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A worthy venture?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Members Lounge' started by GreenGiant, Jun 24, 2013.

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  1. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

    842
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    Feb 9, 2012
    So I have my BSEE (Bachelor's of Science in Electronics Engineering) but right now I am working as an Electrical engineer, I know that this may be the case in future jobs as well.

    Would it be worth the effort to go through the steps to become a certified electrician? (talking in the US here) I just figure itll give me experience on both ends of things.

    I know its a lot of time and a lot of studying but would it be worth it?

    Thoughts?
    Opinions?
     
  2. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    Jan 15, 2010
    You'd have to put time-in on an appreticeship program, do the union rules thing.
    I considered it long ago, but they want you to 'pay your dues' in time on the job
    to meet their requirements. It's not just a test you take where I am, you have to
    put time in as an apprentice. Unless you've got some kind of 'certification' you
    can buy up there, to run a company or something that I'm unaware of.
    EE's authorize work, but the unions have made it so that you have to jump through
    their hoops, to actually BE a certified electrician.
     
  3. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

    842
    6
    Feb 9, 2012
    I know that its not just a test thing, which sucks, but for the most part if you can get into the schooling for it you can get sponsored, and I know a few journeyman electricians (and a master electrician) so I dont think I would have any trouble getting the working hours.

    Im just thinking about it because:
    A. I know that I can do it
    B. Im trying to buy a house and being able to wire things myself will be a huge money saver
    C. I think it would be a huge plus on my resume down the road

    Just a thought, I know that the electrical engineering program at the college I went to counted towards apprentice hours, Im not sure if any of my program did though. With my current job there are a lot of things that would make life easier if I knew it rather than having to look tons of things up all the time. Not just the time looking things up more like trying to find what to look up
     
  4. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,821
    519
    Jan 15, 2010
    Well. After I got out of the military, a friend of my mother's was an electrician, and he
    took me on as an apprentice. Unless you're assigned (by the union) to a place that
    has year-round work (like a factory), it could be seasonal-only work, and I dropped it.
    You can learn how to wire a house in a few days.
    It has done absolutely zilch for me, with any employer who hired me for electronics work.
    There is no EE I know in all of the jobs I've had, who would think to even admit that
    they might have at one time worked as an electrician. Let alone assume it would
    enhance their resume.
    I'm just one person, maybe somebody else has a different opinion.
    If you just want to know how to wire a house, go out with your journeyman buddies, and
    learn. It won't take long.
    As EE's go, there's nothing lower on their scale of skills, as somebody who's an electrician.
    Elites consider is simple, menial labor work, for people of limited intelligence.
    Good luck whichever way you go.
     
  5. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

    842
    6
    Feb 9, 2012
    Thanks for the honesty, I just wasn't sure if it would benefit me at all.
     
  6. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    519
    Jan 15, 2010
    I'm glad I worked as an electrician when I was younger. It's helped me with my own
    houses and those of friends. My point here was, that it did not help me at all in terms
    of employment with electronics firms. Electrician work and electronics work are considered
    two different animals by everyone I've worked with.
     
  7. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,821
    519
    Jan 15, 2010
    Let me modify that last comment:
    I spent most of my life as and I&C Tech (Instrumentation and Control),
    A couple places hired me as an E&I Tech (Electrical Instrumentation).
    Now that I think about it, the E&I Tech seemed to be expected to work more with the
    electricians in the motor control cabinets and such. The separation was that the electricians
    did the 480VAC and above, and I was expected to work 480VAC and below.
    This was all industrial controls though, not residential electrician work.
    We did have electrical engineers at those plants that had a background in both industrial
    electrical systems and low-voltage electronic controls of the HV equip.
    So I think I was in error. I HAVE known some guys who were ENGINEERS in both
    disciplines. But those engineers never did any of the actual work, they just supplied
    me with the drawings of systems they wanted built or modified.
    (Another modification: All You Engineers 'Do Work', I mis-worded that. You know
    how us techs can be sometimes)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  8. Y2KEDDIE

    Y2KEDDIE

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    15
    Sep 23, 2012
    I think having electrical hands on experience wold be extremely benificial. I've always worked as a technician both electrical and electronics. I've heard many an engineer being cussed out for having no practical insight. I think all engineers should work with a journeyman for a few years before designing square pegs to fit in round holes.

    Occasionally someone from corporate will actually come on site and experience the physical environment we work in and realise thier design might be a bit impractical.

    I am not anti-union but have worked in non-union shop most of my career. You don't have to be union to be knowledgeable. There are may ways to get practical experience. You don't need to be a licensed electrcian to wire your own house.
     
  9. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

    3,821
    519
    Jan 15, 2010
    Where I'm at, that house has to be inspected by the city or the county after you
    wire it. If you don't have an 'in' with somebody running those outfits, and you can't
    prove the work was done by some person (or their workers) who was LICENSED by
    that city or country, they order you to rip it all out.
    So yeah, you don't need to be a licensed electrician to wire your own house, but if
    it needs to be inspected because of any building permit you may have obtained, ....
    watch-out. (I'm talking about new builds, or housing improvements that require a
    building permit).
    Just trivia I wanted to add. A lot of this depends on where you live.
     
  10. Y2KEDDIE

    Y2KEDDIE

    259
    15
    Sep 23, 2012
    I guess it does depend on your local jurisdiction. I live in NY and have " helped" wire new houses " with the homeowner." We also did all the plumbing (internal and external sewer systems) without a license. Here (this county), all you need is to pass inspection of the local inspector who works for the Insurance companies, (Underwriters). If you wire a house for someone else, for hire, then you need a license. I believe the exception is when you, are the homeowner, and are doing it yourself.

    If you don't know what your doing, and some else is financing your home, it seems natural you would want someone with credentials, and certainly the bank would.

    If I was hired to repair someone else's work (especially a whole house) I would probably rip all their wiring out too , to avoid liability.
     
  11. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

    842
    6
    Feb 9, 2012
    Here in MA (and I believe its the same for most of New England) you can do all the wiring yourself as long as you have a licensed electrician sign off on it in the end. Not a big deal since I have a few friends who are electricians and would do that for me for cost plus a couple beers haha.

    I was wondering about it since I am working as an Electrical Engineer without the background (Electronics Engineer here), I mean its all simple stuff just some of the regulations and nuances of it all are a little complicated.
     
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