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  1. Default Want to join IBEW apprenticeship but worried I wonít make enough money

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    Whatís up guys. Iíve been in line work for about 8 years. Transmission/substation for 6 years and distribution for the last 2 years. Iíve had a few coworkers recently join the union as journeyman by testing out and they have told me to do the same. Where my problem lies is that Iím confident in my skill and ability to learn but Iím not sure if Iíve had enough distribution experience to meet the expectations of a journeyman. Iím positive that I can pass the test but for the past 2 years Iíve worked with a power company and there are a lot of things that contractors do that we donít do and vice versa. While contractors focus more on the ďconstructionĒ side of the industry, us at my power company focus more on the ďtechnicalĒ side such as troubleshooting, banks, capacitors, regulators, reclosers, switching, etc. So, instead of just testing out Iím wanting to do it the right way and go through the apprenticeship program. I have already talked to the apprenticeship director and he said that if I can prove 3500 hours in the trade and pass a physical exam showing that I can do basic line work, they can start me as a 4th step apprentice which would put me around the same hourly pay that Iím making now. My worry though is that with my current company, we work A TON of overtime that allows me to make extra money. I have heard from other guys in the apprenticeship that there are times when youíll get on a job only working 40 hours with no per diem out of town having to stay in a hotel or camper. Iím afraid that by having to do that, I wonít be able to afford to pay my bills. Iím 28 and have a wife and kids, mortgage, vehicle payments, bills, etc. So, is there anyone here who has gone through the apprenticeship thatís in a similar situation. Any and all advice or tips will be appreciated. Thanks!

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