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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a senior in high school about to graduate and I have always wanted to become an electrician, the only thing is my school has hardly any information on how to actually start my way to become one. I have talked to my great uncle who is a counselor and he says that he has a buddy who started out with only a high school diploma and was an electrician's aide then got his apprenticeship license and went from there without going through an apprenticeship program. If anyone could give me any information on how to get started here in Arkansas it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Good place to start is to contact your local IEC (if you have one near). They can answer a lot of your questions about requirements in your area. You don't have to complete a school program before you get into the field.
You do your apprenticeship training in night school. A lot of contractors will even do tuition reimbursement.
 

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THE "BIG RED MACHINE"
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see if your local community college as electrician program. apply at your local Electrical Contractors an electric motor shops as a helper. donate as much time as you can at your local Habitat for Humanity, see if you can help them with their electrical, learn how to frame a house, learn about foundations, also this is a good way to me contacts in the construction industry.
 

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Have you done any electrical work? I'd recommend getting a part time job for a local electrician and make sure that it's what you want. Any electrician worth his beans will be glad to give you a chance. You'll probably learn more out in the real world than in a classroom setting. Just my opinion. If you want to work in a specialized field then you might want to consider schooling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I don't mind pay i'm not into fancy stuff I just want a career that I can wake up each morning and actually look forwards to getting to, and still actually put to use in my own house.
 

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Well I don't mind pay i'm not into fancy stuff I just want a career that I can wake up each morning and actually look forwards to getting to, and still actually put to use in my own house.
It helps if "putting things together" comes easily to you or not. Understanding the finished product before you get there really helps you be a better electrician.

I think your idea of working during the day and going to school at night is a good one. That way you get some experience right away (so if you decided you don't like this work you can head off that particular school program) and you don't stop going to school. It's hard to go back to school once you stop going, so it's a habit you should not lose.

Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I've always enjoyed splicing the wires on yard tools like weed eaters and hedgers, I have also replaced many electrical outlets in my grandparents and my own house. And most of the time it was just from looking and using common sense but I have always been able to find a problem and most of the time solve it so I can piece together things very well.
 

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From a high-level overview, there are 4 basic routes:

IEC/ABC apprenticeship. This is a formal apprenticeship with an affiliation of non-union contractors.
IBEW apprenticeship. This is a formal apprenticeship with an affiliation of union contractors.
Formal schooling, typically at a community college or specialized trade school.
Get hired. Typically starting at the bottom with a contractor. "Aid" is not the term. "Helper", "Laborer" or "grunt" are often used, depending on the region. An aid is someone that works in a nursing home wiping butts. Training quality varies wildly with this method.
 
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I have always been able to find a problem and most of the time solve it so I can piece together things very well.
Same here, but I found out after a while, that I was often "fixing" the symptom and really leaving the problem to appear again later.

Education is paramount to being a very good electrician.
 
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