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Old 06-24-2020, 11:42 AM   #1
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Default Feasability/outlook of electricians in BC

Hey guys.. I badly need some advice please. My Canadian girlfriend is dead set on her and I moving to BC to start a family.. (lower mainland/Vanc metro preferentially, Okanagan area potentially)

Here's the deal.. and correct me i'm wrong please. I look at BC as one of the most beautiful places in North America, and everything that comes along with that in regards to lifestyle is amazing. BUT, I look at it in a financial light in a very different manner. Everyone knows how expensive real estate is there.. And from what I can tell, wages are really low. Also yes healthcare is "free" in Canada, but as an IBEW member we have great health insurance for our families in the states, so that isn't really a huge factor for me.

I'm almost 29 and have been licensed for over 3 years. Currently I make 100k usd (136k cad) in Minneapolis/St Paul as a union guy working normal hours with an occasional weekend job, and move in ready starter homes here are 250-350k


How will I do moving to BC to start life and career over, and make it work financially? Do electricians really only make $35 CAD an hour there? Adjusted for exchange rate, thats 50% of what we make here (which isn't even a particularly high COL metro area) How The F*** do you guys live off of $35 an hour while supporting families and real estate being so ungodly expensive? For example, electricians in similarly priced US Cities make tons more (Oakland CA $75/hr, Seattle $55+/hr, NYC $60+/hr) I just don't understand how the wages are so low in BC.

Last year I worked in Yukon for a bit under a temporary Red Seal license that the local inspector gave me, but this time around I would actually have to buckle down and take your test (NOT looking forward to that, considering i've never even opened a Canadian code book..)

Basically I'm freaked the hell out over the thought of moving to BC and never getting ahead financially, being in debt up to our eyeballs, living paycheck to paycheck, something i've never ever had to even think about doing before. Last thought is how is the work outlook in BC? Hard to find a good job? Ideally I would remain in the IBEW and work out of a local in BC. Please calm me down and tell me everything's gonna be okay if I move there, because my 2+ year relationship with her is pretty much on the line over this issue.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Juggernaut1; 06-24-2020 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 06-24-2020, 11:55 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Juggernaut1 View Post
Hey guys.. I badly need some advice please. My Canadian girlfriend is dead set on her and I moving to BC to start a family.. (lower mainland/Vanc metro preferentially, Okanagan area potentially)
My question is, if this does not work out, can you return to work in your current local?

My advice is, it's not a compromise if only one person is compromising.

My other advice is, people say that the money is not that important when there's plenty, but they never say that when there isn't.

Not mine, but excellent advice:

Ὁ βίος βραχύς,
ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρή,
ὁ δὲ καιρὸς ὀξύς,
ἡ δὲ πεῖρα σφαλερή,
ἡ δὲ κρίσις χαλεπή.
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:01 PM   #3
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My question is, if this does not work out, can you return to work in your current local?

My advice is, it's not a compromise if only one person is compromising.

My other advice is, people say that the money is not that important when there's plenty, but they never say that when there isn't.

Not mine, but excellent advice:

Ὁ βίος βραχύς,
ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρή,
ὁ δὲ καιρὸς ὀξύς,
ἡ δὲ πεῖρα σφαλερή,
ἡ δὲ κρίσις χαλεπή.

Yeah I intend on always being a dues paying member of my local and keeping up my state license, no matter where life takes me (helluva insurance policy)

As far as the compromise goes.. yeah I understand, but one of us has to move away and in this situation the man ends up being that person more often than not I feel.

And I don't understand the foreign language quote you inserted
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:02 PM   #4
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There's only 1 answer


Name:  Ejection.jpg
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Size:  51.9 KB
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:14 PM   #5
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There's only 1 answer


Attachment 145050
Hmmmm?
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:11 PM   #6
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Hmmmm?
Bail out, run away.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:23 PM   #7
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It may be difficult to get into the IBEW there. Especially considering the neighbouring province (Alberta) has thousands of members out of work.

Here (Ontario) to get into the IBEW, even if you are already a member of another local, you would need to organize in.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Hmmmm?
Bail out, run away.

Are you guys saying this because you believe I’m in a particularly good situation where I live now, or because you believe that B.C. is a particularly bad situation for what I’m looking for in life. (Financial stability and getting ahead)
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:28 PM   #9
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It may be difficult to get into the IBEW there. Especially considering the neighbouring province (Alberta) has thousands of members out of work.

Here (Ontario) to get into the IBEW, even if you are already a member of another local, you would need to organize in.

I spoke with the dispatcher for the Vancouver ibew and she was not pessimistic about my prospects of working there. Although she did say to not expect the same thing in regards to income potential relative to cost of living. Just makes me wonder how guys make it work....
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:29 PM   #10
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Are you guys saying this because you believe I’m in a particularly good situation where I live now, or because you believe that B.C. is a particularly bad situation for what I’m looking for in life. (Financial stability and getting ahead)
I'm saying to eject because it sounds like the move will ruin your life and the likelihood of you staying with this girl is not very good. If you were married it would be 50%, but you aren't even there yet.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Are you guys saying this because you believe I’️m in a particularly good situation where I live now, or because you believe that B.C. is a particularly bad situation for what I’️m looking for in life. (Financial stability and getting ahead)
I'm saying to eject because it sounds like the move will ruin your life and the likelihood of you staying with this girl is not very good. If you were married it would be 50%, but you aren't even there yet.
Hack, I appreciate your frankness! For some reason I assume you’re a boomer with endless wisdom. I must say that it is somewhat comical how all of you older electricians seem to have been through the ringer before and tell me the same thing - “RUN BOY RUN, RUN AND DONT LOOK BACK!” Lol. Fact is it’s not that easy, her and I are a couple of hopeless romantics.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:37 PM   #12
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Nothing we say is going to calm you down. It sounds like your doing well and don't really want to move but she does. So if you tell her you are staying because it doesn't make any sense to move now, is she going to go without you?

Tim.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:39 PM   #13
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If you two are hopeless romantics then go ahead and move, money isn't important and you can live in a tent in someones back yard?

Tim.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:41 PM   #14
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Hack, I appreciate your frankness! For some reason I assume you’re a boomer
Nope, Gen X.

Quote:
I must say that it is somewhat comical how all of you older electricians seem to have been through the ringer before and tell me the same thing - “RUN BOY RUN, RUN AND DONT LOOK BACK!” Lol. Fact is it’s not that easy, her and I are a couple of hopeless romantics.
It's good advice, you should listen to them.

You need to cover your ass. But what you are proposing to do is very bad, and you know it.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:41 PM   #15
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If you two are hopeless romantics then go ahead and move, money isn't important and you can live in a tent in someones back yard?

Tim.

Half hopeless romantic, half pragmatic realist!

Willing to move for love but don’t want to jeopardize my life and future
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:46 PM   #16
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Nothing we say is going to calm you down. It sounds like your doing well and don't really want to move but she does. So if you tell her you are staying because it doesn't make any sense to move now, is she going to go without you?

Tim.

Her point of contention is that there’s more to life than finances and stability, and that the lifestyle in B.C. is more important

If I’m not willing to move to B.C. I don’t want her to have to move here. She hates the idea of living in Minnesota (no mountains...)

I should also add I moved home from Yukon, Canada, 11 months ago to take care of my father as he underwent a brutal cancer journey until we lost him 7 weeks ago. Thus the long distance. Before this I was more into the idea of starting a family 2000 miles away. Now I feel a strong pull to stay in MN and give my mother grand babies where she can see them often, and also just be closer to her in general as I’m quite worried about her wellbeing now.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:46 PM   #17
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If you two are hopeless romantics then go ahead and move, money isn't important and you can live in a tent in someones back yard?

Tim.
Here's the thing, if he was living in a tent in someone's back yard with her, that wouldn't be so bad.

The reality of it is that he will be living all alone in a cardboard box on the sidewalk, while she is living at her next boyfriend's house.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:49 PM   #18
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How about, "Good luck with your future endeavors"
I can't speak for BC but there is not any extra work here in Alberta. Almost no construction and maintenance guys are getting laid off.

Tim
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:55 PM   #19
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How about, "Good luck with your future endeavors"
I can't speak for BC but there is not any extra work here in Alberta. Almost no construction and maintenance guys are getting laid off.

Tim

Sorry, what? Bad work picture in Ab right? For what it’s worth, the Dispatcher out of the local in Vancouver area was not pessimistic about my job prospects when I spoke to her recently
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
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If you two are hopeless romantics then go ahead and move, money isn't important and you can live in a tent in someones back yard?

Tim.
Here's the thing, if he was living in a tent in someone's back yard with her, that wouldn't be so bad.

The reality of it is that he will be living all alone in a cardboard box on the sidewalk, while she is living at her next boyfriend's house.

Scary thought if we had kids, broke up, and then I’m stuck there while in dire straits financially. I try not to think like that though
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