How to Become an Electrician
Electricians install, repair, test, inspect and replace electrical wiring, fixtures, equipment and other related devices in homes, businesses, factories and other structures. They work indoors and outdoors, often traveling long distances to jobsites.
Many electricians specialize in residential or commercial work, depending on their area of expertise. They may be self-employed or work for home builders and construction companies. Some electricians are also trained to install solar photovoltaic systems or other green energy technologies.
Most electricians get their training through an apprenticeship program. During this time, they learn all the necessary technical skills through classroom instruction and on-the-job training. The program usually lasts for about five years. Once they have completed their training, they can begin working as a licensed electrician.
They use hand and power tools, such as screwdrivers, wire strippers, drills, and saws, to remove old wiring and connect new electrical components. They also use voltmeters, ammeters, thermal scanners and cable testers to detect and fix problems.
If you want to become an electrician, you should attend a technical school with courses in circuitry, safety practices and electrical basics. You can also start an apprenticeship that lasts up to five years and prepares you for the license exam after graduation.
Getting an electrician’s license is important because it ensures that you meet the standards of your state or province. You must also complete a certain number of hours of verified on-the-job experience before you can take the licensing exam.
In most states, you need at least a high school diploma to enter this field. However, some states require that you have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field. This can help you obtain a job faster and save on the cost of attending trade school.
Some electricians attend trade schools that offer both on-the-job training and classroom instruction. These schools can be a good option because they teach the skills you need for your career, while providing the necessary hands-on practice you need to gain the confidence needed for taking the license exam.
You can also pursue a degree in electrical engineering or a similar field, which will give you a head start on your career and help you find more specialized jobs. Having a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering can open up more opportunities, including becoming a building services engineer, designing and installing new electrical systems or even opening your own business as an electrical contractor.
While the job can be a physically demanding one, it is rewarding. It offers a chance to work on interesting projects and meet interesting people. It is a great profession for those who enjoy problem-solving and problem-fixing.
Most electricians find the job stressful at times, especially if they work with dangerous materials. But they also have the satisfaction of knowing that their work contributes to the safety and well-being of others.
Some electricians work in large factories, where they perform maintenance and repair of motors, transformers, generators and electronic controllers on machines and industrial robots. They also advise management about whether the continued operation of specific equipment could be hazardous or harmful.