How to Become an Electrician

Written by

Ray Grant Walden


August 14, 2014


In today’s global environment, electricity makes the world go round. It fuels almost every thing we use on a daily basis from telephones and Internet to turning on the light in the closet. Electricity runs many essential things in our lives and when something goes wrong trained professionals are required to fix the problem. This is the job of electricians.

What does an electrician do?

Electricians are responsible for bringing electricity into homes, factories, businesses, and many other entities. They install and maintain the wiring, fuses, and the other mechanisms that electricity flows through. Many electricians also set up and maintain electrical equipment in factories. Electricians read blue prints to understand the location of outlets, circuits, panel boards, load centers, and other electrical equipment. Electricians are required to follow the National Electrical Code and local and state building codes to make sure the public is safe.

Electricians connect all wire types to circuit breakers, outlets, transformers, and other components. They use many different specially designed connectors to join wires into boxes. They use a variety of equipment including screwdrivers, conduit benders, pliers, hacksaws, knives, wire strippers, saws and drills. They also use equipment to test the connections and to make sure the components are compatible and safe.

What kind of training does an electrician need?

Most electricians are trained through apprenticeship programs. A high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.) is required for all apprenticeship programs. These programs combine related classroom instruction with paid on the job training. The programs typically last 4 years. Some electricians also receive training in specialized areas. Some aspiring electricians begin their classroom training before applying to apprenticeship programs. Many public and private vocational and technical schools offer electrician training. Many electricians complete continuing education programs throughout their career. Most states require electricians to be licensed and requirements for licensing differ by state, but typically involve passing an examination.

What are the prospects for a career as an electrician?

Employment of electricians is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 7% through 2016 (1). As the population increases, more electricians will be required to install and maintain electrical wiring and equipment in homes, businesses, offices, factories, and other structures.

Job prospects are expected to be very good especially for electricians that have a wide variety of skills such as data, voice, and video wiring. Opportunities will also arise from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the profession for other reasons.

How much do electricians make?

As of 2012, the middle 50% of electricians earned annual salaries between $35,027 and $49,009. The top 10% earned annual salaries of more than $55,528 (2).

A career as an electrician is an excellent choice for individuals who have good manual dexterity, physical fitness, sense of balance, and eye-hand coordination. Good color vision is also essential because electricians frequently have to identify different electrical wires by their color.

Becoming an Electrician Requires Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming an Electrician? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the College Mouse Degree Search tool to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Ray Grant Walden

Ray Grant Walden attended American University College and now lives in Houston. He has enjoyed a very exciting career and has experience in a wide variety of professions, including college counseling.

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