Have you ever wondered about becoming a foreman? Interstates’ Jerrad Brantley, one of EC&M’s 2021 30 Under 30 All Stars, answers questions below about his career path and what you might expect in the daily work life of an electrical foreman.
What is your role at Interstates?
I am a foreman on Interstates’ national traveling team. I work on and manage projects anywhere across the country.
What is your educational background?
I went to Salina Tech in Salina, KS, and completed their two-year Electrical Technology Program. I started with Interstates in 2015 as an apprentice electrician, got my Journeyman’s license, and worked my way up to Foreman.
What made you want to pursue being an electrician?
In high school, we studied building trades, and I was interested in the electrical part. I didn’t know what career I wanted, but I just wanted to learn more about the trade, so I went to technical school. From there, the opportunities just kept coming. My teacher had previously worked at Interstates, and they also came to our school to talk about the apprenticeship program. It was a good fit from the start.
What is your typical day like?
For the last few years, I’ve been running my own jobs, so I get to wear a lot of hats throughout the day. A typical day consists of safety meetings, planning and whiteboard scheduling, and a lot of motivating. Some long-term goals are to finish jobs safely and on time. I try to work alongside my team as much as possible to interact and guide them toward these goals.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
As someone who travels constantly, it’s challenging to juggle your home life and work life and the various roles and expectations. I try to give 100% to each role, so finding a good balance can be difficult.
What do you find rewarding about your job?
At the end of a job, it’s so rewarding when everything has gone smoothly and safely. It’s also been enriching to build good relationships with clients over the last couple of years.
What personality traits are suited for life as an electrical foreman?
You can’t have a strong ego; it can’t get in the way, or you’ll be fighting it all the time. You also need to be able to work with different personalities and understand different types of people. Being self-motivated is very important.
What advice would you give someone considering a career as an electrician?
Interstates does an excellent job of coaching you and preparing you for growth – take every opportunity they throw your way. It’s also important to realize that you get what you put into it. Get out there and work beside your team members and gain their respect. And, if you enjoy change, consider traveling. I definitely recommend it.
You were recently selected as one of EC&M’s 30 Under 30 All Stars. This report highlights “up-and-coming electrical professionals who demonstrate innovation, outstanding work ethic, and technical savvy on the job.” How does it feel to have your accomplishments and ambition recognized?
There’s so much talent out there in the industry, and especially here at Interstates. We have many super talented young people, so being selected and having my work noticed means a lot.