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to all the electricians out there, when do you typically start your workday and when do you end it?

How much do you work per week, and do you feel satisfied with how many days off and vacations you get?
I'm going to start pursuing the Electrician trade soon, and I'd really like to get a grasp of what my work-life balance will be, during and after my apprenticeship. I have a couple of hobbies that take more or less of my time outside of school and work, and I worry I may not have any time for them once I finish school.

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Greg’s Answer

I agree with all the responses. The key point I'd like to emphasize is that your profession should be something you deeply desire and are passionate about, propelling you towards becoming a genuine expert. If this resonates with you, concerns about working hours, work-life balance, or vacation time will fade into the background. These elements are indeed significant, but if they are your primary focus, you might need to reconsider whether your chosen career path is truly the right one for you.

Meaghan talks about the occasional long work weeks that arise due to the job's demands. Joseph discusses the option of becoming a self-employed contractor, which has its advantages, like being your own boss and setting your own schedule, but also its challenges, such as potential work gaps, bills, and self-employment taxes. Don emphasizes the importance of loving your profession and finding the perfect match. All their responses reflect a deep passion and pride in their work.

Embarking on a career as a licensed electrician can be a lucrative endeavor, with opportunities always available in various forms. However, without a genuine love for the craft, you may find it challenging to truly appreciate the income you earn. There's a timeless adage that says, 'If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.' Keep this in mind, and if becoming an electrician is your dream, pursue the necessary training, secure a job, gain experience, and strive to be the best. Don't fret over your hobbies, time off, and benefits; these will all naturally fall into place. The more proficient you become at your craft, the better these aspects will align. Best of luck on your journey!
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Don’s Answer

As an electrician you have many options. There are many industries and work situations that you could choose as an electrician. Meaghan is right, for the most part you work a 8hr day and go home. Some companies do maintenance and you have after hours work, but you will have the opportunity to choose for yourself when you are looking for a company to work for, pick one that has the standard hours you like. Also ask if OT is mandatory, or voluntary. I really enjoyed the years I worked as an electrician, it is an excellent trade.
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Meaghan’s Answer

It's been my experience that the workday begins fairly early, and you can typically expect to be on the job site around 7 am. Lunch breaks are 30 min to an hour, and if you are in a commercial or industrial setting then end of day is typically around 3:30. But there are exceptions, once you get to a final push or to a major mile marker in the project that is when you can see your schedule get pretty demanding. I am am starting a 58 hour work week beginning Monday and it will remain for 3-4 weeks or until the project is done. ¹ As a general rule Electricians have a pretty balanced work/home life, but as with any profession there are going to be exceptions to the rule. Hope this helps.
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Joseph’s Answer

I'm not an electrician, but I've known a few, and from what I gather, it varies.

Many qualified domestic electricians are self-employed, so they choose what hours they want to work, although it also depends on when their customers are available to have the work done. You make decisions about when you want to work between and how long you think jobs will take, and offer bookings based on that. I'm not sure exactly what hours the chap we use aims for, but based on when he's done work for us I'd imagine he tries to do something like 1000-1800.

Electricity is something that's needed 24-7 though, so especially for emergency repair work and responding to outages, some electricians will work at any hours on callouts. I know people working on large commercial electrical work and in power generation, while some have fairly standard 9-5 jobs, some of them have talked about rotating shift work on maintenance and on standby for callouts. I also know there's companies that do emergency domestic callouts, and I imagine they have electricians on shift work too.

In terms of during your apprenticeship, I guess you'll be expected to follow whatever hours your mentor does - I guess that's an important question to ask when choosing where to do your apprenticeship.

As for hobbies, you should still have some time spare, but it's likely to be slightly less that you've been used to - in most careers, peoples' working days tend to be an hour or two longer than a typical school day. You might also find the scheduling isn't as favorable, especially if you end up with a shift work arrangement. You'll have time for some hobbies, but if you run a particularly packed schedule during your school days, you might have to cut back slightly once you enter the world of work.


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