Getting Into An Apprenticeship, The Creative Way

parkerworth

Member
Location
Seattle
Occupation
Substation Technician
Hey guys ,

My name is Parker Worth and I’m looking to help electricians, and tradesmen better their lives and help people get apprenticeships.

I just wrote my first article here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PRR7x-IHbI3pwP4WCagz1GktfhqrJQAdqL-fpZq2ThY/edit?usp=sharing

I’m thinking of starting a website soon, and would love some advice on this article I wrote.

I am trying to improve it so that it’s really excellent.

You all probably have a lot more experience than me. If it were you, what do you think would make this better?

- Add more A

- Talk more about B

- Etc.

What do you think? Is this something you feel would resonate with your friends, co-workers, children, etc.?
 

parkerworth

Member
Location
Seattle
Occupation
Substation Technician
Well I am a little reluctant to click on a link. What if you attached it as a PDF?
What to you do in Seattle?
Hey, Tom here is the text itself below that is in the link , the article itself. I am having issues uploading it as a PDF. I am a substation wireman. Are you from Seattle as well?

As I sit here and listen to the waves crash onto the West African coast, I reflect back on a decade ago. At the age of 16 I dropped out of high school and already had 3 arrests under my belt. Now I have a job that pays me over $100,000 a year, sends me all over the world, and on average I only have to work nine months a year. The great thing is that the job doesn't require a degree, thousands of dollars in student loans, or even a crazy amount of experience. In fact, if you do the process correctly you will get paid on the job training, and schooling provided to you at no cost. So how? By becoming an electrician. Yes, you need to get an apprenticeship to obtain a license, but by doing so you can bypass losing years of time and money required for a college degree. A successfully completed apprenticeship can give you exponential returns in many aspects of life. Here's how to pin an amazing job opportunity to create your window to an outstanding future

This is how to get your foot in the door for a next level apprenticeship, which will build your bridge to the $100,000 a year level once completed. When I was first offered an apprenticeship, I was asked to relocate to downtown Denver and be paid $10.00 an hour. I was living on my own and could not even afford to relocate better yet pay my bills. This rate would not cut it. However, I was able to receive an apprenticeship that paid 29.85 an hour starting. That rate is higher than the journeyman pay rate in a lot of states.

First, look up pay rates of electricians or even other trades in your area like carpentry, plumbing, and HVAC. You can find the pay rates for electricians here:.https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes472111.htm.

Or google search "(insert trade job name here) pay rate(scale) maps" Note where the highest paid states are, if you are looking for a higher paying apprenticeship that’s the location you need to be in. If moving is not an option, but you can get by on a lower paying apprenticeship, if you can swing it. The lower paid areas also are more likely to have less competition to enter an apprenticeship. So, you can always start your apprenticeship, save money, and then move to the higher paying areas with more experience under your belt.

Next, look up all the union halls in your area, do not limit yourself to just your town. Unions have amazing benefits, higher pay rates, and my union even has a system to pay $6.00 an hour you work into a pension. (Pretty badass right?) Check out cities nearby they may not be too far from a commute. Search the internet for "electrician's union (enter city here)" or "electrician local union (enter city here or your current location)”. There you will get a treasure chest full of information. How to apply and the benefits for joining the local are all on the web-page. Follow the steps online to apply but do not just stop there. Call the office and ask what it would take to get a union apprenticeship. Then one of the best tactics you can use is call the hall and see if you can set up a meeting with a representative. Show your face to the people there and then they can link a face to your application. Just being another piece of paper in an application pile lowers your chances of getting in. The next best thing is to see if you can volunteer. Ask the rep about how you can volunteer either at the office, events, or even meetings. Giving your free time will show them how serious you are about joining, but also build incredible contacts on the inside. After you apply, always follow up with a phone call and ask how the process is going. If you do not have prior experience if the field you are applying for it may be hard to get in. I was horrible with using tools so I volunteered at habitat for humanity some weekends to learn how to use some tools and familiarize myself with the construction environment. Volunteering construction also looks amazing on your application, and shows your willingness to learn. If you do not get in do not get discouraged. There are many of my co-workers who had to apply and interview multiple times. Be driven and do not give up. Keep repeating the process until you get in.

However, that is not the only route to go. Head over to your local union’s website and click on the "Employer" tab, and look through the signatories. There you will find all the contractors in your area who are union members and what trades the contractor shops are. You will witness a treasure trove of leads at the point. Systematically research each company listed. Read the front page of their website and memorize what they are and what they do. Call them, introduce yourself, and say:

“I am interested in applying for your company, I love that you do (example electrical commercial contracting). What would it take for me to get an apprenticeship with you?” Make sure to ask questions like “What is your ideal version of an apprentice” or “What are the qualifications required to become an apprentice in your company”.

Write down the companies answer and make sure that you list what they are looking for in a person and note all of their answers. If the company or contractor says they are not taking applicants at the time, ask them when they will. If a date is provided make sure to add the date and company name to your phone's calendar. Make sure to follow up when that date arrives. When I got my apprenticeship, I called the contractor who I work for and asked if they were hiring. They asked if I was a journeyman or possessed a license. I honestly answered “no”, but asked them if they offered an apprenticeship. They said yes. They actually just started their very own program to come in for an interview. Just like that I got to show my face to them. If I had just ended the conversation after telling them I was not a journeyman, I would never have gotten the job. Make sure you have the right questions in front of you just for that reason. Always take feedback from these companies and mold yourself into what they are looking for.

Next check your local utility companies. Check your electric bills, water bills, internet bills. Write down the names of the utilities. Repeat the same system as you did for the union hall. Call the utilities in your area and see if you can set up a meeting. Ask about volunteering opportunities for the office or even at events. Also ask them dates for apprenticeship applications and see what it would take to a job. Making those connections to the people inside will help them favor you as a new hire.

Another way to find leads is quite simple. Keep your eyes open for any work vans or trucks with electrical contractors’ names on it. Call the companies listed and ask about apprenticeship opportunities. If you see the person using the work van or work truck stopped in a parking lot or at a job site, simply ask them what it would take to join their company. Construction sites are focal points for job opportunities. Look up construction projects going on in your area, or take note of where on-going projects are. Show up and ask what it would take to become an apprentice. This way you’re showing your face, drive, and confidence by going up to workers and seeing how you can be like them.

Meanwhile, if you run dry on leads think deeply about where contractors may regularly visit. Perhaps, electrical supply shops? Google search electrical supply shops near your location. Stop in and ask them what contractors regularly visit, and see if they have leads on anyone who is hiring. They frequently talk to electrical businesses and may be able to give you an inside scoop. Also, most of the time the customers in supply stores, are contractors or electricians themselves. Strike up a conversation and ask what it would take to get a job with them. You will never know the outcome unless you ask.

These tactics should give you plenty of leads and ideas generated for what it will take to get your apprenticeship rolling. Always take constructive criticism in a positive manner. Channel it and refine yourself to meet the qualifications required. Always remember not to give up, and when you turned down learn to love your failures. Keep cycling through union applications, contractors, utilities, electrical supply shops and work sites. It may take time, but the opportunity will show itself!
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
In Bremerton.
There is a shortage of all trades workers. Electrical has been a good field for me.
We are the forum are careful not to get into union vs non union.
Where will this article be available?
Interesting note. Being an electrician is a protected industry (which is a good thing, we have all seen DIY work)
I used to get a lot of emails like this (they would search for and find my training business)

Hello, I have been a draftsman for 20 years. I would like to become an electrician. What classes do I need to take?
Well, in Washington, you need to have 8,000 hours as a trainee or be enrolled in a recognized apprenticeship program, and pass the electrical exam.
 

parkerworth

Member
Location
Seattle
Occupation
Substation Technician
Cool,
Yeah I understand there is a large amount of openings in trades. There are a large amount of high school students and people wondering what direction to go as far as careers and I would like to help them out.
As far as non vs. union, no problem and understood. Do you have a reccomendation on how to approach both sides without sparking conflict?
I am working on building my website so it will hopefully be available this weekend.
I really appreciate your input on this. Do you still do the training business?
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
No recommendation, but there are heated opinons on both sides. WA will require journey level electricians to be graduates of apprenticeship starting july 2023 in to be able to test. Thete are other than union apprenticeship programs by the way.
Retired from training. PM me with website.
 
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