Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

Electrician moving to California

Electrician moving to California

Old Jan 3rd 2019, 6:36 am
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 7
Adam Jon is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Electrician moving to California

Hi all,

My wife has been offered a job in California and her company is sorting our visas so all that side is covered.

The question I have is does anyone know how I go about transferring my uk qualifications to allow me to work in California? I’m a fully qualified electrician here with 10 years experience and for the past 6years I’ve been running my own business. I know for Americans coming here it’s fairly straightforward that they just need to sit our current regulations exam and the am2 trade exam but I can’t find the process for converting from the UK to the US, has anyone had any experience of this.

Many thanks
Adam
Adam Jon is offline  
Old Jan 3rd 2019, 9:33 am
  #2  
MODERATOR
 
Noorah101's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 58,555
Noorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

It's important for us to know whay visa your wife will be getting. If she's greeting an H1-B, you will get an H-4 which does not allow you to work.

But if she's transferring with her current company, it would be an L visa, which allows you to work.

So before discussing your qualifications, which visa is your wife getting?

Rene
Noorah101 is offline  
Old Jan 3rd 2019, 9:51 am
  #3  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 7
Adam Jon is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Hi Rene, thank you for your reply. My wife is relocating within her existing company. It is a permanent move and they have stated that I’ll be able to work so i believe it’ll be as an L visa
Adam Jon is offline  
Old Jan 3rd 2019, 10:00 am
  #4  
MODERATOR
 
Noorah101's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 58,555
Noorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

OK, thank you for clarifying. I'm sure others will be along to answer your question on qualifications.

Rene
Noorah101 is offline  
Old Jan 3rd 2019, 12:20 pm
  #5  
SUPER MODERATOR
 
Jerseygirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 86,728
Jerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Originally Posted by Adam Jon View Post
Hi Rene, thank you for your reply. My wife is relocating within her existing company. It is a permanent move and they have stated that I’ll be able to work so i believe it’ll be as an L visa
It may or may not be permanent, the L visa is a temporary visa. Permanent residency will very much depend on the company applying for a Green Card.
Jerseygirl is offline  
Old Jan 3rd 2019, 12:24 pm
  #6  
Often not so civil...
 
civilservant's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: The Boonies, GA
Posts: 9,458
civilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

You are in for a rough time as an electrician moving to the US, you can't just pick up, move, and then start working. Each state has it's own certification requirements, and you will most likely have to retrain under a Master Electrician for at least some time as UK qualifications are not recognized.

You need to start researching this now.

https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/ecu/ECU_FAQ.htm
civilservant is offline  
Old Jan 3rd 2019, 6:16 pm
  #7  
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 50,311
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Your non-HS qualifications ain't worth squat in the US, but you can probably work under the supervision of a licensed electrician. It will take at least a couple of years to gain the experience for state licensing requirements even if you did the exams immediately upon arrival.

​​​​​​​Whether an employer would value your knowledge and experience, and pay you as anything other than an apprentice is uncertain and would probably depend on your negotiating skills, and a bit of luck.
Pulaski is online now  
Old Jan 3rd 2019, 8:57 pm
  #8  
Account Closed
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 0
scrubbedexpat099 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Your non-HS qualifications ain't worth squat in the US, but you can probably work under the supervision of a licensed electrician. It will take at least a couple of years to gain the experience for state licensing requirements even if you did the exams immediately upon arrival.

Whether an employer would value your knowledge and experience, and pay you as anything other than an apprentice is uncertain and would probably depend on your negotiating skills, and a bit of luck.
​​​​​​​
scrubbedexpat099 is offline  
Old Jan 3rd 2019, 9:33 pm
  #9  
SUPER MODERATOR
 
Jerseygirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 86,728
Jerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Are most electrician jobs unionized in California?
Jerseygirl is offline  
Old Jan 3rd 2019, 9:40 pm
  #10  
 
thinbrit's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 984
thinbrit has a reputation beyond reputethinbrit has a reputation beyond reputethinbrit has a reputation beyond reputethinbrit has a reputation beyond reputethinbrit has a reputation beyond reputethinbrit has a reputation beyond reputethinbrit has a reputation beyond reputethinbrit has a reputation beyond reputethinbrit has a reputation beyond reputethinbrit has a reputation beyond reputethinbrit has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Your UK experience will be valuable only in so much as you have the understanding, it will not count towards your licensing. Starting electricians are called apprentices, and they work under the direct supervision of a master electrician for many years During this time they get on the job training, get classroom training on the technical aspects of the job (which will be fairly easy for you, but will require you forget some things and learn others and be prepared to use wing nuts and accept them as being safe... I still cringe at the thought of these in J boxes). You will need to study the National Electric Code (NEC), which lays out all the standards for electrical work in the US, and is updated periodically. After you pass the required classes and gain some experience you will change from an apprentices to a journeymen. As a journeyman you are authorized to work without direct supervision. A journeyman still can’t submit permits or design wiring systems. If you spend around a decade as a journeyman, you’ll be eligible to become a master electrician. This is the last step and it allows you to make electrical designs, run your own shop, draw permits, and generally work for yourself.

Are you prepared to spend 10 or more years 'retraining' or is this the ideal time to do something different? Maybe you love being a sparky and 10+ years is OK, or maybe you want to do something else. Whatever you decide, good luck with the move and the start of your next big adventure in the US.
thinbrit is offline  
Old Jan 4th 2019, 1:05 am
  #11  
Account Closed
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 0
scrubbedexpat099 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Having said this Electricians are well paid, and there seems to be a shortage.
scrubbedexpat099 is offline  
Old Jan 4th 2019, 7:41 am
  #12  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 7
Adam Jon is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Originally Posted by thinbrit View Post
Your UK experience will be valuable only in so much as you have the understanding, it will not count towards your licensing. Starting electricians are called apprentices, and they work under the direct supervision of a master electrician for many years During this time they get on the job training, get classroom training on the technical aspects of the job (which will be fairly easy for you, but will require you forget some things and learn others and be prepared to use wing nuts and accept them as being safe... I still cringe at the thought of these in J boxes). You will need to study the National Electric Code (NEC), which lays out all the standards for electrical work in the US, and is updated periodically. After you pass the required classes and gain some experience you will change from an apprentices to a journeymen. As a journeyman you are authorized to work without direct supervision. A journeyman still can’t submit permits or design wiring systems. If you spend around a decade as a journeyman, you’ll be eligible to become a master electrician. This is the last step and it allows you to make electrical designs, run your own shop, draw permits, and generally work for yourself.

Are you prepared to spend 10 or more years 'retraining' or is this the ideal time to do something different? Maybe you love being a sparky and 10+ years is OK, or maybe you want to do something else. Whatever you decide, good luck with the move and the start of your next big adventure in the US.
thanks for taking the time to reply, and with informed points. Are you/were you a sparks, did you go down this route?

It will be hard having to go back to the beginning having run a company of 4 electricians for the past 4 years and having been designing installations for even longer but I do get that processes are different but being a sparks is the only job I truely know, I’m not the type of guy who can work in an office 9-5 so retraining within the trade in the US is (at the moment at least) my best option.

Over here we have a body called the JIB who set pay rates for different levels, would you know if there is a similar body in the US so I can see if it’s financially possible for me to retain?

I have spoken with the California license body and they have said I can use existing UK experience to apply and then I just need to study and sit the exams to gain a license, what she didn’t say is what level that license would be for, do apprentices have to hold there own license or do you get your license on completion of an apprenticeship? My thoughts at this time are if can gain a license and work as an electricians mate to gain the experience of the practical differences.

Thanks again for your earlier reply and if you are able to help with any of the above points many thanks in advance.
Adam Jon is offline  
Old Jan 4th 2019, 7:43 am
  #13  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 7
Adam Jon is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Having said this Electricians are well paid, and there seems to be a shortage.

👍 this is always good to know, at least a shortage may help me get a foot in the door

Last edited by Adam Jon; Jan 4th 2019 at 8:25 am.
Adam Jon is offline  
Old Jan 4th 2019, 10:52 am
  #14  
Often not so civil...
 
civilservant's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: The Boonies, GA
Posts: 9,458
civilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond reputecivilservant has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Over here we have a body called the JIB who set pay rates for different levels, would you know if there is a similar body in the US so I can see if it’s financially possible for me to retain?
it doesn't work like that in the US. If there was one, it would be set by the state, and I doubt very much that there is standardized rates because it was damage competition between businesses. I am not sure, but electricians in California may be unionized, which may be worth checking out. If they are, you may be able to find an online board of some kind (you may anyway) to ask these sorts of questions.
civilservant is offline  
Old Jan 4th 2019, 11:37 am
  #15  
BE Forum Addict
 
Guindalf's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,903
Guindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Electrician moving to California

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Having said this Electricians are well paid, and there seems to be a shortage.
Pun intended?
Guindalf is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.