A career as an Electrician requires knowledge of electrical principles, circuitry and wiring. These professionals prepare, assemble, install, test and troubleshoot electrical wiring, fixtures and control devices in all types of buildings and other structures. They are employed by electrical contractors and building maintenance departments, or may be self-employed.
The average annual salary for an electrician is $90,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those with additional skills, such as project management or experience working on industrial equipment, can increase their earning potential. In addition to earning a salary, electricians are also required to adhere to state and local regulations.
Electrical work is dangerous if not done correctly, so these workers need to have the right combination of technical training, math and blueprint reading skills, and physical stamina get more information to complete their assignments safely and accurately. They must also be comfortable working with power tools, interpreting diagrams, and making critical decisions under pressure. Depending on their state’s licensing regulations, electricians may need to take continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on safety practices and changes to the national code.
Many aspiring electricians choose to attend trade school and earn a certificate before entering an apprenticeship program. These programs typically last four to five years and provide on-the-job training in a variety of settings. They are available through both union and non-union organizations and can be obtained by submitting an application and passing an aptitude exam and drug screening.
Once an apprentice has completed the program, he or she is eligible to apply for a journeyman electrician license. In order to become licensed, an individual must have accumulated 7,000 hours of on-the-job experience and pass an examination. The number of hours needed to qualify varies by state.
During this time, apprentices learn from more experienced electricians on the job site and gain valuable hands-on experience. They are also encouraged to participate in training classes offered by their employers or trade schools to enhance their skills and improve their chances of advancement.
In the United States, electricians can be divided into two primary categories: linemen, who work on electricity transmission systems at higher voltages, and wiremen, who are primarily involved with the low-voltage wiring used inside buildings. Some electricians specialize in one or the other of these fields, while others focus on general electrical construction.
In order to be a successful electrician, you will need to have good color vision in order to identify different wires by their colors. You will also need to have excellent communication skills as you will be required to collaborate with a wide range of people, including architects, engineers and project managers. In some cases, you will need to interact with end-users as well and offer guidance on electrical usage and energy-saving best practices. All of these skills are vital in the successful completion of any electrical job. This is a highly demanding, but rewarding, profession for those who are willing to commit the necessary time and effort.