How to Become an Electrician
Whether you’re a newcomer to the field of electrical work or a seasoned veteran, you need to stay current on safety, code, and product information. Electrical workers often receive ongoing training, from both the employer and from their peers. The National Electrical Code, for example, is updated regularly, so electricians need to stay on top of the latest standards. In addition, electricians often need to upgrade their skills or learn new methods to keep up with changes in the industry.
Typically, an electrician will complete an apprenticeship program, which combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. In many cases, an apprenticeship program lasts four to five years. These programs are usually sponsored by individual electrical contracting firms and local chapters of the Independent Electrical Contractors Association.
During an apprenticeship program, apprentices learn the basics of electrical work by working with experienced electricians. They learn about blueprints, circuit boards, and electrical equipment. Apprentices also learn to install wiring and conduit, perform testing, and diagnose problems. The program usually consists of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
After completing an apprenticeship, an electrician can choose to work for an electrical contractor or start his own contracting business. Depending on his experience, he can choose to specialize in residential, industrial, or commercial work. An experienced electrician can also move into supervisory or project management positions. A skilled electrician may even become an electrical inspector.
Some states require electricians to complete an associate’s degree before obtaining a license. This two-year degree offers a solid foundation of electrical knowledge, as well as general education courses. Some programs also prepare students for a bachelor’s degree. If you’re not sure if you’d like to pursue a degree, you may want to consider a certificate program. These programs are usually designed for people who already have some experience in the field, or who want to learn new skills. A certificate program can be a good way to jumpstart the apprenticeship process.
An apprenticeship program is a popular way for electricians to acquire hands-on training, and can be a good way to build professional skills. Some apprenticeship programs also allow students to earn academic credit for classroom hours. This allows students to get a jumpstart on their apprenticeship program and get started on their career before they’ve completed their degree.
In addition to completing an apprenticeship, an electrician must have a high school diploma or equivalent. He must also pass an aptitude test and a substance abuse screening exam. He also must pass a state electrician license exam. Once he completes the apprenticeship program, he can apply to employers directly or begin to search for jobs on job websites. Whether or not an electrician has a degree, he will need to be physically fit and have a strong sense of balance. He will also need to have manual dexterity and good color vision. During his career, he may need to move around constantly to complete tasks, including climbing scaffolding and lifting supplies.