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May 7, 2017

3 Ways to Shine on Your First Day as an Electrical Apprentice

May 2017 Blog Post 1 Image

Starting a new job is always a little nerve-wracking, and an apprenticeship may be even more so. After all, your first day as an electrical apprentice isn’t just your first day at a new job. It’s also the first step on a path to a brand new career. You want to make a good impression, and more importantly, you want to get off to a good start and feel confident in your new career choice. Take a look at a few things you can do
that will help you stand out on your first day on the job.

Bring Your Own Tools, Whether You Need Them or Not

You may or may not need tools on the first day. As an apprentice, you’ll be expected to start from the bottom and work your way up to more complex tasks. You may spend your first day cleaning up after the rest of the crew or doing menial tasks that don’t require tools. But bring your tools anyway.

Showing up with your tools, even if you don’t expect to need them, sends an important message. It says that you’re prepared for anything that you may be asked to do and that the job is important enough to you to be prepared. It also shows that you’re taking the job seriously enough to know what things you might need.

An apprentice electrician needs a variety of hand tools. Pliers are among the most important tools you’ll use, and you’ll need several kinds, like needle-nose pliers, lineman’s pliers, side-cutting pliers, and wire
strippers. You’ll also need sets of screwdrivers, nut drivers, sockets, and a few different wrenches. Don’t forget to invest in some quality electrical meters and testers as well.

Look for Opportunities to Do More

Your supervisor may give you one task to do or a list of things to finish, and you should focus on those assigned tasks until they’re completed. Once you’re finished, though, don’t wait around for another assignment. Approach your supervisor and ask what he or she wants you to do next. If your supervisor is occupied, look for something that you can do to fill time until he or she is free to talk to you-sweeping or
picking up trash, for example.

The point is, you should always be looking for the next thing to do. Your goal should be to busy an active so you’re prepared for life after your apprenticeship. When your supervisor is looking for someone to trust
with more responsibility, he or she will likely choose the person who’s always looking for more to do and who will stand out in his or her mind.

Ask Lots of Questions

Never act like you know what you’re doing when you don’t. Not only will you do a less professional job if you don’t have the knowledge that you need but you may also cause a hazardous situation. Working with
electricity comes with risks, and if you don’t know what to do or how to do it safely, you could put yourself or someone else in real danger.

Don’t worry about looking like you’re not as knowledgeable as someone else. You’re an apprentice. That word comes from an old French word that means “someone learning”, and that’s your position. You’re not
supposed to know everything, and you can’t learn if you don’t ask.

Asking questions will ensure that you do the tasks you’re assigned correctly, and correctly completing tasks will make you look good in the long run. If you want to stand out as a star apprentice, a willingness
to ask questions when you don’t know something is a good way to start.


Independent Electrical Contractors of Greater Cincinnati offers great apprenticeship opportunities, but it’s up to you to make the most of them. Show up prepared to shine on the first day, and soon, you’ll find that you’re well on your way to an exciting and rewarding new career.