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Thread: What good is a german journeyman certificate?

  1. #1
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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. #2
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    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
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  3. #3
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    Your are correct, PA has licensing per Municipality

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    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.

  5. #5
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    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.

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

  7. #7
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    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

  8. #8
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    PE?

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

  10. #10
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    Quote 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.

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