I guess I got interested in things like this when I was around 4 or 5, but didn't really know it at the time. My parents built a new house next door to where we were living. I spent a lot of time with the guys as they built the house. I am sure I got in their way sometimes, but I don't ever remember getting into any trouble. Now days if they found a kid on the jobsite they would probably take all the workers away in cuffs.
Dad did all of the mechanical and electrical work for the house. It is done in rigid conduit, all hand bent on a tri-stand and hand threaded, and he wasn't an electrician! He worked as a maintenance mechanic and a draftsman at a local manufacturing plant. I helped a bit when he pulled the wire. My first electrical work!
I worked in a local hardware store part time while I was in high school.
I went to college planning on being an engineer, but didn't like all of the math so switched to secondary education. At the end of my junior year, the father of one of my friends, asked me about applying for the apprenticeship program. He was the owner of an electrical and general contracting company in our two. There was a lot of industrial work going on in the local with a lot of travelers work, and the local need more guys. They took in about 100 apprentices they year I got in. I started working as an apprentice in June of 1973.
I worked for the firm owned by my friends father for all of my career, except for about 6 months in 1974 when things were very slow around here.
The company did all types of work, but mostly commercial, institutional, and industrial.
The last 20 years of so, I did industrial work almost exclusively and mostly at a local plastics manufacturing plant. Many of the projects were given to me by chemical engineers, so they were design and build type projects. Most of the time I had about 5 electricians working for me, but at times there were as many as 40. The shop averages about 25 electricians in the field but has had over 100 at times.
I think the two parts of my job I enjoyed the most was working the service truck, like I did early in my career, and doing a start up of a new industrial process in more recent part of my career.
Starting with the 1981 code, I was asked to teach code changes for our local JATC. I have been doing that for every code cycle since, and have taught the NJATC grounding class a number of times also.
I am currently a member of the Electrical Commission and the Emergency Telephone System Board for the city of Ottawa, IL. From 1969 through 2009 I was a member of the Ottawa Civil Defense Fire Rescue service. I held certificates in auto extrication, Firefighter III, Hazmat Tech B, and Hazmat Incident Command.
I retired last year after 41 years from a trade that, for the most part, was very satisfying and rewarding.