Anyone know anything about Electrician Apprenticeships?

Higgins909

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This is my latest interest. My current job is kinda Meh... Planning to have my ged by the end of the month, half way done... 25... Does anyone have info on this industry, in Texas? There seems to be some strange pay system and rank system and hour system? I used to have a little ACC book and I think electrician was in there. But they had the average pay at $13hr. Does that sound right or this? I found a website saying $23 for Austin. Then I see youtube talking about how they make 3 figures... I don't really know what they do. But it seems like it's a wide industry. Maybe there is more of a norm for the Austin area? Working out in the weather? Hazards? (My current work has it's own share of hazards primarily cancer) Am I going to need to know Spanish? My current work has hired many A/C people over the years and they all seem to be Hispanic.

Perhaps there is an Apprentice here that could fill me in or someone else working as a Journeyman or something?

Thanks,
Higgins909
 

Axxe55

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Like many other career fields, it depends on what type of electrician you are as to what the pay rate is.

My father did his apprenticeship while serving in the Air Force. He mainly ended up working lots of huge manufacturing and machine shops, electrical powerplants and large companies in the electrical department. He also moonlighted doing housing electrical on new houses as well.

So being an electrician covers a lot of area. And the pay scales differently for each type of application as well. Some of those high-line electrical repair guys, can very well exceed six figures a year. Pretty dangerous work and pretty far off the ground.

You really need to be much more specific in what area you want to work in.
 

mongoose

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Only apprentice I was around was a Union apprentice who went to school nights , took tests and worked during the day. Jouneyman ( had his Masters license actually). Made the kid do all the grunt work. Not sure of the pay.
 

baboon

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Unions back home you pretty much need an in to get in the union. I am also reminded of my dad who dropped out of High school for WWII. When he returned he found a high school diploma went farther then a GED. He went & got his diploma while I was pretty young. He vowed none of his kids could go the GED route and have his respect!
 

Axxe55

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There are a lot of companies that unless you belong to the union, you won't be working for them. But on the plus side of that, many union electricians usually make better than average pay for the job they do.
 

Sasquatch

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I looked at the trades once upon a time. The requirements for Electricians, Plumbers & Pipefitters, and Iron Workers were very similar to get accepted into their apprenticeship programs - you had to have a passing grade in Algebra II, a diploma or GED, pass a drug screen, and be willing to accept the terms of the apprenticeship - meaning you *will* work for the union for a certain amount of time, or you'll pay them for the schooling you received.

The entry level pay is probably close to $13-15 an hour - I'm more familiar with the union scale in Oregon and Washington (pretty much the same in those two states) but figure it'll be within a couple bucks here or there.

Starting pay there was $13-15 / hr depending on the union. You worked a 40 hour week, starting as a general labor hand under the supervision of a journeyman. After work you went to school for 3 to 4 hours per night, four nights per week. Every four to six months you were "re-rated" or evaluated. If your work performance + your academic performance were acceptable, you received a pay raise. This continued until you were out of schooling and made journeyman, which back there, again, depending on union, was $30-35 / hr + benes. Keep in mind that you're going to be paying union dues, which they had a scale based on your position/pay rate. I think the journeymen were putting close to $5 / hr back into the union, but that covered your pay when you were laid off / between jobs and helped pay for your other union benes + lined the pockets of those running the union.

Once you get past the schooling and work out of the shit-jobs, a lot of them can be "easy" because you're going to have apprentices of your own.

The gentleman who I used to work for had a son my age. He was a member of the electricians union - went straight to it after high school. He's now a foreman with his company, pulling down a bit more hourly than the regular journeyman workers. He's also single, no kids, and socks away a ton of his money. He'll take a full month off every year for vacation. He has worked residential, but most of his career has been commercial - a lot of banks, retail shops, industrial facilities, and one of the last jobs I knew he was working was a renovation of the Federal courthouse (before ANTIFA kept trying to burn it down)

If you're willing to travel and be whored out to other locales, you could potentially make even more, as the local scale varies place to place.

Some years back I was laid off from my job as a tow truck operator, and went to work for a time driving motor coaches. We got a contract for Intel's construction to transport the union workers from the parking lot, to the jobsite. I got to talk to a lot of various trades, and to guys from all over. Intel mandated union labor (virtue signalling, or just liked spending money, I dunno, but they mandated union labor vs non-union whenever they had the option) - the local unions didn't have enough workers. They called in guys from all over the lower 48. I met guys who were thrilled because their home scale would be $20 or so per hour, but they were paid at the higher local scale there in the Portland area, which was $15/hr higher. I met a few guys from San Fran who travelled because their own local scale was higher, but it was so high that most businesses were opting for cheaper non-union labor.

One thing I heard over and over - was that "if I could do it all over again, I'd join the Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters, because they cover HVAC work, and you can make a good living a lot easier than what I'm doing" - food for thought. FWIW, the Plumbers & Pipefitters I talked to all also said they wished they'd gone HVAC, because it was easier on the back and knees. They said they wished they could be running a service truck, adjusting/replacing thermostats, or controller boards on AC systems.

Low voltage electricians were in high demand up that way. The guys running network cable, wired security cams, etc were always busy.

As much as I generally loathe unions - the trade unions do a good job of taking care of their members, and if you're willing to work, they'll help you stay gainfully employed. If you're not good at math though, you should study up, as they all required mathematical aptitude.
 

candcallen

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The problem with unions are the corruption and near ponzi scheme dues in many places. The higher the dues the less benefits for the worker the more corrupt the leadership and the kickbacks to political phuktards that do no represent the actual rank n file members.

5 bucks n hour dues is cheap. In more corrupt places like nyc it can be many times that.
 

baboon

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Linemen for power companies pay good money! My brother retired from it. I remember my brother talking about the guys who got scared off, as their training increased. Climbing poles, power & high voltage were all things that led to attrition. The thing to remember is the more over time you pull means a lot in many trades.
 
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