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Author Topic: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"  (Read 7006 times)

Rafi Singer

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So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« on: March 13, 2013, 07:51:03 pm »

Hey all!

So, I primarily am a sound engineer and I get the vast majority of my work in that field. However, I haven't taken an attitude of exclusivity. I've done concert lighting out of necessity for a number of years because my old venue didn't have a staff LD. I've programmed and addressed moving fixtures, done focuses,worked as a follow spot. I've also been put on the electrics team when working larger union gigs and was able to hang with no major issues, but then again, the touring crew is supposed to be preventing blunders on some level.

I'd love to be able to put "electrician" on my resume at some point, but because I don't actually seek out lighting gigs at the moment explicitly, I kind of feel like a fake doing that. Therefore I have to ask you guys: What would be some landmarkers in your mind that would deem someone able to call themselves an electrician?
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Josh Daws

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2013, 08:30:49 pm »

someone with the actual qualification...its one thing to "KNOW" about electical stuff and safety but you aren't an electrician until you have had formal certified training...
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Zachary Zimmerman

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2013, 08:47:34 pm »

someone with the actual qualification...its one thing to "KNOW" about electical stuff and safety but you aren't an electrician until you have had formal certified training...

I agree formal training is REQUIRED not optional to call yourself an Electrician for your safety and the venues safety and anyone around you as well.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2013, 09:31:13 pm »

I agree formal training is REQUIRED not optional to call yourself an Electrician for your safety and the venues safety and anyone around you as well.

I have never seen any formal training required to call oneself a lighting technician which may be what's being referred to here.  In many locations that is termed an electrician ie. the master electrician may run lighting console in many houses but is always in charge of the lighting plot hang, the deck electrician takes care of the lighting fixtures associated with the stage level, etc., etc.

Lee
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Josh Daws

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2013, 12:15:23 am »

clarification is indeed required here...
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Steve Milner

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So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2013, 12:38:01 am »

Good question here... I've absolutely been on jobs where the LD is listed as the "electrician" ... Yet I know that in various cases, these people hold no formal electrical training or certification.

I've seen them do tie-ins, and on one case a really dodgy hot tie-in that I strongly protested and then sourced my power from wall outlets in order not to be a part of the situation.

I'm competent with electrics, and have been asked occasionally to take on these roles, but have always turned them down and suggested finding an actual certified electrician. There is a HUGE difference between knowing some shit, and holding the actual accreditation.

Hell, I refuse to use the term sound engineer, as I don't hold any actual engineering credentials. Just doesn't seem fair to use the title at all.

Lee Douglas

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2013, 12:11:07 pm »

someone with the actual qualification...its one thing to "KNOW" about electical stuff and safety but you aren't an electrician until you have had formal certified training...

And even then...  Until you have a valid 01 in the jurisdiction you're working crumpled up in your wallet.  I don't know what's required for live production work but an appropriate certification with up-to-date CE credits goes a long way in inspiring confidence.
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 02:03:52 pm »

I'd love to be able to put "electrician" on my resume at some point...
Rafi,

I, too, would like to be able to list that on my resume.

You might want to look into ETCP/ESTA training for electrical.
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Rob Spence

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So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 02:28:18 pm »

Hey all!

So, I primarily am a sound engineer and I get the vast majority of my work in that field. However, I haven't taken an attitude of exclusivity. I've done concert lighting out of necessity for a number of years because my old venue didn't have a staff LD. I've programmed and addressed moving fixtures, done focuses,worked as a follow spot. I've also been put on the electrics team when working larger union gigs and was able to hang with no major issues, but then again, the touring crew is supposed to be preventing blunders on some level.

I'd love to be able to put "electrician" on my resume at some point, but because I don't actually seek out lighting gigs at the moment explicitly, I kind of feel like a fake doing that. Therefore I have to ask you guys: What would be some landmarkers in your mind that would deem someone able to call themselves an electrician?

There are professions and job titles. Not the same thing.

Electrician as a profession requires a 6 year apprenticeship followed by an exam.
In theater (or event production) you can hold the job title of any of several "electrician" titles without being a licensed electrician.

So, if I wanted to put the information on my resume, I would be careful to properly qualify it.


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Randall Hyde

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 06:58:58 pm »


I'd love to be able to put "electrician" on my resume at some point, but because I don't actually seek out lighting gigs at the moment explicitly, I kind of feel like a fake doing that. Therefore I have to ask you guys: What would be some landmarkers in your mind that would deem someone able to call themselves an electrician?

If I were you, I'd take Richard Cadena's "Entertainment Electrician" course.
It's not enough to allow you to call yourself an electrician, but it's enough to teach you about the basics so you know better than to call yourself an electrician :)

It is a very useful course, btw. I took it. I highly recommend it.
cheers,
Randy Hyde
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James Feenstra

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 09:02:58 pm »

Rafi,

I, too, would like to be able to list that on my resume.

You might want to look into ETCP/ESTA training for electrical.
etcp is more about liability than it is about actual knowledge. The problem with holding an etcp card is that in event of an accident on a show you're involved in you automatically become liable, even if you are not directly in charge.

I hope you have good insurance before getting your ticket.
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 10:01:59 pm »

etcp is more about liability than it is about actual knowledge. The problem with holding an etcp card is that in event of an accident on a show you're involved in you automatically become liable, even if you are not directly in charge.

I hope you have good insurance before getting your ticket.
Interesting...didn't know that.
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Zachary Zimmerman

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2013, 10:19:35 pm »

etcp is more about liability than it is about actual knowledge. The problem with holding an etcp card is that in event of an accident on a show you're involved in you automatically become liable, even if you are not directly in charge.

I hope you have good insurance before getting your ticket.

The liability here is what u should be worried about. There are a lot of us that tie in and we are taking a risk when we do.   

Hypothetical situation lets say joe is not a certified electrician and he's the main sound guy who always does the tie ins when there's not a house electrician. But on this one show he ties in like every 100 times before but this time there's a bolt loose in the disconnect. When the disconnect is engaged the bolt falls out and welds itself between 2 phases and the breaker does not trip because its old and the feeder coming to the disconnect gets hot and catches fire.

Well it's nothing joe did but joe was not an electrician well no Lawyer will be able to disprove the fact that joe was not an electrician. Therefor joe will be paying for the damage and liable for any injuries.  Even if an investigation which will be done may prove that it was not joes fault.
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brian maddox

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2013, 03:30:25 pm »

The liability here is what u should be worried about. There are a lot of us that tie in and we are taking a risk when we do.   

Hypothetical situation lets say joe is not a certified electrician and he's the main sound guy who always does the tie ins when there's not a house electrician. But on this one show he ties in like every 100 times before but this time there's a bolt loose in the disconnect. When the disconnect is engaged the bolt falls out and welds itself between 2 phases and the breaker does not trip because its old and the feeder coming to the disconnect gets hot and catches fire.

Well it's nothing joe did but joe was not an electrician well no Lawyer will be able to disprove the fact that joe was not an electrician. Therefor joe will be paying for the damage and liable for any injuries.  Even if an investigation which will be done may prove that it was not joes fault.

which is why Brian NEVER does tie-ins.  ever ever ever.
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Brian Larson

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So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2013, 06:44:15 pm »

So, what if you plug an extension cord into a faulty outlet in a bar and the place burns down. Are you just as liable? Is the difference only the type of connector? (Cams vs. Edison)

Not trying to dispute you, just wondering where the line is drawn.
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Josh Daws

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2013, 07:24:05 pm »

So, what if you plug an extension cord into a faulty outlet in a bar and the place burns down. Are you just as liable? Is the difference only the type of connector? (Cams vs. Edison)

Not trying to dispute you, just wondering where the line is drawn.

yes you are still liable regardless of what AC Cables/Distro you use(expecially if its your power distribution) are you are technically are providing power. At least that is my understanding of it.

also as a side note (as i have learned my lesson), you should always carry a GFI outlet tester with you, and before you plug something into an outlet to ensure that the outlets are all good! it won't tell you inproper voltage, but will sort out incorrect wiring.
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James Feenstra

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2013, 07:31:44 pm »

So, what if you plug an extension cord into a faulty outlet in a bar and the place burns down. Are you just as liable? Is the difference only the type of connector? (Cams vs. Edison)

Not trying to dispute you, just wondering where the line is drawn.
it depends where the fault/start of the fire is.

if it's your cable, you're liable....if the bar's wall outlet is faulty and causes the fire, they're liable.

if you're tying in tails directly the fault is generally on whoever did the tie in. if you're just plugging in to existing cams it's the same as plugging into a wall outlet.
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Zachary Zimmerman

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2013, 07:43:15 pm »

So, what if you plug an extension cord into a faulty outlet in a bar and the place burns down. Are you just as liable? Is the difference only the type of connector? (Cams vs. Edison)

Not trying to dispute you, just wondering where the line is drawn.

Usually when I hear the term tie in used to me it means that a disconnect or panel has been opened and individual conductors (tails) have been inserted and clamped in the lugs.  Big differance in connecting an Edison or even actual cams to a cam panel.

See the difference

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« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 07:44:49 pm by Zachary Zimmerman »
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Craig Leerman

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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2013, 04:14:33 am »

Rafi,

The correct term for the resume would be "Entertainment Electrician" or "Stage Lighting Technician" and not simply "Electrician".  The term Electrician would imply that you work on residential or commercial power systems.

I would think that it would take more than a few years working in a theater or union for one to gain enough knowledge of the electrics department to be able to understand the majority of the job.

As for the ESTA certification, its not for beginners. It is geared more toward seasoned pros who want or need some acknowledgment of their skill set for their job (or a better job).

I'll second the Entertainment Electrician course and book from Richard Candena.
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Re: So, when can I say "I am competent with electrics?"
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2013, 04:14:33 am »


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