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Old 11-05-2019, 03:24 PM   #1
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Default Howzit from Texas!

I wanted to send a sincere thank you for admission to the group. Me: I'm about as green as they come. I have something like 200 hours under my belt (although my skill set is larger, but in terms of counted hours 200 is what I've got).

So many avenues, so many questions... I'm in Texas currently but have also worked in Alaska. I'm trying to make heads or tails on things like reciprocity, training, etc...

Reciprocity: I work in Texas. If I do work in Louisiana (but my company has offices in Tx) is this counted? Is reciprocity set in stone? Or more a general guideline (like, some companies honor it but some companies won't?).

Training: There are schools close to Houston in Baytown (PacWorks)… They offer four month classes that cost between $5k and $6k... Are these classes useful? How are they different from ABC classes? How do ABC classes differ from NCCER, or are they the same or similar? I've been told by people I work with that the PacWorks classes should propel someone into the $30 range... I've been told that most companies are both electrical *and* instrumentation... that to get a cert from a school can rapidly advance pay, and that (since only 2000 hours per year can be counted toward JE regardless) getting certs for IT can be incredibly beneficial - split the week half on IT, half on JE accreditation, based on job.

I'm sure that's a mouthful... I'd love to hear from y'all.
W
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:15 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. You'll get plenty of input on schooling, unions, etc. Stay safe!
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:13 PM   #3
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Welcome from Maine.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:20 PM   #4
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Welcome! The board has assigned your avitar.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Welcome! The board has assigned your avitar.

And we've assigned yours. It's a hammer and sickle.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warwalk View Post
I wanted to send a sincere thank you for admission to the group. Me: I'm about as green as they come. I have something like 200 hours under my belt (although my skill set is larger, but in terms of counted hours 200 is what I've got).

So many avenues, so many questions... I'm in Texas currently but have also worked in Alaska. I'm trying to make heads or tails on things like reciprocity, training, etc...

Reciprocity: I work in Texas. If I do work in Louisiana (but my company has offices in Tx) is this counted? Is reciprocity set in stone? Or more a general guideline (like, some companies honor it but some companies won't?).

Training: There are schools close to Houston in Baytown (PacWorks)… They offer four month classes that cost between $5k and $6k... Are these classes useful? How are they different from ABC classes? How do ABC classes differ from NCCER, or are they the same or similar? I've been told by people I work with that the PacWorks classes should propel someone into the $30 range... I've been told that most companies are both electrical *and* instrumentation... that to get a cert from a school can rapidly advance pay, and that (since only 2000 hours per year can be counted toward JE regardless) getting certs for IT can be incredibly beneficial - split the week half on IT, half on JE accreditation, based on job.

I'm sure that's a mouthful... I'd love to hear from y'all.
W
Can tell you're new because the Howzit hasn't turned to Howdy yet...

4 month classes that cost between $5k and $6k?? Ughh. Unless you've already got your state Journeyman license and they have some specialty certification you're chasing, stay away from that pile of gold plated turds.

Are you in Houston looking at Baytown, or Baytown looking at Houston? If you're in Houston, go to the JATC on Telephone Rd. The apprenticeship program is really your best bet, even with some prior experience, unless upon interview they decide the IJ program might be a better fit. Tuition is $400/year, 5 year program, and they throw in the NEC each time it updates. Whether Apprentice or IJ, the school handles job placement to ensure you make the hours you need for your license at the end of the program.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:09 PM   #7
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I'm in the Katy area of Houston, but am accustomed to making the drive across town. I'll look up the JATC and IJ, and thank you for that heads up!

A lot of it is still kind of an alphabet soup, but little by little I'm picking up on how it all works.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:40 PM   #8
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It sounds as if your current employer is a Merit shop Industrial Electrical Company. Are they associated with the Local ABC Chapter? If so they should be getting you into the classes at their cost. If you are traveling with this company into other States your hours are tracked for your home State "Texas" towards your hours. Are you seriously thinking of splitting your time trying to be both Electrician and Instrumentation Tech? It will take you twice as long, book education and work experience. Pick one, excel at it and then learn the other.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:59 PM   #9
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They are indeed merit based. Like, for each 1000 hours you take a test, and if you pass you get a raise. Part of my reason for wanting to get into instrumentation was for some comparison and contrast.

I can say, long term I really don't want to do the commercial electric - or, it's not where my passion lies. I like the idea of doing aftermarket work for homeowners at some point... outdoor lighting to make the home "pop" like a model house, whole home automation, recessed lights on the stairs that are motion activated at night, whole house programmable surround sound... those are the kinds of things I hope to get into at some point, but commercial electric seems to be in pretty high demand, so that's where I'm cutting my teeth.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:00 PM   #10
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And yes, they're tied into ABC...
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:50 PM   #11
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Your in the wrong walk of life then. Total different construction methods, materials and applications. Commercial is where you want to be at first and then move into service. You will learn a lot and learn about the various innovations for upgrades in lighting and communications.
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