Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Advice to up-and-comers from 2022 San Diego Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduates

Thursday, April 28, 2022

WECA San Diego instructor Neil Pesarillo's class in their final semester of the program this week had a great conversation with him about their advice for up-and-coming apprentices. We were lucky enough that Neil thought to collect and share their thoughts with us.

Darrell Mickle

What advice would you give a friend about your apprenticeship?: I have already given a friend advice. My friend Marco is currently in the Electrician Trainee program now and is waiting to be picked up by an electrical company so he can be indentured into and run through the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program. I loved my class, and my classmates and teachers I have had through the program.

How would you explain what you have learned?: You'd had to have experienced it to understand or walk in these shoes, so until then my friends, stay humble and stay happy. WECA GANG

David Smith

What advice would you give a friend about your apprenticeship?: It seems long, but has gone by fairly quick and is worth the investment of time.

How would you explain what you have learned?: I've learned things in electrical and construction that many people don't know how to do correctly, and I have learned how to do it safely.

Kevin Martinez

What advice would you give a friend about your apprenticeship?: The electrical apprenticeship is the best decision I have made in my life. After jumping from different jobs, becoming an electrician and working in the field, it gave me stability with a secure job. I get a lot of questions frequently, and I tell everyone the same thing. An electrical apprenticeship is the way to go, and WECA is by far the best one they can pick. Not only was I receiving the best education in the electrical industry, but I was also getting to work and get paid while doing it. Compared to other apprenticeships where they attend every week, we get to attend twice a year for two weeks, which is great because students get to focus more in their semester without being tired after work.

How would you explain what you have learned?: I have learned everything from work ethic to electrical work installation in new commercial and in residential. I have gotten the opportunity to work in different environments and different crews, meaning doing different tasks and becoming a well-rounded electrician. Not many get this opportunity. From underground, to deck work, rough-in, electrical rooms, equipment, lighting, the list goes on. Fell in love with the process and I recommend to anyone trying to join this trade to really give it a chance. It may be hard labor at times, but the more you learn and the more you see, it makes you as an apprentice strive for more.

Ryan Noll

What advice would you give a friend about your apprenticeship?: I would tell them to start to study for the test early on. Just poking your head into the NEC 30 minutes a week would be a big help. The earlier you start doing practice questions the better, too.

How would you explain what you have learned?: Most of what you learn is on the job as far as electrical installation.

Thorne Phillips

What advice would you give a friend about your apprenticeship?: It is a long process, and you will learn a lot. Best thing I can tell you is that it's worth it. No matter how hard it gets, keep pushing, it gets better. And at the end of the apprenticeship, you are in control of your future and the options and the opportunities are endless.

How would you explain what you have learned?: In this apprenticeship, you learn how to use the code book to be a safe electrician. You also learn how to be a professional, understanding what we are doing on the job. It also gives us the tools to grow professionally.

Tommy Meyers

What advice would you give a friend about your apprenticeship?: There's a misconception that doing anything besides going to a four-year college will not obtain you a high-paying career. But, after attending that four-year college, most people will have a hefty amount of student loans. Going into a trade apprenticeship, you will achieve the skills and knowledge needed to excel in that trade, without any student debt to pay off in the end! In my case, I learned the skills to become a competent electrician at WECA, while being paid on the job, with full benefits! The demand for tradespeople is at an all-time high, the pay is great, the benefits are hard to beat -- what are you waiting for?

How would you explain what you have learned?: In class, you learn things such as electrical theory, the National Electrical Code, how to read blueprints, how to size conductors, how to size services for commercial and residential buildings, how to design and build motor control circuits, and so, so much more! WECA well prepares you to pass your Journeyman exam, so you walk into the examination site confident in passing. You take what you learn in class and apply it in the field, and it helps you understand the greater scheme of things. Don't get me wrong -- I still learn something new every day, but overall the WECA apprenticeship flew by in the blink of an eye, and I would recommend it to everyone!

Victor Martin Del Campo

What advice would you give a friend about your apprenticeship?: It's a great program. It changes the way you think and gives you confidence in life. By the time you finish the program, you walk out with your head held up, full of knowledge and hunger to show the world what you have learned. You get to meet people that have the same purpose in life as yourself. It's great to be part of something, and what's better than becoming part of the electrician family?

How would you explain what you have learned?: WECA taught me how to be professional and to care about the things we do in life.