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Australian electrician moving to USA

Australian electrician moving to USA

Old Jan 22nd 2003, 2:38 pm
  #1  
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Default Australian electrician moving to USA

hey there, I am a US citizen and will be moving to to the state soon with my australian husband. He is an electrician and we were wondering if anyone has any info on how he goes about continuing his profession once he get to the states.

We have heard something about him needing to do part of a appreticship once he gets there. Like, he will get 2 years credit twoards a 4 year electrical apprenticship.
i find that a bit harsh seeing as he has been and electrician for 13 years.
Anyway, if anyone has been or is an electrician or tradesman that was liscenced in another country and is now working is the US, any info you could give would heaps.
thanks
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Old Jan 23rd 2003, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Australian electrician moving to USA

Originally posted by bikinikitty
hey there, I am a US citizen and will be moving to to the state soon with my australian husband. He is an electrician and we were wondering if anyone has any info on how he goes about continuing his profession once he get to the states.

We have heard something about him needing to do part of a appreticship once he gets there. Like, he will get 2 years credit twoards a 4 year electrical apprenticship.
i find that a bit harsh seeing as he has been and electrician for 13 years.
Anyway, if anyone has been or is an electrician or tradesman that was liscenced in another country and is now working is the US, any info you could give would heaps.
thanks
Hi there,

Its a hard question to answer, as you do not include which state that you are moving too, as you well know each state has its own laws, codes, regulations etc, I can only offer you my personal experience working in Texas, so here goes.

When I left school I completed a 3 year Electrical apprenticeship gaining a city & Guilds qualification, this was obvisouly reconised thoughout the U.K, however it didn't mean didley squat here in Texas. I went from a facility Manager in the UK, right the way back down the ladder to a Electricians helper (pay $9-$13 per hour...License electricians earn $15-25). I was hoping that together with my knowledge and actually getting 'hands on experience' in the U.S would help me, but actually it did not, I was basically told to go back to school and get a Texas electrical license. I found that most electrical companys here in Texas was literally a 'bunch of cowboys', and I did not enjoy it here at all.

I am now working in the Telecommunications industry, it is VERY slow right now, but at least I am in a dry/warm/cool enviroment, Doing electrical work means either working in extreme heat or extreme cold.

I also found the U.S electrical installation systems to be some what dated, and couldn't understand why they would install things a certain way.

One last thing, I lived in Oz (perth) for a year, and If I remember correctly its the same electrical system as the U.K (240 volt, not sure about the Hz?) in the U.S they use 110v/120v, 220v, 277v (industrial lighting) and 440v.

Good luck on which ever path your husband chooses, if he really enjoys electrical work then stick to your guns....if he has other qualifications then maybe you can look in other areas...
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Old Jan 27th 2003, 5:25 pm
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Thumbs up

BK,

I have read your other post concerning your delima on bringing over your Oz husband, and some one quoted that there is a difference in the voltages between Australia and the U.S.

That voltage thing really isn't the problem because electrical theory is the same no matter which country you learn it from.
The difference is the equipment and materials that they use to install electrical circuits be it in a home, or industrial installation.

Usually electricians use all kinds of different names for tools, spools of cable etc...etc.

I was once asked by a fellow sparky "Pass me those dykes"????...... well from where I am from it means a totally different thing (in england they are called sidecutters or snips).

Learning tool names can be learn't very quickly thats not the problem, Electricans here use a manufacturers name for things like circuit breakers or a reel of wire, it can be quite frustrating.

Cable sizing is done in 'awg', in the UK its 1.0mm
for lighting....2.5mm for sockets etc.... Over here they just use the same size conductor for nearly everything (at 110v), except the washer and dryer, then its stepped upto 220v, which is 2 hots (posistive or live) no neutral, and a ground!

Most electricans I worked with were fine with me learning and adjusting, but you can't expect to earn top dollar at the same time.

Don't mean to damper your enthusiam, but I just want you to know the problems that I have personally encountered.

One more thing alot of electricans here work under a union, so most of the time they can be quite anal about things!
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Old Jan 27th 2003, 5:44 pm
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Default bikinikity's relocation

I believe she is moving to Washington State, but as usual, things could change/I could be wrong etc.

Also, like anything else in the US, the market for electricians is quite competitive. If someone wants half a dozen sockets (outlets) installing in their house, they're going to go with whoever gives them the best price!

Last edited by Jo Brayne; Jan 27th 2003 at 5:50 pm.
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Old Jan 27th 2003, 8:03 pm
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Default Re: bikinikity's relocation

Originally posted by Jo Brayne
I believe she is moving to Washington State, but as usual, things could change/I could be wrong etc.

Also, like anything else in the US, the market for electricians is quite competitive. If someone wants half a dozen sockets (outlets) installing in their house, they're going to go with whoever gives them the best price!
Yes, your right about being the best price, but there was SO much difference from being a sparky in the U.K compared to the U.S.

Much of my Electrical work done in the U.K was housing re-wiring, basically because some houses are so old, alot of the wiring dated back to WW2 and beyond. There was alot of work for just adding extra lights and sockets etc.

In Texas most buildings are pulled down and re-built, most houses are maybe 20 or 30 years old at the most, so they don't need re-wiring or extra sockets put in.
I worked for 3 different companies all of them installed industrial electrical systems (3 phase work, big heavy duty stuff), the house wiring was left to the mexicans and they were called Romex Jockeys (the reason being that the cable manufacturer for house wiring was called Romex)...

I could tell you some horror stories but I don't want to make you worry to much,

Good luck!
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Old Jan 30th 2003, 12:20 am
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geez southcoast!, that's like saying to a little kid " that loud noise in the closet? oh, well just don't open the door. good night!"

Just kidding. Well thank you for the advanced warning. we definaltely will NOT be going in with rose coloured glasses. All we can hope is that his experience will be better than yours was.

I'll do my best not to worry:
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Old Jan 30th 2003, 4:58 am
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Default female sparky

Hi all...just joined this site....

Im too an electrician, and i was wondering the same thing..i have moved from the UK to the US, and have a C&G cert,

Currently im not working right now, im still waiting on my EAD to be approved, as i am waiting, i have been looking at jobs here in Arkansas. I have tried to speak with IBEW member about my situation, and but he fobbed me off with a bunch of crap..he probably didnt think i was serious...lol..probably my gender had something to do with it???

Anyway..much of my work done in the UK, was basically wiring military vehicles, and have no experience in house wiring as such.
So finding a job in my field could be somewhat difficult. Maybe if i start out working as an electrician's helper, that way it would give me some experience in house wiring??....or maybe i shoud just go back to school and do something totally different?
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Old Jan 30th 2003, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: female sparky

Originally posted by SJones30
Hi all...just joined this site....

Im too an electrician, and i was wondering the same thing..i have moved from the UK to the US, and have a C&G cert,

Currently im not working right now, im still waiting on my EAD to be approved, as i am waiting, i have been looking at jobs here in Arkansas. I have tried to speak with IBEW member about my situation, and but he fobbed me off with a bunch of crap..he probably didnt think i was serious...lol..probably my gender had something to do with it???

Anyway..much of my work done in the UK, was basically wiring military vehicles, and have no experience in house wiring as such.
So finding a job in my field could be somewhat difficult. Maybe if i start out working as an electrician's helper, that way it would give me some experience in house wiring??....or maybe i shoud just go back to school and do something totally different?
Hey SJones,

I too used to work on Military vehicles too, I worked for a company called ABRO in Bovington Dorset, we worked on the challengers and those big old transportation trucks (I forget their name).

After I finished my C&G in electrical installation (house wiring)I done a 2nd apprenticeship in C&G vehical mechanical and electrical systems. I used to work on all those Black boxes that used to be ripped out of the tanks, and then basically overhaul them. It was interesting work.

If you want any info on being a electrican or a helper just let me know..

Cheers fror now
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Old Jan 30th 2003, 2:02 pm
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Smile

Originally posted by bikinikitty
geez southcoast!, that's like saying to a little kid " that loud noise in the closet? oh, well just don't open the door. good night!"

Just kidding. Well thank you for the advanced warning. we definaltely will NOT be going in with rose coloured glasses. All we can hope is that his experience will be better than yours was.

I'll do my best not to worry:
I apologise BK, for being so negative, I have worked in Australia and the sparkeys there are SOOO laid back, I remember one week there, when no one showed up for work for 4 days...reason being....SURF WAS UP....lol.

I enjoyed doing electrical work in the U.K and Oz, but it was a totally different kettle of fish here in Texas. Some of the guy's I worked with was really nice people, but there was ALOT of real idiots too.

My experience has just been from working in Texas, I hope Seattle is different, and that your husband enjoys working there.
Just give it a shot, if its just as bad, there is plenty more jobs/careers to choose and make just as much money.

The job I am doing presently, is far away from what I was orignally trained to do, but I am really happy and work with great people.
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Old Jan 30th 2003, 5:36 pm
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Default ABRO

ABRO Bovington....WOW i use to work for ABRO Doninington!!'

I hear now that ABRO are in trouble?? My friend works there and she said that they are talking about redundency?

Anyway..i started my apprenticeship there.. back in 1992 and i left the company in 2001, i enjoyed working there, but they had always talked about closing the place down, so they got rid of most of the supervisors and put team leaders in.

I worked on Warriors and CVRT's..mainly the ignition systems for the CVRT..then went to work on the cable section...overhauling, repair and testing..thats was okay, but really liked to work on the warrior components, such as those big black boxes (junction box) but didnt get a chance to...
How long did you work there south? And yeh i would like some info about working as a helper

Last edited by SJones30; Jan 30th 2003 at 5:54 pm.
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Old Jan 30th 2003, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: ABRO

Originally posted by SJones30
ABRO Bovington....WOW i use to work for ABRO Doninington!!'

I hear now that ABRO are in trouble?? My friend works there and she said that they are talking about redundency?

Anyway..i started my apprenticeship there.. back in 1992 and i left the company in 2001, i enjoyed working there, but they had always talked about closing the place down, so they got rid of most of the supervisors and put team leaders in.

I worked on Warriors and CVRT's..mainly the ignition systems for the CVRT..then went to work on the cable section...overhauling, repair and testing..thats was okay, but really liked to work on the warrior components, such as those big black boxes (junction box) but didnt get a chance to...
How long did you work there southwest?
The world is certainly a small place...A few people I worked with transfred down from ABRO doninington!

I worked for ABRO from May 95 to Oct 97, not that long really I have had a VERY varied electrical career, I left school in 1990 done a 3 year electrical apprenticeship, carried that on for about another year, but because of a recession I went into Auto-electrics and that is how I ended up at ABRO, I was single had no commitments so the money and package was quite good back then. ABRO put me into a seperate building away from the main "line", and just like you say, I worked on Junction Box overhaul, and about a 1000 over black boxes, Bovington was mainly Challenger, Scammel (I think that was the name) and a few others...(my memory is getting worse...lol)...

The building I worked in, also had the guys working on the lazer sights etc, so they were always dressed up in hats and feet warmers etc.

when I left ABRO, I went on a 12 month holiday/work visa to Australia (I am also a windsurfer)...I done a multitude of jobs, electrical, maintenance even grape picking for different wineries.

I also had 2 mates work in the cable section and a cousin work on the main line, I hope their jobs are OK?

what brought you to Arkansas?
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Old Jan 30th 2003, 6:31 pm
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Talking Electrical helpers!

Oops, forgot to tell you about being a helper!

Ok, being a female shouldn't really be a problem, I met a few female electricans on-sites and they were really good and gained alot of respect from the guy's.

If you are going to be a helper, you will need a basic electrical tool kit (go to home depot and just buy the basics) but get a decent tool belt. If your going on major sites you will need protective boots and hard hat.

Be prepared to work in extreme heat, remember electricians install the air con units, so there isn't any cool air until then.
The same in the winter, generally there isn't any heat because we are the ones wiring the units in!

Pay can be anywhere from $9 to $13-14, depending on experience. once you get atleast 6 months, a company will give you a pay rise.

Be prepared to work hard! because some licensed electricans are 'just that' meaning they themselves were once helpers, so some of them think it is their turn to sit down and make all the helpers do the work.

Don't take crap from anyone!

One of my worst experiences was when a Stoned electrican nearly dropped a 4Lb lump hammer on my head, I proceeded to take him outside and whoop his ass!
In the U.K and Oz electricans were highly regarded professions, in Dallas, its 75% drug/drunk morons.

What I am trying to say is, there are plenty of jobs if you look for them, do not stay with a company that you feel uncomfortable with.

I am working in Telecommunications and there are ALOT of husband and wives working in this field, Your electrical experience will help you get a foot in the door and its alot better surroundings to work in.

Need anymore info, dont be affraid to ask.
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Old Jan 30th 2003, 6:32 pm
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Hi South..

Yes it is a small world!!!

My husband is from Arkansas, i have been taking vacations here for several years now to visit with my friends, thats how i met my hubby. He didnt want to move to England...so i ended up moving over here. I like it, but i miss my family and friends, the weather here is much better than rainy England lol. I would definatley say its a culture shock!

So where u living now South?
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Old Jan 30th 2003, 6:40 pm
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Hi south...do you have MSN messenger?
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Old Jan 30th 2003, 7:03 pm
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See...this is what my hubby said..he works for a Telecommunications company too...lol its probably the same one you work for!! he said that i can get a job out there no problem, he much rather want me working in there than somewhere outdoor with a bunch of blokes! So i dont know what i wanna do...im confused???
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