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Well, I've been waiting about 3 weeks for my letter from the IBEW about my interview for an apprenticeship. I called a week after the interview, as instructed, and the guy wasn't too helpful. "I don't have the list, all I know is one guys place high is an already put to work, and one guy placed really low. Just wait for the letter." He repeated the "one guy placed low" line several times, which kind of makes me wonder if he DID know where I placed, but didn't want to break it to me that I'm not getting in.

Long story short, I want to know what my option are for finding a nonunion gig now. I work for a telecom company, so right now I think my best option is to transfer to a Broadband Tech job, working with fiber optics, coax, and low volt. But installing coax is easy, my brother-in-law worked as a cable installer, and he's an idiot! I want the full range of learning to install and wire.

My eventual goal is to open a business for solar installing and home automation, 2 areas where I believe a lot of future growth will be. Any advice for getting the experience and training needed to do that without the union? Do you agree cable/internet/ phone installer with my current company is my best option at this point, or should I go in a different direction?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haha, tell me about it! But they can't offer if they don't know I'm looking! I want some ideas for places to submit my resume, maybe a place I haven't considered. I'm not in the industry, I have no clue what kind of options we have outside to union. I figure as anti-union as Texas is, there bound to be some place to train and put me to work without the IBEW.
 

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Well, I've been waiting about 3 weeks for my letter from the IBEW about my interview for an apprenticeship. I called a week after the interview, as instructed, and the guy wasn't too helpful. "I don't have the list, all I know is one guys place high is an already put to work, and one guy placed really low. Just wait for the letter." He repeated the "one guy placed low" line several times, which kind of makes me wonder if he DID know where I placed, but didn't want to break it to me that I'm not getting in.

Long story short, I want to know what my option are for finding a nonunion gig now. I work for a telecom company, so right now I think my best option is to transfer to a Broadband Tech job, working with fiber optics, coax, and low volt. But installing coax is easy, my brother-in-law worked as a cable installer, and he's an idiot! I want the full range of learning to install and wire.

My eventual goal is to open a business for solar installing and home automation, 2 areas where I believe a lot of future growth will be. Any advice for getting the experience and training needed to do that without the union? Do you agree cable/internet/ phone installer with my current company is my best option at this point, or should I go in a different direction?
Contact the Associated Builders and Contractors. You can go far without the union.
 

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Well, I've been waiting about 3 weeks for my letter from the IBEW about my interview for an apprenticeship. I called a week after the interview, as instructed, and the guy wasn't too helpful. "I don't have the list, all I know is one guys place high is an already put to work, and one guy placed really low. Just wait for the letter." He repeated the "one guy placed low" line several times, which kind of makes me wonder if he DID know where I placed, but didn't want to break it to me that I'm not getting in.

Long story short, I want to know what my option are for finding a nonunion gig now. I work for a telecom company, so right now I think my best option is to transfer to a Broadband Tech job, working with fiber optics, coax, and low volt. But installing coax is easy, my brother-in-law worked as a cable installer, and he's an idiot! I want the full range of learning to install and wire.

My eventual goal is to open a business for solar installing and home automation, 2 areas where I believe a lot of future growth will be. Any advice for getting the experience and training needed to do that without the union? Do you agree cable/internet/ phone installer with my current company is my best option at this point, or should I go in a different direction?
A solar installer is not going to be doing home automation and do it well and visa-versa. IMO you need to pick on or the other. If you want to look into the home automation, find a low-voltage company in your area and hire on.
 

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I think it would be wise to have more than one "specialty". In my opinion, home automation goes hand in hand with solar installs, as when it becomes prevalent in the residential market, only those with plenty of money will be able to afford it, and those are the same people that you could sell home automation to, along with your low voltage skills in home networking.
 

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How big of an Area do they normally cover? Closest chapter HQ to me is about a 3 hour drive.
ABC doesn't work that way. Think of it as a tech school that you're required to be working in the trade at the same time. Loads of companies are members, but they don't group apprentices into a group and pick based on how long you've been sitting. You'll get an education while simultaneously gaining work experience. Once you have both you can use your skills to look for work, stick with the same company, or dip into the ABC member base to help with employment. Think of it as a college degree and use it as leverage for a potential employer. It's not the "brotherhood" like the union. You won't be relying on a organization to place you with a job, you'll get to find one on your own. You get much more flexibility with a down market.
Not only should you be looking at the headquarters, but look to see where classes are taught. There were three class locations in my area, but your's is probably different. Even in union towns like Chicago there are alternative viable choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I see your point, CMK, but I think T&K has a point. At my cable company, as least a 1/3 of our phone customers have phone because we say "Since we already have a guy out to get your cable and internet hooked up, only 20 more, and you got land line phone!" A home auto guy could easily say "Hey, all these additions can eat up some power, since we're already out here, why don't you let me install some solar panels on your roof to defray the cost." Hard to argue. If they have enough loose cash to automate their home, you know they've got more money to spend.

Plus, I understand some solar installers have a set up where you sort of "lease" the equipment, and the home owner pays you for the power it provides, or something like that. Be nice to have a steady income on those slows months.
 

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You might have better luck in 20. I imagine the local you applied to has limited work available with low scale and benefits. If you are serious about joining IBEW, Dallas would be a decent choice as they have annual GM shut downs and are within 12 hours if some good paying and usually busy locals. No matter how you look at at, in the IBEW you will be traveling if you want to stay busy.
 

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Cajuncurlycircuit said:
Well, I've been waiting about 3 weeks for my letter from the IBEW about my interview for an apprenticeship. I called a week after the interview, as instructed, and the guy wasn't too helpful. "I don't have the list, all I know is one guys place high is an already put to work, and one guy placed really low. Just wait for the letter." He repeated the "one guy placed low" line several times, which kind of makes me wonder if he DID know where I placed, but didn't want to break it to me that I'm not getting in. Long story short, I want to know what my option are for finding a nonunion gig now. I work for a telecom company, so right now I think my best option is to transfer to a Broadband Tech job, working with fiber optics, coax, and low volt. But installing coax is easy, my brother-in-law worked as a cable installer, and he's an idiot! I want the full range of learning to install and wire. My eventual goal is to open a business for solar installing and home automation, 2 areas where I believe a lot of future growth will be. Any advice for getting the experience and training needed to do that without the union? Do you agree cable/internet/ phone installer with my current company is my best option at this point, or should I go in a different direction?
. I wouldn't wait much longer for the union call , that can be a long damn wait , lol ! Try to find a contractor with a good reputation ( I'd lean more toward commercial ) who's willing to put you through the apprenticeship program . Be a sponge an learn as much as you can and don't be afraid to ask questions ! Once you've got enough on the job training and you've finished your apprenticeship , go for your contractors license . Now is the time you can do whatever you want basically . Lots of guys are gonna tell you the union is the only way to go , I'm not one of them and I'm still a member , lol ! Get the training you need , learn the trade ( you'll never know it all , but you'll continue to learn as you go ) , and do your own thing . Good luck bro !
 
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