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Old 08-13-2013, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Electrician to Engineer

Greetings to all here,

I feel a little background is in order to properly discuss my situation and where I would like to go with it. So obviously, i'm new to the forum and also the electrical field. I graduated with an BS in Psychology and was unable to find anything in the field, didnt have enough experience or enough schooling, more the later. My dad thought it would be a good idea to get a trade so I have been attending coyne college for electrical construction and maintenance. What was a good idea turned out into a great one, I love the things I am doing and learning and wish I knew about things like this much much earlier. Here is where my real question(s) come into play. I find myself very interested into why these circuits work the way they do or are made the way they are made and I am always met with the reply "those are engineering questions" so my questions to the community are:

1. Can there be a smooth or suggessted transition that can be made from being an electrician to an engineer? If so, how can this be done?

2. Based on my situation, already having a bachelors, is getting a second bachelors worth it?

I guess we will go with that just to get the ball rolling. Thanks for all your help
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhouse View Post
Greetings to all here,

I feel a little background is in order to properly discuss my situation and where I would like to go with it. So obviously, i'm new to the forum and also the electrical field. I graduated with an BS in Psychology and was unable to find anything in the field, didnt have enough experience or enough schooling, more the later. My dad thought it would be a good idea to get a trade so I have been attending coyne college for electrical construction and maintenance. What was a good idea turned out into a great one, I love the things I am doing and learning and wish I knew about things like this much much earlier. Here is where my real question(s) come into play. I find myself very interested into why these circuits work the way they do or are made the way they are made and I am always met with the reply "those are engineering questions" so my questions to the community are:

1. Can there be a smooth or suggessted transition that can be made from being an electrician to an engineer? If so, how can this be done?

2. Based on my situation, already having a bachelors, is getting a second bachelors worth it?

I guess we will go with that just to get the ball rolling. Thanks for all your help
Welcome to the electrical trade and the forum

If you want to become an electrical engineer then keep going to school while your working as an electrician ,,,good luck.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:18 PM   #3
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If you do become an electrician, don't tell the other sparkies you have a BS in psychology.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:29 PM   #4
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G....

1. Can there be a smooth or suggessted transition that can be made from being an electrician to an engineer? If so, how can this be done?

2. Based on my situation, already having a bachelors, is getting a second bachelors worth it?

I guess we will go with that just to get the ball rolling. Thanks for all your help
1. unlikely and improbable, but not completely impossible. it takes roughly 4 years minimum to get an electrical masters/contractors license in most areas. It takes roughly 7 years working under a PE as an engineer to sit for the PE test so you can be a professional engineer. like others said, just switch to EE and get your degree in EE, then go out and work. There are a million areas where you could use an EE degree, and electrical power wiring is only one of them. besides that, you will learn in your first two electronics classes how and why current flows in a circuit (or flunk out)

2. yes
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Last edited by wildleg; 08-13-2013 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:34 PM   #5
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Have you considered traditional business administration-type jobs? I know at least one psych major who went on to a career in business and even got his MBA.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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I find myself very interested into why these circuits work the way they do or are made the way they are made and I am always met with the reply "those are engineering questions" so my questions to the community are:
I think this can sometimes be the answer guys give when they just don't know. I think you as an electrician should try to always be learning. Most of the time the electrician should understand what he is working on at least to the level of an engineer. An electrician should have a better working knowledge of it as well.

Quote:
If you do become an electrician, don't tell the other sparkies you have a BS in psychology.
One of the best electricians I know has a degree in psychology. Let your work speak for itself.

Quote:
1. Can there be a smooth or suggessted transition that can be made from being an electrician to an engineer? If so, how can this be done?
At least in my area, the transition isn't smooth. It takes at least 4 years of full time school to be an EE, even as a journeyman electrician.

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2. Based on my situation, already having a bachelors, is getting a second bachelors worth it?
I think if you have the time/money/desire, additional education is always worth it. I doubt anyone who is an EE and a journeyman electrician would be unemployed very long, if ever.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:14 PM   #7
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I've worked with a few electrician-engineers and they are often the best of both worlds: Electricians with a very solid understanding of theory and troubleshooting, and engineers who aren't arrogant or needlessly pedantic.

But the training to be an electrician is often very different from the training to be an engineer, so a lot of guys don't readily fit into both.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bhouse View Post
Greetings to all here,

I feel a little background is in order to properly discuss my situation and where I would like to go with it. So obviously, i'm new to the forum and also the electrical field. I graduated with an BS in Psychology and was unable to find anything in the field, didnt have enough experience or enough schooling, more the later. My dad thought it would be a good idea to get a trade so I have been attending coyne college for electrical construction and maintenance. What was a good idea turned out into a great one, I love the things I am doing and learning and wish I knew about things like this much much earlier. Here is where my real question(s) come into play. I find myself very interested into why these circuits work the way they do or are made the way they are made and I am always met with the reply "those are engineering questions" so my questions to the community are:

1. Can there be a smooth or suggessted transition that can be made from being an electrician to an engineer? If so, how can this be done?

2. Based on my situation, already having a bachelors, is getting a second bachelors worth it?

I guess we will go with that just to get the ball rolling. Thanks for all your help

If you have never actually worked in the field, you're not an electrician. You're an engineer.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:01 PM   #9
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If you have never actually worked in the field, you're not an electrician. You're an engineer.
maybe with phsyc. thing you could eventually relate to us better than an engineer! stay the course, id love to see the results!
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:24 PM   #10
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1. unlikely and improbable, but not completely impossible. it takes roughly 4 years minimum to get an electrical masters/contractors license in most areas. It takes roughly 7 years working under a PE as an engineer to sit for the PE test so you can be a professional engineer. like others said, just switch to EE and get your degree in EE, then go out and work. There are a million areas where you could use an EE degree, and electrical power wiring is only one of them. besides that, you will learn in your first two electronics classes how and why current flows in a circuit (or flunk out)

2. yes
I believe that varies state by state.

http://www.nspe.org/Licensure/HowtoG...sed/index.html
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:09 PM   #11
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Totally possible! I know several folks who've made that transition.

However, it's a looonng road. Plan on 4-5 years (including school at nights) to become an electrician, and then after that another 8-12 years of school (part-time) while working as an electrician to get an EE degree. Your best bet to make the transition is to work for a company that employs both electricians and engineers.


Edit: Oops, seeing that you already have a bachelor's degree make that 6-10 years part-time for an EE degree.

Last edited by Michigan Master; 08-13-2013 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:16 PM   #12
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A BS in Psychology would be good in dealing with customers. In general people with a lot of BS make a lot of money.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:13 PM   #13
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I believe that varies state by state.

http://www.nspe.org/Licensure/HowtoG...sed/index.html
I believe you are correct

http://community.nspe.org/blogs/lice.../04/table.aspx
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