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ChiefsNWildcats
02-09-2010, 02:30 PM
I got laid off from work after 10 years as a draftsman for a civil engineering firm here in KC a couple of weeks ago.

Currently, I am looking into a career change and possibly becoming an electrician. I applied at the IBEW for the apprenticeship program last Wednesday and have to wait 4-6 weeks to take the tests to see if I will qualify there.

Are there any electricians on the board here? Am I going about this career change the right way? Should I be looking into a Junior College or Technical school instead?

I appreciate any advice I can get. Thanks guys and gals.

CnW

Dinny Blues
02-09-2010, 02:38 PM
IBEW stands for I'm Broke Every Winter.

If you get in there, DO NOT let anyone know you are capable of thinking for yourself.

Dinny

Earthling
02-09-2010, 02:43 PM
Good luck on your future endeavors...

Stewie
02-09-2010, 04:26 PM
My nephew belongs to IBEW and does Radon abatement, if that tells you anything.

aturnis
02-09-2010, 04:27 PM
IBEW stands for I'm Broke Every Winter.

If you get in there, DO NOT let anyone know you are capable of thinking for yourself.

Dinny

Don't know where you live. I have been with the IBEW for 5yrs. and have worked steadily all five. Seasonal contruction is more for the excavators, masons, and residential trades. If you're commercial, and prove yourself to be a valuable asset to the company, you will stay employed. It's the guys who come to work to get paid who get laid off.

Anyways, you'll fill out the application. Take an aptitude test, mostly math and reading comprehension. You'll use math a lot more than you ever thought you would while in highschool, and not always the easy stuff. Your engineering background should really help you there. Then the reading comprehension is really just to make sure you can make it thorough five yrs. of school without someone spoon feeding you the info. The text books are a lot of technical jargon that could make anyone fall asleep. Sounds right up your alley as an engineer.

As for not letting them know you can think for yourself goes. It depends on what you want. It will mean more responsibility b/c you could become a foreman. A step in the right direction if you want to stay employed. A project manager might try to take advantage of you and have you do some of his job, that's on you. If you are fine doing it, it's job security, if not, then it's just another headache.

Good for you, a good honest living for good pay. Good luck.

BTW, IBEW doesn't stand for I'm Broke Every Winter. It stands for I Block Every Walkway.

aturnis
02-09-2010, 04:40 PM
My nephew belongs to IBEW and does Radon abatement, if that tells you anything.

That is VERY odd. Where does he live? Why wouldn't he report that to the union? I'm not very union as far as being union goes. I go to work to do work, and get compensated for my efforts. I am perfectly willing to go above and beyond and break some rules now and again. I'm not in the business of doing something like that that comes nowhere near my job description.

Stewie
02-09-2010, 04:44 PM
That is VERY odd. Where does he live? Why wouldn't he report that to the union? I'm not very union as far as being union goes. I go to work to do work, and get compensated for my efforts. I am perfectly willing to go above and beyond and break some rules now and again. I'm not in the business of doing something like that that comes nowhere near my job description.

He joined in late '07 or early '08. The work wasn't steady enough and he has little kids. The radon abatement job came up and he jumped at it.

Brock
02-09-2010, 04:45 PM
It's an all right job, but it's a construction trade for the most part. Look around and make your observations.

KCbroncoHATER
02-09-2010, 05:14 PM
You better make sure you want to be a blue collar guy first.

Going home dead tired because you pulled wire all day isn't the same feeling you got when you went home 'dead tired' from sitting at a drafting table.

And it doesn't get any better the older you get.

runnercyclist
02-09-2010, 05:50 PM
Well if you do...please use Eaton Cutler-Hammer products :)

That's the company I work for.

verbaljitsu
02-09-2010, 05:58 PM
Well if you do...please use Eaton Cutler-Hammer products :)

That's the company I work for.

I would never trust an electrician who wasn't using Klein tools.

sparkky
02-10-2010, 12:23 PM
IBEW (I've Been Every Where) was a damn good living for me for 27 years until I recently became disabled (only partially due to the trade). The last 20 years I never missed time I didn't want to.

It will probably be more varied than you would guess. Lots of voice/data, fiber optics and electronics now. And the old standby commercial/industrial type work.

I have absolutely NO regrets and would do it again in a cold, quick heartbeat.

Email me if you want to know more.

To answer your question, yes you're going about it the right way. It, like most skilled trades, is very family oriented. If you have friends in the trade or father in the trade see if they will put a good word in for you with some one. It does make a difference.

You have 3 marks against you starting off, no family in the trade, you're not a minority (the apprenticeship program is partially funded by fed.org so there are "quotas") and your age.

You do have your drafting experience in your favor.

Good luck!!