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Hi,

I am 25 years old, first of all, I was wondering if this it too old to begin learning a trade. I have absolutely no experience being an electrician, and no one in my family has been one. I know one person who was an electrician in Germany, and another who is a lineman in California, but my communication with them is limited, and being in Texas, they're not good references.

I have worked in retail since being 16 years old. I have attempted college, and am uncertain it is for me. I am intelligent, and have a 4.0 GPA (with some Withdrawls), but I don't have a specific major that I am interested in, and I can't really justify spending the money on a education without a direction. Not to mention, I don't really trust our educational system, but that's another topic.

I currently live in Texas, near Austin. There is a IBEW center around here, but given my prior work experience, and lack of any understanding in being a electrician beyond reading online and YouTube videos, I don't feel safe interviewing for an apprenticeship. I am a very hard worker and have remained with a company for about 7 years. I would have no issues getting letters of recommendation, but I don't want to go without any prior knowledge.

When I was 14 I did some work at a school. It was mostly janitorial work. I ended up doing a lot of painting rooms and the parking lot. Beyond this my "handyman" experience is very limited. I have built computers and I've thoroughly enjoyed that.

I have contacted the IBEW here to collect basic information. I do qualify for the interview, but I want something that will actually land me an apprenticeship. I have started e-mailing several electrical companies and independent electricians to see if I can follow them on the job and maybe help them out. I've informed them I would do this for free, as I am just trying to get some experience, and hopefully a letter of recommendation from an electrician.

I am going to be picking up a few books to read, just to get some know how, but beyond this I am thoroughly lost. I want to work with my hands, and I think the technical challenges that an electrician may deal with would interest my curiosity. I don't know if I should take some courses or what. I just need help. What can I do to set myself apart from all these other applicants? Any help, or guides, or books, or know-how, or whatever, would be great. I just need some guidance in a field I currently know nothing about, but am currently willing to put whatever into learning it.
 

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Hi,

I am 25 years old, first of all, I was wondering if this it too old to begin learning a trade. I have absolutely no experience being an electrician, and no one in my family has been one. I know one person who was an electrician in Germany, and another who is a lineman in California, but my communication with them is limited, and being in Texas, they're not good references.

I have worked in retail since being 16 years old. I have attempted college, and am uncertain it is for me. I am intelligent, and have a 4.0 GPA (with some Withdrawls), but I don't have a specific major that I am interested in, and I can't really justify spending the money on a education without a direction. Not to mention, I don't really trust our educational system, but that's another topic.

I currently live in Texas, near Austin. There is a IBEW center around here, but given my prior work experience, and lack of any understanding in being a electrician beyond reading online and YouTube videos, I don't feel safe interviewing for an apprenticeship. I am a very hard worker and have remained with a company for about 7 years. I would have no issues getting letters of recommendation, but I don't want to go without any prior knowledge.

When I was 14 I did some work at a school. It was mostly janitorial work. I ended up doing a lot of painting rooms and the parking lot. Beyond this my "handyman" experience is very limited. I have built computers and I've thoroughly enjoyed that.

I have contacted the IBEW here to collect basic information. I do qualify for the interview, but I want something that will actually land me an apprenticeship. I have started e-mailing several electrical companies and independent electricians to see if I can follow them on the job and maybe help them out. I've informed them I would do this for free, as I am just trying to get some experience, and hopefully a letter of recommendation from an electrician.

I am going to be picking up a few books to read, just to get some know how, but beyond this I am thoroughly lost. I want to work with my hands, and I think the technical challenges that an electrician may deal with would interest my curiosity. I don't know if I should take some courses or what. I just need help. What can I do to set myself apart from all these other applicants? Any help, or guides, or books, or know-how, or whatever, would be great. I just need some guidance in a field I currently know nothing about, but am currently willing to put whatever into learning it.
My situation was no different than yours (retail background) and I got in at 35 years old after 4 tries. Enthusiasm and persistence pays off.
 

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Apply at the JATC. Ask about it at the IBEW hall. I had zero experience and got in after three months of waiting. I was 18, but there were multiple people in their 20s-30s in my class. Quit ***** footing around and apply. It's not the end of the world if it doesn't work out. Just do it.

Don't go work for free. That won't help you at all. Just show a genuine interest and have good references, construction related or not.
 

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I'm 27 and just got into the trade in June of this past year. I had about a year of maintenance work several years ago as my only semi-trade experience. A lot of guys I work with didn't get into the trade until later.

Go for it and apply yourself. If it's for you, it will definitely be worth it.

Just think...you could have paid for a nice college degree you're not using like me. :D
 

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I would apply at the IBEW ASAP.
Ask about their wait it may be too late this year to get in.
There may be a wait of one day to several years so
Check around for ABC shops that offer an apprenticeship, you can do that while you are waiting on the IBEW.

There use to be an age limit but due to federal regulations*1 this has changed, you can be durn near any age.


*1-Age discrimination as I was told.
 

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I wouldn't waste my time on you tube videos. Most are full of mistakes. Books, Mike Holte and of course, here is your best bet.
 

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I started at 33. We have an apprentice who spent 20 something years as a land surveyor and I think pushing 60. He's not the fastest in the field but by god you never have to double check anything he did. He has one speed all day: Accurate.
 

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I started at 25... tbh as long as you can handle the physical parts I would prefer to train someone a little older... the 22-23 and under crowd has listening problems and are usually still in party mode. Many of them are thinking its just another job instead of realizing its a career.
 
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