Becoming an electrician is a great career move. Electricians have a specialized skill set needed for modern society to operate. They install lighting fixtures and repair broken wiring among other tasks. Whether for businesses or residences, electricians are heavily relied on.
You may wonder how to become an electrician. You need education, experience, and drive to become an electrician, but once you get through the initial phase, it can be the career of a lifetime.
You may be wondering:
- What does it take to become an electrician?
- What should I expect?
- How can I start?
- Is it hard to become an electrician?
If you’re thinking about working toward a career as an electrician, here are five things you should know about how to become an electrician.
Basic Requirements to Become an Electrician
An electrician is a specialized career field. You need to obtain a certain degree of knowledge to succeed. Generally, to be an electrician, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must have a high school diploma or a GED. Further education is generally not necessary. However, as with any job, the more specialized education you receive in a field, the higher the position you can achieve.
You also must have good math skills. Electricians must calculate and measure the proper voltage and determine the appropriate wiring length. Therefore, they should be comfortable using mathematics daily.
Note that other educational requirements may be required depending on your state. Therefore, it is essential to check the laws of your local jurisdiction.
Trade School and Apprenticeship Qualifications to Become an Electrician
Learning to be an electrician requires years of training. To become an electrician, you start as an apprentice or attend a trade school.
At a trade school, you’ll be taught how to be an electrician with a hands-on learning approach. If your state requires it, ensure the trade school you enroll in is accredited.
If you undertake an apprenticeship, you will have a combination of training and work experience. An apprenticeship takes about three or four years.
During this time, you will learn how to perform the duties of an electrician. You will also learn your state and local electricity installation and maintenance regulations.
Physical Demands of Being an Electrician
Electricians must also meet the physical demands of their job, such as the following:
- Climbing ladders,
- Moving boxes of equipment,
- Walking up and down flights of stairs,
- Frequently bending the knees, and
- Reaching up with your arms.
Because electricians work with colored wires, you can’t be color blind, which can be a physical limitation for some people.
Electricians Need a License to Practice Their Trade
You cannot just start working as an electrician after completing your apprenticeship or trade school. You need a license to be an electrician. This can be an electrician’s license or a contractor’s license. Different states have different rules.
Typically, a license is not needed to work during your apprenticeship. However, you may have to pass an aptitude test.
You must reach a certain number of hours during your apprenticeship and hours of teaching instructions. The hour requirement might be different if you learned the trade from an apprenticeship than if you went to a trade school. You may need your hours certified by your employer or trade school.
Then, you need to apply to sit for the exam. After the application is approved, you can sit for the licensing exam. Once you pass, you can apply for your license.
Some states have different levels of licenses. First, you would receive a journeyman electrician license. Once you have held that license for a certain amount of time, you can apply for a master electrician license. This may involve another exam.
Also, some states have further licenses if you want to work as an electrician with a specific specialty, such as with elevators or refrigerators.
Why all these requirements? You may wonder, is being an electrician hard? It can be.
Electricians work in a dangerous field. Electricians work with high-power electrical equipment. There is some danger when working as a technician because there is always the chance of electrocution.
Because of this, before granting a license, states want to be sure that any person practicing as an electrician has sufficient knowledge and can complete their job competently.
Know That Electricians Are in Demand
Electricians are in growing demand. No matter how volatile the economy is, electricity is still needed in buildings like homes, grocery stores, and hospitals.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment rate of electricians should increase by six percent by 2032.
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 about $50,000 and $70,000 per year.
This figure can increase as you gain more experience and become a master electrician.
Start Toward Your Career Today
Is it hard to become an electrician? Yes. But reaching the finish line will be rewarding.
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.
Stratford Career Institute offers a wide variety of at-home foundational courses. Our goal is to make learning affordable and convenient. Our introductory courses can offer you a basic insight to start learning more about a career field.
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