Becoming an electrician is a promising career, because everyone needs electrical services either for new home construction or maintenance. You need education, experience, and drive to become an electrician, but once you get through the initial phase, it’s a career of a lifetime. If you’re thinking about creating a career as an electrician, here are five things you should know.
1) You Will Need Many Years of Training and Experience
Just like any career, you start at the bottom. As an electrician, you start as an apprentice. You’ll follow and learn from a master technician for about four years before you move on to work alone. Because electricians work with colored wires, you can’t be color blind, which can be a physical limitation for some people. Most electricians go to training while they do their apprenticeship. You need about 2,000 hours of hands-on training for four years.
2) You Need to Choose an Area of Expertise
Once you get through your apprenticeship, you need to choose an area of expertise. This is your focus as an electrician. You can focus on commercial work or residential. The difference is that residential technicians stick to home construction and maintenance, and commercial electricians work in offices or buildings. You can also choose to be an industrial technician or a lineman. Industrial technicians work in factories and large facilities like data centers or processing plans. Linemen are the electricians that bring electricity from the electrical plant’s public lines to the outside contact of the home.
3) There is Some Danger in Being an Electrician
Electricians work with high-power electrical equipment. There is some danger when working as a technician, because there is always the chance of electrocution. You also need to be in shape since working with electrical wiring requires some climbing and maneuvering into a building or home. Being an electrician is definitely more physical than working behind a desk, but many people prefer physical activity over sitting at a desk all day.
4) You Need a License
Electricians are licensed contractors, so get ready for schooling and exams for your license. If you are more of a hands-on learner, you can learn on the job to get the practice you need to pass the exam. However you learn, you must find the best way to retain facts and learn how to pass the exam. As we previously mentioned, you need to also work as an apprentice for about four years before you can make it on your own. Electricians go through several years (almost as long as a doctor) of training before becoming a master technician.
5) You Can Make a Good Salary
The average wage of an electrician depends on your location and your area of expertise, but the average salary for a standard electrician is between $50,000 and $60,000 each year. This figure increases as you gain more experience and become a master electrician.
If you think you want to be an electrician, it’s a great career that takes some upfront schooling and work but can last you a lifetime. It’s also interesting and saves you from sitting at a desk all day.