Any advice on becoming a carpenter or electrician?

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Posted by: from Toronto
9/1/2014 at 3:55:18 PM

I'm thinking about a career change to carpenter or electrician to work in Toronto, Ontario. I'm in my late 20's and have no real experience in the fields. Any advice?

Which trade treats it's people better? Are there any Union quirks I should know about? Is taking a course at George Brown valuable or should I just go straight into a pre-apprenticeship training course?

Basically: Your thoughts.

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Steve from Mander Homes in Kitchener
Date/Time9/1/2014 at 7:41:58 PM

It all depends what is your situation ? Are you single ? How much money do you wanna make? How much do you wanna work ? Do you have kids ?

I am not from Toronto but from Kitchener have been around carpentry since I was about 16. Also don't know about unions and or electrical but here are my 2 cents.

First I have to ask how much do you wanna make in a year ? 28,000 to 32,000 ? If you think about it if your starting out with little to no experience your probably looking between 14-16 an hour depending on how easy you get along with people and your "work ethic " just remember you gotta earn your co workers respect and the older guys this is going to be hard to get it from. So if your working 83.3333 every 2 weeks and you keep that pace all year long. At 14 an hour you will make 28,0000. If you are making 16 on the same average 83.333 every 2 weeks it turns to 32,000. This saying that a lot of smaller company's don't stay this busy all year long and a lot of bigger company's don't want you to work this much because this means that they have to pay you holidays and other expenices. Also be aware of guys that want you to start your own company and sub off of them meaning that you have to pay your own taxes and wsib.

All in all if you are willing to put in the time and effort, don't say much, come to work early and have a few days off and put up with peoples attitudes that just don't wanna be there. It will pay off.

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Date/Time9/2/2014 at 1:42:37 PM

Getting an electrical apprenticeship in Ontario is pretty tough. There is no value in any of the "pre-training" courses that are offered as ear as I am concerned. What contractors want to see is a person that works hard and is willing to learn.

With the OCOT now controlling apprenticeships in Ontario, you may want to go to their site to see what are the options available for you. If you are looking to move out of province, there always seems to be tons of work in Alberta, although it is tough to get in without any experience.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc.

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