Electrician Talk banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Commercial Electrical Apprentice
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I have about 8 months experience as a licensed electrician. I grew up around electrical working with my dad and recently realized how much I love this trade. I always try to improve my techniques and learn more. I always try to buy more tools, whatever will help us get the job done quickly and efficiently. The old journeyman I worked with is a good friend of mine and I asked him what he thought of my performance. I’m the type of person that works really hard will stay late and take shorter lunches to make up for the fact that I’m green. The journeyman said I was a little slow. Like I said I love this trade and want to make a career out of it but I’m also a perfectionist so I can’t walk away from a task until it’s the best I can do. The phrase workman like manner always rings in my head. Let me know any advice to help me succeed in this trade. Thanks you guys I’m glad to be here!
 

·
Administrator
Retired EC
Joined
·
24,339 Posts
My advice is to not spend too much time on minor details especially when the cabling or piping is not seen. Speed comes with confidence but some people just don't have the speed.

When my wife worked with me I asked her to try and speed it up a bit and she said "I have one other speed and it is slower". I shut up after that and realized not everyone can work at my speed or pace.

Again don't dwell too much on unnecessary stuff and try to make your movements faster without giving up the quality, if you can. I was able to do both fairly well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,360 Posts
I think it's normal, and probably a good thing to focus on quality at first. Discretion about when you focus on quality/quantity comes with time.

I use a "glance" test when it's questionable. Maybe a pipe run is running a little unlevel but looks square from the ground. You'd never know unless you climbed a ladder or got on a lift to see it. At a glance it looks great, and that's generally good enough.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,370 Posts
Dennis is right some people are slower than others. You can see it at the coffee shop one employee will make your coffee and get you a donut in 20 seconds and one will take 40. And nobody complains they shrug and say "is what is".,
I say the same about electrical work. Are there faster, better electricians than me? You bet there are, BUT they didn't hire that guy, they hired me, and I can only do what I can do. I don't **** the dog and I try to do a good job and if you don't like it hire somebody else next time.
 

·
Registered
Scada Supervisor
Joined
·
4,318 Posts
As I said in the other Post Welcome.
Pick and choose your pickiness as @TGGT said. Use the at a glance rule for construction but keep the work ethics good for detailed work.
Controls are a great field for picky people, we take pride and don't let things go. If a stranger ever came in my shop as we were debating why something did or does not work, they would think we were ready to go at each others throats. But we are just digging till we find out WHY. We don't settle for " oh well it just did".

Cowboy
 

·
Registered
E 1 Electrician
Joined
·
67 Posts
“workman like manner” is tattooed to my brain also. That’s how I was taught 40 years ago. When I was an apprentice and first got my license, I would get questioned on why I was taking so long, (not when I was on a T&M job) I got quicker after awhile while keeping my work the same.
 

·
Registered
Commercial Electrical Apprentice
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is all really helpful guys I really appreciate the feedback. It’s something I love. When I learn something new I try my best to retain it and improve my technique. When I do the same task over and over I get quicker but then I’ll change tasks completely and have to get into a rhythm but my dad (20-30 years in the trade) says the same thing: If I can’t sign my name to it, then it’s not worth doing.
 

·
Registered
Commercial Electrical Apprentice
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I use a "glance" test when it's questionable. Maybe a pipe run is running a little unlevel but looks square from the ground. You'd never know unless you climbed a ladder or got on a lift to see it. At a glance it looks great, and that's generally good enough.
Im definitely going to use this
 

·
Registered
Commercial Electrical Apprentice
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
But we are just digging till we find out WHY. We don't settle for " oh well it just did".
This is what troubles me the most. If I can understand the why, the how becomes much easier. When a lead or journeyman tells me to do something I can often get wrapped up in the why’s but that’s how my brain works.
 

·
Registered
IBEW 6 volts to lightning bolts
Joined
·
1,254 Posts
There are core fundamentals (skills) in this business that are common between the different types of work we are faced with. The more proficient you become with those the faster you will be. Here are some critical ones:

-math and measuring
-visualization (do the job in your head to map out the best approach)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Commercial Electrical Apprentice
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There are core fundamentals (skills) in this business that are common between the different types of work we are faced with. The more proficient you become with those the faster you will be. Here are some critical ones:

-math and measuring
-visualization (do the job in your head to map out the best approach)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I think I do these well separately but together can be difficult. Example: the other night we were piping some emt from a panel to a 2100 box to be branched to some units. I was in the ceiling grid on a lift taking measurements while my coworker bent for me. There were a couple instances I couldn’t get a direct measurement because difference in elevation and what not I know it’s helpful to find something else to measure off of but in this case I couldn’t find much of anything in that ceiling to use. I ended up asking him to bend a few inches more than I’d need and I could just cut it back with a bandsaw to make it work.
 

·
Registered
IBEW 6 volts to lightning bolts
Joined
·
1,254 Posts
I think I do these well separately but together can be difficult. Example: the other night we were piping some emt from a panel to a 2100 box to be branched to some units. I was in the ceiling grid on a lift taking measurements while my coworker bent for me. There were a couple instances I couldn’t get a direct measurement because difference in elevation and what not I know it’s helpful to find something else to measure off of but in this case I couldn’t find much of anything in that ceiling to use. I ended up asking him to bend a few inches more than I’d need and I could just cut it back with a bandsaw to make it work.
I like to use a horizontal line laser to project a benchmark. The type with a magnetic back. Stick it to any metal so the laser line can hit your ruler at all the spots you want to measure. Best way is to have the laser shine lower than what you want to measure.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Retired EC and Fuel distribution contractor
Joined
·
3,305 Posts
The trick to being "fast" is to be able to perform the task at hand while thinking about what comes next. Not everyone can do this. Some people need to be 100% concentrating at the task at hand. It is better to get the task at hand right than to do it wrong faster.

A good attitude and a willingness to learn and grow are great and can overcome the lack of speed.

There are little things you can do to help, like if you are going to the truck to get something, look for something that needs to go back and take it with you instead of waiting for quitting time.

Don't be looking at your phone. Don't be using it. If music distracts you, turn it off.

If you have a hard time working and talking ... be quiet!

If you are a construction electrician (which most of us are/have been) then it is about doing it right and fast. Right is better than fast, but you are expected to achieve both. This is the real world, everyone doesn't get a trophy.

Best of luck, a good attitude and work ethic will overcome.
 

·
Registered
Commercial Electrical Apprentice
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I like to use a horizontal line laser to project a benchmark. The type with a magnetic back. Stick it to any metal so the laser line can hit your ruler at all the spots you want to measure. Best way is to have the laser shine lower than what you want to measure.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That’s a great idea. I’ve been contemplating getting a laser. Thanks for that.
 

·
Registered
Commercial Electrical Apprentice
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The trick to being "fast" is to be able to perform the task at hand while thinking about what comes next. Not everyone can do this. Some people need to be 100% concentrating at the task at hand. It is better to get the task at hand right than to do it wrong faster.

A good attitude and a willingness to learn and grow are great and can overcome the lack of speed.

There are little things you can do to help, like if you are going to the truck to get something, look for something that needs to go back and take it with you instead of waiting for quitting time.

Don't be looking at your phone. Don't be using it. If music distracts you, turn it off.

If you have a hard time working and talking ... be quiet!

If you are a construction electrician (which most of us are/have been) then it is about doing it right and fast. Right is better than fast, but you are expected to achieve both. This is the real world, everyone doesn't get a trophy.

Best of luck, a good attitude and work ethic will overcome.
I try to anticipate the next move that’s how my dad raised me. Also when given a task I think of all the materials and tools I need and get them together. 90% of the time I get everything I need. I think sometimes where I lose a lot of time is I am trying to accomplish something a certain way and even when it doesn’t work immediately I keep trying instead of rethinking the method which 50% of the time I have to do anyways.
 

·
Registered
Commercial Electrical Apprentice
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Don't be looking at your phone. Don't be using it. If music distracts you, turn it off.

If you have a hard time working and talking ... be quiet!

Best of luck, a good attitude and work ethic will overcome.
I try to look at my phone minimally i tell my wife emergency texts only but she doesn’t always listen. My dad was also very quiet when working he had a lot going on in his head like you said he’s thinking about what he’s doing next. He would hate if I talked to him. I’m kinda the same. There’s very few times I talk when I’m concentrating and I know that can be frustrating if I’m working with someone. Thanks for your advice. I’ll try to plan ahead and work as efficiently as possible!
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top