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Guru

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Benefit of Education Before Starting Electrical Apprenticeship?

11/24/2014 6:39 AM

In USA, the typical apprenticeship is 4 years with 2000 hours work experience and at least 144 hours of "related instruction" per year. I have checked 12 states and the US DOL and found that nearly all permit that instruction to be "front loaded"--taken prior to starting the apprenticeship. This assumes it is coursework that is equal to or identical to the coursework taken during the 4 years.

Question--what benefit will a prospective apprentice have in getting into the trade and working, if he/she has passed at least 300 hours of instruction, compared to a person who has had none? Similarly, if the person has passed at least 600 hours of instruction in all the usually-taught areas of the trade, is this worth more than 300 hours of instruction?

So far, answers I have received say that it helps, but attitude and "tool sense" are equally important.

Thanks--jmueller

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Guru
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#1

Re: Benefit of education before starting electrical apprenticeship?

11/24/2014 7:10 AM

There's no denying that there is a lot of book learning that comes with working with electricity.

I would say that the benefit of having instruction first, is that a person will be able to quickly move into the more technical aspects of the job, whereas a green apprentice will spend at least a couple of years pulling wire or some other menial labor.

Attitude and tool sense are important too, but the reason that instruction is important is the same reason we don't hand wannabe doctors a scalpel and toss them into the OR.

My personal opinion is that instruction and apprenticeship should happen simultaneously.

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Guru
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#2

Re: Benefit of education before starting electrical apprenticeship?

11/24/2014 7:18 AM

I would highly recommend talking to guidance counselors at the institutions that you wish to take instructions.

As someone that has sat behind the interviewing desk a number of times I can tell you that the number one thing that employers look for is attitude.

It is more critical that you fit in and become a part of the team than the total sum of knowledge you cram between your ears.

Employers will look at your academic records to determine if you are trainable, how fast you learn, and that you have an educated foundation upon which to learn from.

However, the best educated candidate is worthless if they are a nightmare to manage.

Your career success will be a mixture of education, experience, communication skills, personality, drive and ambition, and willingness to contribute to the goals of the company and fulfilling your commitments.

Again, I would work closely with the guidance counselors, but you will also need to learn how to be a salesman because selling yourself is a core principle for success.

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Anonymous Poster #1
#3
In reply to #2

Re: Benefit of education before starting electrical apprenticeship?

11/24/2014 8:52 AM

Around here, higher ups looks for the one who is fit, not just for work but also for dirty works on their secret pockets with their fingers crossed.

The best thing you opt to have is to invest with micro-entreprenuership. Make your own business and be your own Boss.

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Anonymous Poster #2
#11
In reply to #3

Re: Benefit of education before starting electrical apprenticeship?

11/25/2014 9:53 AM

That sounds almost like a good old-fashioned Family-run business.

Yes, I meant to capitalize the F.

What, do I need to stuff my mouth with cotton, so's I can makes you an offer you can't understand?

I should stop now, if I keep going I'm likely to get Mobbed my people offended at the stereotypes I'm bringing up.

(storms off, violin case under his arm, shouting random Italian words, mostly food names)

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Guru
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#4

Re: Benefit of Education Before Starting Electrical Apprenticeship?

11/24/2014 8:55 AM

if you were running a business and looking to increase your employee count would you select those with little exposure to your field or those with an abundance of education and experience?

employers almost always want a deal.give them reasons to think selecting you over the next person is the right move.

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Anonymous Poster #1
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Benefit of Education Before Starting Electrical Apprenticeship?

11/24/2014 10:05 AM

Too bad if the boss is an amateur and all he hires and adds up are amateurs, they will end up to devastation. For industry like special equipment were safety and technical knowledge is a necessity. I would rather multi-task and give a reasonable raise and additional incentives or honest to goodness implementation of incentive schemes not end up to the managers pockets and take home savings.

This is were money grows horns and if the Bosses love money they grow one, two, three also.

There is a calling to work in your own best for your interest and vocation in life. There are people even work without expecting something.

I remembered my terrible Boss once said, "You should be smart", Oh I never mind really of what he mean that. Smart nowadays means to become a trixter.

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Guru

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#12
In reply to #5

Re: Benefit of Education Before Starting Electrical Apprenticeship?

11/25/2014 9:59 AM

You must have had some really bad experiences in your work life!

Between your attitude and your poor English, I'd never hire you, nor work for you! I hope English is your second language; otherwise, you need to go back to school...

In my case, I got the education and hands-on experience first. I only went job-hunting once. every other job found me.

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Guru

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#6

Re: Benefit of Education Before Starting Electrical Apprenticeship?

11/24/2014 3:12 PM

I would definitely recommend some tech school before starting a job....you might get picked up right out of school.....one thing to remember, you mostly are taught theory and some "proper" methodology, the mechanic you will be helping will have a way he wants things done, don't tell him he's doing it wrong, just follow his instruction....assume you know nothing, and listen carefully and follow instructions with a can do attitude,, and time will tell if you have what it takes....Trying to take instruction from 2 masters will likely not end well.....

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Guru

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#7

Re: Benefit of Education Before Starting Electrical Apprenticeship?

11/24/2014 6:31 PM

If you are joining a union, my understanding is that you will be required to take classes as you serve your apprentiship.

Some electrical theory is priceless, as is knowledge of local and national codes. This is required by any reputable contractor.

Tool savvy and a desire to do a good job are just as valuable.

I have a friend who is a contractor and he will not allow his work to be compromised to save a customer money.

Which is more important when applying for a job? Probably education.

300 vs 600? I'd say 300 is good to get you started.

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Guru

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#8

Re: Benefit of Education Before Starting Electrical Apprenticeship?

11/24/2014 9:40 PM

Thanks to all for their comments so far. I hope others will add their experiences and opinions. I got my first job in the trade back in '71 when I had criticized the work of a contractor, by citing code references for the problems I saw. He hired me the next day!

--JMM

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Guru

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#9

Re: Benefit of Education Before Starting Electrical Apprenticeship?

11/25/2014 12:41 AM

It is advisable to have 10years of education(math & science) before apprenticeship for engineering careers. During apprenticeship you may attend evening or weekend courses to develop your theoretical knowkedge and sit for examination by City & Guilds Institute,UK or similar in your state/country. Employment without educational qualification will be not welcome. For craftsmen 10years not required,even 8 years would do.

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Guru

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#10

Re: Benefit of Education Before Starting Electrical Apprenticeship?

11/25/2014 9:22 AM

Skill and knowledge are essential in any job and every opportunity should be taken to increase them by whatever means are available to you. But in order to apply them, you must be physically fit (strong enough) and in good health.

I can only relate my personal experience. I served a 6 year apprenticeship as journeyman electrician in London England 1951 to 1956. It was a form of cheap labour but little choice unless you went as a labourer - more pay per hour - but no career prospects - and what will you do when you get older.

Earning more money was always a problem. The employer always had an excuse for not giving a pay rise. In the first few years it was "You get paid for what you know, not for what you do". Then if you did make the effort to learn more, it was "You are paid the union rate and if we give you a rise we will have to give all the apprentices a rise."

Eventually to complete your apprenticeship to be told "You get paid for what you do, not for what you know" I could not go elsewhere for a better paid job because I was indentured and had to stay to the end.

You might conclude that all that 'learning' was waste of effort, and yes perhaps at the time it was, but not so since, because it provided a sound basis to further my career as an engineer. Which I did. I carried on with evening classes and day release for a further 10 years. Which covered 4 years (compulsory) National Service in the RAF - which included 6 months continuous trade train in aircraft ground equipment - only to be of little use because I was posted to the photo processing labs to maintain machines for the air reconnaissance unit. More learning and more experience.

Interestingly, back in Civvy Street, the boss of the firm I got a job with, wrote this 4 years off as irrelevant experience when assessing salary, but he did allow paid time off for day release school.

But even that came back to bite me. My salary was based an equivalent hourly rate for the hours at work that when extrapolated to a full working week showed I was well paid (for that position) but in effect I was paying for my day off. My pay was not increased when school finished.

To top it all, I was then warned my job was in jeopardy due to attending evening classes 3 nights a week, because I would not available to work overtime in case it was necessary (and unpaid because I was 'salaried'). This sounds like moaning I know, but it drove me on to do better. To get out so to speak. Being a sole wage-earner with a wife and two children, you have to.

In practical terms one of the big problems I found was that once you started punching above your weight in academic learning circles (in electrical contracting at the time) you soon ran out of mentors. There came a time when I had no one to turn to for help. Self learning became the order of the day.

Fast forward. I jumped tracks a few times and ended up being self employed and settled down in compressed air engineering to specialise in air quality treatment where the lack of mentors is the norm, and self-learning is about the only way forward.

So finally my advice is: learn as much as you can, when you can - and remember when you succeed - no one likes a know-all.

Good luck.

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