Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

Already Belong? Login

Southern California Commercial Electrical Salutatorian Justin Salter

Thursday, August 26, 2021

“WECA really puts your life on track to succeed,” says Justin Salter, 2021 Southern California Commercial Graduate and Salutatorian. “And I truly believe the WECA program is fantastic. When you first start out, five years seems like a very long time. However, with the combination of fantastic healthcare, regular raises and more—it’s not many fields in life where you can get paid a good wage while being formally trained in your chosen career. Coming out of it, making the kind of money electricians make while being debt-free—I know many of my friends who went to college instead regret going that route because of the massive hole they now have to climb out of. It’s a very good career option.”

Salter, who spent his Apprenticeship with Bergelectric, says that being with Bergelectric has been a life changing experience for him.

“I haven’t regretted it for a second. I went from a dead-end job to a sky’s the limit career. I’m now almost six years in and feel like I’m just getting started. I have more opportunities now than I had before, and a ladder to climb!”, says Salter.

Salter also says that WECA’s education prepared him for his career by making him take his education seriously and pushing for opportunities at Bergelectric.

“I found myself in a leadership role and making decisions on the job daily,” says Salter. “I was very pleasantly surprised at how prepared I was to make choices. Whether it was sizing wire for long pulls and doing voltage drop and derating calcs, sizing fuses for RTU’s, or determining ground and bonding throughout the building…I felt capable of either easily knowing the answer or knowing how to find the answer. It was a huge confidence boost to know that I was capable of making these determinations and it was a huge part of being prepared for my career of choice.”

While with WECA, Justin completed his in-classroom learning at our San Diego training facility. “I consider my classes with Tom Thompson and then Talon Pobuda to be invaluable…I always appreciated insights while using their real-world experience to what we were learning and how it would apply to us in the field. This added a depth of understanding we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, and labs and hands-on work during class was invaluable to applying to what we were being taught,” says Salter.

Salter believes that one of the most important factors in doing well at WECA is truly taking your education seriously.

“Not just going through the motions to get through the class and gathering enough information to try to take your journeyworker test,” says Salter. “It’s important to really try and understand what we’re being taught and strive to understand it better with each class. To ask questions when you don’t understand and try to apply what you’re learning in the field. I think a good mechanical aptitude is helpful to jump-starting your career. While it is a skill that can be learned, it definitely helps to progress your career if you’re handy going into it.”