US Electrician qualifications for a Brit

Hi,
I have recently moved from the UK to the US. In the UK I was a qualified electrician for 10 years. I now live in Dutchess county NY,
were they don't have any licensing requirements for electricians. (Not the best idea I have come across.)
I would like to know how I can convert my UK qualifications to a respectable US one. Ideally I wouldn't have to start all over again from the bottom !!
Many Thanks.
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JW wrote:

Touch base with IBEW Local 363 http://www.ibewlu363.com /.
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Why touch base with a union.
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Dana wrote:

For one thing many IBEW union electricians are retiring with more income than many nonunion electricians earn. I am one such electrician.
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NY,
(Not
Another one who ripped off the customer, and returned marginal at best performance.

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Dana wrote:

I just love these guys who couldn't pass the peg and washer test, but have nothing better to do than spew their "expert knowledge" across the internet.
First of all in the thirty years I have been in the business, I've seen more people "ripped off" by non-union contracters who send unqualified people to do a job, and then bill more than a union contractor does. Then the job fails inspection. Then, when the contractor fails to return to correct the work, the customer gets "ripped off" again when they have to call another contractor to come fix it.
And if you think that bad, how about the poor guy the contractor sent to do the work. The contractor billed the customer $78/hour for the work, and paid the guy $12.50 who did it (and no, he didn't get any benny's)
How about the job that required over $135,000 worth of corrective work. The building was less than a year old and it cost $350,000 for the original electrical contract. These guys were so proud, they signed the inside of the switch gear.
Yea, I can go on all night with stories, but I don't think that what the OP was looking for.
As I said to start. Touch base with the union. Very few non-union shop offer any type of apprenticeship program. You should be able to come in at an advanced level with 10 years expierance. You'll get a good wage, benny's, and a decent retirement. You advancment is protected by the contract if you can complete the training. Or, you can go non-union and they'll tell you "Lets see how your doing in 6 months, and we'll talk about a raise", after 6 months later your still holding your hand on your ass waiting for your raise.
As one poster put it, he'll make more on retirement, then some make working. There is a lot of truth to his statement. I'll retire at 55 with 37 years of service and receive a full pension. I know guys who have work 40 years non-union and don't have a thing to show for it.
It's a free county, do what you want, when you want, you have to pay the price. But I'd take advice from someone with a little better outlook on life.
,,, all they can do is try to beat up on the union contractor and the members of the IBEW. Now don't get me wrong, there are alot of great non-union ships and non-union electricians who do outstanding work, and it their choice to be union or not, that's America,,, freedom.
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Snip union BS

The OP was not an apprentice, hence he was only looking for a place to get licensed. I myself was surprised to see that NY does not license the electricians on the state level, I assumed most states ensured the electricians were qualified.
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Dana wrote:

Are you going to tell us of your bitter experience with a union ? or are you just one of those who generalise about them with no real knowledge of the subject other than dogma learned from the press and those with hidden agenda's ??
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Cheers ............. Rheilly P



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Nope, this is not a anti union thread, nor is this a newsgroup about unions.

Seems you are the one blindy repeating what the union propaganda is.
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Dana wrote:

Yup, I can see where you are coming from :-)
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Cheers ............. Rheilly P



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Dana wrote:

Dana If anyone is blindly repeating propaganda it is you. I have worked in both union and nonunion shops and I know from personal experience that the wages and benefits are better in the union shops. As for union shops doing poor work if that were true then they would all be out of business. Since the union shops have continued to operate for decades in a competitive environment their quality must be at least as good as the nonunion shops. The folks doing the purchasing still turn to union shops for bids on work and union shops continue to get large blocks of the work that is put out for bid. So if the union shops continue to get enough of the bids to survive they must be cost competitive enough to beat out the nonunion shops. So what then is the difference between the two. The difference is in how much of the money that is paid for the work goes into the electrical contractors pocket and how much goes into the electricians pocket. I'm not asking anyone to take my word for it all you have to do is look at the figures provided by the United States Department of Labor.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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| I myself was surprised to see that NY does not license the electricians on | the state level, I assumed most states ensured the electricians were | qualified.
I didn't know that about New York. I have heard that Pennsylvania has no state-level licensing, or maybe it's no state level requirement to be licensed to do the work for hire. I know at least the big cities have their own requirements. I've also heard there is no state level adoption of the NEC, but that also is done at the local level. Sounds like a state that ie less interested in uniformity and more interested in letting each locality do their own thing.
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Yes it seems that its only my county (Dutchess) doesn't require any electricians to be licensed. Crazy if you ask me. Which leaves me stuck as to who I should go talk to. Sounds like I should head for the old unions IAEI (no not the ones in N.Korea).
Thanks
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Yes it seems that its only my county (Dutchess) doesn't require any electricians to be licensed. Crazy if you ask me. Which leaves me stuck as to who I should go talk to. Sounds like I should head for the old unions IAEI (no not the ones in N.Korea).
Thanks
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JW wrote:

You will find that the cities of Poughkeepsie and Becon do require a license, I know there was or is a push for the whole county. I believe that many counties are holding off because it is being discussed on a state level also. After all, to install fire or security in New York State, you need to be licensed or working under a licensed installer. Why not the same for electricians?
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When looking into the original question I seen that. I found that NICET license for the Fire installations, and I always assumed that electricians also took some kind of licensing test.

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Dana wrote:

I guess if you read his post like I did, you would see that he was not looking to get "licensed" but to "convert my UK qualifications to a respectable US one". He stated he was a qualified electrician in the UK, not a licensed one.
Also, if you had sniped a little less of my "union BS", you would have included my statement "You should be able to come in at an advanced level with 10 years expierance", hence I answered the poster question as to how to convert his UK qualification.
I guess you have some issue with the union, and that's your choice. I suggest that maybe you start a thread 101 reasons why I hate the union. But why trash the thread when all the person did was ask how he could convert his qualifications, and I gave him a place to start, a lot more than you did.
Having been in the union for over 26 years, and the business for 28, I have met many people who hate the trade unions. I would have to say that when you really dig into the reason why, most of the time it's because they were not qualified to get in, or did not get in on their first application, which are you.
But, then again, we have member who did not met the qualifications, and went back to school to aquire them. The result, they were accepted into the union. Others, who did not make the first cut, went back the next year, or the year after (we only take so many apprentices a year), some it took five years. I guess if you want it bad enough, you work toward achieving it.
Do you give up on enployment for the rest of your life because you didn't get the job you applied for?
Bottom line is have you ever been a member of the IBEW? If not, then what makes you so qualified to comment on how it operates?
So DANA. please enlighten me as to your expertise as to why the IBEW is such a bad organization that you can claim that a person you know nothing about "ripped off the customer, and returned marginal at best performance"
Or, can you provide the OP with a better metod of converting his "UK expierance to a respectable US One" that he can use to feed his family or keep a roof over their head.
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| But, then again, we have member who did not met the qualifications, and | went back to school to aquire them. The result, they were accepted into | the union. Others, who did not make the first cut, went back the next | year, or the year after (we only take so many apprentices a year), some | it took five years. I guess if you want it bad enough, you work toward | achieving it.
But how many advanced do you take per year?
What if there is a factory that is currently operating non-union and has many non-union electricians on staff with a wide range of experience levels and the employees of the company (electricans and others) are wanting to become unionized? Normally a union would be out there to help them out. So your branch of IBEW is approached to unionize the shop. Do you take in all the electricians that are working there?
BTW, I'm on the union support side. But I do happen to think that the certification/qualification/licensing processes for any trades workers should be done separate from the union (and separate from the employer, too). The union should be there for the support it provides for anyone at any level, from green beginner to the most advanced, regardless. It should even be open to electrical engineers, who in some companies need a union to keep the company from screwing them, too.
| Do you give up on enployment for the rest of your life because you | didn't get the job you applied for?
Most people don't want to. But if not being able to get in means you have to find some other job right now, it might end up being that you can't ever get in due to the vicious circle thing. If you have to get in to get work, and you have to get work to get experience, and you have to be in to get work, well, hopefully, you can see where that leads.
| So DANA. please enlighten me as to your expertise as to why the IBEW is | such a bad organization that you can claim that a person you know | nothing about "ripped off the customer, and returned marginal at best | performance"
I have seen some problems with unions. But I find it is the exception rather than the rule. In most cases it is the result of very problematic companies and the overly detailed agreements that come about, making for too many rules for everyone to follow. I know of a case where in New York at certain convention areas, they require an electrician just to plug anything into an electric outlet. Electricians are needed to wire up the outlets. But they all walked out one time about 15 years ago when one of the show exhibitors plugged in his own computer (because he had to unplug it to reset it, and needed to plug it right back in, and an electrician happened to see him do it). It's things like that which do give unions a bad name. I suspect the mafia was highly involved; it is New York, afterall.
| Or, can you provide the OP with a better metod of converting his "UK | expierance to a respectable US One" that he can use to feed his family | or keep a roof over their head.
Obviously he needs to learn the different practices of the US. Normally there should be some means for an electrician that moves from one part of the US to another to quickly get licensed and go to work, whether that is as a private one-man business, or hired out through a contractor, or as a staff electrician at some company, union or non-union. It won't be as easy for someone with UK experience to do that, and I think some classes or training is in order, as well as a short apprenticeship to verify he is on track with the different practices here. But it should not be on a fixed time schedule. He should be able to come up to speed for most things faster than teh average person who has zero prior experience. To the extent the union feels they need to bring in more people, they should be interested in helping him get going, especially considering that would be less effort than the real beginner.
I just don't want to see any 30 amp ring circuits showing up in NY :-)
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