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In need of some starting advice

2869 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  brian john
Not sure if anyone would be able to help me or not but i am more or less just looking for some advice. I am 25 years old, and live in New York. I obtained my bachalors degree 2 years ago in the field of Graphic Design. After working in the field for 1 year i realized that this was not exactly what i had in mind.. I have always enjoyed doing electrical work and it has always interested me (i even enjoy the manual labor side of it! realized this after spending 50+ hours a week behind a computer)

Since leaving my last company i worked for in the Graphic art field i took 1 year off to travel around the world. Before i left i went to my local electrical union and filled out an application. I was called back 6 months later to be scheduled for the exam. Unfortunately i was away and was not able to make the exam. I am rather concerned about being accepted into the union.. I would love to get in to the apprenticeship program but from what i hear the demand is high and not many people get accecped. Besides this i am guessing my only other alternitive would be to somehow get into the field through a contractor right? I am fully aware that my lack of experience in the field will reflect in my hourly wage but i just want to make sure that i am learning AS MUCH as i possible can from the place that i am working for.. I am also concerned that being 25 is a little over the starting age of apprentices i see that are 18.. Any help or advicde woulde be GREATLY appreaciated... even someone to just ask a few questions to. Thanks in advance.
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Age isn't as much a deterrent as you think...think about it, you've already proven that you are academically inclined. You are generally more mature than a 18 year old male whose only experience is High School.

Be aggressive in your pursuit, be sincer in your desire to learn, and be persistant. Even if you're not picked up on the first time, keep going for it.

The Union is not the only entity that offers apprenticeships..many smaller contractors offer the same thing...and it's all working towards the same goal and end result..licensure.

Look up www.ibew.org and get a list of NY IBEW's that offer apprenticeships and start phoning them, e-mail etc. See what comes up from it. The most they'll say is "no"....which is a good thing sometimes....
IS the IBEW or Union the only route you want to take? The reason I say this is because there is so many different area's in the electrical field. I am an industrial electrician for a manufacturing plant, I do not have to travel, I get to troubleshoot machinery and even do some electrical construction. I believe, that this field is more interesting because of the variety of electrical work. If you can not get into the Union this may be a area to pursue and alot of factories have apprenticeship programs in their plant, which in turn will get you a journeymens card. This is just an Idea and the route I took. Also, your age is good your still young and your educated and that is a plus no matter where you decide to go. Good Luck!
if the union dosnt accept you, they will mostlikely tell you to get more experience and then come back. the only way to do this is go to work for a non union shop and start your apprenticship that way. manny areas have a non union apprenticeship program either through the local trade schools or through ABC.
In our area you'd be welcomed with open arms. Most first year "R" (residential) apprentices (actually helpers) are hired above scale as an enticement to WORK here. If you have half a brain (and your resume shows you do) you'd most likely make "A" apprenticeship first go round.
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