Survival On The Job

Click HERE to return to the Home Page.
The information given here is simply the opinion of one guy who did electrical work from 1967 until 2001and has taught electrical courses since about 1973. Please confirm all aspects of this information with others before acting on the contents. Hopefully you will find helpful details here which will make your career choice easier to follow. Cheers:>) David U. Larson

Here are some random thoughts about surviving as an electrician. The work is difficult, dangerous, rewarding and fun all at the same time. The successful electrician is the one who lasts. These entries are what I tried to do as a working electrician. Sometimes I could. Sometimes I couldn't. No one's perfect. Aim high. So you'll hit a little lower. Life's an average. There will be good days, ordinary days, and even a few terrible days. All in all, being an electrician is great work. Have at it!

Show up on time.
Keep accurate records of the times and places you worked.
Keep accurate inventory records if this is your job.
Stock the truck after using something.
Maintain company tools.
Constantly improve your knowledge and mechanical skill.
Clean up your work area.
Minimize mistakes.
Use scrap material where possible.
No side jobs except for your mom.
Study if enrolled in apprenticeship.
Keep up with the latest NEC and local code addendums.
Don't borrow tools or anything from other workers.
Inform the shop of changes in your contact information.
Don't bring pets, children, or friends to the job.
Don't leave early without permission.
Don't miss days.
Ask for time off well in advance.
Schedule vacation in writing. Keep a copy.
Advise job supervisor when you can not work overtime.
Only one hand work on live circuits if you're qualified.
Don't expect much in the way of gratitude from anyone.
Be pleasant to customers regardless. Or leave.
Don't quote a price to anyone for anything.
Plan your work. Work your plan. 
Evaluate your work each day on the way home. 
Help load and unload the trucks bringing material.
Don't use the couple top steps of a ladder.
Do every job the best way you know how.
Observe the work of other trades.
Look over electrical work where ever you can.
Read trade publications and manufacturers literature.
Attend trade shows.
Check material against invoice before signing for material.
Thank your boss for your job now and then.
If you ever get a bonus, say thanks.
Drive safely with seat belt in place.
Store material in the truck so the load will not injure you.
Tie down all ladders and other objects on the roof.
Cover material to protect it from the elements.
Wear appropriate clothing for the elements.
Have a spare set of work clothes just in case.
Keep your first aid kit stocked.
Know the location of the nearest emergency clinic.
Update your swimming and CPR skills.
Notify the supervisor when damage is caused.
Observe daily weather reports to anticipate hazardous changes.
Drink fluids to avoid heat stroke. Wear a hat in the sun.
Have several pair of dry gloves ready in winter.
Keep your job car in good working order.
Keep your hand tools in good working order.
Be truthful when responding to supervisors.
Try to get a variety of work experience.
Volunteer for a difficult job now and then.
Go along to get along.
Put everything back where you got it.
Care for your injuries. Stay healthy.
Don't take chances on ladders or scaffolding.
Don't take chances with live power.
Build up a backup set of hand tools for the day when yours are taken.
Keep secure all company material and tools.
Report unsafe equipment. Do not use unsafe equipment.
Replace hacksaw blade as often as needed.
Don't wear jewelry.
Don't antagonize or fight with other workers. Walk away.
Help other workers as needed.
Keep the radio volume at a reasonable level.
Alcohol and drugs are a no no.
Wear safety glasses and ear protection as appropriate.
Be cautious working on new buildings during lightening storms.
When lifting, observe proper back position.
If something is too heavy for you ask for help.
Wear proper foot gear to protect ankles from uneven ground.
Wear hard sole shoes where sharp objects like nails are present.
Wear a hard hat as required or where sensible.
Maintain GFCI in good working order.
Return phone calls promptly.

Follow these text links to find information of interest to you: