Got into this trade originally because my brother is a commercial electrician and was making $53 an hour at one of his previous jobs.. Got into it thinking I was going to also do construction but ended up really finding a niche in controls so I went into industrial maintenance. I now work for a steel mill doing electrical maintenance making over 100 grand a year, and hopefully will soon test into our electronics shop and get back into doing the fun stuff
I started out as a Firefighter, then started my electrical business as a side job on my days off. I retired from the Fire dept after 23 years at age 43 , Now I run my business with my son who will eventually take over down the road.
In high school I always thought I was going to be a welder. I took every welding class I could. I was also working for my Dad who owned a sign shop and had his electrical sign contractors license. I never had a desire to get into the family business but I did enjoy some of the aspects of the trade.
After high school I was taking welding classes at the local college. I liked welding but I decided that I didn't want to do it for a living. I had a lot of friends getting into various trades so I took the test to get into local IBEW. After I interviewed they hired a few guys, but I wasn't one of them so I applied at the utility company to get into the lineman apprenticeship.
Eventually the local IBEW called and put me to work at a new high school installation. I really enjoyed to work and learned a lot . I was still taking various test for the utility company and a year to the day I started in the local I got a job offer as an apprentice lineman. I left the local to join a different chapter of the IBEW and start with the utility company, I was 20 and it was about a 10 hr pay raise as an apprentice.
I did lineman thing for about of year and realized that I enjoyed doing building construction more than line work. Being up a pole in hooks for 6+ hours a day wasn't my deal. I quit a great job because I didn't like it.
I went back to doing electrical signs to pay the bills and then hired on with a non union electrical contractor. I hit the books on my own and got my state journeyman's card. I worked my way up to foreman and was working on mostly government jobs on military bases. 2010 work was really slow, I had a mortgage, wife and baby on the way. I started thinking about getting into industrial maintenance. I weathered the storm and stayed with that contractor for 7 years until the end of 2012. I got a job with a oil company as an instrumentation and electrical Tech.
I have been at my current 2 years and I plan on staying in it until retirement. No job is perfect but I get a good variety and constantly dealing with challenging problems. Steady work, good pay and benefits.
I have been doing some sort of electrical since I was 15 but did not stay a a straight path.
I was living at home and my mom was bugging me to pick a career. So I opened up a book of classes offered at BCIT (a technical institute) and pointed at electrical. With absolutely no concept for what it entailed. I didnt even think about it being a construction job and I had no history with using tools whatsoever. But it worked out!
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