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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I just joined the apprentice program in Pittsburgh and I love it. I'm looking to connect with some other women electricians as I haven't met any in the field yet...So far all the guys are super nice & helpful, I'm learning a lot and am really happy that I finally have a job I can retire from one day. I'm 31 and have been working in the deadend fitness field since I was 17... you can't get full time work, clients cancel on you last minute and you don't get paid, no health insurance, no retirement, nothing. It sucks, I could hardly pay my utilities. Now at the lowest apprentice pay, I'm already catching up & have actual raises in my future (I'd get laughed at for even asking for a raise in my last field). Some days are hard work, I don't mind, but most days I'm like 'I'm really getting paid for this???' I'm learning a lot and still have a lot to learn, but overall it's really fun work. Lots of guys complain about it, but they don't understand how good they have it cuz they joined out of high school & think they're missing out on something...yea poverty!! Lol or student debt! I look forward to chatting with some sisters & brothers!
 

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Valerie,
Welcome. Very happy to see you are enjoying your trade.
Extra plus for being into fitness and building strength. Its a challenge for most people to gain those repetitive muscles to bend pipe and grab power tools, digging, carrying pipe and all of the wonderful tasks it takes to make a living in our trade.
The social part on larger projects is a challenge for everyone battling the Alphas and finding your place in the hierarchy. I often see that women are somewhat immune as they just are not interested in playing the "game".
A good Foreman will put the loudmouths and the fratboys on the work that will tire them out or keep them so busy they will stay out of trouble.
I've only had about 1/2 dozen or so women on crews I have either been on or run and I cant tell any difference in performance on a typical commercial project.
Yes, just as in any field, you are going to run on your reputation. The best advice I can give anyone is to be the first one on the site, or one of the first. Be all-in when working and dont be afraid of getting dirty and go home tired every day.
Dont ever be idle, always keep your work area neat and orderly, know how many fittings, straps, and anchors are on hand. Count pipe, be safe, follow rules. Always have a sharpie and a pencil and small pocket sized note pad to keep notes and material lists.
If you are on an industrial project, volunteer to learn the paperwork, this is a huge advantage when dealing with work packages, knowing procedures, etc.
Again, Welcome to the forum, please dont think twice about asking about whats on your mind, sharing work pics, and getting others opinions.
 

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As you gain experience for look for a specialty, estimating, management, fire alarm, PLC, testing something that will be easier on your body as you age.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much for your encouragement! I appreciate that. I know my body well & I recognize when something is too heavy for me to lift. I have to be smart & break it up, if possible, take multiple trips, or ask my journeymen for help. The only thing that sucks is that I'm used to being the one who knows everything about everything and now I hardly know anything about anything. But I do know much more than I did 6 weeks ago and I earned a paycheck each week so what the hell? I am a good student & focused on absorbing as much information as possible from everyone I meet. Maybe I'm no fun now, but that doesn't really matter, my company isn't paying me to be fun.

The only reason I'm not interested in "playing the game" is because I've already worked in management & it freaking sucks. I want to be a worker bee, get the job done, get my money, and go home.

I love getting dirty! Then everyone can see I really was working today. I'm washable lol

I am very interested in renewable energy, particularly wind and what electrical companies are involved in this....


Valerie,
Welcome. Very happy to see you are enjoying your trade.
Extra plus for being into fitness and building strength. Its a challenge for most people to gain those repetitive muscles to bend pipe and grab power tools, digging, carrying pipe and all of the wonderful tasks it takes to make a living in our trade.
The social part on larger projects is a challenge for everyone battling the Alphas and finding your place in the hierarchy. I often see that women are somewhat immune as they just are not interested in playing the "game".
A good Foreman will put the loudmouths and the fratboys on the work that will tire them out or keep them so busy they will stay out of trouble.
I've only had about 1/2 dozen or so women on crews I have either been on or run and I cant tell any difference in performance on a typical commercial project.
Yes, just as in any field, you are going to run on your reputation. The best advice I can give anyone is to be the first one on the site, or one of the first. Be all-in when working and dont be afraid of getting dirty and go home tired every day.
Dont ever be idle, always keep your work area neat and orderly, know how many fittings, straps, and anchors are on hand. Count pipe, be safe, follow rules. Always have a sharpie and a pencil and small pocket sized note pad to keep notes and material lists.
If you are on an industrial project, volunteer to learn the paperwork, this is a huge advantage when dealing with work packages, knowing procedures, etc.
Again, Welcome to the forum, please dont think twice about asking about whats on your mind, sharing work pics, and getting others opinions.
 

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Welcome to the forum, and the electrical trade.
Best wishes with your career, it sounds like you're off to a great start.
 

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Hi val and welcome
its not often women get into this field.
so heres a few tips: carry note pads and pens and take notes. have your journeyman or master check your notes for accuracy( most will be happy to do so for a good apprentice).

don't be afraid to volunteer for some tasks, and dont tolerate any sexual or gender abuse(in this day and age there is no excuse for it).
take any education offered and follow loto(lockout tagout) procedures to the letter. work safe first (working fast comes with experience).


if you want pm me and i will post educational links that can help you.
I am retired but will be happy to help apprentices any time i can!
good luck to you.
 

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Light Bender
plumber
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Welcome to the trade and to the forum.
Are you in the union? Many locals have women’s committees, social committees etc. Easy way to connect with others
 

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Welcome to the trade and the forum Valerie.

Lots of great advice in this thread as well as the whole site.

Just reading your post I can tell you are going to do well. I have worked with several women electricians and apprentices. It's been hit or mis. But the same is true for the men. The last large job I was on there was a first year turned second. She was great. Out lasted all the other apprentices that were hired for the job. As far as I know she is still with the company. She will have no problem keeping a job. She will stay with us until she is rotated.

As you probably already seen, there are some that would be happier doing something else. But there're stuck because they'll never make the kind of money there making now with the benefits and retirement. Those are the ones to avoid. Hopefully you'll get paired up with those that love the trade. Everyone here shares that.

On the advice here, I read one of Dave Ramsey's book, the total money makeover. He used a study of monkeys as an analogy. The same is true in our trade. Basically they took a group of monkeys in a cage with a pole. They put a bunch of bananas on the top of the pole. Every time a monkey tried to get the bananas, he was shot off the pole with a fire hose. After all the monkeys stopped trying to get the bannanas, they brought in a new monkey. When the new monkey tried to climb the pole, they didn't have to shot him down. The other monkeys pulled him down every time he went for the bananas.

Sometimes we work with monkeys!

Good luck with your new career, and try to avoid guys with nicknames like miserable and sunshine!
 

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Coffee drinking member
I pretwist and then use wire nuts. Solder pots rule.
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Welcoming me to ET.
Keep a small note book and use it everyday. Keep it handy and date every page. You’ll be surprised 10 years from now how good an idea it is.
Skillcraft makes a top bound green memo book that fits in a T-shirt pocket. They write when wet and last forever.
 

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Coffee drinking member
I pretwist and then use wire nuts. Solder pots rule.
Joined
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13,613 Posts
:vs_laugh:Aw how cute, it's like 1st grade. :vs_laugh:
Sometimes it can be. But toss an egg and join right in.

Maybe he’s upset cause he’s hot and sweaty,,, (yesterday’s post). :vs_laugh:

There are a few women here, just not many.
 
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