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What is a typical day like in the electrical wiring field?

My name is Jacob. I am a student at Job Corps in Roswell, NM and am interested in joining the electrical wiring trade. I have some questions regarding the jobs I'm heading for.

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Dominic’s Answer

I started in the trade when I was 17. Prestige Electric. They’re close now, but those are some of the most vivid memories. Look, the beginning is the hardest. The first year and a half will be rough. The more you learn, the better it gets. Be humble, professional, respectful and always remember we all have bad days. Before you loose your temper, sleep on it. It’s hard work, most guys wear a tool belt. I’d come home oily(from the mc cable) with busted knuckles and cuts all over. BUT!!! I’m 38, base salary of 70k, plenty of overtime if you can hang. FIND A NICHE. I’m the only electrician at a carwash installation and service company, so my position has value. I always give 120%, and never stop learning. Ask questions, retain the knowledge, learn from anyone! I’d rather someone tell me I’m annoying than tell me I don’t care. Good Luck to you!

Hi Dominic, This is solid advice for anyone looking into becoming an electrician and it was interesting to read about some of the pros and cons associated with the profession. Jacob wanted to know more about what daily life is like for someone in the field. Can you talk a little more about what your typical day looks like? Gurpreet Lally

My day starts showing up about 15 minutes early. Coworkers and myself have coffee, and BS for the first 20 minutes or so. While I drive to work, I’m planning my day. After coffee, I get my push cart, tools and material I know I’ll need. I start working, while listening to music, and sipping a Red Bull. I don’t take ‘scheduled’ breaks or a lunch, so I set a goal in the morning, and work hard to achieve, then beat tour goal. The more skills you acquire, the more diverse you day can be. If all you can do is a couple things, your day will be boring. With lots of skills and knowledge, your day ‘can’ be as diverse as your ability. As a beginner, prepare to mount boxes and run MC cable. Learn to bend pipe as quick as you can. Dominic Cetrone

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Vern’s Answer

The electrical field is so diverse, I don't think you can really define a "typical" day. You may work in a factory running rigid pipe in a filthy environment, or you may end up in healthcare, where containment of dust and cleanliness are high priorities. As a new worker, you really won't have much in the way of choice as to where you will work. Unlike an office position, you'll be expected to hit the ground running at start time, and stay productive throughout the day. When you go home, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll be tired and know you have earned your pay. Good luck out there - there are many opportunities for a smart individual who is willing to work hard and learn.