5 Tips for an Electrical Apprentice

5 Tips for an Electrical Apprentice

These are my five tips on anyone beginning in the electrical trade or an electrical apprentice. These tips could also be valuable for any other trade for that matter. This could apply to plumbers, carpenters, HVAC technicians, automotive techs, or even machinists. These tips will start your career off on the right foot.

what's up everybody welcome back to my school shed this episode is about my five tips or 5 things I wish I was told as an electrical apprentice in my first couple years in the trade a lot of these things are common sense but there are things I wish somebody had just laid out for me right from day one so let's get into it number one let's keep your mouth shut and do what you're told also these can apply to a lot of different jobs and a lot of different trades any kind of apprenticeship sort of program you're in so keep that in mind – yeah keep your mouth shut and do what you're told you're gonna work with some assholes there's a lot of assholes in construction in any a lot of the jobs that you work with your hands there are assholes oh there's assholes everywhere but you're gonna work with assholes they're gonna tell you to do something and when you're green and new there's and there's no place for an ego there's no place for butting heads with a superior so just do what you're told you're gonna be the bitch you're gonna be carrying all the heavy in you're gonna be doing grunt work but guess what everybody gets through it and eventually you're gonna get to the point where somebody else is your bitch so you got you got to get through it you can't have a big head about it you can't have an ego and say oh you know I'm not carrying that in there oh my god do it no you do have to do it you're the bitch here's the new guy so you just got to keep that in mind you gotta swallow your pride and just do what you're told and don't talk back to anybody it just seems like a simple thing but it'll go a long way because a lot of the assholes in the company are highly regarded in the company because they get done you know they're not the nicest person to be around but they're yelling at people all day and they're getting more productivity out of their crew and they're also the guys that are gonna go back and talk to your boss and tell them how you've been doing so don't make any waves you know if they're if it's a serious serious issue where they're costing at you all day and you're really doing your best then maybe you want to go talk to your boss but most of the time keep your head down keep your mouth shut and do what you're told number two which goes against this a little bit is ask a lot of questions if you don't fully understand what you're doing somebody explains a project that you need to do you don't fully understand it or fully understand every aspect of it ask questions until you do fully understand it some things are going to be more complicated than others but for the most part you need to know every little bit of information before you go and do it successfully also on top of that you're going to be learning it the right way the first time you might do something and not have all the information and it slides but actually it's wrong and then you go on somebody else's job and they're that you do the same thing and the other guys like what the man why did you do it like this oh I do that like that for Kevin and it was ok no you want to know what you're doing why you're doing it and exactly how to do it I'd much rather have somebody ask me a shitload of annoying questions to where I think this guy is complete idiot but rather than have them do it right the first time I can't tell you how many times I've told somebody to do something and they say yeah yeah yeah I got it I got it and they go and do it and it's completely wrong like completely wrong and then it takes even more time to go fix it so make sure you're very clear on what you're doing also with that somebody might tell you pull pull this wire from here here and here to here here to here and then pull this kind of wire down here but they might not explain to you why you're doing it or what the what the methodology is ask a couple extra questions you might be clear and you might do it and it might be correct but you might not have any idea why you're doing that that's another important thing a lot of people just help helpers or Green Green guys to just go through the motions and they're not really understanding the theory and that's way more valuable than just understanding how to correctly pull a piece of wire so ask a lot of questions don't be afraid of being annoying it's way more annoying to have to fix a new guys fuckup than it is for them to ask a lot of questions number three is very electrical specific is a label label label label everything when I label something I label everything to almost do a fault but it's makes everything so nice when I label something I label on both ends of the wire and say just say we're labeling with a piece of electrical tape and I wrap the wire around there and then I tried it as clearly as I can I label it on this side of the tape and this side of the tape might seem a little anal I'm kind of anal about labeling but I can't tell you how many guys have been in the trade for years and they'll pull like 20 feeds at a panel and won't label anything or or they'll label it half-ass with shitty handwriting and you can't tell you've got to come back later and you can't tell what the hell the label is or you have things labeled this is this but three of these wires are labeled circuit 27 when one is like twenty one one's a up nine and you know label it clearly and on both sides of the wire maybe not all both sides of the wire but you know you get what I'm saying like excessively label it's just it's it takes way longer to figure out what that wire is and trace it out or continuity test it that it does to just label it clearly the first time yeah that's that's something that really pisses me off and I work with guys that have been in the trade for a long time and they have terrible handwriting and just neaten up your handwriting just for that one moment where you're writing the label and even if you think I'm pulling this wire over here in this bathroom that's gonna be obvious it's for the exhaust fan it's not there but you know guess what maybe you're not gonna finish that and maybe ten other wires get pulled into the ceiling like that and then the the foreman says hey go tell somebody else go hook up that you know of exhaust fan in the bathroom they go in there there's like ten wires or if they just see one wire that says an exhaust fan it's gonna be easy it's gonna it's gonna make the whole job run smoother and then I'll go a long way with with a good Foreman to label everything some this is this is one thing that somebody told me like on day one that is number four neatness work on neatness first you can work on getting quicker later but you're gonna be kind of fumbling with your tools you're not gonna be it's not gonna be second nature to use your tools and you're you're gaining your basic hand skills you know doing things when if somebody's trying to put pressure on you to do things faster tell them okay okay man I'll try but really be working on your neatness if you get in a sloppy mentality or somebody's not correcting you on your neatness that's something that could last with you forever and I've worked with guys that have been in the trade for a long time and their work looks like and I you know maybe that's a part of their personality but hey we're whatever it's to code I don't care neatness county this counts especially when you're dealing with inspectors inspectors on the surface see a bunch of neat work and see they even just having well organized tools they're going to think that everything was installed at a higher level than it might actually be they're gonna they're gonna think that everything was installed by professionals if they see a bunch of sloppy then they're gonna start taking plates off and they're gonna start looking a little harder you know so neatness first and once you get the neatness down then go for the you know the speed go for doing things quicker and finally number five my favorite one is tools buy as many tools as frequently and often and is the best quality tools that you can because it's only gonna make your job better you have kind of a piece of tool like if this was my only flathead I would be hating life right now this is the flathead that I abused missin tucked in right here I have this flathead and I have two or three other flat heads there and I have this flat head on by ten-in-one having a variety of tools at your disposal is gonna only make you more productive and guess what you're gonna get things done faster and then that's going to get back to your boss that you're you're actually applying yourself and you're investing in your own productivity by buying tools my boss had bought well before I started this channel my boss knew knew me as the tool guy now you're the tool guy you don't have that I'm like no not yet but that might be the next one I always have money coming out of my check for tools always as soon as I pay something off and I realized there was no tool deduction I think all right what could make my job a little better even if it's something I don't use that much like this thing I use this thing maybe like once a year or I actually have to cut out dry wall or a ceiling tile for recessed light but this was 25 or 30 bucks but it makes me it's it affords me the VIP a bill that Ford's me the ability to do recessed cans a lot faster and a drop ceiling especially if I have to cut the tiles sometimes contractors they cut them for you but if I'm responsible for cutting it this $30 tool makes me more efficient hey I get the job's done faster than the guy who doesn't have that and they're neater so it's it's all about putting out a better product and the better product you put out and the faster you do it the better you're gonna be in your in your occupation any kind of occupation any kind of occupation that uses tools buy as many tools as you can now I'm not saying eat ramen noodles every night but there's that old rule that a lot of mechanics follow if you borrow something more than three times go by yourself and mechanics a little different you got all the toolboxes in the shop and everybody's got a little bit of different selection but you're gonna find where your weaknesses are your your tool selection based on how often you're borrowing somebody else's so just get the the best tools that you can you don't have to buy the best tools right off the bat but I actually think buying shittier tools might I hope you appreciate the better ones you're not gonna take them for granted as much like these four tools right here I can I could damn near do anything with these four tools I can do a lot of things that all of these tools do with these four tools but the you know these very specific ones like this is very specific and this is more specific and you know this is a pair of pliers but they're very specific pliers these all make my job easier and it makes me put out a better product so don't you know you got to budget accordingly but it's only an investment in your future it's only an investment in being more productive and doing better work so get as many tools as you can you know I'm still I'm still after 15 years in the trade I'm still upgrading and increasing the amount of tools that I have so that's it that's my five tips for a brand new guys and this doesn't just go for electrical except for the labeling that's pretty specific but my five my five tips are just keep your mouth shut do what you're told even if you're working with an asshole ask lots of questions be very clear on what you're doing electrical label everything it goes a long way and it's a really good habit to get in early even if somebody somebody might even give you some about labeling twice you know too much why'd you label that well it's just a good habit to get into so just do it all the time neatness like I said neatness inspectors are gonna look for neatness if they see a bunch of sloppy work they're gonna be pokin and proddin around or more if they come in and see a beautiful job and there's no – you know on the surface there's nothing sloppy about it they're not going to be as harsh on you they're not gonna be they're not gonna give you as much it's building a good rapport with inspectors and buy tools get as many tools as you can as fast as you can you know within your budget so that's it that's my five tips and I hope it helped you out and thanks for watching

30 thoughts on “5 Tips for an Electrical Apprentice

  1. You made the video I requested. Thank you Mike. Just took my entry exam for the apprenticeship through the IBEW on Wednesday

  2. I have been helping start-up electricians kick start their new business by getting them online with their own website. 85% of consumers now find business online and book services. If you would like more customers taking up your electrical services create a simple website using https://www.domains4it.com Prices start at as little as $5.99 per month.

  3. TRUE !
    The 5 electrical technician commandments

    1. Thou shall stfu 🤐
    2. Thou shall speak up 🤔
    3. Thou shall excessively label 😒
    4. Thou shall not be messy 🍻
    5. Thou shall tithe to tools 🔨

    The most basic AND complex career path, but if you can survive thru being green, the possibilities are endless.

  4. In this modern politically correct world the best bit of advice I can give to any apprentice is just keep your mouth shut, suck it up and get on with the work .. there’s nothing personal about it, work is work and personal life is personal. I know too many guys who threw a strop, walked off site and quit because their boss gave out to them for fucking something up .. it’s part of the trade. If you do something that is likely to get someone killed you should be let know in a way that will leave an impression on you .. and at the end of the day the majority of times someone takes the time to give out to an apprentice and show them what they did wrong will only make the apprentice a better tradesman down the line 👍🏻

  5. I hear you man, i have worked with so many new guys who didn't even have there own tools.
    the worst thing is when they use and destroy your tools. why is it nobody has respect for tools these days?
    Thanks for this video X-)

  6. im not sure how i struck so much luck but i managed to get hired into a very small family owned company, i explained how i have no experience or tools but still desired to be an electrician and got hired as a helper, so now your youtube channel has become my little school for after work hours, thanks for all the help

  7. Agree strongly with number three specifically I cannot tell you how many times I have had to go under floors or in a loft to fix someone else's mistake of not labelling a wire or socket

  8. How do you handel guys that wants to borrow your tools, should I lend them or not. Many times it won't come back and they may brake it and you always get slitage.

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