Anyone seeking a stable career with plenty of opportunities to make money can consider the electrical trade. You may be contemplating where to begin and how challenging it is to become an electrician and develop in your career if you’ve considering becoming an electrician. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about becoming a qualified electrician.
Types of Electricians
According to their jobs, each electrician conducts a specific set of tasks. These activities can range from installing wiring to repairing the navigation system of a submarine. Let’s take a look at the many types of electricians and their work.
Outside Lineman/Line Installers
Line installers are essential in the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors. As the name implies, outdoor electricians operate on electrical power line transmissions, communication cables, and fiber optics.
They’re in charge of making sure the electrical wiring is in good shape. They fix electrical wiring and power distribution systems in the event of a breakdown.
It’s a physically demanding job. Linemen who work on high-tension lines hundreds or thousands of feet in the air often undertake intensive safety training, including climbing and high-angle rescue training.
Most employers demand that lineman candidates have a high school diploma or equivalent certifications. Lineman classes are available at several technical institutes and usually result in certificates. In this profession, however, on-the-job training and apprenticeships are preferred.
Inside, wiremen operate on low-voltage electrical systems in homes, businesses, and industries. These contractors are largely in charge of electrical wiring and distribution on-site. They are in charge of connecting the electrical equipment of the client to the power source.
An inside wireman’s everyday tasks include installing conduits, lighting fixtures, and electrical outlets. They may also assist with the inspection and maintenance of electrical motors and installing fire alarm systems and electrical control panels.
Because electrical breakdowns and crises can happen at any moment, inside wiremen are frequently required to work full time, especially on weekends. An interior wireman’s average hourly wage is $14.77, or $30,724. Inside wiremen have a bachelor’s degree in around 20% of cases and a master’s degree in about 0.4 percent of cases. Although just a few inside wiremen have a college diploma, obtaining one with only a high school diploma or a GED is feasible.
Electrical and Electronics Installer/ Installation Technician
Installation Inside, wiremen and technicians work together to install a network of low voltage equipment and wiring systems. They can also work in more advanced fields like transportation, automobiles, and avionics.
Although some electricians install exterior transportation equipment, motors, circuit breakers, and monitoring systems, most of their work is done indoors. Electricians install sound, sonar, security, navigation, and surveillance systems on railroads, marine vehicles, and other transportation systems.
Installing electrical systems and equipment necessitates a complete understanding of the functioning mechanics of numerous machines in addition to fundamental electrical knowledge.
Electrical engineering, business, and electrical engineering technology are the most common degrees installation technicians pursue. Installation technicians have a high school diploma in 32% of cases and an associate’s degree in 29% of cases. Installation and repair workers earn an average of $29.82 per hour or $62,020 per year.
Maintenance electricians are employed in various industries, including robotics, space technology, manufacturing, and construction. They look after different electrical equipment wiring, parts, and auxiliary electrical systems.
A maintenance electrician does rigorous testing and health monitoring to find defects in the electrical assemblies. They must also create preventative maintenance programs to maintain the proper operation of motors and other electrical equipment.
Because they work in an industrial setting, these electricians have established working hours and a safer working atmosphere.
An associate degree or a high school diploma is normally required for a maintenance electrician. Bachelor’s degrees and diplomas are other degrees found on maintenance electrician resumes.
After completing their apprenticeship programs, electricians who desire to work in the maintenance profession usually receive industry-specific on-the-job training or work under the supervision of experienced electricians. Maintenance electricians earn $25.51 per hour and $53,053 per year.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installers
Many electricians switch to solar-based industries as renewable energy sources become more prevalent. Solar PV installers’ everyday responsibilities include constructing, installing, and maintaining rooftop energy systems.
To work as solar installers, electricians must finish particular on-the-job training modules in solar photovoltaic systems. These training programs can range in length from a month to a year. Some manufacturers of solar PV systems also provide training on their specific equipment.
A high school diploma is sometimes required of PV installers. Some solar panel installers study the installation of solar panels in local community colleges or technical schools.
Despite a median annual income of $46,470, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 52 percent rise in employment for these professions. Keep an eye on the solar PV industry if you’re looking for intriguing new work opportunities.
Do You Need Math to Become an Electrician?
Although electricians are required to know some arithmetic, they are rarely required to solve complex equations. Algebra, in particular, is frequently used on the job, and passing an algebra exam will be necessary before being admitted into a union apprenticeship program.
If arithmetic makes you uneasy, you might want to brush up on your skills by browsing for resources online or enrolling in a class, either in person or online. You might even come across one for electricians. Fractions, decimals, whole numbers, algebra, units and measurements, powers and roots, and solving equations are just a few of the various forms of arithmetic you’ll need to master.
Is it Difficult to Become an Electrician?
To become a master electrician, you must have several years of experience in the field. To become a fully certified electrician, you will need to spend the first four to six years of your career as an apprentice.
Because your role is to assist journeymen and master-level electricians in their work, you may anticipate working hard during your apprenticeship. Carrying heavy equipment and tools to and from job sites, obtaining supplies when needed, and doing a lot of the grunt work will certainly be part of the job description. During peak seasons, working long hours is common, which means your employment may impact your family and social life. This time commitment is not limited to trainees; it is likely to continue throughout your career.
You will almost certainly need to become licensed once you complete your apprenticeship requirements. Although state and municipal legislation vary, passing a test is required to become a certified journeyman electrician. Before applying for a master electrician or an electrical contractor’s license, you must normally work as a journeyperson for at least two years.
Although it is possible to work as a journeyperson without becoming a master, there are several reasons to pursue this level of certification. Master electricians earn higher money, have greater opportunities for supervisory jobs, and can start their contracting businesses. If any of these are on your career wish list, pursuing a higher level of certification is definitely worth your time.
To become a master electrician, you must once again pass an exam. The journey-level and master-level exams are often based on your understanding of local building standards, which can vary from place to place but are largely based on the National Electrical Code (NEC), which the National Fire Protection Association maintains. Depending on where you live, you may need to learn about other codes, such as those administered by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) or the International Code Council (ICC) (ICC).
There are numerous online tools available to assist you in studying for your exam, including comprehensive training programs. A local trade school or community college may provide an exam preparation course.
What Is the Average Time It Takes to Become an Electrician?
It takes some time to become a licensed electrician. The average apprenticeship program lasts four years. There were approximately 500 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. (Requirements vary by state and location.)
It takes five years to finish an IBEW apprenticeship. It’s an excellent training program, and you’ll almost certainly make more money during and after your apprenticeship.
To become a journeyman electrician, you must pass a state licensing exam, regardless of whatever apprenticeship program you pick.
It is critical to prepare for the exam. Following my study advice should be beneficial. The exam will be difficult since it will assess your understanding of the National Electrical Code (NEC), which is a large book. Classes and practice exams are offered to assist you in your preparation.
It is neither essential nor possible to memorize the complete code. You’re being tested to see if you can locate the information you require in the NEC codebook.
What are the Disadvantages of Being an Electrician?
Although working as an electrician has its benefits, such as the opportunity for future professional advancement and working in various industries, it is not for everyone. Some drawbacks include:
- Between apprentice and master, it’s a long journey. You’ll have spent six to eight years learning all parts of the trade when you’re qualified to call yourself a master electrician. On the plus side, unlike other career options where you pay a big sum of money to attend a training course or university program, you will be paid as you learn the skill, which will help offset any potential expenditures.
- Working as an electrician necessitates a high level of physical endurance. Working on complex wiring systems will require you to spend a substantial portion of the day on your feet and possibly in small quarters and haul tools and equipment. The task is physically demanding and may not be suited for those who are not in good physical shape.
- Especially during busy seasons, the hours can belong. The work may need a significant amount of time, which you may prefer to spend with family and friends. Working weekends and long periods without a day off may be part of this time commitment, especially when the weather is beautiful. On the bright side, as your career progresses, you will be qualified for a wider range of professions and may be able to obtain a more traditional nine-to-five work after you are licensed.
- Inclement weather may force you to labor outdoors. This disadvantage is especially true for people planning to work as line workers (those who install and repair power lines). Linemen are frequently obliged to labor outside in blizzards and heavy winds to restore neighborhood power. On the other hand, residential and commercial electricians may be required to labor outside in the cold or a sweltering attic on a hot summer day.
- You’ll need to satisfy picky customers. Although coping with difficult people isn’t unique to the construction sector, those in it, particularly business owners, will need to keep their clients happy if they want their company to thrive.
Is an Electrical Engineering Career Right for Me?
Those who prefer working hands-on in a fast-paced atmosphere will enjoy a job as an electrician. Electricians are a good fit for people who enjoy taking on new challenges and solving difficulties.
Is Being an Electrician Hard on the Body?
Working as an electrician, especially a line installer, can be physically demanding. Not all electrician positions, however, are physically demanding. Some electricians work a flexible schedule or have set working hours to rest and relax on weekends and holidays.
Where Do Electricians Work?
Electricians might operate indoors or outside in residential, commercial, and industrial environments, depending on their job duties. Every industry that relies on electricity to function will eventually require the services of an electrician. For installations, repair, and maintenance, many businesses hire electricians full-time.
Despite these drawbacks, this occupation is an excellent fit for someone with a certain personality and can lead to a long and rewarding career. If any of these things make you nervous, you should do a little more study and talk to a local electrician. You can learn more about the intricacies of the trade-in your area this way.
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