Residential Electrician to Industrial Electrician
An Industrial Careers Pathway from Residential Electrician to Industrial Electrician.
As a career and occupational choice, residential maintenance persons should keep the much higher paying Industrial Maintenance career options open. For some, there could be a lot of additional training required to cross over from Residential Maintenance to Industrial Maintenance. Maintenance training certificates can beef up your maintenance resume to give you an edge. But on the bright side, the industry is starving for PLC technicians and/or maintenance electricians.
The more automated our industry becomes, the quicker the demand rate will grow. Demand will increase even more so, coupled with the fact that baby boomers are retiring. Nobody is sure exactly how the recession will affect the Industrial Maintenance job field yet, but the job market for Industrial Maintenance positions will always be a great choice.
The topics you will need to study to cross over to an Industrial Maintenance career will also open up other non-industrial related career opportunities. For example, PLCs control most remote pump stations and water works equipment in every town and city in the USA. And they say working for the state with all its benefits, is looking pretty good during these current unstable economic times.
Next step, make a plan:
So you have made the choice to prepare for an Industrial Maintenance career. What training should you get first that can open the door the quickest for an Industrial Maintenance career?
Your job interviewer may not give much experience credit for mechanical work on industrial equipment with a Residential Maintenance work history, but electrical experience is a much more transferable job skill for Industrial Maintenance. If your previous Residential Maintenance job required you to maintain a state electrical license, the interviewer could see it as Industrial Maintenance Electrician experience. (Because unlike the variables involved in mechanical tasks, electrical tasks are standardized. For example, to install a breaker is the same skill and method in both the Residential Maintenance electrician job and the Industrial Maintenance electrician job.
There are many topics an Industrial Maintenance person is and/or need to be trained on. As technology increases, so do the training needs for an Industrial Maintenance person. What you need to know is which of those skills are most sought after by those hiring. We've established somewhat that Industrial Maintenance Electrician is a good choice, but what area within that broad field and various industries is the most demanded skill set? I would say that would be the PLC troubleshooting skill.
Quick career training can make a maintenance person's resume better. A prerequisite to being an Industrial Maintenance PLC Technician is often considered being a Basic Electrician. (We don't call it a rule at BIN because we have trained many Maintenance Mechanics with a little electrical knowledge to troubleshoot using a PLC. :>) So, at a minimum, the non-state licensed Residential Maintenance person should seek Industrial Electrician Training before PLC training. It would be smart for the Licensed Electrician to take some Industrial Electrician courses too, but if time is of the essence, the electrician may want to get PLC Troubleshooting training first. For example, if currently looking for a job, the licensed electrician with a certificate of PLC training in hand can be looking while taking Industrial Electrician courses to improve hiring possibilities and skill level.
There are many various skill levels for a maintenance person's resume out there. If you are a residential maintenance person who is not sure if you have a required skill or need a refresher; Take the free online assessments found at https://bin95.com/Employee-Training-Assessments/Industrial_Training.php
For the Employer, if PLC knowledge is a requirement for new hires, then pre-qualifying them is essential for the future growth of your business. Check out the above "on line" PLC assessments for a FREE pre-employment test. If you find additional electrical training is needed, consider our Industrial Automation Certificate Course bundle site licenses. (The most cost effective way to establish your own in-house professional training program.)
See also Online Infrared Training Center to expand your career.
About the Author: Don Fitchett founded the activity based costing system called "True Downtime Cost™" (TDC), authored books and speaks at conventions on the topic and is president of BIN. Don has been in the industrial training sector for over two decades, set up training programs around the world, and still conducts training seminars to this day.
Business Industrial Network delivers instructor led industrial training as well as software and on-line industrial training.
(You may copy and distribute this article as long as all credits, including this paragraph are included and all links are active and distribution is not for profit. You may reference portions of this article as long as active link back to this webpage is present. Otherwise this material is copyright protected.)
PLC Training Video Series (10 DVD Set w/ workbook)