Electrician enjoys small-town vibe of Smithville

Ryan Nunamaker loves being an electrician. He said it started as a summer gig but enjoyed it so much he “forgot” to quit. After more than six years in the field, he moved to North Kansas City and relocated to Mr. Electric in Smithville.

SMITHVILLE — When Ryan Nunamaker entered the career field of electrical work, becoming an electrician started as a summer gig between semesters. When summer ended however, he could not get himself to leave.

“I ended up liking it,” Nunamaker said.

After working for a larger group for several years, in March he moved to North Kansas City and joined the team at Mr. Electric in Smithville.

“The small, tight-knit group, I really like that,” he said.

What would surprise people most to learn about your job?

“It keeps us on our toes,” he said. “It’s a growing industry and there is new technological changes to everything we do. It really just keeps you growing, keeps you learning.”

Would 10-year-old you be surprised that you are in this position or field?

“Yes, very much so,” Nunamaker said. “When I was younger I had big, grand plans of being a frontman for a band. I play guitar. I still do that every now and again, but never saw anything like this.”

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

“Troubleshooting equipment that is malfunctioning. There are just so many things that could be wrong. You really have to have a good understanding of how everything works to really be able to troubleshoot effectively,” he said.

What do you like the best about this field or your job in particular?

“It’s a different deal every day,” the electrician said. “I like the variety of the work we do. We do a little bit of everything, from new construction to 105-year-old apartment buildings. We get to see everything in the city. It’s very entertaining, I really like it.”

Outside of the workplace, when you meet someone new, what tips you off that they also are an electrician?

“I don’t think I’ve ever met someone in the wild and thought, ‘Yeah, you’re an electrician too,’” Nunamaker said. “When I go into a grocery store or The Home Depot, my girlfriend always comments that I’m looking up at stuff, at all the pipe and grocery store roof. Occasionally I’ll see a guy doing the same thing, just browsing around and looking at stuff. It’s kind of a giveaway they’ve worked in construction, not just the electrical field.”

What’s the most common question you get about what you do?

“’Is it easy?’ And, ‘How much do you make?’” Nunamaker said. “There are easy portions of it and then there are really difficult portions. And I make enough to where I will never leave this field. I make good money and I really like what I do.”

What advice would you give someone starting a job similar to yours?

“Ask questions and don’t ever be afraid to look like you don’t know what you’re doing,” the electrician said. “If you are just starting out, you flat out don’t know what you’re doing. I’ve been doing it for quite a while and I still ask a lot of questions. If I don’t know what is going on, I want to learn it. You have to be eager to learn and have humility because you will be wrong.”

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at sean.roberts@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6606.

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