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good morning folks. I should have written an intro before launching into a footwear dilemma, so here it goes.

I am in my early 30s and decided I need to send my career in a different direction. I have a degree in Journalism that took me no where except to one really boring job where they paid me way too much money to work about five hours a week and spend the rest of my time in a dark cubicle surfing the internet. I was laid off, much to my relief, and wound up getting a job in a bicycle shop, which fits my passion for cycling and for diagnostics and mechanical work.

I have been working in bicycle shops for the past five years and moved to Austin to be closer to family about nine months ago. Since moving, I have been unable to find a job what will employ me full-time doing this. The future is pretty bleak for professional bicycle mechanics- most of us face a low ceiling for income. You just have to love it enough to be willing to accept low wages or be one of the few who can run a service shop and get paid a lot more.

As someone who has been married for ten years and is about to buy a house next month (real estate in Austin ain't cheap!), I decided to move on to a career I can sink my teeth into and something with a more steady paycheck (I hope). I love the diagnostics aspect of my current work and I hate sitting in an office all day. I would rather throw myself into something with lots of hard work than get paid to pretend to work, so no office jobs for me. Many of my relatives have been electricians or worked in similar fields, my dad is commercial architect and my brother builds industrial robots, so it seems to be in my blood.

I am not sure what to expect, so my biggest concern is finding steady work. Anyone care to comment on the central Texas scene? Everywhere I look, Austin has something new being built. The city is exploding with population and construction, so I would think there should be enough work for me if I stay on it, work hard, and build relationships within the community.

I enjoy cycling- mountain, road, gravel, BMX, etc. I do a little bit of everything. You might find me wandering the back roads around Austin, in the Greenbelt, or flying around the local skateparks in Austin on my days off. Hopefully my apprenticeship work will allow me some free time to do that. If not, I'll be glad to be working instead.
 

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good morning folks. I should have written an intro before launching into a footwear dilemma, so here it goes.

I am in my early 30s and decided I need to send my career in a different direction. I have a degree in Journalism that took me no where except to one really boring job where they paid me way too much money to work about five hours a week and spend the rest of my time in a dark cubicle surfing the internet. I was laid off, much to my relief, and wound up getting a job in a bicycle shop, which fits my passion for cycling and for diagnostics and mechanical work.

I have been working in bicycle shops for the past five years and moved to Austin to be closer to family about nine months ago. Since moving, I have been unable to find a job what will employ me full-time doing this. The future is pretty bleak for professional bicycle mechanics- most of us face a low ceiling for income. You just have to love it enough to be willing to accept low wages or be one of the few who can run a service shop and get paid a lot more.

As someone who has been married for ten years and is about to buy a house next month (real estate in Austin ain't cheap!), I decided to move on to a career I can sink my teeth into and something with a more steady paycheck (I hope). I love the diagnostics aspect of my current work and I hate sitting in an office all day. I would rather throw myself into something with lots of hard work than get paid to pretend to work, so no office jobs for me. Many of my relatives have been electricians or worked in similar fields, my dad is commercial architect and my brother builds industrial robots, so it seems to be in my blood.

I am not sure what to expect, so my biggest concern is finding steady work. Anyone care to comment on the central Texas scene? Everywhere I look, Austin has something new being built. The city is exploding with population and construction, so I would think there should be enough work for me if I stay on it, work hard, and build relationships within the community.

I enjoy cycling- mountain, road, gravel, BMX, etc. I do a little bit of everything. You might find me wandering the back roads around Austin, in the Greenbelt, or flying around the local skateparks in Austin on my days off. Hopefully my apprenticeship work will allow me some free time to do that. If not, I'll be glad to be working instead.
Welcome aboard....:thumbsup:

If there is a lot of construction going on you will be fine.
 

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Ah, another apprentisuras! I've loving all these guys my age and older at the same stage as me. I really thought I would be the "old man" of my apprentice group, having just turned 30 weeks ago.

Welcome to the group! Let us know how your interview goes.
 

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Hi. I worked as an electrician in Austin for over 15 years. I moved to the Houston area in 2013 and I am working on getting my masters license. Austin is a fantastic place to learn the trade, if you are looking to do resi or commercial work. The best markets are in the custom home area, 5000 sq. Ft. and up. The hills of Westlake, Lake way, Bee Caves, the new stuff in Tarrytown and Hyde park are all really cool places to work, and you will learn a lot about detail work and customer service. There is plenty of commercial work as well, from high rises to strip center finish outs. I learned a lot there, just make sure you get on with a good company. I would try and avoid companies that are involved in spec homes. You can learn the basics, but I have found that those companies care more about what you can do for them than about what they can teach you. Good luck! If you need any more advice just ask.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using electriciantalk.com mobile app
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Can you leave off $12.92/ hour in Austin ?

This is what the apprenticeship pays the firs year: http://www.austinjatc.org/apprenticeship-program
I assume you meant "live" and not "leave."

I think that link you posted is out-dated. their whole internet presence is embarrassingly out of date, actually. I am getting paid $13.31 an hour on my first week here in Austin. it's about the same amount that I was being paid as a bicycle mechanic, but I was only allowed to work 20-25 hours a week at the bike shop. I am already working overtime for my current employer as an apprentice electrician. I have doubled my income by changing jobs.

http://www.ibew520.org/austin_electrical_jatc.html

I was "living" on the income from working on bicycles, but only because my wife has a full-time job. somehow we saved enough money to buy a house and we closed on it last week. we could have made our house payments based on my previous job and hers, but that's about it. we will be able to do much more than that with the electrician work, plus I will get paid more as my experience increases. the bicycle mechanic gig is a dead end.
 

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Yes, sorry, typing error.

The hourly rates at the link I posted are "as of 07/1/13", but the link you sent me is apparently the updated one despite showing "as of 01/01/11".

You are right, the website is not finished, there are some sections missing / under construction.

So you got into the apprenticeship, did the test, the interview and then you were called. That's good. It seemed like you were still thinking about it from your first post.
 

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Hi Nathan. You may certainly ask, and I am not a member of the union, though I have heard many good things about union membership. I have done both residential and commercial work throughout the course of my career, though I enjoy the commercial work more. I am new to this website, I wish I had stumbled upon it years ago. The wealth of knowledge and experience here is really a blessing.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using electriciantalk.com mobile app
 

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Cattywampus- welcome to the ATX. As you can see there is work everywhere, unless you are Union. Berg is the big dog here. Of the 18 high rises going up here they got 17. My advice to you, if you don't know Spanish you better learn quick. If not, you will not be a foreman for anyone. If you decide to go Union, you best bet at long term employment is the CW/CE program that the hall has been advertising on the internet here; never mind the 75 JIWs on the books for 3-5 months at a time waiting for work. If you are serious about joining the Union, your best bets are 479 and 20. Good luck here, amigo... You're gonna need it.
 

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Hi Caddywampus. I'd say welcome but in this case I'm the new guy.. Two years ago I lived in NW Austin. Jollyville Rd. Buck's Bikes? I'm sure you know the place. Nice lifestyle if you want it. I chose to change mine drastically. Good luck in your endeavors. It seems you're off to a good start with lots of good advice here. X2 on the Spanish comment! It's Texas ya know..
 
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