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Hello,

I previously worked in Electrical Construction with two years of experience. I was a helper doing basic tasks like digging trenches, installing lights, and pulling wire for the journeyman. I decided to go to a technical college and I am a few courses away from a two year degree in Electrical/Electronics Technology.

I have never worked in industrial maintenance before. I was hoping someone could tell me what a new hire's initial tasks might be.

I am mainly trying to figure out if I will be provided with PPE such as an arc flash suit. To be honest I am trying to understand if, initially, I'll be assigned a task that requires an arc flash suit. Have any of you ever supervised a recent trade school/technical college trainee?

What about troubleshooting? Do recent trade school persons get to work through 480V Branch wiring with a wiggy...or use a megger as part of inspecting a motor?

I'm currently collecting books such as the 2014 NEC, Motor Maintenance, and transformer applications...there are things they can show me beyond what I learned in class. Also, I want to learn as much as I can to increase my chances of being promoted as soon as possible to the tasks I mentioned above because I am concerned that new people who fail to do so get laid off. ie move up or get out...

For what it's worth...there was this guy who got a position as co-op at the local utility...and he didn't get hired on permanently...and I think it was because he was way too optimistic (sunny and happy) around folks that wear a perpetual face expression of having seen some horrible tragedies...or at least worried about them happening to them or those who they are responsible for.

Thanks,

theForce
 

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Hello,

I previously worked in Electrical Construction with two years of experience. I was a helper doing basic tasks like digging trenches, installing lights, and pulling wire for the journeyman. I decided to go to a technical college and I am a few courses away from a two year degree in Electrical/Electronics Technology.

I have never worked in industrial maintenance before. I was hoping someone could tell me what a new hire's initial tasks might be.

I am mainly trying to figure out if I will be provided with PPE such as an arc flash suit. To be honest I am trying to understand if, initially, I'll be assigned a task that requires an arc flash suit. Have any of you ever supervised a recent trade school/technical college trainee?

What about troubleshooting? Do recent trade school persons get to work through 480V Branch wiring with a wiggy...or use a megger as part of inspecting a motor?

I'm currently collecting books such as the 2014 NEC, Motor Maintenance, and transformer applications...there are things they can show me beyond what I learned in class. Also, I want to learn as much as I can to increase my chances of being promoted as soon as possible to the tasks I mentioned above because I am concerned that new people who fail to do so get laid off. ie move up or get out...

For what it's worth...there was this guy who got a position as co-op at the local utility...and he didn't get hired on permanently...and I think it was because he was way too optimistic (sunny and happy) around folks that wear a perpetual face expression of having seen some horrible tragedies...or at least worried about them happening to them or those who they are responsible for.

Thanks,

theForce
What type of plant??
 

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Having spent 25+ years in industrial electrical work and trained many new guys right out of school, I would take the sunny dispositions and enthusiastic personalities any day! They are always willing to learn and do anything asked of them. Beware of the older ones that say " I/we have done it this way for 20 years." It usually means that they learned how to do it the wrong way 20 years ago. ...
The seasoned electricians that execute work professionally and get the call when all of the others have failed are the ones you want to associate with and learn everything they know. They are the ones that look out for everyone's safety.
Learning how to read electrical prints, especially the symbols and the reference number system used, will be the most beneficial. Being able to follow the circuits from page to page and understanding what you are looking at will give you an advantage over many new and seasoned electricians. You will see many machine prints that will be hundreds of pages long with the circuits going all over the place, not easy to grasp if you don't have the basics.
 

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From the people I know in maintenance as a new guy it sounds like all you need is a willingness to get really dirty. A plant isn't the type of place someone is going to let you make your first mistake. They'll take care of you.
 

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Who you gonna call?
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If you are worried about arch flash before you even start you let the safety videos get to you. No one would let a newb in live switch gear. Your first tasks will be light and easy. Just listen and work hard and you'll do fine.
 

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IMO, you should become a seasoned industrial installation electrician before working industrial maintenance as a career.

You will get to see the systems installed from start to finish, which codes apply , and the hands on experience is priceless. JMO
 

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360max said:
IMO, you should become a seasoned industrial installation electrician before working industrial maintenance as a career.
Ten four there. You gotta learn how things go together before you can fix them. Industrial electrical maintenance is best suited for the old bulls who learned enough that they don't need to break their back running racks all day every day
 

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I have been in the Industrial Maintenance field for about thirty years now. I started as a tech, work as electrical supervisor, Maintenance Supt., Maintenance Engineer, and now Maintnenace and Facilities Engineering Manager. Some advice I can give is as follows:

1. Never stop learning or have the desire to learn. If the company wants to teach you underwater basket weaving, step up and say thank you. Learn all you can.

2. Don't let the older guys intimidate you. Stand your ground but remember you are the "new" guy. Don't push it too far.

3. Be prepare to do the dirty work. As the new guy, you must put your time in just like everyone else has. Take it with a smile.

4. Catch every call. Even if it was not assisgned to you, if you are not busy go with the maintenance guys on every cal that comes in.

All I can say is it's a wonderful field to be in. I have done this all my life and wouldn't change a thing if I could

Good Luck
 

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Hello,I am mainly trying to figure out if I will be provided with PPE such as an arc flash suit. To be honest I am trying to understand if, initially, I'll be assigned a task that requires an arc flash suit. Have any of you ever supervised a recent trade school/technical college trainee?
If you need PPE (beyond a few exceptions such as steel toe boots or prescription safety glasses) it should be provided by the employer at no cost to you.
1910.132(h)(1)
Except as provided by paragraphs (h)(2) through (h)(6) of this section, the protective equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE), used to comply with this part, shall be provided by the employer at no cost to employees.
What about troubleshooting? Do recent trade school persons get to work through 480V Branch wiring with a wiggy...or use a megger as part of inspecting a motor?
Yes you should get to do those things, but should be under the supervision of someone qualified.

I'm not a big fan of wiggys... make sure you honor the on/off time ratios. They also don't meet "category" rating requirements (IEC), and can zap solid state devices when they are removed and the collapsing magnetic field generates a damaging transient spike. Other than that, work hard, be safe, maintain a good attitude and you should do fine.
 

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We always pair the new guys up with one of the older guys at first. They will rotate around all 3 shifts so they can get a feel for the problems we encounter on the different shifts. The biggest thing to do is ask questions! Try to learn the process of the machinery you will be working on. It will make troubleshooting a lot easier if you know how the process works normally. In my plant everything is controlled by PLC's. Learn the software for the specfic PLC's used in your shop.
 

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Depends where you are. Some places you might be a glorified lightbulb changer. Some places you'll be chasing a bugs through ladder-logic while the plant loses thousands a minute and everyone is crowded behind you. Some places offer both options and just enough rope to pull yourself up or hang yourself, whichever you decide.
 
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