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Hey folks. I'm about a month into my apprenticeship with a large commercial/industrial contracting company. I'm enjoying it.. working hard, but enjoying it. Not really learning as much as I'd like, but my classes start in August with the IEC. I'm sure I'll learn more on the job as the months go on though. ANYWAY, my question is:
What are some cool specializations that pay well? Like solar, fiber optics, infrared, working in mines? I'm looking forward to the all the stuff I'll learn during the next four years doing commercial and industrial contracting, but I know I don't want to be doing construction forever..and I like getting technical. Share the knowledge!
 

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I've made a pretty good living, over the years, specializing in connecting things with wire. I've delved into things that, looking back, I really had no earthly business messing around with, but I was successful. "Yeah, I do that", was a common phrase of mine, even if I never did it before. My advice would truly be to dip into everything a little bit and sorta see how life hashes out. The specialty, if you're to have one, will likely find you at some point in the future. Related to that, quit employers often. Seriously. When you get bored, or have learned all you care to at a certain shop, jump ship and go somewhere else and learn new and different stuff.
 

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I agree with MDShunk. I did apprentice/work for a company for eight year tho. They were into commercial, industrial. However I was one of the lucky ones and got tossed on one of the eight service trucks as a 2nd year. +40 guys on the construction jobs. They were gross jobs. One poor apprentice threading 1/4 rod to hang fixtures on for a very long time. Stuff like that. I hung lights in stairways for over a month when they were desperate for a body. I was 4th year then.

I was able to do stuff like large hover crafts, traffic lights, gas station conversions to self serve, shopping centers, small stores in shopping centers. Best job of my life actually.

On my own got to do a few machine shop, best I did was probably 600 volt 600 amp service, some 480 volt services then the oil industry died here.

Guy at one machine shop went to Europe and brought back the 'BIGGEST Hammer in North America'. Damn... back in '78 or so, no pics, owner is long gone. Workers used to joke that thing would only hammer out a spoon it the metal was hot enough. Of course it sat on 12 feet of concrete and would rattle the industrial subdivision when she hit. Fun times.

Never did resi till I was on my own. Then got looped there. Not a real smart electrician now. Variety. The best if you can do/get it.
 

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TennesseeSparky said:
Hey folks. I'm about a month into my apprenticeship with a large commercial/industrial contracting company. I'm enjoying it.. working hard, but enjoying it. Not really learning as much as I'd like, but my classes start in August with the IEC. I'm sure I'll learn more on the job as the months go on though. ANYWAY, my question is: What are some cool specializations that pay well? Like solar, fiber optics, infrared, working in mines? I'm looking forward to the all the stuff I'll learn during the next four years doing commercial and industrial contracting, but I know I don't want to be doing construction forever..and I like getting technical. Share the knowledge!

Plc's, touch screens, motor controls. I was a journeyman electrician, and I decided to specialize in these fields. Any journeyman can run conduit and pull wire, I wanted to be the master that can size the conduit and wires, install the conduit and wiring, program the Plc and touchscreen, write the schematics, program the vfd's and soft starts, and pull the permits. 15 years later and I can do all that. You need training that will separate you from any other journeyman on a job application. Machine automation is where the jobs and money is at.
 
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