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What good is a german journeyman certificate?

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    What good is a german journeyman certificate?

    Hello everyone,

    first of all thank you very much for welcoming me to the forum.

    A little background first of all to set the scene:

    I was born and raised in germany. I did a full 3.5 year apprenticeship in germany from 2006 to 2010. In 2015 I came to the US and worked here, first on the Philadelphia Shipyard in the new construction of oil tankers and then for a german company installing and relocating industrial machinery.

    After some other odds and ends electrical jobs I just got offered a Project Manager / Estimator Job that I couldnt say no to so here I sit in my own office plus truck etc.

    The original question is, with a german journeyman certificate, does anyone know of anything I can do with it as far as certifications in the US go? I know about all the waiting periods and such to apply for licenses and sit for tests.

    On one hand I understand the differences in the NEC vs. the VDE in germany and the shortcomings I have regarding the NEC but on the other hand it doesnt seem right to me to do yet another 4 year apprenticeship, especially considering my position in the company.

    I am in PA, Reading or Philadelphia (cities havent been any helpful with information, I guess they dont know what to do with it, please dont get me started with the Union, I already had my fare share of giref with them).

    I am thankful for any input. Maybe an outline on how to obtain a master license the quickest way.

    Thank you very much

    #2
    Hey, welcome to the forum

    I would advise you to call Pa licensing board. I realize there is no state license in Pa ( or I think that is so) but I am guessing there is local licensing boards. I doubt past experience in germany will do you much good.

    Hopefully someone from Pa will chime in
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky

    Comment


      #3
      Your are correct, PA has licensing per Municipality

      Comment


        #4
        I'd say as a general rule it won't automatically give you credentials for licensing requirements, but if you have any verifiable documentation to your experiences many licensing authorities will consider that experience and make some exceptions in your circumstances, some however may not. You are likely still going to have to pass any exams they have to acquire a license - all your experience does for you is make you eligible to take those exams and bypass apprentice stages or put you further into those stages necessary to be able to take license exams.
        I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

        Comment


          #5
          UPDATE:

          Just called the city of Reading to ask for a waiver of the conditions (which are to have been a journeyman for 2 years). The electrical inspector is going to get back to me later. Left voicemail.

          Thanks for the direction so far, ill keep you updated.

          Comment


            #6
            There is no way to bypass apprenticeship completely to become a master electrician.
            So why not become a PE?

            Comment


              #7
              I live outside of Phila. My license is from Norristown, Pa. and all other municipalities I work in, except Phila. Recognize it. I don’t work in Phila. I took a very lengthy test back in 1994. Unfortunately today many municipalities only require that you have a HIC license through the attorney generals office, that is easy to get with $50 and liability insurance. Do a search on PA HIC. I say unfortunately because many contractors are doing electrical work and really should not be. I am all for a state wide license, but I doubt this will happen anytime soon. As a side note, Mike Holt gave a rating to Pa of a “C”. For licensing. And the grade was kind.

              Jim

              Comment


                #8
                PE?

                Comment


                  #9
                  I already have a HIC license, so does the company I work for.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Christoph View Post
                    PE?
                    Usually means professional engineer, don't see what good that does you if you want to do work requiring an electrical license other than possibly helping with education/experience requirements needed to obtain said license.
                    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Sahib View Post
                      There is no way to bypass apprenticeship completely to become a master electrician.
                      So why not become a PE?
                      Thats not what im trying to do. I have an apprenticeship, just in another "jurisdiction".

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Christoph View Post
                        Thats not what im trying to do. I have an apprenticeship, just in another "jurisdiction".
                        Kind of no different if your apprenticeship were in another city, state, etc. Apprenticeship done in same jurisdiction you are wanting to obtain a license may go simpler as they already have documentation on your experience. If experience is obtained elsewhere they may still honor it, but will likely want some verification of what that experience is and probably will involve some additional steps just to do that verification vs if you had apprenticed in their jurisdiction.
                        I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You most likely had better training than most of us here, but that won't get you much other than that acknowledgement. Good luck.
                          Tom
                          TBLO

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Christoph View Post

                            I was born and raised in germany. I did a full 3.5 year apprenticeship in germany from 2006 to 2010. In 2015 I came to the US and worked here, first on the Philadelphia Shipyard in the new construction of oil tankers and then for a german company installing and relocating industrial machinery.

                            After some other odds and ends electrical jobs I just got offered a Project Manager / Estimator Job that I couldn't say no to so here I sit in my own office plus truck etc.

                            On one hand I understand the differences in the NEC vs. the VDE in germany and the shortcomings I have regarding the NEC but on the other hand it doesnt seem right to me to do yet another 4 year apprenticeship, especially considering my position in the company.

                            I am thankful for any input. Maybe an outline on how to obtain a master license the quickest way.
                            The experience required by most states or even cities is a certain amount of time working under someone that holds a master's license.

                            If you have time working under a master electrician ( licensed master) in the shipyard or relocating industrial equipment then you should contact them and get some documentation as to the number of hours.

                            If you do any actual hands on electrical work now you can get the master for the company to document your hours.

                            The problem is that project manager and estimator would normally be office or management type work and not hands on electrical.

                            It's normally not all that easy to even transfer a license from on state to another unless they have some sort of reciprocal agreement.

                            You first have to figure out what the authority that grants the license requires and then see if you can supply that requirement in training hours for the license you wish to obtain.
                            The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Was it through the IBEW? If so call the hall and get a job.

                              Comment

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