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Do apprenticeship/trades while attending university

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  • May 17th, 2017 1:59 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 18, 2015
829 posts
166 upvotes
Antarctica

Do apprenticeship/trades while attending university

Has anyone ever done both apprenticeship/trade work on the side while attending university? I was thinking of grabbing an electrician side gig while doing compsci/Netsec as the degree (degree + side projects in progress, but I am willing to hustle to cover all bases).

Or is there a way to beg a contractor to hire you (I do have power tool + some electromechanical experience from previous work) as a worker and hope to advance through that alone? Is full time trade school a must?

Thanks
6 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
2091 posts
341 upvotes
Edmonton
Crichtonfan wrote:
May 17th, 2017 3:22 am
Has anyone ever done both apprenticeship/trade work on the side while attending university? I was thinking of grabbing an electrician side gig while doing compsci/Netsec as the degree (degree + side projects in progress, but I am willing to hustle to cover all bases).

Or is there a way to beg a contractor to hire you (I do have power tool + some electromechanical experience from previous work) as a worker and hope to advance through that alone? Is full time trade school a must?

Thanks
This was one of my regrets. I wish I did trades while at university or instead of university, I would have my JMan ticket earlier. So you can definitely do it whole you have the 4 months off and some places will let you come in to work on a flexible schedule (let's say you have classes Tuesday/Thursday you go into work Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Possibly weekends.

I don't know where your from but Alberta once you have a blue book you only do trade school for 2 months (4 times though throughout apprenticeship). I believe the first "year" schooling you can do anytime, no real minimum of hours and then the next ones are recommended approx 1500 hours after that. Will take you longer than 4 years to get journeyman status as your going to university but if you end up working lots of overtime during summer you can probably get the ticket within a year or two of finishing a 4 year uni course.

Good luck!

Edit: I did do some mechanic work while being at university. Quite alot of it
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 18, 2015
829 posts
166 upvotes
Antarctica
Thanks. I really appreciate the reply as there's almost zero information on this it seems (doing both uni + trade). I am enjoying the dev + IT stuff I am currently doing and university is pretty laid back work compared to working in the field from my experience so far, so I would rather use the time to learn another valuable skill on the side. While I didn't quite enjoy the repetitive wiring and assembly work at my previous two workplaces, I have always done my best at work and wouldn't mind having a backup in the form of a trade just in case. Heck it could help me do some other interesting work may be. Who knows.

I'll see if I can talk to a trade school and see if I can take a 1 - day / a few hours a week class only. Now I need to scour places which might need a warm body to do low level wiring work as a start..
Newbie
Apr 19, 2017
6 posts
4 upvotes
Edmonton
Crichtonfan wrote:
May 17th, 2017 9:43 am
Thanks. I really appreciate the reply as there's almost zero information on this it seems (doing both uni + trade). I am enjoying the dev + IT stuff I am currently doing and university is pretty laid back work compared to working in the field from my experience so far, so I would rather use the time to learn another valuable skill on the side. While I didn't quite enjoy the repetitive wiring and assembly work at my previous two workplaces, I have always done my best at work and wouldn't mind having a backup in the form of a trade just in case. Heck it could help me do some other interesting work may be. Who knows.

I'll see if I can talk to a trade school and see if I can take a 1 - day / a few hours a week class only. Now I need to scour places which might need a warm body to do low level wiring work as a start..
Hi Crichtonfan,

For starters, I've read all of micheal crichtons books if that's who you're a fan of. I completed my pipefitter trade in alberta, upgraded my high school marks and went to university. fresh graduating this year with a Bachelors in medical laboratory science. It's true there's almost no information on it and I've never met another person like me whose even upgraded their highschool marks at the u of a, let alone done a trade beforehand. My trade allowed me to survive, support myself by working during summers and has honestly helped me in applications and scholarships. Probably even helped with work ethic and professionalism (alright maybe not) during clinical rotations as a student. Not possible to complete a trade while in university full time courses but certainly possible to start or apprentice if you can secure that apprenticeship. I did upgrade my high school marks while working and furthering apprenticeship at the same time at two different schools though so that's possible.

You'll never get that trade school flexibility 1-day/ few hours a week class. They don't exist here in alberta at least. Things have changed since I've done my apprenticeship as well. Now the way to do what I did if thats what you want is to get a job plus blue book plus trade with a company willing to apprentice you (which takes time and luck at the moment) then complete or challenge first year or two (up to four months of full-time trade school). This costs money and probably a year of time. Depends on your financial backing. Only once you're indentured could you start full-time university while working as an electrician/misc trade during the summers.

I'm a huge fan of all the trades and I have a similiar attitude for risk/reward/future hedging bets. I left pipefitting for the wrong reasons although I'm glad I did. I'm sure there's a trade out there that I would be happy doing now and I bet many university students I know would be just as happy or better off learning a skilled trade.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 18, 2015
829 posts
166 upvotes
Antarctica
Thanks oilywilly, and yes that's the right author.

Its sort of annoying that trades still require the whole going to school part as I am in university right now and can't stall this for another type of schooling right now. I guess worst case scenario I try looking for relevant work and prove my ability while securing experience and branch out in something else may be. It is really for a safety net reason and I don't mind working with my hands (I just hated the "produce, produce faster" mentality of the guys at the plant I worked earlier, takes out the enjoyment really, especially when they screw up orders and you get yelled at to make changes as if you did it).

Another reason for not taking full time trade school right now in summer is work + doing side projects related to my field of study.
Newbie
Apr 19, 2017
6 posts
4 upvotes
Edmonton
Crichtonfan wrote:
May 17th, 2017 12:08 pm
Thanks oilywilly, and yes that's the right author.

Its sort of annoying that trades still require the whole going to school part as I am in university right now and can't stall this for another type of schooling right now. I guess worst case scenario I try looking for relevant work and prove my ability while securing experience and branch out in something else may be. It is really for a safety net reason and I don't mind working with my hands (I just hated the "produce, produce faster" mentality of the guys at the plant I worked earlier, takes out the enjoyment really, especially when they screw up orders and you get yelled at to make changes as if you did it).

Another reason for not taking full time trade school right now in summer is work + doing side projects related to my field of study.
It's not annoying at all. We should be glad there's at least those minimum standards and training for skilled work. It's not a summer job afterthought, not even for a good university student. Most trades are successful careers even if I'm no longer in mine, or theyre solid employment for people who actually need it to support themselves. Its impossible to do cool summer research projects and make good coin for school next year, so I know that problem too well and I wish you luck. Too bad about your previous plant/workplace experience being negative. Hopefully somewhere there's the exact job positions you worked at with better work environments and you just got the bum deal.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 18, 2015
829 posts
166 upvotes
Antarctica
Agree with what you said. My point was that I am looking to make it sort of a back up career if the development / IT security field hits a rough patch. I am passionate about my success in that field, and thoroughly enjoy being the proverbial nerd at times but I also don't mind having hands on learning with another skill set to supplement me in future if need be. With the current and future economy I am not really placing any bets on anything so might as well cover my self as much as possible. Plus it's pretty cool to have a hands-on skill I can use in addition to the dev/IT skillset even if the two aren't closely related.

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