Any electricians/electrician's apprentices out there (or anyone with appropriate knowledge) mind sharing their thoughts about the field?
I stumbled across this post
a few days ago and couldn't believe the coincidence. I have been working in the IT field for the past seven years or so (mostly desktop support with a little low level database/application support thrown in at the end) and am slowly coming to the conclusion that I don't really enjoy the work (which is kind of disheartening because I really wanted to.) However, as luck may/may not have it, my company will be announcing layoffs the first week of November and, should I get the tap on the shoulder, it could end up being a blessing in disguise. I, too, have been thinking about an electrical apprenticeship but have some questions/concerns that hopefully some of you MeFites who know anything about the process would be willing to address.
Firstly, what's the work like? Obviously, it's physically challenging but do you find it mentally challenging as well, particularly once you've finished your training? I am, quite literally, starting at square one here so my reasons for wanting to explore the field are based largely on speculation. To that point, it's my understanding that electricians make very good money (one just recently charged a family member $75/hour to do work on his home) and that is a huge factor in my wanting to explore this. However, should I expect to get paid next to nothing as an apprentice? The base salary I could find by research, but did you find, as an apprentice, there was much opportunity for overtime? Given that it's a five year commitment and I'm 32 years old now, I'm wondering if, financially, this is a stupid move (FWIW - I'm single with no children now, but I could envision both scenarios changing within five years.) I make a slightly better than adequate living now as an IT professional (although low by industry standards), and that's nice, but I see my career/salary progression within IT as something of a crap shoot. Lastly, what kind of job security is there in the field? Should I worry about not having any work when/if there's a housing market crash (as there well could be soon) or is there pretty much steady demand for skilled electricians? Does location matter? (I'm in the Boston area should that make any difference.)
Any other advice/thoughts that come to mind that you'd be willing to share would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read/respond.