Though it may be a small step but still an important one all in the least, my fellow classmates and I now have all moved from the less then glorious first year classification to all being second year apprentices. This brings yet another small pay raise bringing us to 50% of what an A journeymen earns. This marks the third raise we’ve had in just our first year, no complaining there that’s for sure! Also not to mention a new waive of first years to hopefully take our spots when the general contraction calls for a composition clean up crew.
But most of all which I find of the highest importance this marks the time when money starts to be contributed into our retirement fund. Though I don’t pretend to yet fully understand everything that enters into this I do know this is a huge step in my career. It’s very exciting to be twenty years old and have such a plan already set up. Really makes you think about what a great opportunity this really is definitely leaves you with a very good feeling.
Coming up on my third month now with the new company after transfer time and things are going great. Have gotten many opportunities to bounce around and work with a variety of different things and people which is pretty neat. Seems like everyone you work with always has some new trick up there sleeve for doing different things different ways pretty cool getting to see.
For about the past month now have been on the fire alarm crew running 3/4 pipe. In school during book one you getting a lot of time in one of the labs learning how to make a few different bends but other than that never really had the chance to work with any small pipe before. When we first started out it was pretty much just writing measurements down and attempting to make the bends. A few pieces and a few trips to the dumpster later started to learn things pretty quick. Now that I’ve caught on pretty well have gotten a lot more responsibility which I rather much enjoy. Have been able to work on my own a lot more as of late getting to take the measurements and lay things out for myself. Its pretty cool once you finish up and take a step back when everything looks good get a lot of satisfaction out of it. Also one thing I’ve found that I love so far about running pipe is once you get going and get into it the day flies by which is always a good thing.
Man oh man does time ever fly. It’s strange to think last year at this time I was just finishing up my first ever week in the electrical trade and as an apprentice. It seems like just yesterday I was walking into the job site brand new tool box, tools, and the feeling of apprehension knowing I didn’t know a single thing about what I was getting myself into. But boy am I ever glad I got the opportunity to do so. I’ve learned a countless amount of things this past year about this trade which has left me with an eagerness and desire to learn more. And with the first year transfer now in the books I now have that opportunity to build on what I have learned thus far.
For a year now basically I have been working on power distribution systems wiring up transformers, distribution panels, running bus duct, pulling high voltage cable…the larger end of the spectrum so to say. This past week got to see another side of things as been doing rough in work all week. Quite the change of pace must say, big difference from pulling high voltage cable to stringing MC. But it’s a welcome change as I now get to learn a whole new side of things. Almost like starting all over again as I’ve never done any of this type of work before. But it’s a challenge that I’m enjoying so far as I’ve gotten to see how it all comes together.
Oh the joys of night work. When my formen asked me two months ago if I’d be interested in going on the night shift bus duct crew for a little a while found myself thinking wow, this shift could really work out for me. Working four tens getting friday day and sunday night off along with making 15% shift differential, this sounds great!. Along with knowing the work was good hanging bus duct which is farily enjoyable, just a ton of heavy lifting thats for sure. All in all thought it be pretty cool to give it a try and switch the ole routine up for a while.
But after arrivng home last week after being up for 28 hours for the third time found myself thinking what have I gotten myself into. Having school on tuesday days means I get off work monday nights. Then go to school for eight hours tuesday day followed by working 10 hours tuesday night. That paired with me living an hour and a half a way means no sleep for Mike. Makes for a pretty interesting drive home to say the least, lots of coffee. The good news is only have to make that adventure once every two weeks so really not that bad. With only about 2 weeks left now thinking back im glad I chose to join the crew. Work with some really good guys which makes the nights go fast and a lot more enjoyable. Also get to learn a good bit looking over prints and laying out racks among other things which I much enjoy doing. Some days are definitely rough and getting anything done during the week at home is almost impossible but all part of it. All in all its been a good experience so far glad I chose take part.
Hello to everyone pleasure to be writting to you all today. My name is Mike Gerrick your new blogger for the Local 26 class of 2015 Apprentices. My first shot at this so please bare with me and hopefully over the next couple of months, and years for that matter, I can give a little insite into the life of an apprentice and member of IBEW Local 26.
Guess for starters a little bit about myself; im 20 years old born, raised, and live in Hanover PA..(and yes for those of you who put two and two together there and are calling me crazy right now I do commute to Washington everyday but get into that a little later). I’ve been working for Local 26 since June of last year and am just now entering into book 2 of year one. I currently work for T.A. Beach Corporation and am working in Bethesda, MD at the National Institutes of Health. Now for the driving, you like many of my fellow classmates may think im nuts, but in all actuality a lot more guys do it then you may think. Drive about an hour and a half both ways rigth now, but also split driving with a journeyman which does make things a lot easier. All in all though do what you have to do and so far dont mind it at all.
But you may be wondering how I came about this career. All throughout high school you always hear college college college is the way to go. This is all fine and dandy but I, like many, had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do for a career. Then talking to my uncle who is member of local 26 I became aware of the Apprenticeship program. After researching, reading these very blogs, I found myself saying “wow” this seems like a really good deal. Five year program in which you get paid to go to school, only have to go once every other two weeks while working every other day..how can you beat that. Next thing you know here I am and I honeslty wouldnt have it any other way love every part of the career so far. I came in as my journeyman put it as green as green could be. I never could of imagined I would of learned as much as I know today and I know there is only more to learn which I look forward to doing.
This is definitely a great opportunity that I am glad to have and willing to keep working for. But good luck to anyone that is interested in joining hope I was somewhat of a help.