Electricians are more than just the modern superheroes that save the day. They also maintain power infrastructure, install wiring and lighting, and troubleshoot electrical problems. In addition, they are responsible for the installation of new electrical components, such as generators, switches, and electrical circuits.
To become a professional electrician, you’ll need a high school diploma and several years of on-the-job experience or classroom training. Most Electrician choose to complete an apprenticeship program, which combines on-the-job training with classroom courses and is overseen by a journeyperson or master electrician. Alternatively, you can also attend a trade school or certificate program that provides you with the fundamental skills and knowledge to succeed as an electrician.
Before beginning your electrician career, you should check with your state’s licensing or labor department to determine whether or not you need a license. If you do, then you’ll need to pass an exam that tests your understanding of the National Electric Code and various electrical concepts and safety practices.
If you don’t need a license, then you can pursue an entry-level position with a commercial or industrial contractor or even start your own small business. You’ll need to learn how to read technical and wiring diagrams, as well as blueprints, to successfully perform your job duties. Having good color vision is also important, since all electrical wires have specific colors and special markings that identify them.
Some states require electricians to complete on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed journeyperson or master electrician before they can be issued an electrician’s license. This allows you to earn your experience while working and getting paid an hourly wage.
In some states, you may be able to count up to 1,000 classroom hours toward your on-the-job training hours. In this case, you can finish your apprenticeship much quicker.
While completing your apprenticeship, you should take several types of classes in high school, including English, physics, math (particularly algebra and trigonometry), and shop classes. These courses will give you a solid base for the work you’ll do as an apprentice and beyond.
Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship and passed all the applicable exams, you can apply for a Master Electrician’s License. To become a Master Electrician, you must have at least seven and a half years of on-the-job experience and 10,500 hours of working as an electrician, as well as pass an exam that tests your knowledge of the National Electrical Code.
After you’ve become a licensed electrician, you can work independently or for an electrical contractor. Be sure to carry general liability, workers’ compensation, and disability insurances to protect yourself and your customers in case something goes wrong on a job site. In addition, consider marketing your services with a Nextdoor Business Page to connect with nearby customers and businesses. This will help you grow your customer base and get more work opportunities.