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What good is a german journeyman certificate?

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  • ErikElectrician
    replied
    Maybe the question/answer already been stated but what did your job say regarding skipping the appreciate time, how did your company react?
    Last edited by Dennis Alwon; 02-09-19, 06:56 PM.

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  • garbo
    replied
    German journeyman certificate

    Originally posted by Christoph View Post
    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
    Dukes of hazard pa pig farmers that control the state have been dragging there hoofed feet since 1964 on State electric license. I worked at the old Whitman's Chocolate Plant in Philly during the 1980's. We had a German 10 million dollar state of the art Otto Hansel pick and place machine. I had the pleasure to work with a German Electrician and 4 German mechanics for the 10 weeks it took to erect and wire in the machine. I was amassed how smart and hard working the men were. I remember questing the electrician on his electrical training, He stated that after graduation high school he went to school full time for 2 years and had to pass a 40 hour test to graduate .In Philadelphia to secure a electric license you need 4 years of experience OSHA 10 training along proof of business and car insurance. 2 years of school equal 1 year of experience. I belong to the Philadelphia chapter of the IAEI [ International Association of Electrical Inspectors ]. They have 8 yearly meetings where the head of the Philadelphia License & Inspection electrical unit attends every meeting along with at least 15 electrical inspectors,a few engineers and over 75 electricians. Maybe you can attend one of these meetings and ask questions. Some suburbs of Philly do not recognize a Philly license and make you take a test [ at least the did 10 years ago]. Good luck Tom Garbo Also go onto Phil.gov site for help.

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  • myspark
    replied
    Originally posted by kwired View Post

    They have "ring circuits" which are prohibited by NEC. They also have fuses at the outlet in many cases where we typically don't for general use receptacle outlets. A lot of things are designed to different standards, so therefore you may expect to see different rules on otherwise similar aspects of the installation.
    Ring circuits are not European EU wiring standards They are a British folly that are used in countries with deep British influence like Malaysia, Singapoe and a few others

    Germans and Eastern Europeans use the radial style wiring like North America.

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  • kwired
    replied
    Originally posted by myspark View Post
    Do you mean they are not doing their electrical work safely enough as we do here?

    They may use a lot of plastic but I haven't seen Germans dying because they didn't use NEC or metal conduits..
    I don't know their overcurrent protection rules or the details of applying "RCD" protection, but they have taken into consideration the products they are using and not the products that are common in North America when selecting their rules, and you can say the same or us in North America. Their conductors are not sized by AWG but rather square mm, insulation may have some different characteristics - overcurrent protection is more about keeping the insulation from being compromised than it is about actual size of the conductor.

    They have "ring circuits" which are prohibited by NEC. They also have fuses at the outlet in many cases where we typically don't for general use receptacle outlets. A lot of things are designed to different standards, so therefore you may expect to see different rules on otherwise similar aspects of the installation.

    Leave a comment:


  • ramsy
    replied
    Originally posted by Christoph View Post
    already had my fare share of grief..
    Originally posted by Sahib View Post
    ..So why not become a PE?
    Originally posted by Christoph View Post
    That's not what I'm trying to do..
    Once you realize grief follows bad business, no matter how its organized, you see Sahib just suggested one way out.

    It's not too late for you. Half your life is not lost yet, getting kicked around between jobs.

    Estimators are kicked to the curb when shops slow down. Even if Masters get too busy to estimate themselves, they are unlikely to hire anything but a teacher of new tricks for a while, much less hire some entry level help that cost more time holding their hand.

    Engineers working for larger firms, or an Architect, can have some diversity in the industries they serve, a broader geographic reach with global clients, and potentially more consistent, and stable work.

    Power Engineers (PE) serving international clients only need be familiar with that Inter/National Code affecting the highly specialized section of their plans, giving as much scope as possible to Contractors and their AHJ's.

    Mastering the entire NEC can't be done in one lifetime, but avoiding it can.

    Leave a comment:


  • myspark
    replied
    Originally posted by growler View Post
    We are not given the choice to come up with work that could be equally safe as the NEC.

    That would really get complicated. Every job would have to be certified by a least a PE.

    So to make things simple we are required to meet at least the minimum standards set forth by the NEC.

    Your first statement contradicts with your last statement.

    Your last statement is a no-brainer. NEC is the minimum standard. Everybody knows that.

    What would preclude your choice of doing your work if you exceed the minimum requirement?

    If you use say #12 AWG for a 15A circuit which is usually provided with #14 AWG (barring voltage drop consideration) why would your choice be hindered and prevent you from making that decision simply because that's what you have read in the NEC book.

    German electricians and most members of EU go by the DIN/VDE European Code which is equivalent or even exceeding minimum standards set by NEC.

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  • Adamjamma
    replied
    In Britain, all work you do you sign for, and send a copy in while leaving a copy with the homeowner or with whomever ordered the work. Have not seen a permit since around 2002, nor an inspector. But, now Regis require you to be totally licensed, listed, etc because you are the responsible person if anything happens such as a fire... no more diy is supposed to be allowed except for changing something like an outlet or a bulb... yet...
    at same time all connections are required to be torqued to correct specs, all repairs or replacements supposed to be tested, including insulation tests, and correct forms filled out.
    But, a D I Yer usually has no knowledge of how to check for continuity, much less check resistance, etc...

    what used tolet me work, before a few wording changes, was the Competent Person provision... now I need to get a part P certificate as Competent Person no longer allowed free hand..lol..

    Leave a comment:


  • growler
    replied
    Originally posted by myspark View Post
    Do you mean they are not doing their electrical work safely enough as we do here?

    They may use a lot of plastic but I haven't seen Germans dying because they didn't use NEC or metal conduits..
    We are not given the choice to come up with work that could be equally safe as the NEC.

    That would really get complicated. Every job would have to be certified by a least a PE.

    So to make things simple we are required to meet at least the minimum standards set forth by the NEC.

    Leave a comment:


  • Adamjamma
    replied
    Originally posted by Sahib View Post
    May be : they permit 30 mA GFCI whereas 6 mA GFCI only in US.
    but, in actuality.. most circuits will trip at 15 to 18 mA... according to a study I read this week...

    Leave a comment:


  • Adamjamma
    replied
    Originally posted by kwired View Post
    I don't know what those cables used in other countries are, but if we used them here I don't think they would necessarily be covered by same code section as NM cable, I think there is enough difference they could have different permissions for use. I don't know what the smoke producing characteristics of those foreign cables is in comparison to our NM cable either.

    They don't employ the same protection schemes as we do either which could also change why they allow some of the things they do.
    Actually, only difference is the size of the conductors and color of the conductors... America uses white, black and bare, UK and most of the EU uses Blue, Brown and Bare or Blue Brown and Green/yellow... and if it is bare we have to sleeve it...or tape it...
    Plus all metric... most coomon size is 2.5 but can use 1.5 as well, lol...

    Leave a comment:


  • Sahib
    replied
    Originally posted by myspark View Post
    Do you mean they are not doing their electrical work safely enough as we do here?
    May be : they permit 30 mA GFCI whereas 6 mA GFCI only in US.

    Leave a comment:


  • myspark
    replied
    Originally posted by kwired View Post

    They don't employ the same protection schemes as we do either which could also change why they allow some of the things they do.
    Do you mean they are not doing their electrical work safely enough as we do here?

    They may use a lot of plastic but I haven't seen Germans dying because they didn't use NEC or metal conduits..

    Leave a comment:


  • kwired
    replied
    Originally posted by myspark View Post


    Interesting.
    It's good to know someone from different sphere who may have different way of doing things. . .and probably even better.

    I had a 6hr layover at the Munich Airport last year and the section where passengers were waiting had the ceiling being worked on.
    I noticed that ninety nine percent of power and lighting wiring were done with non-metallic sheathed cables and color coded. This resembles those residential NMC cables here in US.

    We don't do NMC cables for commercial installs here in LA--let alone industrial installations.


    The only metallic conduits that I saw there were the stem that hold those pendant light fixtures.

    Makes me wonder if it is the general practice in all Germany. I had pictures also of underground wire runs in Vienna popping out of the ground in about 6 inch diameter plastic raceways.
    Seems like you use a lot of plastic.
    If the above is what you are familiar with ..it would be a radical departure from how it's done here.

    Having said that. . .it makes it even more important to acquire the actual field experience.

    I love those lighting rods on roof of houses in the countryside.



    BTW: There is book titled: American Electrician's Handbook. Electricians call it their bible. It has 2000 pages.
    I am Electrical Engineer and I found it useful during my contracting work.
    I don't know what those cables used in other countries are, but if we used them here I don't think they would necessarily be covered by same code section as NM cable, I think there is enough difference they could have different permissions for use. I don't know what the smoke producing characteristics of those foreign cables is in comparison to our NM cable either.

    They don't employ the same protection schemes as we do either which could also change why they allow some of the things they do.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chamuit
    replied
    You could post in the Campfire folder. Title accordingly.

    Leave a comment:


  • Christoph
    replied
    Originally posted by myspark View Post


    Interesting.
    It's good to know someone from different sphere who may have different way of doing things. . .and probably even better.

    I had a 6hr layover at the Munich Airport last year and the section where passengers were waiting had the ceiling being worked on.
    I noticed that ninety nine percent of power and lighting wiring were done with non-metallic sheathed cables and color coded. This resembles those residential NMC cables here in US.

    We don't do NMC cables for commercial installs here in LA--let alone industrial installations.

    The only metallic conduits that I saw there were the stem that hold those pendant light fixtures.

    Makes me wonder if it is the general practice in all Germany. I had pictures also of underground wire runs in Vienna popping out of the ground in about 6 inch diameter plastic raceways.
    Seems like you use a lot of plastic.
    If the above is what you are familiar with ..it would be a radical departure from how it's done here.

    Having said that. . .it makes it even more important to acquire the actual field experience.

    I love those lighting rods on roof of houses in the countryside.

    BTW: There is book titled: American Electrician's Handbook. Electricians call it their bible. It has 2000 pages.
    I am Electrical Engineer and I found it useful during my contracting work.


    I obtained the HIC license for actual home improvement work, a business i tried to start with eco friendly materials such as sheep wool insulation, cork flooring and organic paint.

    As far as the germans and electrical work go, plastic is kind of an obvious choice since it is a non conductor and also it is almost 2020 so plastic has superseded in its mechanical properties for electrical components as far as I am concerned.

    Just for interest since I am new: is there a show and tell type of section here and if so any interest in some german electrical stuff with pics and explanations?

    Leave a comment:

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