How To Train Be An Electrician
How To Train To Be An Electrician
Electricians in the US carry out a licensed trade that is regulated at the State rather than at the Federal level. Therefore, to train to be an electrician and gain the required experience in order to get a position related to this field, one would have to comply with the licensing requirements of the State.
To train to be an electrician or become a journeyman electrician (a term given to the license level) in the US requires one to complete an apprenticeship program which may last from 3 to 5 years.
What is the eligibility to train to be an electrician?
The minimum requirement for these apprenticeship programs is that the candidate must be at least 18 years of age, possess a high school diploma or its equivalent and be able to pass a skills test.Those who do not go through a formal training may learn the trade by working and assisting experienced electricians. While they do this, they would also learn the safety practices.There are also a few vocational courses as part of the high school curriculum and correspondence courses offered in trade schools.Previous high school study in mechanical drawing, mathematics, electronics and science, and electricity prove beneficial.Special training from post secondary technical schools or the US Armed Forces help a great deal.Applicants need to be in good physical health having average strength and dexterity.They often have to identify electrical wires by their color and hence, they must have a good color vision.Those interested in training to be maintenance electricians need to have a strong background in electronics especially due to the use of complex electronic controls on manufacturing equipment.
What do the electrician training programs teach?
These training programs to train to be an electrician equip the persons to gain an in depth knowledge in the various aspects of the trade, thus helping them to find positions in the future. Typical practical education programs involve about 144 hours of classroom sessions and 2000 hours of practical training per year.
The classroom instruction includes study on electrical theory, mathematics, electronics, blueprint reading, electrical code requirements and first aid and safety practices. Specialized training in fire alarm systems, welding, cranes, elevators and communications may also be imparted.
On-site exposures to train to be an electrician are supervised by experienced electricians and the trainees demonstrate their skills in various trade requirements such as drilling holes, setting anchors, setting up conduits, installing conduits, measuring, fabricating, installing, connecting and test wiring of outlets and switches, drawing out diagrams for and setting up entire electrical systems.
The journeymen who finish their apprenticeship may continue to train to achieve the next license level of a master. This would involve learning about related electrical systems. Builders choose to work with contractors who have knowledge about both regular and related electrical systems like low voltage data, voice and video systems.
Who certifies a course when you opt to train to be an electrician?
The training programs offer comprehensive training that equips those who complete the apprenticeship to qualify to function in both construction and maintenance. These programs are usually sponsored by joint training committees that comprise of local unions of the following bodies:
IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers)Local chapter of National Electrical Contractors Association Local chapters of Associated Builder and Contractors Independent Electrical Contractors Association Company Management Committees of individual electrical contracting companies.
The IBEW sponsors a limited number of seats and the selection is based on factors that vary according to economy and location. The training offered is for a period of 4 years but varies according to the local area.
The requirement for a license to be employed as an electrician varies by location. Though some locations do not require them, there are others who may need at least one or more licenses relating to State, City or County. In an area having procedures for formal licensing, an electrician would need to obtain a license in order to move up the prevailing wage tiers.
To train to be an electrician and obtain a license, one needs to be eligible for an examination. Licensing authorities may need a minimum amount of time spent working at the trade to be documented which may be 6000-8000 hours. Some authorities do not take into account any overtime hours and only credit 2000 hours a year. They may also cap a limit on the amount of hours sought as credit for working on military installations or attending school.
The examination includes computation, verbal, essay, practical and multiple choice questions. The examination is sometimes divided into two parts – a written and a practical examination.
Licensing authorities use the National Electrical Code for enforcing the electrical code system area wise. A good understanding of the codes is essential to train to be an electrician and also as part of the practical examination.
In conclusion, an electrician need not be confined to a particular field. Experienced electricians get promoted to supervisors, superintendants and inspectors. Some may even opt to start their own contracting business. Working under an experienced electrician or supervisor who has handled many projects generally provides more exposure. Some companies even offer training sessions on weekends or at nights. To train to be an electrician does not involve what is taught in the apprenticeship programs alone. What the individual sets out to explore and learn determines how steep his learning curve would be and his success in the profession.