Getting Started As an Electrician
The job of an electrician requires a strong understanding of electricity, its use in various devices and the laws that govern it. They need to be able to work safely and with the right tools, and they must be able to handle emergency situations that arise.
An electrician’s duties often include the installation, maintenance and repair of electrical systems in buildings, such as those for hospitals, schools, offices and hotels. They also perform telecommunications wiring and computer network connections.
They are also responsible for inspecting and maintaining the safety of electrical equipment, including fuses, circuit breakers and transformers, to ensure they meet local and state codes. This is especially important in commercial buildings, which are likely to have more complicated wiring than residential ones.
Electricians must also be able to read wiring schematics and understand how these diagrams relate to specific parts of a building or other structure. They should also be familiar with the National Electrical Code, which sets a minimum standard for the design and construction of wires and other electrical components.
During their training, electricians often work as apprentices under the supervision of a master electrician. They learn all aspects of the trade through hands-on experience and classroom instruction, completing hundreds of hours of coursework. Once they have gained sufficient knowledge and experience, they earn a journeyman electrician’s license.
Most states require electrical apprentices to attend a training program at a vocational school or technical college. These programs can be completed in a short amount of time and provide a springboard into the electrical industry.
Once they have earned a license, they may start to take on more responsibility as journeyman electricians. As they gain experience, their skills increase and their salaries rise.
The number of jobs for electricians is expected to grow by an average of 84,700 per year between now and 2025. Employment growth will be primarily driven by an increased need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations, retire or leave the workforce altogether.
A career as an electrician is a good choice for people who want to enjoy a steady income and work independently. Although it can be a challenging and physically demanding profession, many electricians find the work satisfying.
Getting started in the field is simple, with an apprenticeship or other form of on-the-job training leading to a journeyman’s license. There are a variety of ways to get into this trade, but you must be willing to devote the time and effort to completing all required training, which can last for up to four years.
In the United Kingdom, most apprentices complete a course of study at a City & Guilds or EAL recognised training organisation. They usually then go on to work as an apprentice for a period of several years before being able to apply for a journeyman’s licence and then a master’s.
Having a strong work ethic and being determined to get the job done are essential qualities for an electrician. This is a challenging career, where you can be called upon to solve a wide range of problems and respond to calls at all hours of the day or night. It takes a lot of guts and determination to succeed at this career, but it is possible and worth the effort.