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Electrical: What kinds of projects do interns & entry level hires get involved in?

I am a currently enrolled student in Job Corp, I am planning on going into the electrical trade and would love to hear from the perspective of someone who follows into that career.

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Don’s Answer

You will start as an apprentice electrician, and work with a Journeyman Electrician that is your teacher/mentor. You usually do the schooling at the same time. Anyway, depending on your Journeyman and the company you work for will determine what you will be doing. I started out with a electrical contractor that did mostly residential wiring. My tasks were getting the electrical cable pulled between the electrical boxes, and then wiring up the plugs. Then I progressed to simple single pole switches, then to three way switches and finally four way switches. Initially I would do the smaller switch boxes and my journeyman would do all the complicated switch boxes, and he would show me how to manage my slack wire and how to keep my boxes clean. He would also show me how to measure and layout the boxes and switch locations, and leave me to nail them up. So a lot of nailing and pulling of cable to start.

Commercial is similar, but now you are bending conduit, pulling in single conductors for your cables. I really enjoyed my time as an electrician, but I had a great teacher. He was actually a Master Electrician, an really took the time to teach me, and inspect my work, and give me feedback on things to work on and improve. At lunch he would draw simple circuits and explain. Good luck, it is a great career!!!
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Mike’s Answer

Typically new hires in any industry or craft start with the most labor intensive and/or least skill required tasks.

To get a bit more meta-:
As you show competence in mastery at each level, your supervisor should acknowledge this and provide more challenging tasks that improve your skill set. If you are not showing competence then perhaps you should ask your supervisor how to improve. There should be clear goals in your job and career, and you should have your own strategy on and control in your own development. It helps to have humility and acknowledge when training would help you perform the task more effectively, safer, and more efficiently. Master crafts people tend to have that humility intrinsically. They tend to learn faster versus those who assume they know it. When the mundane tasks of the craft need to be done and no one else is available, they don't blink twice about getting it done.
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Danny’s Answer

Interns Usually start off with simple task until they and move up from there. Usually simple reports, assisting team on data validation or something easier until they master and move up to responsibilities as they gain experience that are more challenging.


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