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:
- light industrial
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.
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 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.
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.
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.