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Thread: Electrician Career Path

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
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    3

    Electrician Career Path

    I have a friend who will be moving to Tennessee from Europe within the next year. He is currently in the last 6 months of a 2 year Electricians program in Europe. The program consists of alternating classes and on the job work. He also has a bachelor's degree in Computer science.

    I am trying to find out for him what the possible career paths are for electricians in the US. Would he benefit from more training there or is he better off doing any additional training here?

    I've called a number of places and gotten all different sorts of responses from "he just has to put in his time" to "I have no idea." It seems to me that his education should be beneficial however several people (mostly at the union office) don't seem to feel that it is of any benefit at all.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2010
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    maryland
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    5
    I know some Romanians and an ElSalvadorian who are electrical engineers in their countries.These guys really know their stuff,but noone here will recognize their educations.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Sacramento,ca
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellayas View Post
    I have a friend who will be moving to Tennessee from Europe within the next year. He is currently in the last 6 months of a 2 year Electricians program in Europe. The program consists of alternating classes and on the job work. He also has a bachelor's degree in Computer science.

    I am trying to find out for him what the possible career paths are for electricians in the US. Would he benefit from more training there or is he better off doing any additional training here?

    I've called a number of places and gotten all different sorts of responses from "he just has to put in his time" to "I have no idea." It seems to me that his education should be beneficial however several people (mostly at the union office) don't seem to feel that it is of any benefit at all.
    Hi Ellayas,
    Your friend may have to put in some additional work hours here if he wishes to become a journeyman electrician in many of the states. 8000 hrs is standard. He should never discount what he has already learned, it is at least applicable on the job. There are numerous paths into the electrical trade, and also very possible that his time already served will be recognized. He should contact the state licensing boards of the places he might settle, and they can offer more guidance. I used to work for an Israeli born contractor who was one of the best electricians I ever met. I also worked for a forman who went the informal OJT route, with no school, who was also one of the best electricians I worked for. His time counts, and his efforts to succeed will determine how far he goes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Durham, NC
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    5,215
    Like anything else I think their miles will vary!
    If your even thirsty, your two quarts low.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    12,458
    There are a number of "foreign" companies using European equipment that have moved to TN in recent yeas such as a VW plant in Chattanooga.
    With his background he might want to check them out.
    At my age, I'm accustomed to restaurants asking me to pay in advance, but now my bank has started sending me their calendar one month at a time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    winchester, virginia, USA
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    15
    Just my perspective,
    I am in my 3rd year of a 5 year apprenticeship, a 2 year program doesn't sound like much.
    I say go into an apprenticeship, and "put in his time" like everyone has to do. Very hard to transition to usa from europe as an electrician and expect anyone to recognize the education

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Francisco Southbay
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    Quote Originally Posted by facemre View Post
    Just my perspective,
    I am in my 3rd year of a 5 year apprenticeship, a 2 year program doesn't sound like much.
    I say go into an apprenticeship, and "put in his time" like everyone has to do. Very hard to transition to usa from europe as an electrician and expect anyone to recognize the education
    Every country has their way of doing things. But electrical education and knowledge should be basically the same. So i don't think his education will be discounted, however, the only thing he has to do (as stated by others) is complete work hours so he learns how things are done in US and maybe some class time so he can learn the NEC.
    Edward
    Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    11,355
    Ohm's law is the same here and there.

    Work practices and codes are radically different, and really being an electrician is mostly about that. I bet he ends up starting over for the most part. Especially in today's economy.
    Bob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for all your replies. I agree that the codes are definitely different. The regulations regarding electricians seem to be much stricter there. For example, it isn't legal for a homeowner to do their own electrical work. Training programs are mandated and regulated by the government and only licensed electricians can do work on anything electrical. The courses that he has taken have been the equivalent of doing upper level college level courses here. Starting salary for the lowest level (apprentice) of electrician is roughly 40k/year.

    For those of you who hire apprentices or lower level electricians, in the event you had someone come in who obviously had worked extensively in this field, would that make a difference on how quickly you promoted someone or on how desirable they were to your company? With the change of countries, I would assume that he will have to start lower than what he would expect to be at in England however he is able to provide verification of hours worked, training courses, etc.

    Again, thank you so much for all your information

  10. #10
    I have worked around the US and everyone and everyplace thinks their standards are better or their training is better. Just like anyone, even if he studied in the
    US he would still have to prove himself.

    Tell your buddy to not worry because anyone he works for will allow him the opportunity to prove himself. But most states still require a minimum HRS for JW license.

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