Garrett Smith, the son of an electrician, continued his family’s legacy by pursuing a career in the electrical industry. Born in South Dakota and raised in Texas, Smith earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of North Texas. During his college career, he worked for Facilities Solutions Group Inc. (FSG), which fueled his interest in the industry.
“The opportunity I had to work for a company like FSG during college as well as seeing the growth and demand for this industry is what attracted me to the electrical field,” he says. I was lucky enough to start part-time with a company that encourages growth, pushes you to grow, and provides avenues within the company for future promotions. Many undergraduates are not that fortunate.”
He had the opportunity to learn some of the basics of the industry in his time with the FSG Dallas branch and meet people that he can continue to call on with any questions that arise in his day-to-day job.
Today, he works as an electrical estimator, and he says it’s been energizing to send multi-million-dollar bids, and then see those projects built successfully — and know he was a part of the team and the growth of the company due to those projects.
“The challenge is what I like about being an estimator with FSG,” he says. “The most challenging aspect, in my opinion, is the need to think outside of the box about situations that could arise, constant changes within the industry, and making sure that we account for those in the bid.”
He believes technology will continue to become more important to the trade.
“As material and wages increase, the demand for new buildings continues, and project time lines are accelerated, businesses will always be looking for ways to make the team and processes more efficient and productive,” he says. “Survey and BIM technology are already making that happen for us.”
In addition, by staying active in the estimating forums, attending industry events, and working with other departments and vendors, he has gained insight as to how he can help his company and roll out new software.
During his time at FSG, he has worked on bids for several multi-million-dollar projects, which is both exciting and scary at the same time, he says. To be successful on a large project, he says it’s critical to be meticulous and “put your head down and work to hit a deadline.” Once a project is complete, he takes great pride in knowing that he played a role in the job.
“It’s a great feeling driving through Austin and being able to point out a building and say you had a part in that,” he says. “My fiancé gets tired of this happening!”