The electrician is one of the essential parts of modern society. Electricity powers everything from streetlights to hospitals, so it’s no surprise that this vital position is in high demand. To become an electrician, there are some steps you’ll need to take before you can apply for apprenticeship programs and other jobs.
Becoming an electrician is not as difficult as it may seem. You will need to obtain a high school diploma or GED, pass the EMT exam, and attend a technical school for 2 years. Once you have completed this training, you can take your state’s licensing test to become certified by taking and passing the National Electrical Code Exam (NEC).
Keep reading below for all of the information you need to jumpstart your future as a licensed electrician.
Responsibilities of Being an Electrician
Electricians are the unseen heroes who keep your lights on. They operate with a level of professionalism that is unrivaled and, in many cases, unnoticed as their work goes unappreciated, mainly until it’s too late.
Electricians have several different responsibilities. Primarily, they are responsible for safely getting electricity from their source to a consumer or a business.
Specific tasks that electricians can be responsible for include:
- Planning electrical systems
- Installing wiring and support brackets
- Installing electrical control systems and components
- Creating electrical circuits
- Interpreting blueprints and architectural plans
- Inspecting electrical components
- Upgrading out of date equipment
- Working outdoors on power and telecom systems
- Performing maintenance on electrical systems
- Testing electrical systems to figure out what is or is not working
- Training other electricians
- Directing other electricians
- Communicating with clients and other team members
Electricians can face a variety of working conditions that are often dangerous. While some electricians may work primarily on different job sites and only occasionally in construction or renovation projects, many will have to be careful when dealing with the hazards present at such job sites.
Electricians must take care not to injure themselves. At the same time, they perform their duties outside or inside buildings under construction/renovation by ensuring they’re well aware of any potential dangers before starting a task (such as an area that has been damaged).
Electricians are often working with many different people and places. They can be independent contractors or employed by a small business, which allows them to work independently or as part of the construction team.
How Hard Does It Take to Become an Electrician?
Let’s talk about the types of skills and personality you need to make it as an electrician:
- A mechanical aptitude, as well as a basic understanding of algebra, is needed. Most applicants need to brush up on math skills. Since you will learn and build math and algebra skills as you go, don’t let the math aspect intimidate you.
- Being an electrician is more physical than you might think. There will be times you have to move through crawl spaces on your knees, climb ladders, or dig trenches. Electricians are on their feet most of the day.
- Fine motor skills and good balance are needed since you’ll be on ladders and other high places at times.
- Good communication and problem-solving skills will be called upon daily.
Training to Become a Licensed Electrician
A career as an electrician starts with some form of training, which can be undertaken in various ways. Although you will need to complete an apprenticeship in either case, the option is yours, whether it’s through a trade school or by way of community college credits and on-site experience for credit while working under supervision.
What are some advantages of attending classroom courses through local community colleges or vocational programs? First off, they’ll provide access to skills information employers want now but don’t have time to teach employees themselves (and if these jobs weren’t available, someone would create them). Secondly, classed-based education has also been shown to help minority students succeed, giving youth who may not otherwise see an equal chance.
As soon as you are ready to get an apprenticeship, your priority may be determining whether a union or non-union apprentice is best for you. Union employees generally start out earning more money than their counterparts in the workforce and will have to pay union dues upfront; however, it can take longer to find work with unions.
Aspiring tradesmen should consider all of these factors before deciding which type of apprenticeship program would suit them the most well from day one on the job market!
Do electricians use math?
Electricians are responsible for making sure that power is flowing to the homes of people in need. When you think about it, this job requires a lot more than just hands-on skills with wires and cables. To become an electrician, one has to know some math – algebra specifically! Becoming an apprentice will require passing a basic algebra exam before being accepted into training programs offered by unions across the country.
Math can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding specific formulas. But fear not! You can find plenty of resources online or in-person that will help make math easier for those who struggle with numbers and equations like fractions, decimals, whole numbers, etc. Learning these things could even get your electrical contractor license wherever they may need it most!
Is It Hard Working as an Electrician?
We’ve got many questions from many people, and we’ve noticed that people usually want to know how difficult electrical training is, but they forget to ask—”how hard is the actual job?”
That’s a super-important question because an electrical career’s day-to-day tasks will be your experience for most of your time as an electrician. Training ends, but the job can last as long as you want it to.
Here’s the good news: the career is not as challenging as the physical work demanded of other tradespeople, but it is a much more physical job than any desk job you’ll ever have. Plus, some other factors can make it challenging:
- The weather can be harmful. You may work in attics during the hottest months of summer and garages—or outdoors—during the coldest months of winter, which is one aspect people fail to consider when they think about this job. For some people, it’s great being outside all day as well as not getting stuck at their desk every day!
- You’ll be on your feet all day. That can also be tough, especially when you consider that so many people sit in an office all day long. We think that’s a positive aspect of the job! They’re finding out from studies done on these folks with unfortunate health problems due to sitting too much – such as diabetes and obesity- but not electricians! Electricians are usually very tired by the time they get home for their shift, though.
- You’re sure to come across some difficult people in your line of work. It’s not unheard of that a client is tough to get along with, or even some colleagues can be challenging too! But remember, this happens at other jobs as well…
- You’re in it for the long haul. This is another aspect of the job that’s a good thing and one you’ll be happy to hear when considering this line of work. Many Americans get laid off and have to change careers halfway through their professional lives – but not electricians! Most electricians are electricians for life, which means if you become an electrical contractor, then there will always be plenty more opportunities available once you’ve honed your skills on projects large or small.
Is It Worth It Becoming an Electrician?
Thousands of electricians enjoy their trade and the never-ending challenge of solving electrical problems. Electrician wages are expected to rise because there is an increasing demand for skilled tradespeople, but don’t worry! Becoming a licensed electrician can be worth it in the long run with opportunities at many levels – from apprentice up through master craftsman. For those looking to get into this fast-growing field that’s both challenging and rewarding, now’s your chance!