A Day in the Life of a Miller Low Voltage Service Tech
Like the 1971 Chevy C10 pickup truck he lovingly restores with his father in his spare time, working for Miller Electric is a family affair for Doug Howard. Doug came to Miller Electric about eight years ago, after his brother encouraged him to enroll in the same IBEW Apprenticeship program that led him to work for Miller as an electrician. Doug, who looks so much like his brother that he is often mistaken for him, enjoys the variety of projects he gets to work on as a low voltage service technician for Miller Electric.
“I work mainly with voice and data applications as well as security systems and fire alarm installations,” says Doug. “I particularly enjoy seeing a project from start to finish and completing all the steps in between.”
Doug has been the point man for the same client’s low voltage needs for seven of the eight years he’s been with Miller Electric. In that time, he’s run quite a bit of fiber optic cable, coordinated project work with general contractors, sub contractors and electrical foremen, and spent more hours than he can count with his nose buried in books, bringing himself up to speed with the rapidly changing technology in the security field.
Featured in the photo is Miller Service Low Voltage Tech, Doug Howard.
Restoring Cars Off the Clock, Buildings On it
Of all the projects that Doug has worked on, one stands out as a great example of what being a low voltage service technician for Miller Electric is all about.
“I was able to lead our efforts on the First Data Command Center awhile back. It was a neat project that in a way, kind of reminds me of what it’s like to get under the hood of a classic car you’re restoring,” says Doug. “There were a lot of details to manage, elbow grease was required, and when we were finished it was absolutely beautiful.”
Doug and his crew gutted half a floor of an existing building and rebuilt it into an innovative design. “It was a pretty intense CAT 6A project that involved running 800 lines into a space that was eventually filled up with big screens, desks, and cubes,” says Doug. “I had the opportunity to coordinate the work with the general foreman for the electricians on the crew and all the contractors to make sure we weren’t in the way when guys were ready to lay carpet and install furniture. When it was all said and done, we accomplished an incredible amount of quality work in just three months and finished the project on time and within budget.”
As a longstanding commercial electrical contractor in Nebraska, Miller Electric is known for getting the job done right the first time, on time, and within budget. It’s part of what makes Miller Electric stand out and what keeps customers coming back to Miller Electric for their ongoing low voltage, security, and electrical needs.
Reinforcing Miller Electric’s Reputation
As a low voltage tech with Miller Electric, Doug values the opportunity to represent Miller and the high quality work it stands for on every project. Part of maintaining that reputation comes down to approaching every project with a well laid plan. Doug puts a lot of time into planning and yet has learned to be flexible in order to keep projects running smoothly.
“One thing I’ve learned is that my planning doesn’t always go according to plan,” he says. “Being able to think on your feet or switch at a moment’s notice to other tasks comes with the territory when you work in low voltage and commercial electrical construction. I do my best to manage time so that when eight guys look at me and say ‘what are we doing today?’ I have a good answer for them.”
Doug keeps one eye on his schedule and another on what’s going on around him so that he can shift materials and activity as needed to keep projects moving, avoid wasting time, and exceed client expectations. All that effort, exerted in the presence of guys who feel more like family than co-workers, leaves Doug with a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day.
“At the end of a project, whether it’s been long and griding or fast and furious, it feels good to stand back and admire what you’ve been able to accomplish as a team, and as a member of an electrical contractor who’s been doing business the right way for more than 100 years,” says Doug. “In some ways, it’s not all that different from the feeling I get standing next to my Dad admiring one of the ’66 Chevelles I’ve helped him restore or my own ’71 C10 we’ve brought back to life.”