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Hello From Harford County Maryland (Career Advice For A 17 Year Old)

869 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Jordan.M

I am currently I senior in a technical high school, I have had 4 years of experience with wiring methods both residential and commercial in this school. My school has a work experience program, where gifted/talented responsible students can go work in the career path they have chosen (obviously electrical for me) so I have been working for a electrical company based out of my county. We work mostly in Baltimore and the surrounding areas.

I love the trade and I really want to learn as much as I possibly can as a apprentice, but the company I work for consist of the owner (master electrician) a third year apprentice, and another helper that goes to the same school and is in my class. Basically we get thrown on jobs, and the third year apprentice is the foreman. The owner doesn't pay him foreman wages, hes getting $14 a hour, and we get $9 a hour each. We do mostly retrofits at commercial buildings consisting of removing a old fixture and ballast, and installing new fixtures and led lighting. Only done one pipe job since I have been there running 2" EMT for fiber we were installing.

My question is, as the school year approaches for my apprenticeship, shouldn't I find a company that will be willing to pay for my schooling/help pay for it, and a company that will be doing more work that I will learn as much as possible. I don't want to graduate, become a journeyman and apply for a real company and only know low voltage/data/lighting. I don't mind making crappy wages during the high school year since I can only work every other day with high school classes, but before I start my first year as an apprentice, I want to find a lifetime company to work for. I know $9.00 is typical for a helper, but I know as much as a 2nd or third year apprentice I believe. I can bend pipe, (offsets, 3 point saddles, 4 point saddles, back to back 90's etc.) I can wire equipment, I have my own tools/drills/fishtapes. I want to get fiber technician certified, but he wont pay the 2000 tuition or give me a incentive to do it on my own so I really don't think I will be sticking with the company. Does anyone have any advice on this sort of matter? I'm willing to learn everything, high voltage, line-work, you name it.

Sorry to drop so much information on you guys, I appreciate the help though.
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Hello Jordan Welcome aboard..:thumbup:

You can teach yourself to bend pipe just do this.

Go buy 100' of 3/4" EMT AND A 3/4" Ideal EMT bender with the handle and the book ,, read the book many times.

Now set up a sheet of plywood in your garage or basement.

Put a 4" square box at the 6 o'clock position 1' above that have a 2" PVC going across your path measure up another foot and make a mark,,,,about 30" to the right place another box at the 3 o'clock position .

Now make a box-offset to come out of your box at the 6 o'clock position then make a 3 point saddle to go over your 2" PVC, then measure to make a 90 DEG bend to your box at the 3 o'clock position make a box-offset to hit the box at the 3 o'clock position, use some one-hole clips to secure your pipe.

You must do this in one piece "NO COUPLINGS"....:laughing:

Doing this is good practice and you can make it even harder for good measure .

Take your time and teach yourself this once you get this down you'll have a much better understanding of bending pipe and installing it like it's a piece of cake.

When you're doing such things as back to back 90's you should use two torpedo levels to make your work perfect the first time.

Have fun messing around with it,as you practice you'll see results within the first 100'.

I've done this myself many times just to get the practice and keep these skills sharp.

Good luck and Welcome to the electrical trade..:thumbup:
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Yes , Moving to another company will get you different experience,But make sure you've got something lined up before you give notice to your current boss.

Also,The IBEW will pay for all of your schooling if you can get in so look into that as well.
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