Electrical careers are a great choice for people who enjoy problem-solving and working hands-on. This career can be both physically and mentally taxing at times, but it is a rewarding one.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that electricians are in high demand throughout the United States. They are needed to work on electrical systems that power homes, schools, factories and other buildings, as well as those that generate alternative sources of electricity such as solar and wind.
Electricians need to have a strong understanding of electrical codes and regulations, as well as a good sense of responsibility and on-the-spot judgment. They should also have good manual dexterity and be able to handle high-stress work conditions.
If you are interested in becoming an electrician, the best way to start is to earn your high school diploma or GED certificate and then find a local apprenticeship program. These programs combine paid on-the-job training with classroom instruction. They usually take 4-5 years to complete, after which you need to become licensed to be an electrician and work as a journeyman.
Once you have completed your apprenticeship, you can continue to learn by going to a trade school. These are usually on-campus and teach you the skills needed to become an electrician through a combination of practical experience and classroom education.
In order to be an electrician, you need a high school diploma or GED certificate, a license from your state, and at read more least four years of experience. Most states require you to complete an apprenticeship before you can get your license and be allowed to work as a journeyman.
A two-year associate’s degree in electrical technology or a bachelor’s degree with a major in electrical technology can help you become an electrician, too. You will need to take courses in wiring, transformers, A/C and D/C motor control circuits, instrumentation, and programmable logic controllers.
You can find a job as an electrician through a variety of sources, including unions, local chapters of the National Electrical Contractors Association, or individual electrical contractors. These organizations often sponsor apprenticeship programs and pay apprentices a competitive wage to help them acquire the necessary knowledge and skill set for their work.
Alternatively, you can attend an electrician training course at an accredited vocational school, technical college, or community college. These types of programs offer a comprehensive education in the field and are less expensive than a four-year degree.
Once you have completed your training, you will be able to obtain employment as an apprentice, journeyman, or master electrician. As an apprentice, you will work under the supervision of an experienced electrician to learn all the basic tasks of the profession. You will learn to read and interpret blueprints, install wiring, connect outlets, and test wiring for quality and safety.
As a journeyman, you will be expected to do more advanced work and pass an exam for licensing. You will be able to apply for permits and hire other electricians.