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Old 11-17-2010, 04:59 AM   #1
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Question Newbie from Vancouver BC needs info regarding apprenticeship

Hi All,

I'm new to this site and am looking for info.... I'm working towards becoming an Electrician. So I've done my research which led me to getting pre-requisites together so I can get into the Electrical Joint Training Commitee's Entry-level trades training course. For those who don't know it's an Electrical Pre-apprenticeship course that this (Ibew 213 affiliated) Union school offers. I had also applied to BCIT's Electrical Foundation Program. Basically I had the goal of getting into the Union schol (***C), but having BCIT as a backup (which has a two year waitlist as of 2 weeks ago).

So right now I'm half way through the last pre-requisite which I needed to get in order to apply for the Union school, but I'm really wondering about what job futures are going to be like in this trade particularly for Union Electricians and apprentices in Vancouver BC.

I'm looking for feedback from people who are Union and non-union Journeyman and apprentices who are from the Vancouver lower-mainland area (BC). Is there are alot of people from both union/non-union on the bench right now?

Plus another reason I'm posting this is to find out if there are companies "these days" here in Vancouver BC that would hire someone with no electrical experience and train to eventually sponsor them for an apprenticeship, as opposed to taking a pre-apprenticeship course to get into the trade. If there are such companies please do list them

Although I'm very close to finishing my pre-requisites, I'm getting frustrated with how long things are taking and want to get the ball rolling faster, not to mention tuition for a foundation program and the time off to study when I could possibly work in an entry-level position and get sponsored for an apprenticeship off the bat.

Please any info will be greatly appreciated, and the more the merrier!
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:11 AM   #2
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The advantage of the union school is that you get PAID work experience for 10 weeks after you complete your classwork and tests. You also get preferred placement as an apprentice in the union.

The disadvantage of the union school is the cost: $5,0000. But, if you wait two years for BCIT, you would be a third term apprentice by then making almost 20 bucks an hour. So you would be losing two years of apprenticeship and two years of paid work.

BCIT and the ***C program both have good reputations. Either school will give you a good start. But the ***C program is better in my opinion because:
1) Shorter wait list
2) Paid work experience
3) Better chance of getting job when your work experience is done

The company I work for does promote from within. Some drivers have been offered apprenticeships after they show they are good workers. It is a union company. But there aren't a lot of driver jobs so you have a much better chance of getting started by going through school first.

I have a diploma in electronics engineering, experience in working in electronics, and have taken a lot of part-time upgrade courses in electronics. I applied to 12 companies and not one replied to me (in 2009). The only way I could get started in the trade was through the IBEW school.

Many of the guys I know got started through a family contact in the trade, both union and non-union. They worked for their dad's company or their dad was an electrician and got them a job somewhere. One guy's mom pulled strings to get him hired at one of the larger companies. Having a family member who can help you get started is a huge advantage.

Without knowing someone, it is very hard to find a job in Vancouver. Even if you see a job posted, it will usually go to a friend of someone at the company or a friend of a friend. This is not just in the trades. It is actually much worse outside the trades, especially in office environments. I'm not sure why this is, but it makes it very difficult to break into new fields of work.

The work situation in Vancouver is very tight right now for union and non-union electricians. The company I work for has laid off a lot of people and is much smaller than it was in 2008. We do almost entirely commercial buildings.

There are hundreds of journeymen and apprentices out of work. I don't know what the work situation will be in the near future, but my guess is that it will be tough for the next few years in Vancouver. Be prepared to bust your ass and never give your employer a reason to get rid of you.

Personally, I love working as an electrician and I love the company I am working for. It has all been worth it. There are some great opportunities in the trades so don't let the current situation keep you from giving it a shot. Good luck!
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggie View Post
Hi All,

I'm new to this site and am looking for info.... I'm working towards becoming an Electrician. So I've done my research which led me to getting pre-requisites together so I can get into the Electrical Joint Training Commitee's Entry-level trades training course. For those who don't know it's an Electrical Pre-apprenticeship course that this (Ibew 213 affiliated) Union school offers. I had also applied to BCIT's Electrical Foundation Program. Basically I had the goal of getting into the Union schol (***C), but having BCIT as a backup (which has a two year waitlist as of 2 weeks ago).

So right now I'm half way through the last pre-requisite which I needed to get in order to apply for the Union school, but I'm really wondering about what job futures are going to be like in this trade particularly for Union Electricians and apprentices in Vancouver BC.

I'm looking for feedback from people who are Union and non-union Journeyman and apprentices who are from the Vancouver lower-mainland area (BC). Is there are alot of people from both union/non-union on the bench right now?

Plus another reason I'm posting this is to find out if there are companies "these days" here in Vancouver BC that would hire someone with no electrical experience and train to eventually sponsor them for an apprenticeship, as opposed to taking a pre-apprenticeship course to get into the trade. If there are such companies please do list them

Although I'm very close to finishing my pre-requisites, I'm getting frustrated with how long things are taking and want to get the ball rolling faster, not to mention tuition for a foundation program and the time off to study when I could possibly work in an entry-level position and get sponsored for an apprenticeship off the bat.

Please any info will be greatly appreciated, and the more the merrier!
Welcome to the forum
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanB View Post
The advantage of the union school is that you get PAID work experience for 10 weeks after you complete your classwork and tests. You also get preferred placement as an apprentice in the union.

The disadvantage of the union school is the cost: $5,0000. But, if you wait two years for BCIT, you would be a third term apprentice by then making almost 20 bucks an hour. So you would be losing two years of apprenticeship and two years of paid work.

BCIT and the ***C program both have good reputations. Either school will give you a good start. But the ***C program is better in my opinion because:
1) Shorter wait list
2) Paid work experience
3) Better chance of getting job when your work experience is done

The company I work for does promote from within. Some drivers have been offered apprenticeships after they show they are good workers. It is a union company. But there aren't a lot of driver jobs so you have a much better chance of getting started by going through school first.

I have a diploma in electronics engineering, experience in working in electronics, and have taken a lot of part-time upgrade courses in electronics. I applied to 12 companies and not one replied to me (in 2009). The only way I could get started in the trade was through the IBEW school.

Many of the guys I know got started through a family contact in the trade, both union and non-union. They worked for their dad's company or their dad was an electrician and got them a job somewhere. One guy's mom pulled strings to get him hired at one of the larger companies. Having a family member who can help you get started is a huge advantage.

Without knowing someone, it is very hard to find a job in Vancouver. Even if you see a job posted, it will usually go to a friend of someone at the company or a friend of a friend. This is not just in the trades. It is actually much worse outside the trades, especially in office environments. I'm not sure why this is, but it makes it very difficult to break into new fields of work.

The work situation in Vancouver is very tight right now for union and non-union electricians. The company I work for has laid off a lot of people and is much smaller than it was in 2008. We do almost entirely commercial buildings.

There are hundreds of journeymen and apprentices out of work. I don't know what the work situation will be in the near future, but my guess is that it will be tough for the next few years in Vancouver. Be prepared to bust your ass and never give your employer a reason to get rid of you.

Personally, I love working as an electrician and I love the company I am working for. It has all been worth it. There are some great opportunities in the trades so don't let the current situation keep you from giving it a shot. Good luck!
Hey Ryan,

thanks alot for the info, you've definitely given me alot of valid points regarding the union.

Out of curiosity when you say there is a shorter waitlist for the ***C, was there a waitlist when you applied? I was under the impression that its first come first served (provided they accept you into the program).

Right now I've completed 2 out of the 3 pre-requisites and am plugging away at the third, once thats done I'll put in the application and take it from there. Hopefully things work out because i'm sick and tired of working in dead end jobs and want to get started in the trade as soon as possible.

Thank you for the feedback and the best of luck in your career.

Biggie
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:16 PM   #5
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Hey Biggie,

I'm pretty much in the same boat as you.

Is there really a two year wait list for BCIT? Sounds like the Union program would be a better way to go, provided you can afford it.


What test are you going to write on June 23rd? Did you get that offered to you when they saw your transcript?
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:18 PM   #6
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I got two posts mixed up, June 23rd was on someone else's post. Looks like alot of people are going for IBEW apprenticeships....
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