Megger Personas: Dave Haskin
President, Electrical Test Tech LLC
Years of Experience in the Electrical Power Industry: 18 years
Dave Haskin has nearly two decades of experience in the electrical power industry. He is certified as a NETA Level IV technician and has spent most of his career working on distribution equipment, including everything from protective relays to transformers and breakers in the 5kV to 500kV range. Dave is currently president of Electrical Test Tech LLC, a company he originally started as a social media platform to expose talented electricians to the profession of electrical test tech. His goal is to provide his staff with the kind of work environment he always strived for while working for someone else.
Explain some of the work you’re doing or have done with Megger and its testers.
Just about every piece of electrical equipment we test, we utilize some sort of Megger equipment. No matter the test - cable testing, distribution transformer testing, current transformer testing - we are using the MWA, Delta Power Factor, MRCT test set, 15kV insulation testers, 10A DLRO’s. We use a good amount of Megger equipment.
Did you always want to be an electrical test technician/electrician? If so, why? If not, how’d you wind up here?
As I was getting ready to graduate high school, I took the apprenticeship aptitude test for the IBEW Local Union 26. I got into the apprenticeship. By my third year, I was tired of the tedious work I was doing as an electrician. I happened to talk to the right person during night classes and they set me up on an interview with one of the local test companies. I was given seven months to prove myself, or else they were going to send me back to the Hall. I made it through the seven months and they ended up keeping me onboard. The rest is history.
What has surprised you the most about the work you do with electrical testing? (or engineering in general)
I think the most surprising thing would have to be regarding the knowledge gap between an ‘electrician’ and an ‘electrical test tech’. I didn’t start in the testing field until I was almost a journeyman electrician. A good assumption is that it takes five years to create a good, solid test tech.
What is one of the biggest issues currently facing electrical test technicians/electricians?
I think the biggest issue is the lack of exposure that the testing field gets. We are a completely hidden trade within an enormous trade. When you look at a specific area, such as Washington DC, the actual number of test technicians running around the area is as little as 100 people. We need to encourage more talented people to join this trade.
What is the best thing about working in the industry you are in?
The best thing about working in this field is the amount of exposure to equipment and locations. We can see everything from old equipment from the 1930’s to brand new equipment being purchased and installed today. This profession will take you on many journeys. You have the potential to visit other countries and embassies around the world.
What advice would you give to someone looking into this field of work?
The biggest piece of advice that I can give is that this job is not for a person looking to work 40 hours a week behind a desk. This is a 24/7 career. Emergency calls, blow-ups, planned outages; expect to work it all. You learn most about your job when you put in the time and expose yourself to more scenarios.
What sources do you use/trust for research and education (YouTube channels, blogs, podcasts, etc.)?
One of the steps to becoming a great field technician is knowing how to find the information you’re looking for. Navigating the internet and finding your manuals is a crucial part of the job. Researching to understand how a system is supposed to work, or how it normally works, and then applying that application to your specific system is another challenge. Google is a major source to information.
What’s the most recent show you’ve binge watched?
Law and Order: Organized Crime, Blue Bloods
About Megger Personas
Megger Personas highlights people in the electrical testing community who have real world experience using Megger products. They share their testimonial and advice here in the hopes of inspiring and connecting with the community.
If you would like to be part of the Megger Personas series, please contact Peg Houck at [email protected] or 610-676-8536.