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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I am leaving the Army in July and am going to pursue a career as an electrician. I do however need everyone's advice on how to start out.

First a few things about me. I am very intelligent (always had high aptitude test scores), I learn faster than rabbits have babies, and work smart. I'm a hands on type of guy and don't mind getting dirty. I'm a straight arrow, don't really like or cause conflict.

Did the whole college thing (3yrs), but there is nothing really geared towards the construction industry besides construction management type stuff. Got hired full time at a place i interned at and worked while i finished school part time. Scratched that plan and instead joined the army to serve my country and gimme a chance to change career fields (used to do manufacturing engineering stuff) and viola, I'm here seeking infinite wisdom.

My ultimate goal is to be a residential electrician, maybe act as my own boss, nothing fancy. I'm not really into doing a whole lot of commercial/industrial type stuff...or maybe i do and just don't know it. My problem is I have very little knowledge about electricians besides common sense and the internet right now.

I've been reading a lot, and it seems like I have three options, union apprenticeship program (NJATC), non-union apprenticeship (IEC), and finally just go to tech school tech and then have my future boss sponsor an apprenticeship somehow.

It seems the apprenticeship programs are geared towards commerical/industrial contractors... I want to focus on residential.

Should I bite the bullet and learn about commercial electrical stuff too (seems a lot easier to get an apprenticeship), or just focus on finding someone to take me on as a residential apprentice. I have until July before I get out of the army.

Also, do electricians only work during the day? I would like to do the tech school route (Mon-Fri 7-3) and then work evenings and weekends, but it seems like that's not really an option.

Overall, I'm I'm hoping I can get some good feedback and advice.

Also, I am in the Lawton OK area so if you know a guy who knows a guy that can help me out, it would be appreciated.

· RIP 1959-2015
39,532 Posts
First of all,Thank your for your service and welcome to the electrical trade and the forum.:thumbup:

Start out in the commercial side of the trade you'll learn much faster and get more time into the trade as well.

After you start to feel comfortable about your experience in the trade look for a residential electrical contractor if your still interested in residential side of the electrical trade.

Once you obtain the required hands on experience usually 4 years 8,000 hours depending on what state you reside in you can take the journeymen electricians exam then take the master electricians exam,once you do that you will be qualified to become an electrical contractor.

Good luck.
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