Talking to an Electrical Contractor

You are interested in becoming an electrician!
You have researched companies in the area where you want to live!
Maybe you even know which companies you might like to work for!

That's a great start! We recommend the following next steps...

Call the Contractor
  • Introduce yourself, explain how you found them, and that you are calling to learn more about the company and any potential job openings.
  • Before continuing the conversation, always first ask if it is a convenient time to talk, because they may be in the middle of something. If they do not have a moment to talk, ask when would be a more convenient time to call.
  • It is important to not only tell them about yourself, but to listen attentively to what they are saying. Jot down notes and ask questions using the information they give you. This will show that you are interested, on the ball, and are a good listener. See next steps for some sample questions to ask.
  • Don't forget the niceties. Try to be professional, polite, and speak clearly, even to the receptionist or someone else who may answer the phone. At the end of your call, always thank the person for taking time to talk to you.

Gather Information
Since you are most likely new to the electrical industry, your first call to the contractor should be more informational-based with a goal of learning as much as possible about the industry, company, and/or job you've targeted. Here are some ideas of questions you may want to consider asking:
  • What type of electrical work does your company typically perform? (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.)
  • Do you specialize in anything particular? (solar, commercial, automation, etc.)
  • What level of knowledge or experience do you look for in new hires?
  • What does a typical day as an electrician entail?
  • What do you like most about the job? What do you like the least?
  • What kind of person do you think is right for this type of work?
  • How can I learn more about this field? Are there any specific trade publications I should be reading or associations I can join?
  • How can I meet others in this field?
  • What is the best way to get started?

Ask the Right Interview Questions
If you do happen to set up an interview with the contractor, keep in mind that an interview is a two-way street. Your potential employer is asking you questions to learn about you and your skills. In return, you need to prepare questions to ask your potential employer about the position in order to determine if the job is the right fit for you.
  • What would my typical work hours be? Work week? Overtime?
  • Do you have a set pay scale and review schedule?
  • Would I travel a lot with this position? How often?
  • Would I drive to the different job sites or would I first report to the office?
  • What would happen to my job during a slow season?
  • What kind of training would I receive?
  • How large are the work teams?
  • Would I report to one supervisor or do I change supervisors per project?
  • Do I provide my own tools for the job?
  • What steps do you take to help me continue my education and get licensed?
  • Would you reimburse me if I went through an apprenticeship course to further my education?
  • Do you reimburse or cover the expense of my continuing education credits each year?
  • What kind of medical, dental, vision, disability, etc. benefits are provided?
  • How many vacation, sick, holiday, and PTO days do you offer in a year?
  • What would my starting hourly rate be?
  • How often do I have the ability to earn a raise?
  • Are there bonuses or incentives that I could work towards in this position?
It is important to learn as much as possible about your prospective business environment prior to accepting a position. There is a lot of variety in the industry. Something that one person finds acceptable may be a deal-breaker for you. Becoming well informed will help you find the best possible career path. Enjoy the journey. 

Contact the Electrical Association (800) 829-6117 if you would like to speak to our staff about your first call to a contractor!
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