Tools of the Trade: What to Bring on Your First Day – Electricians and Plumbers Edition

Congratulations! You landed the job and are now preparing for your first day. This is, of course, very exciting. But the days before you start a new position can also be a stressful time – especially if it’s your first introduction to the construction industry. A jobsite is not your average workplace. It requires a certain degree of preparation and equipment in order to succeed.

You already know that it’s best to be 10 to 15 minutes early on your first day. Timeliness is VERY important in construction, as the day is very tightly scheduled. It’s also important to ensure you don’t leave the house without your personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes your hard hat, work gloves, ear protectors, safety goggles and dust masks.

Most workers prefer to have their own, and sometimes highly personalized, PPE. These items not only help keep you safe but will be necessary throughout your construction career. It’s good to invest in quality products from the get-go.

You’re also going to need some basic tools to ensure that you will be able to successfully perform in your new job. What you might need depends on your area of specialization. What follows is a basic checklist for two jobs in which Building Skills workers frequently are placed:

Tools Needed for Electricians

If you’re beginning a new job as an electrician, make sure you have the following tools in your toolbox:

1. Tape Measure
2. Level (With a bubble of air inside a vial of encased liquid, the level shows when its frame is exactly horizontal with the earth’s surface)
3. Phillips-Head screwdriver
4. Large and small Flat-Head screwdrivers
5. Wire stripper
6. Linesman Plier (distinguished by a flat gripping surface at their snub nose, used for gripping, twisting, bending and cutting wire, cable and small metalwork components)
7. Channellock Plier (has an angled head where one handle slides to adjust the size of the opening used to pinch and grab without affecting the distance between the handles)

Tools Needed for Plumbers

If you’re beginning a new job as a plumber, make sure you have the following tools in your toolbox:

1. Tape Measure
2. 12” Torpedo level (a type of spirit level that is an essential tool for any professional working in tight spaces)
3. Flashlight
4. Utility Knife
5. Phillips-Head screwdriver
6. Flat-Head screwdriver
7. Hammer
8. 3-piece Channellock Tongue and Groove Pliers Set (6.5”, 9.5”, 12”)
9. No-Hub Torque wrench (this commonly “T”-shaped handle on this wrench is easy to use in various environments and provides a high degree of accuracy with torque pressures)

With this checklist, you’ll be ready to tackle your first day! If you need any help locating these tools, or have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Building Skills team.