electrical trade

Embarking on the Electrical Trades Journey: Insights and Inspiration

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

Introducing our latest Talking Trades video post where we explore the world of building and construction trades. We delve into the misconceptions many people have about this industry and highlight the opportunities it offers for young, talented individuals seeking a challenging and rewarding career.

We debunk the myth that construction is merely manual labour for school dropouts and shine a light on the technically challenging, problem-solving aspects of the role. This video features our guest author, Matt Risinger, as he talks to veteran electrician CJ about his career path from apprentice to skilled master of his craft and business owner.

The video is particularly insightful for young individuals considering a career in the trades. We encourage viewers to share this video with anyone who may benefit from gaining an understanding of the opportunities available in the building and construction trades. The video also provides a glimpse into the practical training that sets apart book knowledge from true mastery of a trade.

In the video, we learn about CJ’s journey, his experiences, and his insights on the invaluable on-the-job training he received. We discuss the opportunities available for young people in the electrician trade and explore CJ’s career path, from his initial interest in the auto world to becoming a building and construction electrician.

We also delve into the challenges and rewards of owning a business, the importance of continuous learning, and the satisfaction derived from working in a trade that leaves a lasting legacy. We discuss the different career paths within the electrical trade, from being an employee to owning a business, and highlight the opportunities for growth and success.

Embarking on the Electrical Trades Journey: Insights and Inspiration

Video Transcript

Okay CJ, we are back in Austin. This is it, this is HQ. I’m finally here. Yeah, a little bit hotter than we’re going to talk some trades my friend. How about we uh head back to the studio?

Build original series hosted by Matt Risinger, talking trades brought to you by Front Door and Sashco.

All right CJ, we made it to Texas. Here’s our studio, what do you think?

CJ: Dear Matt, it is just a pleasure to finally be. I mean, what it’s been, emails and Zoom meetings, and I’ve seen everything, but to actually be in Texas is amazing.

We’re finally in the studio, and we are talking trades today. We’ve got CJ, an electrician. We’re going to talk about uh, the opportunity available for young people in the electrician trade.

All right CJ, we spent some time in the job. I got to kind of see what an apprentice uh, would do in that kind of first week, first month on the job. Tell me a little bit about your history and your background. We, we spent a little time talking about this, but uh, as a young uh, let’s say high schooler, thinking about, you told us originally you were thinking about a career in the auto world, maybe auto body.

You loved hot rods, grown up, your dad was a good handyman. When you got to that very first job, I think right out of high school, working for an electrician, what was that first week, first month like for you? Did you like it immediately? Did it, did it feel like oh, this is, this is going to be cool, or did it take you some time to go “Yeah, I don’t know about this?”

CJ: Uh, you know, you’re, I, at that point you know, I’m 17, so I was in high school, but I, I did have summer jobs before the auto, you know, the auto body shop y, um, so it wasn’t, I wasn’t unfamiliar to, at least, clocking in during the summer for an 8 hour day, days a week.

I always enjoyed working, um, so when I did get the opportunity to jump in a truck as an apprentice and ride with a journey into the first job, it was pretty awesome, yeah. Uh, it was definitely a different experience, you know, waking up at 6:00 a.m. and and sitting in commute traffic, and and then getting home by five, so that was maybe a little bit of an adjustment period, but it, oh yeah, I liked it right away, yeah.

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Matt: And were you working at the start, typical Monday through Friday, weekends off? Were you doing anything odd in terms of your work schedule?

CJ: No, I hit it hard. I mean, you know, when I got the opportunity to start the apprenticeship, it was, right in, 40 days, you know, 40 hours a week, five days a week, um, it’s full-time job. So yeah, um, again, you know, that’s, uh, the incentive for that for me and I think anybody in the trades is, is, is logging that experience. And once you start it, it’s advantageous to kind of keep that all rolling.

Matt: Makes sense. How long, how long before you actually started some of your classes and said, “Okay, I think I’m actually going to pursue a license rather than just this being a transitional job for you?”

CJ: you know, so the classes, the apprenticeship is a little different than when I actually decided to go out on my own because, I mean, when I started the business, it was, I was 26. So I was already, uh, you know, nine, 10 years into the apprenticeship, or not apprenticeship, but you know, the trade, the trade. So it’s, it’s kind of a twofold. You know, it’s, it’s the, the classes itself start instantly. Again, it’s on the job training is that I think is the most important.

Matt: That’s amazing. So here you are, 26 years old, really no debt at that point, right? Maybe, maybe you had some car debt, you had, you bought a truck or that sort of thing. Cool thing too, right?

I think right out of high school, being able to, you know, I was hanging out with all my friends, were going to, not all of them, but you know, a fair share of them were going to college, and I was getting a paycheck right away. And so, you had actual money.

CJ: Yeah, and the first thing I had a beater Seawas growing up. I was always tinkering on them, but, you know, buying the first truck at 18. So I had a payment, but again, it was like this, “Okay, you know, I could afford this because I’m actually getting paid to learn.” I’m an adult.

Matt: Yeah, it really is. And I think getting that paycheck, um, really solidifies like “I’m, I’m, I’m kind of moving into adulthood.” And again, it’s not just an education. It really was a career right away.

That’s amazing. And then from there, from 18, now you’re 26, you started your own company. What was, what was the inflection point for you thinking working for someone else versus starting my own venture as as a business person? How did you make that decision?

CJ: Um, it was a hard one, um, and I think it just, uh, that’s just how the cards fell. I, I think if you asked any entrepreneur, I always had that in the back of my head. I loved the thought of being my own boss. I don’t really know if that’s just, you know, a thing that you’re born with, um, I wasn’t necessarily scared.

I always had these crazy ideas of owning my own business, regardless of what it was. So I think it was just a timing thing. And for me to actually kind of pushed me in that direction is just the last job I was at, it wasn’t going the way I, I wanted, and I thought maybe I can kind of control this myself. But again, I think it takes the right person.

I have a lot of, you know, friends that have tried it or people I know, and it doesn’t last long, and they, they enjoyed being an employee. So I don’t think there’s any right or wrong way. I think it’s, you know, it’s, it comes case by case per person.

Matt: I think it’s so interesting hearing from you about, there’s guys in your town that are union electricians that are making, uh, almost $100 an hour, yeah, right now, it’s pretty wild. And so you could have a great career doing nothing but that. And on the opposite spectrum of that, you’re in a path that you could scale up or down your business. You’re, how old are you now?

CJ: 30.

Matt: 30? I’m 36, 36 years old. You’re married, you have two kids. You don’t, you didn’t have all that college debt to get where you are. And you’ve got what, four or five electricians working for you now. And you could scale up to 25 if you wanted to, or you could stay kind of small and nimble and family oriented. As a quick example, one of the guys that I work with, uh, is a little older, 65 years old. One of his good buddies took the same path you did, but in the commercial world, and scaled up to a like a 200, uh, person electrical company.

And he’s retired now, he’s mid-60s let’s say. Did fabulously well when he sold his business, made multiple millions of dollars, has a house in Texas, has a house in Colorado, uh, is taking fabulous vacations.

And the guy that I work with has, you know, a master’s degree and all these different degrees, and his buddy who, arguably, is much more successful from a financial standpoint, never went to college, uh, got his master’s electrical license like you in his mid 20s and decided to scale up and did fabulously well, well over his 30, 40-year career, sold his business for big dollars, uh, and now his son is actually working in that business as an electrician. So we’ve got a second generation now.

That’s the dream, right? I mean, that’s that’s in my mind, that’s the American dream, right? That there’s fabulous opportunity in America for men and women like you and I that aren’t afraid to get sweaty, to put some hard work in, and opportunities will arise.

CJ: Yeah, yeah. I think I mentioned you earlier this video that I watched as we were thinking about this talking trade series. Everybody knows who Mike Rowe is, right, the the kind of dirty jobs guy? He has this five minute video that he talks about it’s a disservice to tell high school aged kids to follow your passions.

Your passion was hot rods, yeah, my passion was was more like sports cars, even though I didn’t have much skill in that, yeah. And I kind of followed that passion through a college degree that led me not to that industry, but to construction, which I done for years, yeah.

And I look back and think, you, I don’t necessarily use or need that college degree. I didn’t get a job in that industry I thought I was going to, the auto industry manufacturing. And here I’ve been very successful as a as a construction business owner.

Matt: Yeah, and that’s really what you are too, a construction business owner.

CJ: Well, you nailed it too when you said, you know, the Mike, Mike Rowe’s philosophy on that. I do think it’s relevant because, you know, in reality, I could have stayed with hot rods. I could, you could. I could have done anything. My parents were very supportive. You know, they didn’t push college, but they didn’t say no to college.

It was, it was, um, and I felt like a lot of the people I grew up with, it was no option. It was “You’re going to college or you’re going to be, you know, you’re not going to be successful.” And I think that’s kind of has been lost over the years, uh, where it used to be prestigious to be a tradesman.

And I still think it is, but somewhere in the world that got lost, um, and I and that’s kind of what we’re doing is trying to to say that that that’s not the case, let’s bring that back in America. As far as I’m concerned.

And the passion thing, again, I think, you know, I enjoyed the, the cars and I thought maybe I can turn this hobby into a career. And then I caught myself when I was in that industry coming home not wanting to to focus on my hobby. And so the electrical was a lateral move. I felt like it was up, um, but again, it kind of encompassed everything I already enjoyed with my hands, creating things, um, and so I, you know, again it’s case by case.

I don’t want to broad spectrum say that this is how everyone has to do it because I have a lot of friends that did follow their passion and they’re really successful, sure, musicians or, um, and so that being said, it’s like it’s, it’s really what you desire, yeah, um, and I think the trades for me have opened up so many opportunities that it’s not just there, there’s so many ways to look at being an electrician or being a plumber.

Again, union, I have some union friends that have an amazing career. They already bookmark in their retirement date, amazing. I don’t know what I’d do if I retire. So I’m very okay with the direction we’re going. I’ve worked with people that only want to be employees because of the stress level, there is a stress level with owning your own business. So I think it’s really just finding your sweet spot.

And there’s no one that’s telling you you have to do this, like you know, you got to listen to your, you know, your conscience and make sure that you’re following the direction that you want, um, and that might take a little bit of time. You know, when I was 16 or 17, I look back now and go “I didn’t know what I wanted.”

And and they’re kind of the world kind of expects you to or society kind of expects you to know what you want to do when you’re 18 or know what you want to do when you’re going into college, like choose your degree. And for me that was the same thing. It wasn’t a degree, but it was like “Choose what you’re doing.” And it’s not that way. You can change if you’re not happy.

We’ve had a lot of guys that we follow on social media, um, that we know their background story that might have started in one direction and completely changed because I actually have a great one. Is I worked for a company and there was a gentleman that was a co-worker that had gone to law school, passed the bar, and was a lawyer for like six months to a year.

I’m, you know, I don’t know the exact time, but he realized quickly when he was in that “This isn’t what I want to do.” And he went, he’s a lighting designer now.

Matt: Wow!

CJ: So I mean, he was an electrician, he’s, he’s a journeyman. It’s just amazing that you know, he put all that time and effort into that, didn’t want to do it, but still had the guts to to make a move. And I think we’re at, work more than not. And I think it’s important to kind of know what, you know, be happy with what you’re doing. So that’s a great point.

You know, I wonder if you know of anybody that started their career in the military potentially, and started as an electrician, trained as an electrician in the military, and then transitioned to civilian life? Can you think of anybody like that?

CJ: I don’t know, I mean, I’ve worked in the trades, yes, with with, um, uh, guys that were that did serve, um, a welder, um, and you know, took his, his training from the military and and created, you know, he’s working for a utility pipeline company, which is, insane, cool really amazing, um, my own brother actually is a veteran, served overseas, and he’s a helicopter pilot, but didn’t get trained in the military.

But again, you know, it’s like you’re not having to fit in this bubble of what you did learn. Or even if you put a lot of time in wanting to be an electrician, and four years into it, you decided you want to be a cabinet maker, yeah.

I mean, I always joke that that, that would be what I would want to do if the electrical wasn’t what I want. I like the fit and finish of of fine cabinetry. And again, it’s not, it’s no one is forcing you to do. And I think a lot of people feel that pressure, yeah, um, especially young, young people.

Matt: I think it’s interesting how technical you are, uh, when we were on the plane for instance, I, I saw that you were reading the, span panel manual. They’ve got a new manual out. What was the other manual you were reading on the plane?

CJ: Gosh, we got Lutron home works and some of the other smart panels, but, um, I joke. I tell my, um, employees or any apprentices I’ve ever trained. When I would go to the supply house,

I love picking up a paper catalog, um, you know, whether it was a manufacturer for fittings or, b and you’re flipping through it and subconsciously you’re absorbing some of that information. And I think it’s a good tool. I’m just a nerd when it comes to that stuff and I enjoy learning, um, and so I, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to pick up a book or or jump on on YouTube and watch your videos, um, and even if it’s outside of your realm, some of this stuff is relevant regardless.

Matt: Yeah, you really need to know a little bit about every trade in a lot of respects because you’re working very closely with the plumbers, with the hvac guys, with understanding the loads that they’re going to need to run their equipment that’s getting installed later, uh,

The appliance guys, you know, you’re supplying, uh, the electrical to that gorgeous induction cooktop we saw. And then the other technology that you’re really dealing with now too that we saw on the job sites is you’re dealing with the solar guys, uh, you’re dealing with uh, batteries now and battery storage and generators that are generating power when the power goes off.

You’re also dealing with all the audio visual guys, and some of the houses you get to work on have crazy packages for AV. I mean, they might as well be mini stadiums, so to speak, with the amount of needs for electrical, uh, and all that integrating goes through you.

CJ: Yeah, you nailed that too. When you’re saying it’s important to kind of learn other trades, if you’re in any industry, but we’re talking construction. It’s, it’s nice to, I mean, I don’t need to go take framing classes per se, but I mean even educate myself outside like when I have been submitted a plan set, there’s usually two or three pages for a whole house that apply directly to us, electrical page, you know, sheet E1, E2. It’s not a lot, but there’s 80 other pages in some of these plan sets.

And I don’t think it’s a bad idea to kind of understand how those work and the longer I’ve been in the trades, I’ve realized like reading a foundation plan or understanding the foundation types force me to install or us, you know, as a company to install differently. So you know knowledge of power um and I think it’s really cool to kind of wrap your head around other people’s cuz I think you are a custom builder and I think you know how important it is for everyone to be a team.

Um, I can’t say ah it’s the plumber’s fault um when I’m running my underground or our underground on a job. I got to take him into consideration and I think you’re doing a disservice to a builder by not being educated on other trades. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, tell me for a minute what it is about tools that you like.

Uh, you know one of the things I love about my business is I get to own tools and buy tools that I need and then I have them for personal projects. I have them for work that make me money. Yeah, uh, talk to me about your relationship with tools and and thinking about maybe the uh you know the 15-year-old on the couch with Mom or Dad watching this and the tools that they might be using.

Is my wife watching because I think we’re getting a… she’s not watching, don’t worry. Is I think we get a package a day of something. Um, I don’t know, I think that has to do with I wasn’t a really materialistic, you know.

It wasn’t I don’t have a baseball ball card collection and, and if you do it’s amaz, you know sure a hobby is cool, um, and but my hobby was tools kind of and I justify the bad habit of like the really expensive German tools or you know a meter that…yes, I could use it or, um, but I think it’s it’s kind of a double double-dipping right?

You’re you’re you’re getting your tools that serve your career, um, but again I mean I have tools from when I started as an apprentice, yeah, so I don’t 20 years ago. It’s it’s kind of a a sickness that a lot of tradesmen have and they really enjoy a nice tool or when the new model comes out.

Sickness, I’ve taken tools. I have I have a level, a, a client, an old client level that I think might have been one of my first tools cuz my first boss was really cool and he let us put tools on on a tool tag at the supply house and he would take like you know five bucks out. I don’t even know if I ever paid him in full because he was such a nice guy but, um, you know we your handbag is you’re going to have it forever.

And again, I have a level that I had when I bought when I was 17. I think maybe three or four years ago I took it out of my tool bag cuz I said if I lose this thing, I got…so it sits in my tool at home now a little. But you can have some of these tools. My dad’s given me tools from his dad from decades. So I think that’s a cool one too to to buy quality, they’re going to serve you forever and, um, you know, they’re going to make you money.

And what’s cool about that too and thinking that tool is just an extension of your hand? And your hands are making an impact not just on this generation but on future generations. You know, when I go in houses and remodel and find knob and tube wire that was still functional, frankly, and still working that was really old, yeah, I think about that tradesman that’s probably dead now.

Uh, and when he was putting in that ceramic knob and putting the uh the tube in it and then running the wire through here I am getting to touch that work, yeah, uh, and and that generation really cared about what they did, yeah. And here we are in this career, this industry that’s building things that are going to be around for decades, lifetimes, maybe more than a lifetime and it you have to look at it like that, right? I mean, you want that to live forever.

And again, I don’t know if this was a society thing or where it got lost but, you know, that that sense of pride um or maybe it’s the disposable thing we can we can burn up a washer or dryer and just push it to the recycling center and order a new one.

When you know even when I was younger, you know, me and my dad could go to the hardware store and buy a a thermal couple for the water heater or and repair it. And that is I think it’s it’s a sense of pride, um, I think it’s a kind of need. It’s sustainable and I think we’re kind of heading in that direction with what Build’s doing, um, and promoting is that you know you don’t have to, you don’t have to look at things one way, yeah.

You know that’s that’s an interesting side note that uh we need more young people to consider even the appliance repair trade, yeah, uh, because you get to use a little bit of everything.

You know, almost mechanic uh automotive style skills to be able to take stuff apart, that handyman mindset of I can fix this, let’s figure out what’s wrong, a little bit of knowledge of electrical and the electrician, a little bit of computer knowledge these days too, um, but you know there’s a lot of appliances to get thrown away that could very easily have been fixed had someone called uh a smart service tech, uh, and there’s great careers available, uh, for young people on that too.

I’ve had, uh, some appliance repair owners in this very studio before talking about how they need young people and they want to train, they pay really well, uh, and that can be a great career as well for folks servicing those appliances. So I mean there’s huge opportunities out there, uh, and CJ, I really appreciate you taking time to show me your jobs, to show me the pride that you and your uh people take in the work.

I mean just thinking about how you guys were wiring that house we were in yesterday all the way in California to Texas today, uh, you really paid attention to uh how it was wired, does it look good, uh, inspectors notice, the homeowners notice when that drywall gets pulled down in 50 years to put a remodel they’re going to notice.

Yeah, you guys really do some pride and, yeah, and I really appreciate you sharing your story with us. I mean, you really are an American success story, uh, of a hardworking young person who took the opportunity before you and turned the electrical trade into a life for yourself and your family and I’m really proud that uh that I’ve had the chance to to get out and see your jobs.

I appreciate the words, I mean it means a lot. I don’t think I’m anything special, um, I do think there’s a lot of guys. I mean the build, the entire build platform, we have all these contributors that you have all these contributors that are just insanely talented and passionate. And I’m also extremely fortunate, all the stuff you see in the past few years hasn’t necessarily been me actually physically pulling the wire of course, it’s a collaborative effort.

I’m so fortunate to have the guys I have, it’s really a team. I mean, I got three young apprentices that are in a group chat with my two lead journeymen and I mean, I can’t tell you how many late night text messages go through and “Hey what do you guys think of this?” or you know, it’s it’s just really cool and I’m extremely fortunate and and we’ve been very picky about you know who we bring on the team because it really is a culture fit.

And I’m, and again, it’s like they’re extremely talented and um, again just super lucky but humbled to just have you say those words. It’s appreciate that brother.

Yeah, hey CJ, what qualities are you looking for in an apprentice? Um, you know, I’ve read a lot of business books, um, I’ve been fortunate to be part of, um, some business coaching programs and tried to absorb some of those uh pieces of advice. And I think one of the big ones is personality, right? I mean, the the skill, at least the way I look at it, we can train that. I mean, if you can swing a hammer and you’re semi-coordinated and you can turn a screwdriver,

I have no problem, um, with our ability to to teach the trade, um, but I want someone that’s passionate, um, that’s not just there for a paycheck, even though that’s an extremely important thing. So I never want to to, um, disregard that you know this is just for passion, it’s not for pay, we all to make a living and that is important. Um, I think them being, uh, anybody that’s at work being happy is extremely important.

You know, it’s good for your mental health, um, again we’re at work more than we are at home. So I think being passionate and enjoying and you’re not always going to enjoy every day, we know that’s not the case in anything. But so I would say personality, um, ambition to learn. Uh, all the guys within our company, um, are sponges and and you can tell when when we’re talking to each other it’s it’s really just a bunch of guys that really enjoy learning this stuff.

So you know, willingness to learn’s important, um, a good listener, right? Um, no ego is something that I don’t know if I’ve learned that over years, but I I love, I was meeting with today we were on a job site of yours and I got to to sit down and talk shop with your in-house electrician who wired your house and I mean, I could have sat there for hours, um, it’s amazing how much y’all have in common.

Yeah, so I think that’s, that’s important to really be a passionate or maybe if you don’t find your passion be willing to admit that that maybe this is not for you they can move on, but yeah, that’s that is actually something really interesting that we haven’t necessarily mentioned in this trade series yet, that there is a certain camaraderie, uh, in the old days we might call it a brotherhood when it was mostly a mal dominated industry.

We’re getting, uh, you know, more and more females in the trades and in the building industry. I, I’ve always said that the building industry is maybe 5 to 10% female. I bet of the electrical trades somewhere around there too, maybe 5% or so, yeah. I mean, I probably in my career have seen a handful of women at the Spy house but it’s getting more and more and I think with social media, um, it’s really showing off that it’s not just a a a man or men driven, um, great. So it’s not just young people. I think that’s it’s a viable um for anybody and I think it’s really important to say that.

But my point is the camaraderie is really bad. I mean, CJ, being California come to meet my Texas electrician, so much in common, so much to talk about, uh, even though the license and the getting license is slightly different, uh, there’s a National Electric Code that they both have to follow, then there’s local codes that are different.

There’s so much to talk about, it’s definitely a camaraderie that’s involved and I think the same’s true with builders. When I meet builders around the country I always say that no one quite understands the struggles of my life, even my marriage, my family life, my fatherhood, like another builder. And I suspect it’s the same with electricians too.

Well you said it today off camera we were chatting and you said a rising tide floats all boats and it really rang a bell with me because I feel like that’s how our team is and at least all these job sites that I’m fortunate to be a part of it’s a collaborative effort and I think it’s important to not beat down someone, um, or or you know have an ego about that you’re better or not.

I think it’s good to collaborate and I think that’s like that brotherhood or that camaraderie that’s important and I think that’s like a positive atmosphere that I wish every tradesman have and you’ve been on job you know it’s not necessarily true, um, but I think it’s I think that comes with the passion portion and if you’re there to to be there to to enjoy it, y, that it kind of goes hand in hand. I agreed.

Yeah, CJ, let me ask you a question that’s a that’s a a harder one. Do you ever, do you ever feel like there’s some animosity between you and maybe clients or your in-laws in this blue collar, white collar thing, uh, you know, in the past, uh, in America I think there was this looking down upon oh I have an office job,

I wear a white star shirt to work versus you know you guys are out in the field working, you have your in our case black collars on but let’s say a blue collar job. We get sweaty, we’re dirty, uh, you know, my in-laws, uh, are, uh, physicians, professionals.

I had to go school forever and my wife married into a blue collar construction guy job, uh, that I think that maybe my in-laws when I first started dating her were like “Hy ou know I don’t know honey, I wish you would have married a lawyer.” Do you ever feel like there’s any of that going on in your life or have you seen that change at all in the time you’ve been in the trade?

I’m extremely fortunate, my parents were very supportive. I married, uh, my wife Rachel had, has extremely supportive, we have a very similar family so within the family, no, um, but there’s a mixture it’s kind of nice to sit at the de tble with both families, yeah, um, I mean I have one brother that’s college educated, um, another brother that served in the militari an extremely educated, um, sister same thing you know educated and so we’re not all the same, yeah, um, and we’re all different.

And then my wife’s side of the family have, I think all gone to college and have amazing careers, um, and there’s no looking down on my end but I have had employees. I’ve had friends where it’s the same thing where it’s that that tunnel vision of like if you don’t go and get that diploma or you didn’t have an undergrad you’re less than.

And I think again, that might just be a generational thing and I think is, is it’s it’s going away, um, because it’s not just swinging a hammer anymore, there’s a lot of technology that is important to know and I think that’s good because it’s kind of taking these people that might think that they aren’t uh so Hands-On but it’s it’s two it’s a two-edged you know double-edged sword, yeah, um, especially when you were touching on that AV, um,

I have a friend that owns a very similar business and we work together a lot and his biggest challenge since he’s in the technology, he’s an AV integrator, is is finding that double-edged sword that that Dual Purpose, the Swiss army knife of someone that can program that might be more of a book nerd but can also pick up a drill to install and that’s a very hard thing to to to have.

So I don’t think there is any one way to look at it but I I’m I’m glad that we’re seeing that shift in in not the looking down and it’s kind of going back to that old school of like you know it’s you should wear that you know whatever you have as far as if it’s a journeyman or a a union card or um a a degree you should be prideful of it regardless.

One of the things I love about construction, uh, I get to be home every night for dinner with my family. I do travel a little bit now for videos but for decades I didn’t, uh, and I’ve built a life for myself where family’s really important to me. My wife, I’ve been married for 24 years now. I have four great kids, those are the things I think that mean success.

And I get to work on these houses that are going to be around for a long time to come and it’s the relationships that I’ve that I find such great fulfillment and getting to know you and the rest of my colleagues on the job and seeing them build successful lives totally different than some of my clients who have been fabulously wealthy, they’re on their third or fourth marriage, they don’t have a relationship with their kids, maybe they have a Porsche to drive around but they don’t seem very happy doing it.

Yeah, I think that’s something to be said about a career in the trades is that you can really build a life, uh, and a very good life for yourself.

Yeah, that’s really well said and I suspect a lot of what you just said said is through experience and self-growth and you’re a extremely wise man and I appreciate you know just the conversations we have but I can only speak from my, um, perspective is I am, I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum.

We’re extremely fortunate to work for some really wealthy people, yeah um billionaires, um, and at the same time I’ll be on those job sites with you know a gentleman or a woman that had just immigrated here, yeah, and is starting at the bottom. But I also have met people, I have um worked with people that started on the bottom maybe didn’t even know the language after immigrating here and have climbed to the top that are you know, foreman supervisors, business owners.

It’s the American, such a great country man, what a fortunate place to be in the world, really lucky.

CJ, I can’t thank you enough for spending time with us brother, I’ve enjoyed it so much. You buildt an amazing life, uh, in the electrical trade and guys, if you want to follow more and learn more about CJ and his company, uh, of course we’ll have some in wherever you’re watching this below, uh, but this is the talking trade series we got a lot more to go. Thanks for joining us, we’ll see you next time.

Wasn’t it fun hanging out with CJ for a couple days? Some gorgeous job sites, holy cow, those are some beautiful houses. CJ’s really built an incredible life for himself. Next up, time to fly over to Bozeman, Montana where we’re going to be visiting Lydia.

You may know her as drywall shorty, she’s a giant sensation on the Instagram, Facebook world, social media. She’s an amazing woman who’s built her career and her life on the drywall trade. So we’re going to be exploring a slightly different trade. I’m going to get a little dirty and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Let’s go visit Lydia in Montana talking trades.

I want to thank our friends at front door for sponsoring this talking trade series. If you’re not familiar with front door, they are reimagining how homeowners maintain and repair their most valuable asset, their home. As the parent company of two leading Brands, front door brings over 50 years of experience in providing their members with comprehensive options to protect their homes from costly and unexpected breakdowns through their extensive network of pre-qualified professional contractors.

American Home Shield has approximately 2 million members and gives homeowners budget protection and convenience covering up to 23 essential home systems and appliances. Now front door is a cutting edge, one-stop app for home home repair and maintenance enabled by their stream technology.

The app empowers homeowners by connecting them in real time through video chat with pre-qualified experts to diagnose and solve their problems. The front door app also offers homeowners a range of other benefits including DIY tips, discounts and much more. More information about American Home Shield and front door visit frontdoorhome.com.

Now as the largest provider of home service plans in the nation and a network approximately 16,000 independent contractors, front door is spreading the word and advocating to bring new talent into the pipeline by creating opportunities for young people as plumbers, electricians and other highly skilled professions.

Front door has also been sponsoring organizations committed to the advancement of the skilled trades like Skills USA and Be Pro Be Proud. I’ve been to their events, those are amazing organizations and huge thanks to front door for their partnership in this talking trade series.

I want to say huge thanks to my friends at Sashco for sponsoring this talking trade series. First off, if you’re not familiar with them, Sashco makes a huge line of premium caulks and sealants that I use every day on my high performance builds.

They’re a family-owned company that makes their products in Colorado, but they also have been a massive supporter of trade school education. Now if you are a trade school teacher watching this video, I want to tell you about their class pack program which was designed for you to use in your classroom that you had educate students about sealant technology and application.

Now I’ve been through a version of this program and it was really fun and educational. You can enhance your curriculum with their expert resources, learn more at sashco.com/trades-support.

Now if you aren’t a teacher, you can still make a difference in this battle to bolster our trade base. Take the Sashco challenge, volunteer a local trade school in your town, capture the moment, share it on social media and Sashco and your reward will be a free case of Lexel as a token of their appreciation for supporting trade education. Thanks again Sashco for sponsoring these videos.

“Talking Electrical: Part 1” – TALKING TRADES EP. 5

Exploring Career Opportunities in the Trades: BUILD Original Series ‘Talking Trades