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Get to Know Tom Tanski, Electrical & Advanced Electrical Program Instructor

“Teaching is the most rewarding job I ever had, and I can stay involved with the trade I love.”

A Legacy in the Trades

Tom Tanski comes from a long line of master craftsmen. His father was a general contractor and master plumber. His maternal grandfather was a union electrician, and many other family members were in construction. “I grew up doing carpentry and plumbing,” Tom says. “As soon as I was old enough to push a broom, I was on a construction site.”

Tom worked as a framing carpenter in his 20s. When he decided to become an electrician, he spent seven years attending night school while working during the day to learn his trade. He rose to the top of the profession and became a foreman, before a freak bowling injury derailed his career. He was 34.

“I just picked up a bowling ball, there was a rupture, I had nerve damage and lost fine motor skills in my right hand.”

A Fresh Start with Apex

While working as a traveling superintendent, living in hotel rooms across the country, Tom saw an APEX ad looking for teachers for its Electrical & Advanced Electrical program. He wasn’t sure he had the patience to teach, but he went to the interview anyway. That was 14 years ago.

“Teaching is the most rewarding job I ever had, and I can stay involved with the trade I love,” Tom says. “Most tradespeople don’t see themselves as teachers, yet all of us have taught apprentices in the field. We are teachers; we do this all the time. For any tradesperson who has physical limitations like I do, or anyone who has retired from the field but wants to work, this is the perfect career.”

The trades are more technically advanced than most people understand. In the electrical trades, for example, teachers and students alike are at the forefront of technology. Smart homes, next-generation solar technology, and electric car recharging stations all rely on electricity—one of the reasons why career prospects are so great for electricians.

There is so much that is rewarding about teaching for Tom. He can travel anywhere in the country and see buildings his students helped to construct. He loves seeing the moment when students finally grasp a difficult concept. And he loves giving back—one of his students was living in a shelter when he started the program, and now has his own apartment and pays his own bills.

“I was part of changing that student’s life. I never had a job before that offered that kind of reward. There is a pride in knowing you had that impact on someone’s life.”

Interested in changing lives by teaching the next generation of our workforce? Contact us at (212) 645-3300 or apply for an open position below.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.