I cannot accurately assign a score as I was let go before I could begin field work. On the 4th day of field training, my mentor was very stressed out, perhaps why I was let go (more detail) later. On this day the supervisor came out and asked how I was doing, but decided to tell me rather that I should have learned the prints (blueprints etc) by now and it wasn't good for me) I really was puzzled because I had them mastered. I explained to him that the adobe PDF grid has to be turned Counterclockwise one time after opening and nobody had told me and he quickly changed the subject- I decided to leave it alone though. So the next day he had me do a ride along with a more seasoned and young man who was known as an over achiever of sorts in the district. He actually showed me within five minutes a few things that were helpful. I was really quick to assist him, call contractors, find utility lines, termination points etc. He acted like he was lost a couple times but I knew better and just played along. He told my I was doing pretty good and even commented that he didn't understand why he had heard different. The fact is I knew I was good and I was now excited about doing this even more. So he asked if I was ready to ride alone on Monday and I said yes. He didn't hesitate to agree. The next morning the supervisor called me and told me to just sit tight because they have to certify me so I waited by the phone all day preparing to leave at anytime. Nothing. Tuesday morning he calls a
As the title says, this job is for the desperate. Easy enough to get the job since the turnover is constant here, though they mainly look for people with outdoor work experience, since your job will be 100% outdoors. You won't have to work in extreme weather, but be prepared for working in the cold and heat. Dress appropriately.
Your first week will be classroom training in which safety and proper technique will be stressed, and by the end of your first week of classroom training, you will be issued a vehicle, a tablet and a company phone. You will be assigned to a field crew and paired up with a trainer by week two for your on the job training. Remember all the proper technique you learned in class? Forget it, because your trainer is going to shortcut pretty much every ticket. You'll only need to remember proper technique for your field certification. Once you are certified, you'll be assigned a route and begin to watch tickets pile up in your queue. Don't worry if it seems like you won't be able to finish all of them, because there are too many tickets to complete on time, especially following protocol. You will attend a conference call every morning where your supervisor will complain about not meeting unrealistic production goals.
Production is a word you will hear a lot, because it's all that matters. If you're not hitting your numbers, you will not hear the end of it. That is until you take a shortcut on a ticket and miss a line on the scope and the excavator hits a
ProsOutdoor work, OT, steady paycheck
ConsMicromanagers, unrealistic production goals, poor equipment, outdoor work
Not worth the stress, headache, and everything else.
Was there for a short time. After training they start you out light on tickets, then they start increasing due to them being so far behind. Supervisor are against taking a real lunch they say eat as you drive to the next job. Your break is also when sitting in the truck on the way to the next job. At the end of the day the tickets you didn't finish you have to make calls to all of them to reschedule which again puts you behind even more. Once you are there a few months they expect you to work 6 days a week. I left before I was doing that I have a family. In the interview the job is made to sound great, its not. My supervisor and the field trainer were great, but the job is a joke you will always be behind. Thank God, I got on with the county doing the same job, a lot better experience, better pay, benefits, better everything and a real opportunity to move up. Yes they also have a lot of tickets to do, but a lot of them don't need locating like a customer installing above ground pool , or power being buried from temp pole to house etc. So in short I would not recommend this company to anyone unless you don't want to take a lunch break or have a family life. It is not worth the 16.00 per hour for the headache, and stress.
Pay & benefits
The 16.00 is not worth the stress, headache, and not being able to relax for a hour for lunch. Also your told you are given a company truck, but there is a fee that comes out of your check for having a company truck.
When I started working for USIC, I enjoyed the work. The company seemed to be focused on the front line locators and keeping them happy, after about a year, that changed.
During my first year I would often tell people how relaxed the job was, sure, there was a lot of work to be done and there were long hours, but I felt appreciated. When I was hired several people, including my hiring supervisor and my direct supervisor told me that I would be making 20 dollars an hour around my first anniversary. I was told that we didn't get laid off in the winter. I was told that there would be continuous training and opportunities for advancement.
The first sign that things were not going to be what they seemed was when I got my first evaluation, that is when I found out I could get a maximum of a 4 % raise with a perfect evaluation and that the evaluation only considered my driving score and my locate quality score. I was surprised that the extra hours I had worked and the times I'd covered work for other techs weren't considered at all. Shortly thereafter, I learned that USIC had no problem mandating 10-12 hour weekdays and weekend work. I told myself it would be worth it in the long run, that I'd get through this rough patch with the company, and that they would remember how hard I'd worked while we were short staffed. Eventually, the company did hire more people, and after they were trained, we did get some relief. However, that relief was to be short lived, it ended when they to
Minimum wage was just raised to $15 dollars an hr in New York. So you can work McDonald’s get the same pay and go home knowing you won’t get a damage. Managers suck north Nassau....just quit now auditors are cool but there boss is horrible . Over worked. You get ten dollar subway gift cards for not getting a damage every 5 days. They give you broken down cars with mold old Chinese food and roaches. I’m not joking either. They stress zero damages but when you have all buried utilities on top of marking out houses that take up half a city block. Plus all the buried consumer owned electric then you have your supervisor calling you asking why you didn’t close out the ticket only to get yelled at and told to hurry up. We are in a union and wages are frozen. Things have gotten worse. Lack of correct prints Nassau just picked up a new contract for water which the prints look like a four year old drew them they expect you to located services and shut off valves and mains correctly based off of that nonsense. I applied to the job and gave it the benefit of the doubt. I had 13 people in my class we are down to 3. I’ve been here less than a year. The only positive is meeting contractors that like your work ethic and will hire you. I’m in tne process of leaving. Once I finalize my offer for work I’m gone. Trust me when I say this job isn’t worth it I really thought it was. Training sucks my field training consisted of a QAC which is an auditor who did tickets on other locators instead o
ConsTake home car doesn’t work donely needs to jump tow fix whatever is wrong
They train you, so with any ability at all, you can learn the job. The pay was decent considering I had no past experience and the insurance was decent. Those are the good things, which unfortunately are outweighed by the bad which to me was the amount of time off that was given.
For the first 5 years, you get 5 days off, and that is in the form of PTO which is given at a flat rate and not based on the number of hours worked. This is both your vacation and sick time and you are not allowed to use your overtime towards a sick day. That is understandable as folks would just get to 60 hours lets say in 5 days and they find out they have to work a sixth day and just call in as they are tired. I get why they do it the way they do, I just do not agree with it. I believe a better policy would be to allow that use of OT towards a sick day 2 times a year and after that you can't would be better as it would leave the entire 5 days of PTO open for a person to actually get a full week vacation a year. I did not mind the long hours, which could be 10-12 during busy seasons such as late spring summer and early fall, but good luck getting the time of during this time, and good luck with not being forced to work mandated 6 day weeks, so you can get up to 70 hours in a week. Your ticket load, which is called a bucket, is on your computer they are rated by color Dark red being late or real close to late and lower. If you clean your bucket and others that call in or are not able to
I worked in this industry in the 1990`s. First in CA. in 91 then in AL & FL. I worked for sts, buyers, and utilliquest. Every thing i have read on these reviews is true throughout the industry. It was the same exact way in the 1990`s. Corporate still has not realized that if you do not have the right personnel in management postions that have worked the field then you will have high turnover. if you constantly expect techs. to do the job right with obvious unatainable quotas then good luck on keeping the contract. If you constantly try to find ways of saving the company money at the expense of the tech [ not paying them untill they arrive at the first locate, expecting them to not have a family life or not pramoting or giving help when needed or no longer paying them for oncall] then you are an industry that will always have high turn over and lose more money than you make. I repeat, this is the industry, every review you have read is what happens in the locating biz. Long hours,long weeks, no home life, weather wise it sucks,pay has not changed , and the changes i have seen is like wow! we use to get paid to be on call and we clocked in at the office before we went on our first locate and clocked out at the office.supervisors did not go home till everyone finished for the day and would come and help ya if you were overloaded. One thing i have learned in this biz is it helps if you have one thing that will determine your future in this biz. That is good , field expe
ProsTRY`N TO THINK OF SOME.....
ConsWHEN MANAGEMENT DOSENOT CARE ABOUT THOSE BENEATH HIS POSISTION THEN IT DOSENT WORK
So after 3 years as a locator I quit today. A huge calmness has graced my body. I finally feel at ease. For someone like myself , who is a perfectionist at everything I do and takes pride in my work , this job is way too stressfull. Too many circumstances that cannot be controlled personally. Daily routines change for the worst faster than Chicago weather can change.
Management is the problem first. Immediate supervisors are lazy and never around when needed. ( although I must state that I truly had the utmost respect for my supervisor and did not need his assistance as other locators did ) I also worked for a great supervisor in NOKC. I love her to death ! God bless her !
But for the most part supervisors are just the district managers puppet. Ah yes. The district manager. It would help the locators if the DM had locating experience and knew what we go through. Too bad my former DM doesn't know what end of a paint stick to hold. Bad decision after bad decision without consulting us locators was the problem. Change this. Change that. " Change is good ". No ! Sometimes change is bad. Realigning boundries to locate and to cover call outs was mindblowing due to the fact that people quit or were fired leaving my crew short staffed , as usual.
Ah yes. Short staffed. Within 3 years went from 6 certified COC locators for 1 county down to 4 certified locators covering 2 counties. 750 sq. miles. Oncall was a joke ! No extra compensation for oncall. Thanks to the DM. Again
Everything you've read so far is 100% true, both pro and con. I've worked for Locating Inc and then USIC. Locating is a job in which management is jealous of every moment of your daylight. They will take advantage of a good natured person. Even when you become proficient in your own area they will want to move you around to other trouble areas, sort of like a fire jumper. This includes commuting up to 2hrs away from your home, more with traffic (you commute off the clock within 65 miles of your home). They will want to loan you out to other parts of the country. I've worked temporarily out of state multiple times. More often than not you will be the lowest paid person on any construction site, including the flaggers. As long as you're willing to eschew any kind of social or family life you will stay in your supervisor or manager's good graces. Quantity is king, safety is lip service, everything is your fault.
As far as support goes, it depends on your regional manager. In the Seattle area we at least have a steady flow of supplies even if we don't always have the best equipment or all the equipment we need. The supervisors will make trips to or near you to get paint/flags to you or perform special tasks occasionally. In North Carolina I had to make special trips during work hours to get paint while 3 to 4 guys sat in the office and they kept bankers hours so you couldn't get supplies off the clock. This is typical, shall we say, regional 'social cast system' behavior as ar
ProsWork truck, home based, overtime if you want, traveling out of area on occasion if thats your thing
ConsDetached, under experienced people in management positions do here what they do in every job
Everyone starts out with a quality score of 10. But for every time a ticket of yours results in a damage (where a line gets cut if a line was mis-marked or not marked at all, and someone hits it), your score goes down by one. It's not good if you get to a 0. So suppose you close 400 tickets a month (easy to do, given you work 10+ hours a day, 6 days a week), but you have one damage a month. That equates to a 1/4 of one percent failure rate (0.0025%), but a 99.75% success rate. That's not good enough. That's what happened to me. Too many damages, and you will be shown the door. In school though, a 99.75% will get you an A+...They talk about advancement opportunities, but they seem impossible to achieve if you have a quality score under 8.
The training is ok, but you're going to come across things almost daily that aren't covered in training. If you call for help, good luck getting a hold of anyone. You are totally on your own out there. The hardest part of the job is getting little to no help when you run into difficulties, but it's not good if you make a mistake.
The health plan they offer is actually pretty decent, but you have to wait 90 days before you're eligible. And paid time off (PTO)? You get 0 days your first year, and I believe it goes up to 3 days a year after that.
The CEO seems like a decent guy, but below him are managers that only care about how many tickets you close everyday. It's always rush, rush, rush to close as many tickets as possible ev
ProsAffordable healthcare plan
ConsLong hours, lack of good training, unrealistic expectations, no help available, risks involved risks involved
Questions And Answers about USIC
How often do you get a raise at USIC?
Asked Oct 24, 2020
Answered Sep 28, 2022
Once a year
Answered Sep 28, 2022
What is the promotion process like at USIC?
Asked Mar 8, 2021
Very slow and little
Answered Sep 28, 2022
Not really one. More work your way up the chain and apply to new stuff
Answered Sep 25, 2022
What is a typical day like for you at USIC?
Asked Mar 20, 2020
Locating utilities, talk to contractors to plan your day. As long as your getting work done it's very easy going.
Answered Sep 24, 2022
Fast pace and hard work
Answered Sep 21, 2022
What is the best part of working at USIC?
Asked Dec 1, 2019
Answered May 16, 2022
Not having someone over your shoulder 24/7
Answered May 16, 2022
If you were in charge, what would you do to make USIC a better place to work?
Asked Nov 5, 2019
Better home/work balance. Not to feel ostracized if you or a family member needs care. Professional conduct classes for managment
Answered May 17, 2021
First and foremost safety first confirming all services are marked correctly. Paid time for driving between projects a must! You're already working 10 to 12 hours per day! Inspect quality of work and reward the locators.