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Old 01-18-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
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Default Hello, Looking for Advice on possible career change

Hello, my name is Chris and I am 32 years old and currently considering a career change, becoming an electrician.

A little background: After HS I went to university and got a BSc degree. About one month after I graduated I got hired by a local pharmaceutical company where I worked for 9 years...until last week when I was laid off.

The vast majority of time I worked for the company I didn't like what I was doing, mostly sitting in front of computer writing documents/protocols and instructions. What I enjoyed most was when I had a combination of mental and physical tasks, although this was rare. Furthermore, the pharma industry is so tightly regulated that I never felt I got to make decisions or judgements, the managers always had a death grip on control.

By coincidence, a friend was is an industrial electrician was hired by my former company while I was working there. I saw him enjoy more interesting tasks, more importance and higher pay. It was very appealing but I was in a comfortable rut, unable to get the motivation to switch careers. Now, the decision has been forced on me.

I think I would like being electrician because I like and excel science and math, but also doing practical "project" type work. I do the majority of my home and car maintenance, so I'm not afraid to get dirty or put in sweat equity. I have a Mustang that barely has an original factory part and I've done all the work myself (pump gas car that runs 11s in full street trim, but I digress).

So based on this long winded post, do you think that a career as an industrial/commercial would be right for me?
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:00 PM   #2
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sure
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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sure
You are not too old to start a new career, but you realize that you will have to start from scratch.

That means low pay, and maybe crappy jobs too.

If that is your desire, go for it, and best of luck!

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Old 01-18-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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I say no, 32 is to old to start doing electrical work. The work is physically 10 times harder than you think it is for starters. Secondly your gonna find it's not easy to get a job in the industrial/commercial electrical field with no experience. Who wants a 32 year old testing the waters of a possible new career when you can someone 10 years younger with a couple years experience for the same price? It's just what I've seen over my 19 years in the trade. I've worked with lots of guys in your situation and I can only remember one guy who was worth his salt. I've even seen a guy in his early forty's well up with tears when reality caught up with him and he finally realized being an electrician was to just to hard of work. A lot of people think that being an electrician is easy work and you get paid a lot. It's not easy work and it takes years before you make good money, and some places good money is just not available.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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51 yrs old..torn rotator cuff..2 hernias..compressed spine..broken L5 vertebrae...scrached retina..broken fingers..sprains..strains etc..and thats what I remember..lol..but I love it...if you can work knowing all that and know that death is a real factor in this type of work welcome.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Vapour Trails View Post
Hello, my name is Chris and I am 32 years old and currently considering a career change, becoming an electrician.

A little background: After HS I went to university and got a BSc degree. About one month after I graduated I got hired by a local pharmaceutical company where I worked for 9 years...until last week when I was laid off.

The vast majority of time I worked for the company I didn't like what I was doing, mostly sitting in front of computer writing documents/protocols and instructions. What I enjoyed most was when I had a combination of mental and physical tasks, although this was rare. Furthermore, the pharma industry is so tightly regulated that I never felt I got to make decisions or judgements, the managers always had a death grip on control.

By coincidence, a friend was is an industrial electrician was hired by my former company while I was working there. I saw him enjoy more interesting tasks, more importance and higher pay. It was very appealing but I was in a comfortable rut, unable to get the motivation to switch careers. Now, the decision has been forced on me.

I think I would like being electrician because I like and excel science and math, but also doing practical "project" type work. I do the majority of my home and car maintenance, so I'm not afraid to get dirty or put in sweat equity. I have a Mustang that barely has an original factory part and I've done all the work myself (pump gas car that runs 11s in full street trim, but I digress).

So based on this long winded post, do you think that a career as an industrial/commercial would be right for me?
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:49 PM   #7
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You have nothing to lose going for it.. don't be one of those guys (5) years from now who has regrets for not going after his goals in life..

If you fail.. you fail.. at least you tried.. good luck..
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:07 PM   #8
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You have nothing to lose going for it.. don't be one of those guys (5) years from now who has regrets for not going after his goals in life..

If you fail.. you fail.. at least you tried.. good luck..
I agree. You won't know until you try it. Good luck.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:40 PM   #9
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I started out at age 30, so 32 isn't unrealistic. Its like many of the guys have already said, its a lot of hard work. Yes being good at math and science is a plus. but be prepared to dig ditches and drive ground rods. If you can last, your age and life experiences may just be something that sets you apart. My company for example, didn't want a young guy, they were burned by young guys too many times.

Im not sure where you live, but I do know that there is a great demand in the western Us for Uninterruptible Power Supply Technicians.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:48 PM   #10
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One more thing.. I would rather have a green reliable (32) year old I can depend on working for me..

Instead of a fly by the seat of his pants (22) yr. old who doesn't know what day it is.. and doesn't really care..
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:05 PM   #11
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One more thing.. I would rather have a green reliable (32) year old I can depend on working for me..

Instead of a fly by the seat of his pants (22) yr. old who doesn't know what day it is.. and doesn't really care..
A lot of truth in this post, plus a nonsmoker and non drinker is a hell of a plus.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:21 PM   #12
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Thanks for the responses.

I realize the physical aspect of the job will be like nothing I am used to, but I think I can hack it. I worked a job doing ground maintenance in the past, push mowing for 8 hours in the sun and I adjusted. I also am an avid weight lifter so heavy loads shouldn't be a problem. I don't smoke and enjoy alcohol in moderation.

My friend who I spoke of in my first post is not much more than 5'6" and 125 lbs and he seems to manage, so I figure if he can do it, so can I.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:03 PM   #13
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A good attitude is great to have...you don't have to be the bigest guy in the world for sure...endurance is the thing..if you are bangin the weights regular like ya said you will be fine..some of those 140# dudes are raw nerves for sure!!!....look if you think you want it...go for it..!I have seen 60 yr old guys work the chit outta 24yrs lol...if you like what you do it isn't really work...my advice would be 2 try and find a small/med small company to work for if you can...you will get thrown right into the mix and not be a "HUGO"...you will be doing chit work in the A.M. set up but then they will have you doing some real type labor..big contractors need lots of lumper labor....small shops are more dependant on everyone doing everything to get er done..just don't get pissed when they send you for the coffee...everyday...we have al been there.
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