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I am a first year helper and wanted to hear some advice on how to be the best helper I can be. I don't know much, and haven't yet had much responsibility besides cutting pipe, running errands, putting up stud guards. I am 28yrs old and feel like I need to do more than what I am doing to get a raise and to feel more usefull/valuable. I work 8-12hrs daily and go to school two times a week at night.

I would like to here some ideas of your ideal great helper.

Thanks
 

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Don't be afraid of OT... Own Time, show up early and stay late ( 15 to 30 minutes or so ) get the truck ready for the day, clean out the truck, put fittings away in the shop, clean up the yard, don't hang with the boss drinking coffee, find something to do...

If your Union dis-regard the above paragraph, your not allowed.

Show inititave while on the job, stay busy, ask pertinant questions, don't but into your journeymans discussion with the customer/owner/boss, keep your head down, mouth shut and do your job to the best of your ability.

Don't complain about the work, or you may not have any...

Learn to understand what you read, go to the introductions page as you were instructed and tell us about yourself...



Good Luck.
 

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Show inititave while on the job, stay busy, ask pertinent questions, don't butt into your journeymans discussion with the customer/owner/boss, keep your head down, mouth shut and do your job to the best of your ability.

Don't complain about the work, or you may not have any...
I started late in the business myself at 26 two years ago, with no prior experience.

The above is key. If you step out of line, be prepared to get ripped a new one and take it like a man. Do the job the way the journeyman wants it done. If you have a different idea, ask when your in the truck.

Buy your grunt tools first: mud boots, eye and ear protection.
 

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You've already got one thing going. You admit you don't know-it-all and you are willing to ask questions A+.

2nd thing you've got going - You care enough to want to advance.

3rd thing - be an active member on PZ - you'll will learn a wealth of information from some of the best in the industry.

Welcome to Plumbing Zone! :thumbsup:
 

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A few simple things ;

Always have a tape ,paper & pencil , and a clean rag .

Try to anticipate what is needed next or two steps ahead ( it will come with time )

Remember or write down when the boss says things like ," Oh , Crap ,,, we need to remember to get some such & suches for the truck stock "

Again -- DON'T INTERRUPT OR CORRECT THE BOSS IN FRONT OF OWNERS OR PEOPLE " HIGHER UP" THEN YOU ! It's a chain of command thing .

When the time is right --- THE ONLY DUMB QUESTION IS THE ONE YOU DON'T ASK !!

Be presentable . Wear shoe covers . Put tarps over the homeowners stuff .

Relax ,,,, you're going to do GREAT !!!

Best of Luck !!!!!!!!!!!

Cal
 
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You cant ask too many questions, if you dont understand how something works ASK.
Dont just stand there and nod your head.
Be on time and be dependable.
 

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Take pride in your work. Always do the best job that you can. Strive for perfection. You will never regret doing something the right way.

The is no traffic jam on the extra mile.
 

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One other thing, this is a deal breaker with me as far as apprentices go...

If I take the time to explain something to you and you don't understand what I mean, ask. I will explain as many times as you need until you have understood it, no problem...

BUT...

Don't tell me you got and let me walk away from you, and come back and find out you didn't have it... :furious: :furious: :cursing: :cursing: Couple of those and your unemployed and I'm looking for a new apprentice.
 

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As a former owner of a plumbing company I say always be at work. I can not plan a day out and have employees wo do not show up. If this happens then I have to re scedual the entire day in minutes. At least let your boss know you will not be in as soon as possible.

Next is I expected employees to know what fittings were what, not at first, but lets face it, after a few weeks it should be pretty well known what fitings are which.

Try to get things in advance. A master plumber cost a company good money. If you try to keep ahead of the plumber then he can keep on working instead of waiting.

Take initiative. I like people who try to do things on their own. Shows they are willing to try.

probably a few more, but this is all I can think of at the moment.

Good luck!
 

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All of the above + always bring your trainer lunch. If anything goes wrong it is your fault. Always bring your trainer snacks. Always be your trainers alibi if his wife calls Good Luck There are alot of easier ways to make money, but not a lot that make so much of a difference in everyones quality of life!!!
 

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I just have one thing to add.

Don't take one journeyman's methods as the gospel. Do it his way while you are with him. But, remember there are a lot of licensed guys out there that don't know what they are doing.

Be like a good news reporter. Before you call it fact. Find another reference. Whether that reference is your code book, another journeyman, your inspector, or even us.


Good luck to ya:thumbsup:
 

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I just have one thing to add.

Don't take one journeyman's methods as the gospel. Do it his way while you are with him. But, remember there are a lot of licensed guys out there that don't know what they are doing.

Be like a good news reporter. Before you call it fact. Find another reference. Whether that reference is your code book, another journeyman, your inspector, or even us.


Good luck to ya:thumbsup:

Il. is right. When I started in 1982, I worked for a company that was 80% service and the rest remodel. Had no idea what new work was all about. After several years (AND NO LICENSE) I went to work for a company (my sponsor) that had apprenticed & licensed in Chicago, a whole different animal. I really learned the new work and technical end at this point. Never assume that you have seen,heard or learned it all, it's impossible. I know alot of plumbers, with 20 years exp. that have strictly done new track houses. Nothing wrong with that but I do think that someone with 4 years of service and 4 years of new is more well rounded and you have left yourself an out if things go south with the economy:)

KEEP AN OPEN MIND
LEAD, DONT FOLLOW:thumbsup:
 

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The key to being an apprentice not a damn helper is to do it. Don’t be afraid to do what you think on a job, that is what I have always done and I am doing very well and have in every plumbing company I have worked for. Work hard and do what your journeyman says, you might not like it or agree with it but you have to do it his way. Once you hold that license you can do it your way.
 

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In ND I am a fourth year now :D I am free to do what I like alone now, I can work alone without a damn apprentice or a journeyman. FREEDOM!!!!!!
 

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Its much easier to read. If you want to add something to a post. Hit the edit button and add whatever you like.
 
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