How to Become an Electrician
Electrical engineers install, maintain, and repair electrical systems. They also troubleshoot problems with electrical equipment, fixtures, wiring, and other related components. If you’re an enthusiastic problem solver and enjoy repairing and maintaining systems, a career as an electrician might be a good fit for you.
Although electricians usually get their education through an apprenticeship program, you can also take some general education courses before entering the field. These programs can be useful in building soft skills and in acquiring the practical knowledge you’ll need for your career.
An apprenticeship will give you the hands-on experience you need to be successful as an electrician. An apprenticeship can be as short as three years or as long as five. You’ll learn the fundamentals of electrical theory and procedures, as well as the specifics of installing and working with power tools. In addition, apprentices will participate in on-the-job training.
A degree in electrical technology, which is usually taken at a community college, will help you develop the technical knowledge you’ll need to succeed as an electrician. Some associate degrees in this field prepare students for four-year bachelor’s degree programs. Others are designed to help graduates enter the workforce immediately after graduation.
To become an electrician, you will have to pass a series of exams. The tests are usually practical in nature, and some are even theory based. Each level has its own rules and regulations. For example, there are certain qualifications you must meet to obtain a permit to work in a controlled area. Other requirements include a high school diploma and at least one year of algebra.
Many electricians choose to join a union. Having a union can give you some advantages, like a contract bargaining committee to help you negotiate with your employer. As a member, you’ll also have to pay dues. Also, a union can provide you with a safe environment to work.
Electricians are in demand. Their job is expected to increase by 9% by 2030. Considering the demand for electricity, this is a promising field with a lot of job openings. There are also government incentives that can lower installation costs, and spur consumer demand. Whether you’re interested in solar energy or alternative power generation, you’ll have a wide variety of job options to choose from.
While electricians must follow regulations, there is plenty of room for personal expression. For example, you may be called upon to install solar panels on a roof, or customize a home with new lighting and other electrical systems. This a great way to show potential employers that you’re capable of taking on a variety of projects.
Generally, electricians must be in good health to perform their duties. Moreover, physical stamina is key. Successful electricians also have good communication skills. It’s important to enjoy working with people, because if you don’t have a friendly personality, it’s hard to be a team player.
If you’re interested in becoming an electrician, you can learn more about it by reading about the different types of jobs available. Also, be sure to check out an electrician salary tool to see what you can expect to earn, across the country.