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Thread: Tradesman vs semi skilled vs technician

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    Tradesman vs semi skilled vs technician

    Generally speaking a tradesman ...is a person who has spent a couple of years in a training centre... has also spent a couple of years in the field doing practical training...then to tech for the theory side ...then completed a trade test test to verify if he/she is suitably qualified to perform tasks in part of the electrical field...and as in my case studied further and completed a few night classes for the tech qualification ...spent a few more years getting experience to qualify as an installation electrician... then back to night classes at tech to complete my master electrician course and then again spent a few more years getting experience to qualify to apply to become a master electrician...who can not only work on ...but also carry out inspections on literally anything that has power.

    A semi skilled...is a person who is in training...just another means to an end goal...to become a tradesman.


    A technician... is a person who has completed a few "days" of training for a specific product which allows them to work on that specific product....as an example ...i am also a way over qualified "technician" done all the training on alarm systems...cctv...gate installations...fire alarm systems... PLC's you name i have a file full of certificates...for all the one day/week courses.

    The phrase technician is too widely used... i am sure there are highly qualified and skilled technicians...in a specific field...feel free to add.

    This is what i see on a daily basis:

    guy fixes the gate...sends a bill for R450 per hour for a "technician" to fix the gate or another example...(require a couple of days training) customer doesnt blink to pay the bill.

    a semi skilled to install a few lights R450 per hour...(skills required a couple weeks training)the customer wines about the bill.

    a qualified plumber or electrician fixes something @ R500 ...(a couple of years training) the customer has a heart attack because the rate is so high.

    My point of this post ...stop insulting qualified tradesmen by wining about their bills...make a point of verifying the skill level of the person working at your property and pay the man his value...you are paying for his qualifications and experience.

    To all the tradesman out there stop selling your short...doctors dont bat an eyelid charging the rates they charge for you to drive to them... because they spent 5-7 years training...yet a tradesman feels bad to charge R500 per hour for 3- 5 years training.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I am concerned about the usage of the term Technician - My wife studied at Wits Technicon and and did in service training at ESKOM to be eligible to be called a Heavy Current Technician.

    We live in a world where titles are given out without any regard for actual qualifications or skills. The terms Technician and Engineer mean absolutely nothing today. Qualifications also mean nothing. There was a time when a qualification meant that the person had a theoretical and/or practical skill verified by an official body - nowadays it means that the person received an email from somewhere proclaiming them to be an expert.

    I despise the comparison between doctors and tradesmen. I will NOT pay the plumber the same money as I pay my GP. The doctor holds my life in his hands....the plumber holds my .... in his hands. I am not saying that a plumber should not charge a fair wage - I am saying that the comparison is totally bizarre.
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    I am concerned about the usage of the term Technician - My wife studied at Wits Technicon and and did in service training at ESKOM to be eligible to be called a Heavy Current Technician.

    We live in a world where titles are given out without any regard for actual qualifications or skills. The terms Technician and Engineer mean absolutely nothing today. Qualifications also mean nothing. There was a time when a qualification meant that the person had a theoretical and/or practical skill verified by an official body - nowadays it means that the person received an email from somewhere proclaiming them to be an expert.

    I despise the comparison between doctors and tradesmen. I will NOT pay the plumber the same money as I pay my GP. The doctor holds my life in his hands....the plumber holds my .... in his hands. I am not saying that a plumber should not charge a fair wage - I am saying that the comparison is totally bizarre.
    I cant say that I have ever had my GP hold my life in his hands...maybe write a note in a language only him and the chemist dud understands ...and tell me if the meds dont work to come back in 2 weeks for more meds of a different kind until eventually he gets it right.

    however i have seen a person connect an aircon which resulted in a fire which almost killed the person asleep in the room..if the aircon didnt explode and fly across the room ...she might not have woken up...due to the volume of smoke.

    I have also seen a 2 year electrocuted to death due to negligence.

    That would be an interesting stat...death caused by negligent GP's in comparison to negligent tradesman?

    We not talking about specialists in a field... just the general run of the mill quack to the run of the mill tradesman.

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    By the way Adrian...a surgeon works on your body with a set of tools and instruments... we work on those tools and instruments...create a safe environment... test and certify them safe to use...best you play nicely with us tradesman

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I have to concede that GP's aren't particularly good. It is said that one only goes to a GP when you know exactly what is wrong with you. My dad was an orthopedic surgeon and my mom was a radiographer - I sort of grew up around the medical fraternity.

    Even so, the risks involved in being a doctor and seeing a doctor are still far greater than the risks involved in seeing a plumber. I think that the old adage "With great risk comes great reward" still stands. If a doctor or a pilot makes a mistake people die and he or she can be held criminally responsible. If a plumber makes a mistake then he just shrugs it off and says "$h1T happens" - pardon the pun.

    Again, I am not knocking tradesmen nor am I putting doctors and pilots on a pedestal - What I am trying to say is that certain jobs demand higher wages because the risks are greater. I am essentially a sort of self-taught tradesman with many skills and although I know a lot about a lot of things I do not have any formal accreditation. I can charge whatever I want and my clients are free to accept the quote or not accept it. I also balk at having to pay the doctor R320 for a 5 minute consultation so as to get a refill of a run of the mill script. Again - the doctor takes a risk due to his position in society and I don't.

    I suppose that I come across as being totally bipolar in my views - Maybe it is because I am unaccredited and I know that I do not want to take those sorts of risks with other peoples lives and maybe it is also because I grew up in a world of highly trained, highly specialized people and I saw the aftermath of failures first hand.

    Look, I think that people (no matter who or what they are) have the right to charge whatever they want and that everybody have the right to accept, refuse or negotiate the price. I do not accept the price of R5.8k that the optician quoted me one week ago and I still do not accept his revised quote of R3.7K for my new glasses - I will shop around till I find a price that I am happy with. I negotiate with my dentist and when I go to the GP I take my daughters along to if they need anything so as to lower the overall cost - We often discuss the efficacy, prices and availability of medicines and generics at great length to decide on a prescription. By the same token I refuse to pay a plumber R8k to fit a geyser in my house. I purchased the geyser outright for R3.4k and a different plumber charged me R600 to fit it with my help.

    It all comes down to negotiation - nobody puts a gun to anybody's head when it comes to accepting quotes - we live in a free market society and we vote with our wallets - and yes, some of us are misers when it comes to the final vote!
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    I've been wondering; the income of (highly qualified) professionals depend on the business they generate. If a tradesman or a doctor goes on leave, they have no income. They may hire a locum to keep the practice alive etc etc. They do not earn a bonus or get share allocations - they have to earn every cent by sweating it out.

    Now consider the professional CEO's and managers of big and listed companies. The only risk they take is their reputation. The business does not belong to them (although they may be allocated shares in addition to their fat salaries an bonuses), but they still demand more and get increases every year. I have worked in the financial sector before and have yet to see a CEO or senior manager cut their salary when business is tough. Just before the bankruptcy they will still get their fat salaries and allowances....
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I think that the doctor would only pay the locum a portion of the income that the locum brings in because the locum earns as a result of the practice and not as a result of his own infrastructure or marketing. The locum sees the doctors patients - he does not see his own patients. Like a locum in a pharmacy - they get paid peanuts because they are mere servants of the business - If you want to know how little they get paid then have a conversation with one of them the next time you go to collect a script from a Clicks pharmacy - I am sure that the average plumber makes 3 x as much as they do.

    With regards to CEO's of large companies - the same holds true - big risk vs big reward - the only difference is that most of them are are far better at hedging their bets and limiting the risk to themselves. Of course there are many that fail big too - The problem with our media is that we only get to hear about the exceptions on either side - not so much about the thousands of managers that do well or fail miserably on a daily basis.

    BTW: I disagree with your byline: "Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude..." Human Excellence is the culmination of talent, skill and practice. Many many people who excel have absolutely horrendous attitudes - some because they are arrogant twats and some because their parents forced them to excel in something they hate.

    A person can be as positive as they like but if they have 2 left feet they will never be a Prima Ballerina - Now you know why I don't go around in a pink TuTu :-)
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    BTW: I disagree with your byline: "Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude..." Human Excellence is the culmination of talent, skill and practice. Many many people who excel have absolutely horrendous attitudes - some because they are arrogant twats and some because their parents forced them to excel in something they hate.

    A person can be as positive as they like but if they have 2 left feet they will never be a Prima Ballerina - Now you know why I don't go around in a pink TuTu :-)
    Adrian, I will rather employ someone with the right attitude, someone who aspires to be better and do better, than a know-all graduate who is lazy on top of it.
    A person with the right attitude can be trained to do just about anything. If you have the talent but you're not willing to put in the practice, you will remain being a spectator and not become a ballerina.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    My intention with this thread was more to point out the difference between a tradesman/artisan and a technician....i unfortunately am both ...a certified licensed master electrician ... and a "technician" in many fields.

    Why would i waste time spending 3 days on a course to become a "technician" ...when i am a highly skilled tradesman with over 30 years of hands on experience...well it is simple...people seem ok with me sending a bill for R1000 for a call out to replace a battery in a gate motor ...yet they bitch and whine if i send a bill for R 1000 to climb around in the roof tracing circuits or repair a machine...you get the idea.

    Another example is a thermographer ...i can charge R 5-7000 a visit to pull out my camera and scan a few panels ...all it takes is a 1 week course...in fact there are no rules and regs with regards to requirements for this industry (since i last checked)...some companies like insurance companies ...will insist on a minimum of level 1.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post
    Adrian, I will rather employ someone with the right attitude, someone who aspires to be better and do better, than a know-all graduate who is lazy on top of it.
    A person with the right attitude can be trained to do just about anything. If you have the talent but you're not willing to put in the practice, you will remain being a spectator and not become a ballerina.
    I've worked with really really stupid people who have the right attitude - No matter the attitude, if a person doesn't have the aptitude they are really problematic in the workplace. Yes it is nice is a person has a "good" attitude but frankly, I couldn't care less if the pilot is a nice guy when the motors flame out and we are going down - I care about his talent, skill and practice!!!!!


    I have a perfect case in point today. My worker has a great attitude but he is as dumb as a plank. He s completely incapable of thinking for himself and he creates a lot of problems because common sense eludes him. I am getting to a point where I am no longer going to put up with his ongoing stupidity. ...I just have to have a little rant because the guy really does stupid things and teaching him doesn't help because basic logic goes over his head and thus he is incapable of applying the lesson in a slightly different situation.
    Last edited by adrianh; 01-Oct-19 at 11:50 AM.
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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