How to Become an Electrician
Electricians are responsible for installing and maintaining electrical systems. Unlike many other jobs, if you want to become an electrician, you need to go through a rigid training to ensure that you can perform your job well. It is not just something that you learn from a family member or a friend.
Today is the perfect time to join the electrical industry because of the growing demand and shortage of qualified electricians. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians are expected to have a 23% growth, higher than any other industry in the job market. This allows aspirants and new electricians to have numerous opportunities.
If you want to become an electrician, there are three steps that you need to go through.
Electrician Apprentice Program: This program typically lasts for 2 to 4 years. Students will have to attend school technical electrical training for about 144 hours. On-the-job training requires about 2000-4000 hours. These are closely supervised by a master electrician.
Aspirants should be at least 18 years old, with GED (General Equivalency Diploma) certificate or a High School Diploma.
Some of the things that you will learn during the program include:
• Reading a blueprint
• Connecting and replacing wires and circuit breakers
• Using specialized equipment such as oscilloscopes, ammeters, ohmmeters and voltmeters
• Understanding the building codes and regulations
Journeyman: After finishing an apprentice program, you can now render a year of service as a journeyman, where you will still be supervised by a master electrician. This will allow you to master what you have learned during the program, and apply it to actual electrical work for both commercial and residential jobs.
Location-Specific Exam: In order to become a licensed electrician, you need to take a location-specific exam after you have finished the Apprentice Program.
If you want to become a master electrician, you will have to take an extensive exam about the National Electrical Code, and local electrical and building codes. Additionally, only licensed electricians with four to seven years of experience are allowed to take the examination. You will have to fill out an application and pay the necessary fees.
Being an electrician is a lucrative career. According to US News, the average salary is $54,110 annually. Metropolitan areas pay as much as $92,880 for comprehensive and large-scale electrical tasks. Apart from that, most companies provide additional benefits such as medical and dental insurance, and retirement plans.