Kurtis Benterud is a Welder-turned-Electrician living in British Columbia. He’s optimistic about the future of the industry, and has come a long way in the industry.
He started out as an apprentice and then transitioned from a Welder to an Electrician because he felt the trade was better suited to him. “The job has so many possibilities for advancement and specialization.”
Kurtis knows firsthand about the hard work and dedication it takes to make it in the skilled trades. He notes that it’s an ongoing learning process. “Be prepared to do physical work and start at the bottom. Don’t be afraid to ask why something is done, but also be prepared to accept that you don’t know better than the person training you.”
As for apprenticeships, Kurtis has lots of advice on how to make it. “If you want to succeed with an apprenticeship, show up early. Arrive at 6:55AM and be prepared to work. Do some research into what courses and equipment will be required.” If you’re looking for an apprenticeship, it’s a good idea to show up at a trade shop with any industry courses required to work in that field, like first aid. “Showing up and needing three days of courses is a good way of not being in the right place at the right time.”
Kurtis says the industry has its ups an downs, and there are repetitive tasks like in any line of work, “but there are a lot of things to learn, and that keeps it interesting.” He started in the industry straight out of high school, and is now well paid and can provide for his family without too much worry about the future.
On flexibility and workplace satisfaction, Kurtis says, “My bosses are fantastic, and to a large degree I work the hours I want to.”