Can I become a qualified Journeyman Electrician if I am a foreigner?

Merry Christmas
Location
South Africa
Occupation
Technical Manager
Hi guys,

Im a qualified electrician (10 years experience) from South Africa. My wife landed a position at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
I would like to know if i will be able to get a job in the electrical industry and if ill be able to qualify as a Journeyman and maybe in the future as an Master Electrician?

Regards,
 

drcampbell

Senior Member
Location
The Motor City, Michigan USA
Occupation
Engineer
Welcome to the USA. Don't let your baake fall into a slaggate, and remember to keep it on the other side of the road.

Here in the US, electricians and electrical contractors (and a zillion other things) are administered at the state level, so you'll need to talk to a Minnesota department of labor. (not federal, county or city) We do things differently here, and aren't particularly welcoming of immigrants, so I expect your RSA licence will have little or no value here, but let the Minnesota folks give you the final answer.
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
You can here, but you'll have to start from scratch in regards to your experience as what you have will not be recognized or accepted.
 

synchro

Senior Member
Location
Chicago, IL
Occupation
EE
The experience requirements for electrical licenses in Minnesota are shown here:


It shows the following regarding experience in other countries:

"Subp. 3. Maximum allowable credit under certain conditions. The maximum allowable electrical experience credit under the following conditions shall be as stated:
...
  • in foreign countries, 12 months; "
 
Location
South Africa
Occupation
Technical Manager
Thanks for the feedback. I can understand not all countries are too welcoming to foreigners. The plan is though, as soon as possible, to immigrate to the states.
With regards to work, where should i start searching? I have no problem to start from scratch, and im extremely hard working and fast learning.
How long is an apprenticeship there?
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Aren't particularly welcoming of immigrants
I wouldn't say that, what I would say is that what he learned in a completely different electrical installation environment is often not well related to how we do things here.

Most of us are perfectly happy to have immigrants come here willing to work who have skills we need. Welcome to the country.

You won't be able to hunt moose anymore in Minnesota due to a parasite that is killing them off, but there's plenty of tasty deer there.
 

synchro

Senior Member
Location
Chicago, IL
Occupation
EE
He mentioned Rochester. Not a lot different than South Africa.

View attachment 2554401
Those are the average daily low temperatures for each month of the year, and so the temperature can often get considerably colder than that.

This lists the lowest recorded temperature during each year all the way back to 1930:

 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
Thanks for the feedback. I can understand not all countries are too welcoming to foreigners. The plan is though, as soon as possible, to immigrate to the states.
With regards to work, where should i start searching? I have no problem to start from scratch, and im extremely hard working and fast learning.
How long is an apprenticeship there?
Don’t be fooled by our news media, it’s cutting in line (here illegally) that’s frowned upon. We have several Kenyan’s working for us. I know one Kenyan that was a doctor over there, but an RN here because her license wasn’t valid
In the states.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Don’t be fooled by our news media, it’s cutting in line (here illegally) that’s frowned upon. We have several Kenyan’s working for us. I know one Kenyan that was a doctor over there, but an RN here because her license wasn’t valid
In the states.
Several of my many doctors came from overseas. And one of the dentists I see now and then came from Bulgaria. The USA just does not create enough doctors or nurses for our own needs so we have to import them. Unfortunately, most overseas medical training is different enough that it is hard to fit it into our system.

Overseas education systems are different then ours so it is also not real easy sometimes to use post high school education received, for instance, in Europe here. Bachelor's degrees here are usually 4 (or even 5 year) programs while they are often just 3 years in Europe. And some universities overseas do not even grant what we would call a "degree".
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Hi guys,

Im a qualified electrician (10 years experience) from South Africa. My wife landed a position at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
I would like to know if i will be able to get a job in the electrical industry and if ill be able to qualify as a Journeyman and maybe in the future as an Master Electrician?

Regards,
I didn't look at the MN requirements that had a link posted, but there may be a chance your experience will count for something and may at least allow you to take licensing tests sooner than someone with non experience at all.

What may be biggest hurdle for you is learning NEC and North American standards in general, depending on what standards you were used to. If you happened to be somewhere that North American standards mostly applied you may already be ahead a little. If you mostly used IEC standards it will just depend. If you learned theory well enough it may not slow you down much, if you just learned to install things on the job but not a lot of theory, it could be more difficult transition for you.
 

Besoeker3

Senior Member
Location
UK
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
It's actually a lot different from South Africa, whose climate ranges from Oklahoma-ish in the Northern Transvaald to San Diego-ish on the coast.
I don't know where is Gerrie is located in SA but I have been to quite a lot of it from Pretoria down to the Cape. The whole country is mild as I recall it - like 16C (61F) 26C (76F).
 
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