In honor of Women in Construction Week 2020, OlympiaTech is proud to feature a few of our female team members. Today’s feature is on Tiffanee Kiecker. Tiffanee is finishing up her electrical apprenticeship program and working towards becoming a journey(wo)man electrician. Here is what Tiffanee has to say about her experience working in the construction industry.
- Why did you choose a career in construction?
Growing up, my parents had a few rental properties that we were always working on one way or another. It taught me the importance of physical labor, hard work, and dedication. After trying a few different career paths, I found that what I really missed in my everyday life was the physical and mental challenges that being in the construction trades provided.
- What is the biggest challenge of being a woman in construction?
The biggest challenge I face in being a woman in construction is always wondering if I am good enough, smart enough, strong enough, if I am standing out positively or negatively. If I am creating a good name for other women in the industry by my actions. If I am only being kept on a job because of my minority status or if I am being kept on a job because of my work ethic and quality of work.
- What’s your favorite part of your job?
Everything is my favorite part of the job. I love the people, I love the physical work, I love the mental challenges. I love learning and teaching. Until being in construction I had never had a job where I loved getting up every morning and looking forward to going to work. It’s like a breath of fresh air. I wish everyone could feel the same thing
- What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on and why?
I can’t say there has been a project that I have liked working on more than another, but I can say that I really enjoy using table benders and bending large diameter pipe. All of the math and calculations that are put into making everything fit together perfectly like a puzzle and then seeing the end result and knowing that “I did that,” puts a big smile on my face.
- What advice would you give someone just starting out on the path to becoming an electrician?
My advice to someone new to the trade would be… don’t be afraid to ask questions. Always strive to learn something new every day, always ask questions for clarification even if you are only slightly unsure of yourself. It can save you from a lot of bigger problems down the road. Don’t be afraid to shine brightly.
- What is your ultimate career goal?
As of right now my main goal is to turn out as a journey worker. There are a lot of things that I would like to do and try, like getting my master’s license after I turn out, be given an opportunity to be a foreman, maybe someday a general foreman. The options are endless, and I am open minded to all of them. I have a lot of learning to do, but I know, no matter where this career takes me, I will always be learning new things every day, that’s what makes my job (whatever it is) amazing!
Women in Construction Week (WIC Week) was formalized by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and presents an opportunity to highlight the contributions of women in the construction industry. WIC Week also provides an opportunity for NAWIC members throughout the country to raise awareness of the many career paths and opportunities available for women in the industry. To learn more about NAWIC and WIC Week, visit www.nawic.org.