I recently applied for two apprenticeships, one as a fitter and the other as an electrician. My Dad said that if I got the electrical trade once I was skilled that I should look to pursue more training in elevator repair or security system installation/maintenance because they had a lot of money.
I didn't get the electrical apprenticeship but I did get offered the one as a fitter. I want to know are there any kind of "specialized" fields in fitting like in electrical work that I will (later in my career) be able to benefit from moving into?
Security systems aren't that close to electrical in my mind. It's low voltage and a lot of shit work running wires in shitty conditions. Industrial/commercial electrical is a lot more fun.
Fitter here. I'm a fitter and while I enjoy what I do, the upward mobility - especially while remaining in the field - is so much better for a sparky.
As a fitter though you can specialise in specific types of machinery, manufacturer specific and become an OEM installer/commissioning tech.
Installation teams for my family's security systems company are primarily low grade electricians. Because it is really just pulling wire and plugging in. The difficult part is neat and efficient installation which is where the electricians line pulling experience comes in.
Any programming is particularly basic and if there are unusual faults then one of the few actual technicians will break themselves away from their desk and do some field work for once if the system is not remotely accessible.
But definitely agree that Industrial and Commercial is significantly much more fun and also more lucrative when the work is available. Particularly if you are a heavy electrical contractor then you are involved in not just the electrical but can be responsible for organizing the whole installation, including directing excavators, cranes, concrete works and all kinds of shit.
It provokes you to more often solve problems and come up with (to an extent within code) your own solutions. Fitters seem to tend to primarily follow directions and schematics. I have a friend who is an electrical engineer but his companies bread and butter is generator installation but that alone has him traveling all over the western hemisphere and in many various fields (marine, industrial, commercial, residential, agricultural) and he doesn't just plug and play. He provides solutions.
Well what I mean is... Is it difficult to at least make a bit of bank? I just want to be sure I'm not going to spend the next 4 years learning a trade that will in the end yield me little.
It depends on you.
I did a short stint in assembly and while I enjoyed it. It was just too monotonous for me. But if I pushed it a bit more I could have been looking at team supervision and once you have that trait you can even move forward from there.
But if you are just a "I am at work so I follow these instructions" kind of guy then there is not much future.
How do you feel about moving? You can work turnarounds and new construction, you'll just have to follow the work, and work daily. Usually these dudes work 7 12s, but a lot of plants and setting up fatigue days, work 13 straight get one off.
Plant turnarounds can be anywhere from 2 weeks to several months. Ours averages 3 months.
You can break the hours down like this, including a fatigue day.
Let's take your straight time out
76 hours of overtime, which at minimum will be time and a half.
So if you combine your straight time with your overtime presented as straight time
194 multiplied by your rate of pay is how much youll make before taxes after 2 weeks.
Working that much takes a toll on your mind, but it's good money. You know what some of these turnaround guys do? Work 6 months straight, take 6 off, maybe picking up a local gig in the mean time.
If I was in a skilled trade through the union I'd be hitting turnarounds left and right.
The best thing about working that much, if you can avoid the drug culture within those groups, you have no time to spend your money. Most companies offer per diem too, at least $50 extra a day untaxed to cover food. Some pay for a hotel room too. Some factor it in and give you a pay boost.
I've known more than a couple dudes that did this for a couple years, bought very nice houses outright, and took up an easy job to pay for the lights and food.
>elevator repair or security system installation/maintenance because they had a lot of money.
Those are three different trades. Low voltage will pay much lower than a journeyman electrician. This would be a terrible move.
Elevator repair pays pretty well, but there is no requirement to do it. So if it's something you want to go after, don't do an electrical apprenticeship first. You'll still generally make less than an electrician.
Pipefitters make pretty good money too. Depends on what you specialize in though. Generally harder work than Electrical. electrical is harder to break into though.
If you get a year in, and it sucks, you can quit. Ignore what your parents told you growing up.
Don't know how it is in the rest of the world, but in Australia, anyone can install security systems. There is also a restricted electrical license that involves no training or certification for running data cables and disconnecting appliances.
Same as any job really. If you want to make money, just be good at what you do. If you want to just hammer out replacement parts or install light fittings then you're in for a bad time. Think Morty going back to the carpet store after beating cancer.
But you CAN do it wrong. Life is a gift, don't waste it.
>tfw don't be me
>don't drop out of university
>don't get dreamkiller job in electronics store
>don't ragequit and live on autismbux
>don't tell yourself everyday that work is shitty and pointless busywork and you're completely replaceable so why not just spend every day doing what you want.
Same in the US, at least in my state. I worked at an electronic store as a teenager. The owner also ran a security system business. I would often go and help do the installs when someone was out, because it got me off the sales floor.
I also did helped on low voltage installs, satellite (Dish and DirecTv) installs, car installs (sound and auto starters), and computer installs and repairs.
Looking back, I was probably massively underpayed, but I made a few dollars an hour more than my friends and the family who ran it were pretty cool.
>Elevator repair pays pretty well, but there is no requirement to do it. So if it's something you want to go after, don't do an electrical apprenticeship first
I'm training as an Elevator Engineer(Installation/Repair/service) in Ireland and the Base for that is as an electrician. Basically what the guy said above about it is bullshit. You need an electrical trade to be able to even think about repairing elevators etc.
Dude installing security systems fucking blows. He might have been talking about building controls. I do that, and sometimes we have to install security systems. It fucking blows. It's really boring and stupid.
So fitting, that's a badass job. Fitting is a lucrative area for a fitter. I mean you can go out to oil fields and run pipe, I used to work with a welder who was making like $100 an hour doing that shit, also you're expected to be able to do welding and fitting, but most people do welding since it's more fun. A good fitter is harder to find.
I'm an electrician in Texas myself. A journeyman, which requires 4 years of experience, is expected to get about $28 or so an hour. Not a bad wage at all. You might want to look into HVAC. It pays more than electrical, but it's back breaking work and just all around a lot more difficult.
Installing security systems isn't so bad. I managed a team and I quite enjoyed it. If you were just a pleb conduit fitter then it would suck but I was in contact with the customer a lot as well as coordinating my team and doing the work myself where necessary.
Then again I was also managing a fire suppression team and assisting the architectural hardware team so there was no such thing as monotony.
You guys should just move to a shittier country. Life sounds too easy in the US.
i'm 33 and I've blown lots of good opportunities in life. This past fall I started a 1 year welding program at the local community college. Just getting ready to start the second semester and I love it. It took all of my savings to pay for a year of school and living expenses, but I was in a dead end job that I hated. Take the apprenticeship. Getting paid to learn is a no brainer. If you don't like it you can always do something else later. Even if you do like it, you can do something else later.
Visit Weldingweb and the Miller forums, as well as the rest of the Miller website for a shitload of information. Study equipment so you understand more than just using it, you'll thank me later. Rig welder forums are also worth a look.