Skilled Trades Careers

SkillHero Spotlight: Steven (Electrician)

DateFebruary 26, 2024
Steven, Electrician

Steven (@an_electrician_n_adna) is a husband, father, and seasoned electrician who pivoted to the trade at 40, offering insights from his decade-long career. Steven-Electrician This blog post is a part of our skilled trade professional spotlight series. Check out our post on Instagram to see Steven's work. You can also view the Q&A on our LinkedIn account. In this interview we navigate through Steven's experiences, from the initial career shift challenges to the rewards of the electrical profession, providing valuable perspectives for those intrigued by a vocational path.

Q&A with Steven, Electrician

SkillHero: Steven, you embarked on the electrical trade later in life. What motivated this shift, and how did you overcome the initial challenges?

Steven: Before I shifted careers, I was involved in manufacturing, following in my father's footsteps. However, the demanding hours and lack of fulfillment led me to reconsider my path. After being let go from my job under unfair circumstances, I decided it was time for a change. Despite the significant pay cut, with the support of my wife, I pursued a career as an electrician. Starting at $14 an hour, I quickly progressed, thanks to my hands-on skills and determination.

SkillHero: What challenges did you face in the beginning, and how did you overcome them?

Steven: Understanding blueprints and diagrams was initially challenging. Learning from experienced colleagues who were willing to take me on as an apprentice and mentor me, I gradually honed my skills. My early days were filled with commercial projects, but a job too far from home pushed me toward local opportunities and eventually residential work. This diversification helped me become a well-rounded electrician, capable of tackling any task.

SkillHero: Your journey has taken you through various states and jobs. How has this diverse background shaped your approach to electrical work?

Steven: Moving around a lot as a kid and working in different states exposed me to a variety of work cultures and practices. It taught me adaptability and gave me a broad perspective on problem-solving. These experiences have been invaluable, allowing me to bring diverse solutions to my work as an electrician.

SkillHero: You describe yourself as an "everything" electrician. Between commercial and residential projects, do you have a preference? What have you learned from each?

Steven: I've worked on many commercial projects, like LA Fitness and CVS pharmacies, but residential work has taught me more about problem-solving and customer interaction. I started with commercial work but moved to local projects when the commute became too far. Working by myself on a tire store project while still an apprentice showed me I could handle big projects. Both sectors have their nuances, but I enjoy and learn from both.

SkillHero: What advice do you offer those considering a career in the trades, specifically electrical work?

Steven: You need to really want to do it, and you must have a strong work ethic. Showing up inconsistently won't help you learn. People will lose interest, and you'll fall behind. The trade is constantly evolving, so staying teachable and adaptable is key. It's about dedication and continuous learning.

SkillHero: It's clear you're passionate about mentoring and the trades. How do you see the future of electrical work, and what changes would you like to see in trade education?

Steven: The trade needs passionate newcomers, and I believe that starting trade education in high school could significantly benefit the industry. Not every student is suited for or interested in a four-year college degree. Introducing them to trades early could provide a path to a stable and rewarding career. I also advocate for more apprenticeship opportunities, giving young people hands-on experience and a chance to earn while they learn.

SkillHero: Reflecting on your career, can you share a particularly rewarding project or experience?

Steven: Designing and executing an industrial laundromat from scratch was especially fulfilling. The project required innovative thinking and problem-solving, with no blueprints to guide the process. Witnessing the successful operation of my design and the tangible impact of my work was very satisfying.

SkillHero: For the general public, what advice or tips can you share from your electrical expertise?

Steven: I enjoy giving advice and helping people, and homeowners should strive to understand the basics of their electrical systems. Knowledge empowers them to make safer decisions and handle minor issues confidently. It's not just about safety; it's about enabling homeowners to feel more connected and in control of their living environments. It's about helping others and sharing knowledge, whether it's a small home project or explaining how their electrical systems work. I believe in supporting my community through my skills.

Steven's journey from a late start in the electrical trade to becoming an experienced and passionate electrician who contributes significantly to his community stands as a powerful testament to the impact of skilled trades. Dedication, continuous learning, and a commitment to helping others can forge not just a career, but a meaningful life built on the foundation of skill & hard work.

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For those inspired to take up a trade, SkillHero is where aspiring professionals can connect with mentors, access educational resources, and discover apprenticeship opportunities. By creating a free profile, you can embark on a journey similar to Steven's, equipped with the tools and community support to navigate the challenges and celebrate the triumphs. There's no better time to plan for your future; join SkillHero today and start crafting your success story in the skilled trades.