How to Become an Electrician
Electricians use electricity to run machines, power equipment, and create electrical systems. They install new equipment and repair or replace old ones, often working in industrial and manufacturing settings. They also provide services for homes and businesses, including installing wiring and lighting, running and maintaining power lines, and testing and repairing electric circuits.
How to Become an Electrician
To get a job as an electrician, you need to have a high school diploma and some on-the-job experience or training. Getting electrical training can take up to two years in a vocational or technical school. You can also find apprenticeship programs, which combine paid on-the-job training with classroom instruction and mentorship from master electricians. These are typically offered through local unions of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Associated Builders and Contractors, Independent Electrical Contractors, or through Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATC) in several cities and states throughout the country.
Getting an Electrician License
Once you’ve completed your trade school training and/or apprenticeship, it’s time to work under the supervision of an experienced electrician until you complete the required hours of verified work experience. Most states require a certain number of hours or years of experience before you can be considered a licensed electrician.
During your apprenticeship, you’ll learn about various electrical components and how to safely use them. You’ll also learn about the National Electrical Code, a set of standards that all electricians must follow to keep people safe and ensure that electric systems are installed correctly and safely.
You’ll learn about different measurements and units, including power and watts; resistance and ohms; and voltage and volts. Knowing these will make the math of electrical work much easier and more understandable.
Grounding and Overload
In electrician training, you’ll learn how to ground a circuit to protect yourself and others from electric shocks. You can also prevent overloading a circuit by making sure that there isn’t more electrical energy flowing through it than the circuit can handle safely.
The ground helps to measure how much current is flowing through a circuit and provides a return path for the electric current. It also keeps circuits and their components grounded, which is essential to preventing fires and electrocutions.
Your state may also have additional requirements, such as a specific type of safety certification. For example, some states have requirements for specialized work such as installing solar and wind power generation systems.
Getting a Job as an Electrician
After you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you should have a journeyman electrician certificate. This certificate shows employers that you have the skills and knowledge to do your job well. Depending on the state, this certificate can lead to higher salaries and more job opportunities.
The average salary for an electrician ranges from about $40,000 to $50,000 a year, but this can vary by the industry and the location of your work. It’s also possible to start your own business as an electrician, if you have the entrepreneurial spirit. This can be an exciting and rewarding career if you’re ready to take on a new challenge in your life.