Odd Jobs: Go-kart mechanic - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Odd Jobs: Go-kart mechanic

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ESSEX, Vt. -

"I've never quite been on a job like this before," Patrick Teehan said.

Racing around an indoor track on a go-kart may not look like work, but it is how Teehan earns a living.

"I just enjoy learning new things. And it's not every day you get to jump out on a go-kart and do laps. Then tear the go-kart apart, trying to figure out what went wrong with it," said Teehan.

The 31-year-old is a master electrician by trade, but lately jokes he's earned a more fitting title.

"Right now I'm pretty much just a glorified carnie," said Teehan.

Teehan works for Omega Electric Construction Company. Some years he'll bounce between a dozen job sites. His most recent mission is bringing power to the new Essex Speedway and Action Center. But when the wiring work was done, his boss hit the gas on a new challenge.

"The go-karts showed up and we needed someone to figure out how to make the go-karts work. So I started playing with the go-karts and it just went on from there," said Teehan.

Teehan says he's always been fascinated with figuring out how machinery works.

"If you talk to my parents, they'll tell you that it's kind of been a passion my whole life. A lot more tearing apart than putting together, but I seem to be getting a little bit better at putting things back together as I get a little older here," said Teehan.

It only seemed logical to get paid for his passion. He enrolled in Vermont Tech and the Department of Labor's four-year apprenticeship program studying mechanical engineering by day and working in the field at night.

"Through the classes, I fell in love with electricity. I don't know if it's the arts and sparks or what, but I just fell in love with it," said Teehan.

The program allowed him to graduate debt-free. He got a job with Omega right out of college and says knowledgeable electricians are in high demand.

"It's not hard to find work and it's good work. We just need more people to start doing it," said Teehan.

Teehan says he's proof once you're working in the trade, the possibilities are endless. While some of his colleagues earning six-figure salaries running electrical lines in Antarctica, he's pretty psyched to call this a career.

"I think I have a great job. It's definitely odd that's for sure," said Teehan.

These go-karts have electric motors powered by batteries. Teehan says with inexperienced drivers behind the wheel a lot can go awry.

"We've been running them pretty good, trying to shake down the troubles," said Teehan. "I thrive on the challenge regardless if it's just a broken part on a go-kart or building a new electrical service coming into a building. I just like coming into a blank slate and just figuring it out and working through it."

He's a go-kart mechanic with a knack for problem-solving and keeping novice racers having fun in the fast lane.

Teehan says entry level electricians start at $12 an hour. Master electricians in Vermont earn on average $50,000 to $60,000 a year.

Jennifer is always looking for more odd jobs. So if you have one or know someone who does, send an email to news@wcax.com.

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