Megger Personas: Lee Cole

19 May 2022


Lee Cole

Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Teacher

Years of Experience in the Electrical Power Industry: 31 years



Lee has been in the electrical field for more than 30 years working in both construction and industrial maintenance. Currently he is a full-time mechanical, electrical and plumbing instructor at Johnson County High School in Mountain City, Tennessee, where he teaches students about electrical applications and maintenance in construction. In addition to teaching, Lee runs his own small electrical and home repair business.

Explain some of the work you’re doing or have done with Megger and its testers.

Over the years I have mostly used Megger testers for motor trouble shooting. Up until recently, I did not know that Megger had a wide variety of testers that did so many different things. I have used Megger testers to show my students how to test motor windings. We have used them to test wire runs in a house that kept tripping an arc fault breaker (a staple had been driven into a wire too far for a regular meter to pick up the fault, but the Megger tester we used did it with no problem). I have also taught my students how to use a Megger thermal imaging camera in a home to look for hot spots in the wall panels, cold air entry around doors and windows, as well as identify water leaks in floors. I teach an entire lesson on the Megger AVO800 multimeter, going over the functions it offers.

Did you always want to be a teacher/electrician? If so, why?  If not, how’d you wind up here?

I realized I did not want a 4-year degree my senior year of high school and started thinking about career options that would always be in demand. Electricity was what stuck out to me. Initially, I had wanted to go to work for the local utility company, but never had any luck getting in so I decided to try construction and really liked it. A little while later I went to work for a HVAC company doing service work. I had a real knack for trouble shooting and loved the challenge, but I hated snakes – something I encountered often in that line of work. Because of this, I left that field and began working in industrial maintenance (mostly in control work, which I loved). I worked in the field for more than 20 years until I developed some mobility issues, this is when I decided to get into teaching and teach the subject I had been working in for over half of my life. I really enjoy this job because it allows me to continue to work with electrical and share my knowledge with the next generation of electrical workers.

What has surprised you the most about the work you do with electrical testing?

How precise we can be and the number of things we can test for. Also, the way we can monitor different things to plan a repair and be proactive instead of reactive. This really saves on major down time for a just-in-time manufacturing environment.

What is one of the biggest issues currently facing people in the electrical industry?

Shortage of skilled workers in the construction and industrial maintenance fields in the future. Manufacturing is not just operators pushing buttons anymore. It is several machines connected thru PLC’s or some other form of communication to make a finished product. This requires more knowledge and skills to trouble shoot. We also must work within tighter parameters.

What is the best thing about working in the industry you are in?

It keeps me thinking. I am always learning some sort of new technology. Also, if you are good at it, you will for the most part always have a job.

What advice would you give to someone looking into this field of work?

The electrical industry is continually growing. It was never replaced, only modified over the years. This line of work can also be very rewarding if you grow with it.

Is there a new piece of equipment coming out that you’re waiting to get your hands on?

I want to get my hands on one of the drones on tracks, like an RC tank. I would love to see how it would work for inspecting under low houses and in air ducts in HVAC system.

What’s the most recent show you’ve binge watched?

Reacher on Amazon Prime and Building Off the Grid.

About Megger Personas

Megger Personas highlights people in the electrical testing community who have real world experience using Megger products. They share their testimonial and advice here in the hopes of inspiring and connecting with the community.

If you would like to be part of the Megger Personas series, please contact Peg Houck at [email protected] or 610-676-8536.