Friday, September 8, 2023
Sergio Sanchez-Rangel was born in Riverside, California, and is now an Apprenticeship Instructor at our Riverside Training Facility. He was exposed to the construction industry at an early age because his great aunt was always working for a construction company. His Dad maintains a passion for working on cars, so Sergio also grew up watching and helping his Dad work on them in the garage. “I would say my first electrical job was installing Christmas lights for 5 cents a bulb when I was about 6 or 7,” says Sergio.
After graduating from Arlington High School in 2013, he moved to Gypsum, CO, and undertook two jobs at once: auto parts store clerk from 7 am - 2 pm, and then meat wrapper/sanitation worker from 2:30 pm- 9 pm. He endured that schedule for several months until he landed a job as a maintenance worker for a strip mall with apartments above retail stores; there he learned how to retrofit fluorescent lighting to the new (at the time) L.E.Ds. In September of 2014, his great aunt let him know that Champion Electric Inc. was looking for workers, so he flew back to California for the opportunity. Sergio says “I never knew I would become an electrician or, early on, even have considered it being such a great career. But I liked science, and since I had a basic understanding of how electrons and electricity worked and always try to have a good work ethic I realized being an electrician was a good career choice for me--especially factoring how rewarding it can be financially. It's personally rewarding, too--I can look around my community and say 'I helped build that.'"
Sergio began his electrical apprenticeship in 2015. He has been on all types of projects around Southern and Central California. “I was blessed to be exposed to many different types of projects and I tried to soak up all the knowledge I could. The apprenticeship program meant my education was paid for, and I tried to take advantage of the free education as much as I could because I wanted to be knowledgeable in my field. It paid off because I was always able to take what I learned from class and directly apply it in the field and help solve problems.” Sergio passed his California General Electrician Certification exam in 2018 and graduated from the Inside-wireman apprenticeship program (Associated Builders and Contractors Anaheim Chapter) in 2019. He has worked for Champion Electric Inc, Bergelectric, and Rancho Pacific Inc, and has also done contracting work as his own C-10, Control of Power Electric.
When it comes to teaching, Sergio believes, “Teaching our students safe electrical work practices through what I have experienced, and providing real-life examples is so important; this trade is rewarding but it can be dangerous if you aren't safe. I try to make the school experience fun and enjoyable so our students will be engaged with learning the skills it takes to become an electrician and pass their California General Electrician Certification Exam!”