An electrician installs, repairs, and maintains electrical power, lighting, communications, and control systems in factories, businesses, and homes.
Responsibilities of an Electrician
- Reads technical diagrams or blueprints
- Installs and maintains control, wiring, and lighting systems
- Inspects electrical parts like circuit breakers and transformers
- Determines electrical problems using different testing devices
- Replaces or repairs equipment, fixtures, or wiring using power and hand tools
- Adheres to local and state building regulations
- Oversees and trains workers to repair, install, and maintain electrical equipment or wiring
Work Setting for an Electrician
65% of electricians become wiring installation and electrical contractors while 8% become self-employed. Another 8% of electricians work in the manufacturing sector, and another 4% become government workers. Only 2% of them work in employment services.
An electrician can experience more injuries and illness, but many of them are not fatal. Common injuries include falls, electrical shocks, burns, and other injuries. An electrician must wear safety glasses and protective clothing to lessen the risks.
An electrician works full time, and may even render overtime in the evenings and on weekends. His schedule may vary, depending on the weather. A self-employed electrician, however, can set his own schedule because he works in residential construction.
How to Be an Electrician
A person must be an apprentice to learn. However, some people attend a technical school. Also, almost all states require that electricians become licensed.
If you want to be an electrician, you need to be a high school graduate. You can attend a technical school that offers programs associated with basic electrical concepts, safety practices, and circuitry. Then, you undergo 4 to 5 years of apprenticeship, where you received classroom instruction and paid on-the-job training for 2,000 hours each year. After the apprenticeship program, you must pass the exams to become a full-fledged electrician.
Characteristics of an Electrician
- Exceptional communication skills
- Ability to determine wires by color
- Perform critical thinking in diagnosing problems
- Excellent physical stamina and strength
- Incomparable troubleshooting skills
Job Outlook and Prospects for an Electrician
The need for electricians grows consistently over the years. As construction and demand for other sources of energy grow, the demand for electricians also increases. The emerging need for solar and wind power requires electricians for installation. Also, there is a need to link these power sources to power grids and homes. Thus, the future for electricians is bright.
Electricians have more job opportunities because they can repair electronic systems, industrial wire components, and install solar photo voltaic systems. The need for electricians fluctuates, depending on the state of the overall economy. If building construction and maintenance flourish, electricians become in demand. But, they may become unemployed if the construction and maintenance sectors cease to grow.
In terms of advancement opportunities, you can be promoted to a supervisory position. If you are in the construction industry, you can be a project manager. You may also decide to become a self-employed contractor. If you work for the government, you can advance to become an electrical inspector.