Tips And Tricks On How To Become An Electrician

Choosing a career as an electrician can make for a fulfilling and stable life. Electricians typically earn over $50,000 per year and can be employed anywhere in the country. Since a college degree is not required, entering the workforce can be achieved at a faster rate and with potentially less debt. Electricians have specialized skills that are imperative to any functioning society.

What Does An Electrician Do?

An electrician is a trained specialist that works with electrical wiring. This can include electrical wiring in buildings, stationary machines and transmission lines. They can be responsible for installation and maintenance of electrical wiring on ships, airplanes and other transportation vehicles.

The five primary specialties that come with being an electrician include:

  • commercial
  • light industrial
  • residential

These specialties are usually designed for those who work with lower voltages inside buildings. Depending on the training, certain electricians work on different types of projects.

3 Levels of Electricians

There are three main types of electricians. The apprentice and journeyman are two levels below the master electrician. One must complete the apprenticeship and the journeyman stage to become completely autonomous with all licenses necessary.

The Apprentice

An electrician apprenticeship is a structured and regulated program that includes 3-5 years of classroom study. In addition to class hours, hands-on training is also provided. Apprentices are paid and their pay increases with time and experience. By working under master electricians, they can learn from somebody with knowledge in the field.

The Journeyman

The journeyman is the next level up from being an apprentice. A journeyman is a trained electrician that has spent at least one year under the guidance of another journeyman or master electrician. A journeyman can work with multiple electrical systems.

The Master Electrician

The master electrician can manage other electricians working on an installation or maintenance project. By completing certain exams, he or she has specializing permits and job authority. A master electrician can repair and maintain lighting fixtures, power distribution, networking and cables.

Tips For How To Become An Electrician

A career as an electrician is often a secure source of income. Since electricians are needed in every state, this career allows for a range of living flexibility. Many electricians can work for themselves or a company depending on their personal preference and specialties. To become an electrician, it’s best to research local programs and their minimum requirements first.

Know The Types of Electrician Specialties

When researching programs, it helps to understand which specialty might be most interesting and rewarding to the individual applying. Depending on the person, a generalized role as an electrician may not be as rewarding as a specialized profession. All types of electricians are required to learn through extensive training.


A residential electrician is a trained and licensed professional that works primarily in homes. They can install, inspect, repair and maintain residential electrical systems. Some of their responsibilities include reading technical blueprints, installing new wiring and replacing broken components. Residential electricians must be aware of national regulations as well as local ones for their safety.

Many residential electricians have a choice in how they are employed. They can be hired by contracting or construction companies or work independently. Those who prefer more flexibility in hours or scheduling may choose to be a residential electrician for the option to be self-employed.


A commercial electrician focuses primarily on bigger electrical systems in shopping malls, restaurants and office or government buildings. The responsibilities of a commercial electrician can include diagnosing electrical component issues, installation and inspecting a building to make sure it is safe and up to code.

Commercial electricians usually work indoors. They may work inside small spaces where crouching is required. There is potential for injury if the safety protocol is not properly followed. Usually a commercial electrician license is different than a residential license and requires different knowledge.


An industrial electrician is less common than a commercial or residential electrician. More experience and education is usually required to become an industrial electrician. Depending on the company, an electrician in this specialty may need several years in an apprenticeship to guarantee the type of accuracy needed for the job.

One of the responsibilities an industrial electrician has includes handling extremely high voltage systems. Other responsibilities consist of troubleshooting handling equipment, evaluating repairs and performing maintenance checks. Many industrial electricians are employed by electrical firms or steel producers.

Tricks For Getting Ahead

Research Education Requirements.To become an electrician, a GED is first required. If a perspective electrician is unsure if they meet the educational qualifications, researching age requirements may also be helpful. Students that are still in high school and under the age of 18 may want to study math fundamentals as well as physical sciences.

Know How You Think

Not everybody solves problems in the exact same way. Memorization and rote learning is usually not a focal point when becoming an electrician. To truly succeed as an electrician, thinking critically and having the flexibility to solve complex problems is crucial.

Be Resourceful

By taking advantage of all the resources available, becoming an electrician does not have to be difficult. Reaching out to a technical school or electricians that are already in the trade is a great way to start. Gathering as much information as possible beforehand can help ease anxiety while allowing for adequate preparation.

Work Out

Electricians may have a physically active job in which they need to prepare for heavy lifting and climbing. Squats, bending, squeezing into compact places and heavy lifting are a few common examples of a physically demanding electrical job.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Once a student has reached the apprenticeship phase, asking questions will help them succeed. Since everybody is new, this is a chance to have a level playing field when just starting out.


Becoming an electrician is a step-by-step process. While it does not require a college degree, those with critical thinking capabilities excel with this kind of career. A typical electrician can start earning money during their apprenticeship so that their career can be as long as fulfilling as possible.

How to Find The Right Electrician For You

Homeowners need electrical work for any number of reasons, ranging from repairs to installs. DIY electrical work is dangerous and often results in inadequate results that may lead to a rash of problems, including housefires. Quality electrical work starts with a well-qualified electrician, someone you must find through careful research. Never hire the first electrician that you find online or in the Yellow pages and hope for the best. Many tools make researching contractors simple, however, choosing a good electrician without an understanding of what negates a good electrician is not so simple. Consider the following information to secure a great electrician for your service needs.

License and Insurance

Licensed, insured contractors are well-qualified for the job. They have taken the necessary coursework and training to perform a variety of electrical services safely and accurately. He takes his job seriously and works to meet the needs of his customer. Never settle for second-rate service with an unlicensed contractor. Insurance is just as important. Insurance protects homeowners in the event of mishaps during the job. Verify the contractor’s license is up to date online, when possible. The contractor can also provide you with a copy of his current license and insurance information. Check to ensure that the insurance and license is not expired before hiring an electrical contractor.


Not every electrician has the same experience or qualifications. Without verification of the electrician’s qualifications, you may find yourself working with the wrong contractor. Some electricians may even specialize in certain areas of electrical work or carry accreditations. A Master Electrician, for example, has a minimum of three years’ experience and offers a 12-month warranty (minimum) on workmanship. Master Electricians take their jobs seriously. Using this electrician is costlier than traditional electrical work but ensures that you receive the highest standard of workmanship and satisfaction possible. Learn more about each type of electrician and the qualifications and credentials they hold before hiring.

Service Cost

Check the price of electrical service with the contractor before hiring. Experts recommend homeowners request at least three quotes from various local electricians. Request more than three quotes if you wish. The more quotes, the more assurance in getting the best price for electrical service. Most contractors offer quotes at no cost, but this may not be the case with every electrician. Communicate exactly what you need during the electrical service, including specific brands and materials. This will make it easier to get accurate quotes and compare rates with one another. Never choose a contractor based on price alone, but do not overpay for services, either.

Reputation and Recommendations

Ask the electrician to provide you with three references. He should give you the names and contact information for these people, whether a telephone number or an email address. Contact the references to learn their thoughts on the electrical service received from the contractor. But do not stop there if you want the most accurate representation of the electrical contractor. Check out online reviews to learn more about the electrician’s reputation. Many reputable sites offer free reviews chocked-full of information that gives you a higher level of confidence, or lack thereof, of the electrical contractor. Word-of-mouth helps find good contractors as well. Friends, neighbors, family, coworkers, and other trusted people may direct you to a great electrician if you ask for their recommendations.


Dealing with a contractor with a bad attitude or who does not seem to take his work seriously is a nightmare. They make every step of the job more difficult and often leave the job unfinished or with less than desirable results. Never hire an electrician who lacks in the professionalism department. Evaluate the professionalism and attitude the contractor has during the initial consultation and quote phase. Is the contractor in uniform, professionally dressed, and confident in his work? Does the contractor communicate well and seem interested in your work? The professionalism an electrician reflects from the first contact is an example of what to expect working with the company.

Electrical Contractor Checklist

Getting stuck with the wrong contractor is not an experience any homeowner wants. It is risky and costly, not to mention frustrating when you simply need electrical work but have the wrong contractor there for the job. Yet, many homeowners find themselves with the wrong electrician because they did not take the time to look for the best expert for the job. Do not include yourself on that list when finding the right electrician for your needs is simple with the information above in mind. With the right electrician, none of the electrical issues and mishaps around the home seem so bad when all is said and done.


Hire the best electrician for the job by conducting research before hiring. Look for an electrician who offers:

  • License and insurance
  • Free quotes, competitive pricing
  • Good reputation and community recommendations
  • Specializes in the work that you need
  • Professional appearance and attitude

Keep the points above in mind when choosing an electrician. This information alleviates headaches that often accommodate the electrician selection process and ensures you find the right contractor for your needs. Your hard-earned money, home, and family are at stake; do not settle for less than you deserve when hiring an electrician.

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