The job of an electrician is to install, repair, and maintain electrical wiring systems. They can work on commercial, industrial, or residential properties. This career requires a high school diploma or equivalent and extensive on-the-job training. Typically, apprentice electricians spend four or five years in an apprenticeship program, where they receive 144 hours of technical training per year and learn how to read blueprints, safety practices, and electrical theory. They also undergo 2,000 hours of hands-on on-the-job experience.
Electricians must have excellent hand-eye coordination and a steady hand because they use tools to perform their duties. A keen eye for detail is important, as well. Often, they need to work in cramped spaces, and they may be required to stand or kneel for long periods of time. Communication skills are essential for working with customers. A personable demeanor helps electricians build rapport with clients and address any concerns.
An electrician must be able to think critically to identify problems with products and systems and find solutions. They must be familiar with national and local codes, standards, and regulations to ensure their work meets industry requirements. Additionally, they must be able to complete thorough testing of products and systems to ensure they are safe for use.
Some electricians choose to pursue career advancement by becoming certified as a journeyman electrician or master electrician, which can increase their earning potential. Others may become construction project managers, overseeing a team of electricians and other construction workers. Strong job growth and the promise of a secure future make becoming an electrician an attractive choice for high school graduates.