked with has been a tradesman for longer than their apprenticeship. They have to know how to do the job as well as the administrative side, or you'll have zero credibility with the people who work under your supervision.

IMO..If you're looking at changing paths, then at least stick it out til you get your ticket. Then switch careers and at least you'd have a ticket to fall back on should you one day have the need for it.

Let me know when you find the high paying, easy job! I'm sure we'd all like that!!
The big responsibility that comes with being a journeyman and the labour everyday aspect.. As a 1st year and 2nd year there is zero responsibility, as a 3rd and 4th yr, a little bit of responsibility and expectation. Then all of a sudden you become a journeyman and its ALL your responsibility, everything!

I became an electrician because the money is great, its easy to find work and i will never be out of a job. But there is stuff i didn't foresee like labouring everyday and how tiring it is.

Either way I'm winning here, worst case i have a journeyman ticket for life if i choose to go another route.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by RaptorsSparky View Post
The big responsibility that comes with being a journeyman and the labour everyday aspect.. As a 1st year and 2nd year there is zero responsibility, as a 3rd and 4th yr, a little bit of responsibility and expectation. Then all of a sudden you become a journeyman and its ALL your responsibility, everything!



I became an electrician because the money is great, its easy to find work and i will never be out of a job. But there is stuff i didn't foresee like labouring everyday and how tiring it is.



Either way I'm winning here, worst case i have a journeyman ticket for life if i choose to go another route.
I would love to just be JIW again. Being a foreman is waaaaay worse.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
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