Electrical work is a physically demanding job. It requires good physical strength and stamina to perform tasks like heavy lifting, climbing and bending. It also requires color vision, since electricians need to identify wires by their color.
You can start this career path by earning a high school diploma or equivalent. Then attend a trade school or apply for an apprenticeship.
Electricians work indoors in homes, factories and office buildings, as well as outdoors at construction sites. They use a variety of hand tools and power tools to install wiring, equipment and fixtures. They also read blueprints and electrical diagrams to troubleshoot problems. They may also use testing devices such as ammeters, voltmeters and thermal scanners to locate problem areas.
Electricians who specialize in new construction build wiring systems in newly constructed buildings or renovations of existing structures. They often work alone, but can also be part of a larger construction team.
Other electricians focus on maintenance work. They identify and repair problems with lighting, equipment and control systems in offices, factories and residential buildings. They also maintain highway electrical systems, including signs and lights. These jobs require a significant amount of travel and long hours. They are sometimes performed in confined spaces, such as attics, that are difficult to access. This can make the job very dangerous.
Electricians are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical wiring, fixtures, and equipment. They also test and inspect electrical systems to ensure that they meet local safety standards.
They often work from ladders and scaffolding to install or repair electrical wiring and equipment, but they may also need to dig trenches or climb walls to reach overhead wires. They use a variety of hand tools and power tools, including conduit benders, screwdrivers, and wire strippers. They also use tools like voltmeters, ammeters, and thermal scanners to identify problems.
Because electricians work closely with customers, they must have good communication skills and be able to explain technical information clearly. They also need critical thinking skills to troubleshoot issues and find solutions quickly. They must also be able to follow safety protocols and understand how electricity works. In addition, they must have physical strength and stamina to carry heavy materials and work in confined spaces. Finally, they must be able to read and interpret blueprints and other technical diagrams.
To become a professional electrician, you need at least a high school diploma. However, you may want to take extra classes in math and science to make sure that you are able to understand technical information, such as blueprints or electrical codes.
Many trade schools and technical colleges offer career diplomas or certificates for those interested in becoming an electrician. These programs usually include hands-on instruction, and allow students to work alongside experienced electricians. Some colleges also have Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Technology, which are designed for professionals who already have an associate degree and are looking to advance their careers.
Electricians need keen eyesight and good hand-eye coordination to be able to work with electrical products, components, and systems. They also need to have good customer service skills to interact with clients. Additionally, they need critical-thinking skills to identify problems and find solutions. Finally, they must be able to follow instructions and complete tasks in a timely manner.
An electrician’s salary is based on their level of experience. Apprentices start out with lower salaries than fully trained electricians, but they receive more pay as they gain skills and their work is approved by supervisors. During peak times of construction or urgent repairs, electricians are often required to work overtime.
Electricians may also receive ongoing training throughout their careers to keep up with new safety practices and technology. This can help them to remain competitive in the industry and improve their job security.
If an electrician can specialize in something that no one else at their company does, they are a valuable asset. They can learn to do inspections and testing, for example, or take on industrial & commercial projects that their bosses might not be able to accommodate. This makes them a sought-after employee that their bosses will be reluctant to let go. If they can demonstrate their value, it is likely that an electrician will be rewarded with higher wages and benefits.