It’s no shock to her – Charity Bridges loves
being an electrician
Charity Bridges is just finishing up the hours she needs to get her electrician’s license. She went to school at NBCC for two years, completing four sections, each followed by a certain amount of hours of experience she had to earn.
She currently works on the Canadian Forces Base, hooking up transformers, wiring up new buildings, and doing the wiring for additions and renovations.
“I didn’t have any trouble at all finding work,” said Charity. “There’s a lot of demand for trades right now.”
So how did she decide to become an electrician? “Electricity literally runs in my family,” said Charity. “My dad was an electrician – when I was a little girl, he carted me around with him.”
“As I got older, my dad told me if I was going to do the work, then I ought to get paid for it,” said Charity. He indentured her, and that started her on her way to becoming a licensed electrician.
Would she recommend this type of career to other women? “Oh, you bet. I’d recommend it to anyone,” says Charity. Her younger sister is starting the program next year, and her older sister is married to a contractor and helps out with things like running heavy machinery.
Becoming an electrician is still not a very common career choice for women. Charity was the only female in her class and she’s only worked with one other woman, plus her younger sister.
She gets a lot of satisfaction out of her job, and really enjoys the work, but it’s not all easy. “It’s heavy work sometimes – I have to realize what I can and can’t do.” Despite the hard work, there are some great benefits. “There’s a lot of freedom, working for yourself, and earning enough to know you can take care of yourself and a family too.”
When asked about the challenges she faced, she felt there were no real obstacles. “My school group was very helpful,” Charity explained. “My teachers were awesome, especially with things like extra help. They were all willing to put in the hours if you were.”
She felt the same way about obstacles in her work environment. “Most people are pretty open now,” said Charity. “Some of the older guys can be kind of dubious about my abilities, but I don’t really have any problems.”
With two children, Charity feels her career blends well with having a family. “I have some freedom and flexibility, and although the work can be hard, I’m still young and have lots of energy.”
"I may want to get more into the engineering side as I get older,” said Charity. “But for now, I really enjoy what I do.”
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