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Old 09-09-2017, 09:46 AM   #21
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They offered, i turned then down

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Old 09-09-2017, 09:47 AM   #22
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I has said this many times. Just so you know I am not a union fan and have shown that plenty. Mainly because of their shady tactics toward other non union contractors and the whinyness they give out when they don't get their way.

That being said. If you want to make a good living, be comfortable in retirement, Not have to worry about feeding your family or even worry about how to run a certain conduit you should go union in a heartbeat.

On the other side of the coin. If you ever have dreams of opening your own business I would stay with the non union route. I your case if you were me and that is what you are thinking you need to work for about 3 or 4 different companies for a few years each. Soak in how each company does things and what work you like the best. Money can be made in every aspect of the trade but just know you are going to start out doing small **** and crawling around in attics for awhile.

Just my two cents.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:48 AM   #23
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Okay!

I actually believe him
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:50 AM   #24
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I actually believe him
It just rings of being disingenuous to me...
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:58 AM   #25
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I has said this many times. Just so you know I am not a union fan and have shown that plenty. Mainly because of their shady tactics toward other non union contractors and the whinyness they give out when they don't get their way.

That being said. If you want to make a good living, be comfortable in retirement, Not have to worry about feeding your family or even worry about how to run a certain conduit you should go union in a heartbeat.

On the other side of the coin. If you ever have dreams of opening your own business I would stay with the non union route. I your case if you were me and that is what you are thinking you need to work for about 3 or 4 different companies for a few years each. Soak in how each company does things and what work you like the best. Money can be made in every aspect of the trade but just know you are going to start out doing small **** and crawling around in attics for awhile.

Just my two cents.
It was my impression from many people I've talked to that the unions apprenticeship was one of the best. Do you know of any others that rival it I tried ABC and they are full down here and have been doing WECA ET courses. What do you mean by not have to worry about running conduit a certain way? My experience with non union shops in San Diego is that they do whatever they can to keep you paid as little as possible while having you do the **** jobs and not giving you a chance to prove your self, that is until I met my current boss, guy has taught me a ton in the time I've worked for him and while it might not be legal has me doing journey work which I make every effort to do the best of my ability. My main issue is advancement and getting an all around training in every aspect of electrical. My current boss seems to know more about resi and quick fix sort of things
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:01 AM   #26
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On the other side of the coin. If you ever have dreams of opening your own business I would stay with the non union route. I your case if you were me and that is what you are thinking you need to work for about 3 or 4 different companies for a few years each. Soak in how each company does things and what work you like the best. Money can be made in every aspect of the trade but just know you are going to start out doing small **** and crawling around in attics for awhile.

Just my two cents.
So a union guy can't learn much of how his employer works and what positive aspects will help in the future then go on to open his own business?

You don't think Union guys go out on their own and open signatory shops?
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:06 AM   #27
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It was my impression from many people I've talked to that the unions apprenticeship was one of the best. Do you know of any others that rival it I tried ABC and they are full down here and have been doing WECA ET courses. What do you mean by not have to worry about running conduit a certain way? My experience with non union shops in San Diego is that they do whatever they can to keep you paid as little as possible while having you do the **** jobs and not giving you a chance to prove your self, that is until I met my current boss, guy has taught me a ton in the time I've worked for him and while it might not be legal has me doing journey work which I make every effort to do the best of my ability. My main issue is advancement and getting an all around training in every aspect of electrical. My current boss seems to know more about resi and quick fix sort of things
I don't know anything about the union apprenticeship other what I read on here and every single one says it is the best. I don't doubt that one bit. I have had more than a few guys work for me during the day and take classes at a tech school a couple days a week. They have turned out to be very good electricians. It is a lot of work though.
The really good electricians I know have worked in a variety of fields. Industrial, commercial, resi, fire alarm/data. I can send almost any of my guys to any type of call and know they will be able to handle it. If your guy only does one thing move on.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:14 AM   #28
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So a union guy can't learn much of how his employer works and what positive aspects will help in the future then go on to open his own business?

You don't think Union guys go out on their own and open signatory shops?
Yes they do all the time. Normally after they have been laid off for awhile. I would guess that 80% or so go back to the union after a year or so because they just do not have the variety of experience that a guy working for a small company gets. It is no fun going from a large job where you get set breaks and get to play cards on the roof to crawling around in an attic installing a ceiling fan for some bitchy old lady.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:33 AM   #29
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Yes they do all the time. Normally after they have been laid off for awhile. I would guess that 80% or so go back to the union after a year or so because they just do not have the variety of experience that a guy working for a small company gets. It is no fun going from a large job where you get set breaks and get to play cards on the roof to crawling around in an attic installing a ceiling fan for some bitchy old lady.
This has to be area dependent.

In the markets I've worked guys I know built up a nest egg to start a business typically $100k minimum and went out on their own after building up a clientele once they had their state license and working side jobs for a while.

None of them were ever laid off for more than hunting season or two consecutive weeks during their hobby season (ski, scuba, spring break, etc).

Maybe this was because I worked primarily with service guys in the service related parts of businesses.

Construction guys get laid off more often but that still depends on how valuable those guys are to the company, you aren't going to keep a conduit monkey and lay off a guy that can take a foreman position and run a job or two for you.

My BIL had all intent of leaving the Union after he hit 25 years in and opening his own signatory shop, only a heart attack stopped that from happening.

I had all the same plans but an injury from working a second job stopped me from that long term plan.

I can't think of any of the guys I worked with that went out on their own that quit and went back to the hall.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:46 AM   #30
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It was my impression from many people I've talked to that the unions apprenticeship was one of the best. Do you know of any others that rival it I tried ABC and they are full down here and have been doing WECA ET courses. What do you mean by not have to worry about running conduit a certain way? My experience with non union shops in San Diego is that they do whatever they can to keep you paid as little as possible while having you do the **** jobs and not giving you a chance to prove your self, that is until I met my current boss, guy has taught me a ton in the time I've worked for him and while it might not be legal has me doing journey work which I make every effort to do the best of my ability. My main issue is advancement and getting an all around training in every aspect of electrical. My current boss seems to know more about resi and quick fix sort of things
Check out night school at some of the community colleges. Up in OC there are several that offer a lot of good electrical classes. I've done this twice about 20 years apart. The last time, the class offered hands on labs, and lecture. The instructor taught ibew union classes before joining the college
Take DC theory, then AC theory first
Take a NEC Code class
Then after that you can add classes like motor control, and industrial automation
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:58 AM   #31
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I worked in the field, Non-Union for 26 years before jumping ship to being an inspector.
I did mainly commercial work. I will be the first person to admit that Yes you can become a great electrician without school.
Would I suggest it ? Hell NO. That route is a tough one that takes a sh*t load of dedication and determination. (Trust Me I went that way)
I did see many people go through the ABC program - Seemed that schooling was pretty good, but it all depended on the person's dedication.

Now I get to see BOTH sides almost every day - Union Jobs/workers & Non-Union jobs /workers. On the union side it seems the apprentices and J-men are better educated and ask questions. GOOD questions not just stupid small talk questions. NOT saying that all non union workers are NOT just as educated , but it seems there are more and more less qualified on the non union side.

If I were to start over today ( if I knew then what I know now ) I would go straight to the Union Hall.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:59 AM   #32
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Okay!

He wanted to but, then he told than he was chicken. They didn't get that he is a legend.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:10 AM   #33
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@Simber650 , I give this advice a lot when these threads come up, and I know it doesn't get taken very often, but I keep doing it just the same, because in the unlikely event someone takes it, it could be some of the best advice you ever get.

Sit down with an accountant - a CPA, not someone that just does tax returns like H&R Block - sit down and ask them about your current situation, and ask them about what you'd need to make non-union to really compare to a union job.
Well said !
I will add 1 more thing that you should also discuss when sitting down with that accountant /CPA.
Tell them your age and that you want to retire at age 50 or 55. Listen to them while discussing the wages and such. Go into investing any tax returns and monetary windfalls that may come your way.

Too many people in this country are hung up on age in relationship to retirement.
Retirement has nothing to do with ones age !! It has everything to do with ones financial ability to live without having a job/ earning a paycheck.

I know some people who have done this and have retired completely at 50. I know 1 guy who watched every penny, made extremely smart decisions when it came to buying a house or a car, and putting money away. He retired completely on his 45th birthday !
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:18 AM   #34
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This has to be area dependent.

In the markets I've worked guys I know built up a nest egg to start a business typically $100k minimum and went out on their own after building up a clientele once they had their state license and working side jobs for a while.

None of them were ever laid off for more than hunting season or two consecutive weeks during their hobby season (ski, scuba, spring break, etc).

Maybe this was because I worked primarily with service guys in the service related parts of businesses.

Construction guys get laid off more often but that still depends on how valuable those guys are to the company, you aren't going to keep a conduit monkey and lay off a guy that can take a foreman position and run a job or two for you.

My BIL had all intent of leaving the Union after he hit 25 years in and opening his own signatory shop, only a heart attack stopped that from happening.

I had all the same plans but an injury from working a second job stopped me from that long term plan.

I can't think of any of the guys I worked with that went out on their own that quit and went back to the hall.
I have gone back a time or two when someone had an interesting project for me to run and I could either stop what I was doing to take it on or when I had a commitment that they would cover my service work customers.

If you have the slightest change to give it a try, you should take it. If its not for you, you can always walk.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:20 AM   #35
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I'm with Southeast Power on this.
Whichever way you go, you need get away from your current employer now.

The problem with being an employee getting paid cash:

1. In CA to get you journeyman lic you need a SS printout proving your experience. Working for cash doesn't count as work experience. IDK about the Cali contractor lic, but imagine if you wanted to be the qualifier, your cash work history wont count.

2. No unemployment. Work is slow, or no work, tough sh**.

3. No workers comp. If your injured you have no insurance. At best you can hire an attorney and fight about who pays the hospital bills a year later while your credit is in the toilet.

4. No disability insurance. You can't work because you got hurt on his job, tough sh**.

5. No social security credit. Years later there will be a hole in your social security income record. Which relates to less SS benefits.

6. You may be paid cash and think it's tax free. Then get a 1099 the next year. Meaning the cash income was reported to the IRS. Your taxes due would be much more, because your paying your share and the business owners share of taxes. Imaging a bill for 25% of last years income in your mailbox.

7. Your not building a credit history of income. Want to get a car loan, or house. Not going to happen so easy.

8. Any company that cheats the IRS, cheats employees, does not provide required insurances listed above for employees, risks their contractor license, and BS the employees that things will be different soon, is probably cheating you or endangering your safety in other ways you don't realize.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:43 AM   #36
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He wanted to but, then he told than he was chicken. They didn't get that he is a legend.
A legend in his OWN mind....
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:14 PM   #37
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Say what you want but, I would rather have a chicken farmer/ EMT living next door to me than some of the others here.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:27 PM   #38
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All really good points in this thread, I'm currently in Trade School, trying to figure out the best path for me afterwards. Thanks for all of this valuable info. From what I've heard, if you CAN get into a union, that's the most profitable route.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:32 PM   #39
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Regarding starting a business union or non-union - honestly I am not going to take that part of the OP's post that seriously. No offense but far more people think this is a good idea looking at it from a distance. At this point figure out your personal finances union / non union and go from there.

The decision to be a union or non union contractor is MUCH different than the decision to be a union or non union employee. The number one factor in starting a business is capital. In a year or so, sit down with that same CPA and talk about a business plan and how much it takes to start a union shop versus a non union shop. It might take 20 years as a journeyman to set aside enough to start a union shop, 5 years to start a non union shop that does residential work. There's considerable risk either way.

A lot of guys that are interested in starting their own business will figure out they don't really want to when they look into it. A lot of others will start their own business and find out after the fact they don't really want to, that's worse. A few will try it and like it and a very,very few will find they're better at business than electrical and make a pile of money.
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Old 09-09-2017, 12:32 PM   #40
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Bingo
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