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I'm 18 and I wanna get into the electricians field and i've been thinking about this for the past few years, through out highschool. I graduated and I feel that i'm really qualified to jump into this field. I either wanna be a linesman or an industrial electrician, but i'm not sure what I want. I need some help deciding, can you give me a basic description of the each job, i understand what each job does, i wanna know stuff like travel, which job would i have to travel farther for. Info of that nature, like I said understand what they do, I just wanna do what will it take on my part. Thanks a lot
 

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Darn good sparky!
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If you want to become an idustrial electrician, i believe you should start residential,service calls, commercial, then jump into industrial. My goal as well is to become a industrial electrician, and this is the road im following because this way you become an well rounded electrician. Or join the union im sure the train you very good. For the line men thing you should look into www.lineman.edu Northwest lineman college. Good luck in the field.
 

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I would go lineman, glorious work IMO. Very cool.
Sure, If you like working outside in the heat, extreme cold, rain, snow, sleet ect.....Also, nights and days. Always on call. Do you like carrying a beeper with you everywhere you go? You might be away from home for several weeks at a time. Plenty of overtime if your into that. Not for me, for sure.

IMO industrial is the way to go if you like controls and machinery. It's probably a good idea to get some experience in construction first. Learning how to bend pipe, and basic understanding of electrical circuits will serve you well in an entry level industrial atmosphere. So commercial is where I would start unless you can get into industrial right away.

You may want to look at our economy. Manufacturing and new construction is way down and who knows what will come back. But I am certain we will have new opportunities in the future.

Technically in time you will be more sound than most journeyman and masters in construction. But you will have to contend with swing shifts and weekend work. Once you become more familiar with the facility then you could very well end up with a beeper like I mentioned above. When that thing goes off on Christmas Eve or after a few adult beverages, you will understand what I mean.

But I must admit. Construction is by far the most fun. No night work, no weekend work (sometimes you may have to) and no grease!
 

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Sure, If you like working outside in the heat, extreme cold, rain, snow, sleet ect.....Also, nights and days. Always on call. Do you like carrying a beeper with you everywhere you go? You might be away from home for several weeks at a time. Plenty of overtime if your into that. Not for me, for sure.

IMO industrial is the way to go if you like controls and machinery. It's probably a good idea to get some experience in construction first. Learning how to bend pipe, and basic understanding of electrical circuits will serve you well in an entry level industrial atmosphere. So commercial is where I would start unless you can get into industrial right away.

You may want to look at our economy. Manufacturing and new construction is way down and who knows what will come back. But I am certain we will have new opportunities in the future.

Technically in time you will be more sound than most journeyman and masters in construction. But you will have to contend with swing shifts and weekend work. Once you become more familiar with the facility then you could very well end up with a beeper like I mentioned above. When that thing goes off on Christmas Eve or after a few adult beverages, you will understand what I mean.

But I must admit. Construction is by far the most fun. No night work, no weekend work (sometimes you may have to) and no grease!

Extreme cold, rain (barely), snow and sleet doesnt exist here.

It sounds like you want to work in a temperature controlled environment, during the day, on a week day for no longer than 8 hours, all the while staying clean????:cry:Wow!

Does that exist? Where do I sign up?
 

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Extreme cold, rain (barely), snow and sleet doesnt exist here.

It sounds like you want to work in a temperature controlled environment, during the day, on a week day for no longer than 8 hours, all the while staying clean????:cry:Wow!

Does that exist? Where do I sign up?
Yes I do. I will work 10 hours if I get Friday off. Staying clean comes with experience. Of course some jobs are dirtier than others, but if you work smart you can stay clean.
Why is it that some people think you must work all the time, get real dirty, carry a 50lb pouch to be an accomplished electrician. Brains over Braun for me anytime.

Yes, these types of jobs do exist in manufacturing.
 

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Darn good sparky!
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twest247 is barely starting, so he could forget about coming home clean, and not working weekends...:rolleyes:
 

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If you want to do interesting work that has a lot of variety then electrician in lieu of line work is the way to go. Linemen know less about electricity than the average electrician. Additionally as John mentioned generally the working conditions are better. While an electrician may be outside sometimes, linemen are outside 100% of the time, plus if you get stuck in underground you will be wrestling mud.
 

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why is it that lineman are known for a lack of electrical knowledge -deserving or not??
 

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why is it that lineman are known for a lack of electrical knowledge -deserving or not??
Because MOST linemen only follow directions and do not need electrical knowledge. Basically assemble it and keep it operational.

I know loads of linemen, nice guys but haver not a clue about how or why.
 

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I would take industrial over lineman, though the pay and benifits are nice, and the working conditions are a little more lax I feel sorry for those guys trying to rehang lines DURING an ice storm and working 16 hour shifts directly after till its all fixxed seen it take up to a week in this area, of course the last ice storm I spent 4 days remounting services wiped out by treelimbs in -15 temps with 20 to 30 mph winds, but then I also only worked a 12 for the longest day. I do a fair amount of industrial, it can get pretty dirty compared to residential or comercial crawling around in or under machines. Some of the places you may get into you'll be doing alot of upgrading to keep up with the constantly changing/evolving technologies.
 

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Because MOST linemen only follow directions and do not need electrical knowledge. Basically assemble it and keep it operational.

I know loads of linemen, nice guys but have not a clue about how or why.
I spent 30 years w/POCO doing line work, the last 15 as a troubleman.... :icon_wink: of over 30 electrical contractors in my area, I could count on 1 hand and have fingers left, the ones who were capable "trouble shooters", or really good service electricians. :(

As the "grandfathered" & older electricians retire and leave the trade & With the current EC, & JL Electrician licensing requirements in OK, The quality of electricians should improve.........:icon_wink:

FWIW around here the POCO Linemen have over 4 years of extensive electrical training, equivalent to an Assoc. degree in Electrical Engineering.:thumbsup:
 

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I spent 30 years w/POCO doing line work, the last 15 as a troubleman.... :icon_wink: of over 30 electrical contractors in my area, I could count on 1 hand and have fingers left, the ones who were capable "trouble shooters", or really good service electricians. :(
:thumbsup:
You are from Oklahoma, do they even have electricity:rolleyes:

Look I can only speak from experience, the average lineman I have worked with are excellent at what they do, but could not tell you who Ohm was much less if there was an Ohm's law.
 

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To OP I say industrial electrician.

I agree with JRent, thats pretty much how I did it.

I believe you will need a vast knowledge of mechanical skills as well as a vast knowledge of electrical, including controls, plc's, & TROUBLESHOOTING!
When things go wrong in the plant, you better be able to get the operation back up quickly. I feel very fortunate to have been able to do this type of work.

Yes it does get dirty/grimey/filthy at times, but thats what disposable gloves and coveralls are for. Most of the time for me it's fairly clean work.:thumbsup:
 

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I would join the IEC and see about getting on as a helper somewhere and joining the 4 year apprentice program, however, up norht, you need to find out how heavily union work is.
 

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Fell into Industrial Electrician

I fell into the Industrial field and couldn't be happier. Started in a warehouse as a mechanic and got tired of changing gearbox oil worked into a tile mill and eventually a steel mill. Industrial guys get to play with PLC, automation, drives, big motors, furnaces, and touchscreens to start with. I'll take the industry over wiring outlets and fans or hanging wires with mule and a truck any day.
 

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Clay Cockcroft
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I've done both. Also my mother's father was a lineman and my father was an Industrial wireman. Both IBEW members. I've worked both sides of that coin too. Went through a non union apprenticship and taught in an IBEW apprenticship.

Get in an IBEW inside local and go industrial. Your back, (and quite possibly your liver) will thank you when you are older.

Plenty of heavy, hot, cold, nasty work in both if that is what you prefer, but I don't know any linemen who can work all day in a controlled environment with just a tweeker, a meter and their brain.

There is much more challenge and variety in industrial work, especially maintanance, IMHO.
 

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Clay Cockcroft
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And don't forget, a lineman's fine adjustment tool is a 2 pound hammer! :hammer:
 
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