Are you considering becoming a professional electrician? You are making a great choice. It is a promising career choice, but there are several things you should know before committing to the career path.
There are over 900,000 electricians in the USA, and the job outlook remains positive, with around a 9% growth. However, preparing to commit to this trade will enhance your likelihood of success as an electrician. Read on for everything you need to know about becoming a professional electrician.
What Do Electricians Normally Do?
An electrician’s work can vary significantly depending on their specific role. After all, electricians work in a variety of settings, from working for space missions to electrical home businesses. However, some of the typical electrical work an electrician carries out includes:
- Design and install electrical wiring layouts
- Use power tools to test, maintain and repair electrical components
- Understand and interpret technical documents
- Identify electrical issues and repair them
- Install and maintain the electrical control system
An electrician’s work can be different every day. But their core focus is to design, install, maintain, and repair electrical systems. You can carry out this electrical work in various settings with work indoors and outdoors, including houses, factories, and businesses.
What Are the 3 Main Types of Electricians?
There are different types of electricians, depending on your specialism and experience level. However, the three main types are:
- Apprentice Electrician
- Journeyman Electrician
- Master Electrician
An apprenticeship electrician is someone undergoing job training through an apprenticeship program under the supervision of a qualified electrician. A journeyman electrician has completed job training and has taken tests to be licensed to work independently.
And a master electrician is someone who has the highest electrician certification, supervising journeyman and apprentice electricians. They usually work on projects that require specialized skills and experience.
Specialized Electrical Work
There are a variety of different career paths to walk as an electrician. You can choose a specialty role such as:
- Outside lineman
- Inside lineman
- Residential wireman
- Installation technician
An outside lineman focuses on working outdoors on electrical power transmissions, which is a physical role with a variety of safety training. An inside wireman works indoors on electrical wiring.
A residential wireman usually works with residential home businesses and in commercial settings. They install and maintain a variety of different electrical systems. An installation technician focuses on working indoors too, but usually alongside wiremen to create a control system or wiring in a space.
There are also different types of areas you can work as an electrician, including:
- Home businesses
- Industrial work
- Maintenance electricians
- Construction electricians
- Automotive electricians
Electrical consumption is high in homes and different sectors. So, you have the opportunity to work in an area that suits your interests. Electrical contractors work on different projects, which is something to consider if you want to work in a variety of different fields.
How Much Money Does an Electrician Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the electrician’s salary was $60,040 in 2021. This works out at $28.87 per hour. However, several factors can impact your pay, including:
- Type of electrician
Specific industries and companies will offer higher pay due to the demand or skills required. Your experience level, training, and specialism will also impact your income. As you grow in experience, so will your opportunities and electrician’s salary.
What Type of Electricians Earn the Most?
Master technicians earn the most money. Those working in fields such as renewable energy, automation, electrical contractors, and construction engineers have the potential to make more money. However, the most important thing is to follow a career you are interested in and focus on improving your skills to improve your salary.
How to Become an Electrician
There are several ways to become an electrician. It is best to start by checking your State’s Department of Labor requirements, as some states require specific steps to become an electrician. However, usually, the steps to become an electrician include:
- Earn a high school diploma or equivalent
- Decide on trade school or an apprenticeship program
- Study for the test
- Meet the license requirements
States require different steps to become licensed electricians. For example, you may need to complete paid work experience to become licensed and work unsupervised. You can use a site such as the Better Business Bureau to find a list of certified electricians.
Choosing a trade school or apprenticeship program depends on your state, needs, and preferences. Apprenticeship programs are usually full-time, but you may be able to find a flexible school or apprenticeship if you have other commitments.
Once you have met the requirements, you can test to become an independent electrician. You need to pass this test to continue your career as an electrician. You have to check with your state to see if you can retake the test again.
Skills of Good Electricians
If you’re interested in becoming an electrician, you may be wondering if you have what it takes. It is important to have a passion and interest in the work so it stays interesting for you. It is also important to pick a career route that you enjoy and that challenges you, so you continuously learn.
There are people from all backgrounds that become electricians. However, you need some core skills to succeed as an electrician. These include:
- Excellent communication skills
- Customer service
- Problem-solving skills
- Calculate electrical values and measurements
- Math skills
Some of these you will develop during job training. Once you complete training, you should know how to use the appropriate power tools, understand blueprints, install cables and manage other electrical components. You should also prioritize health and safety, including your own.
It is also helpful to have basic math skills to perform routine measurements and calculations. Physical skills are also beneficial as electrical work is active and physical. You need to be flexible too, as work often involves different hours to standard 9-5 jobs.
Benefits of Becoming an Electrician
Becoming an electrician has many benefits, and you will discover your own once you start job training. It is also essential to consider your interests when deciding whether to pursue a career as an electrician. However, these benefits are also motivating:
- Job prospects
- Job security
- Interesting work
- Physically demanding
There are many job prospects for electricians, so you can pursue your own interests, be intellectually stimulated, and enjoy going to work every day.
There is also a lot of job security. People sometimes ask the question: will electricians always be needed? Currently, the future of electricians seems optimistic, as prospects continue to grow and electrical systems continue to develop, such as in the renewable energy sector.
Predictions of what electricians will be doing in the future vary, from more renewable energy work to lighting system upgrades. However, it is evident that it remains a well-respected profession, offering the chance to eventually become your own boss or continue working in a team environment.
You can cater your electrician training to your preferences, so it is a career you continue to enjoy and modify as your interests develop. You can also continuously learn throughout your career, choosing a company that supports ongoing job training. Learning about how electricians incorporate more technology into their roles is also helpful in standing out from the crowd.
Tips on How to Be a Successful Electrician
While there continues to be a reliance on technology and demand for electricians, it is crucial to be the bright spark that stands out from the crowd. Here are some tips to help you stay on track throughout your job training:
- Find the right job training program
- Build strong relationships
- Continue to learn
- Prioritize health and safety training
- Work for a reputable company
When you search for ‘electricians near me,’ mixed results come up. Not all electricians have the same experience or reputation. To be successful, find a reputable job training program that will equip you with the skills to flourish in your career.
Continue to network throughout your job training to build solid connections and open up more opportunities. Any specialisms and ongoing training will also help enhance your job prospects. Finding a reputable company to work for will also improve your skills, job satisfaction, and electrician salary.
Prioritizing health and safety skills training will appeal to employers, but it also helps protect you. Staying safe as an electrician is critical for your well-being and to ensure you can continue working.
Join the Energy One Team
As with any career choice, it is important to know what is involved in becoming a successful and professional electrician. Then you can increase the chance of reaping the many benefits of this career.
Once you complete your job training, you should consider applying for one of Energy One’s career opportunities. We also offer in-house training, specialized training, and continuing education for our valued electricians.
If you are interested in working in an outstanding work environment and joining our team of highly trained professionals, then check out our job openings online.