Becoming an Electrician
An electrician is a skilled tradesperson who installs, repairs, and maintains electrical wiring and equipment in homes and buildings. There are several different types of electricians, including residential electricians, who install wiring and fix electrical problems in homes, and commercial and industrial electricians, who repair and maintain electric motors, lights, and other equipment in factories and offices. In addition to having strong problem-solving skills, an electrician must be comfortable working with heavy tools and climbing ladders.
Electricians are trained through an apprenticeship, which usually lasts for four years and includes both classroom learning and hands-on experience. Some apprentices also attend a technical school, where they take classes on topics such as blueprint reading, safety and first aid practices, electrical code requirements, mathematics, and electrical theory. After completing an apprenticeship, electricians must pass a state licensing exam to become certified as professional journeymen.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster than average job growth for electricians between 2014 and 2024. This is due to an increased need for electrical work in both new construction and renovations of existing homes and businesses. Many people choose to become an electrician because of the good pay and benefits packages that are offered.
Becoming an electrician can be a rewarding career choice for those who are interested in the practical application of math and science. However, it is important to remember that this is a physically demanding job and there is always a risk of injury when working with electricity. In addition, there is a lot of travel involved with this profession, and it is not uncommon for an electrician to be on the road 100 miles or more from their home at any given time.
Those who are interested in becoming an electrician should speak to someone at their local union hall about available apprenticeship programs. There are a variety of options, and most unions have programs that start with laborers or helpers and then progress to journeyman electricians. It is also possible to get into the field through an internship program with a local power company. Once an individual becomes a journeyman electrician, they can apply to be a lineman apprentice with their local utility company. If there are openings, the lineman apprenticeship will provide on-the-job training and the opportunity to learn from a master electrician. It is also common for unions to hire journeyman electricians as supervisors to train and oversee other apprentices. This is a great way for an experienced electrician to earn extra money and stay current with industry trends and best practices. In addition to the extra income, this position can be a great way for an electrician to gain valuable leadership experience. Lastly, it is important for an electrician to have good customer service skills as they often deal directly with homeowners and business owners when performing jobs.