Electrician install and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and devices. They also maintain and troubleshoot machinery and industrial processes. The job can be physically demanding, and electricians often spend long periods of time climbing ladders or crawling into tight spaces. It is important for them to wear protective gear to avoid electrical shocks or other injuries. Electricians typically earn a good salary and are in high demand.
To become an electrician, you must first meet the educational requirements for your state or territory. Generally, this involves earning a high school diploma or obtaining a GED certificate. Many electricians obtain their education through a trade school program or through an apprenticeship, which can take four years to complete. During this time, you will receive classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Some apprenticeships are offered through union organizations, while others can be arranged through the National Electrical Contractors Association or a non-union electrical contractor.
Some electricians choose to attend college or university before beginning their apprenticeships, but this is not required by law. It is also possible to pursue a pre-apprenticeship program at a vocational school, which can prepare you for the skills and responsibilities of the profession. These programs may cost between $349 and $43,435 per year, but they are usually less expensive than attending a traditional college or university program.
In addition to completing an apprenticeship, you must also obtain a journeyperson electrician license in order to work professionally. This process takes between two and five years, and you must have a minimum of 12,000 work hours to qualify for the exam. Once you have met all the necessary educational and experience requirements, you can then apply to join a union or start your own electrical contracting business.
As an apprentice, you will begin to perform very basic tasks and gradually gain more responsibilities over the course of your career. This is a great way to learn the skills you need to be successful in the field and get paid while you are learning them. Apprenticeships can be arranged through the National Electrical Contractors association, a trade school, or a technical institute.
During your apprenticeship, it is essential that you have excellent math skills. You will need these to perform tasks like reading blueprints and measuring wire lengths. In addition, you should also take physics and English classes. These will help you understand the theory behind your work and make it easier to explain technical concepts to customers. Moreover, taking shop and mechanical drawing classes is a great way to strengthen your technical skills. It can be difficult to get into an apprenticeship, so it is best to apply as early as possible. Also, it is a good idea to research the requirements for your specific area of interest. For example, if you want to work on solar or wind energy equipment, then it is important to find an apprenticeship program that focuses on those types of installations. This will ensure that you are trained properly to meet all of the specific requirements of your desired career.