There are many career opportunities which require the technical skills of an electrician. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the availability of electrician positions is expected to grow steadily over the next ten years.
This trend is greatly attributed to the fact that electricity is the main source of power for most households today. Further, the slow economy has delayed many electrical projects throughout the country which means there is a lot of pent up demand for electrical services in general.
To become a licensed electrician one usually has to undergo a four year program as an apprentice. In general, before applying for the certification, an individual has to go through the following six steps.
How to Become a Licensed Electrician
The first step to becoming a certified electrician is to obtain a high school diploma (or some form of GED). This diploma is very important as it is one of the requirements before one is enrolled under an electrician training program. It is worth noting that the apprenticeship program is a very important stamp of certification that is required in order for you to succeed in this field. You probably won’t be taken seriously if you don’t work as an apprentice at some point.
Attending a vocational school is also beneficial for building your career as an electrician. This step is not compulsory as such but it provides you with an opportunity to hone your skills in readiness for full certification. You can even enroll for electrical engineering courses at your local college or university just to boost your skill levels. When you combine your passion for this field with an education and an apprenticeship it is a great winning formula.
In order to become a licensed electrician, you need to have a good grasp of the National Electric code or NEC. You can learn this by enrolling in online classes, a local college or by attending related seminars. Take it upon yourself to become familiar with some formulas or concepts so you can intelligently read about them in a classroom setting. Don’t just wait to be taught about your career choice. Be proactive and you’ll be a the top of your field in no time.
While still in the process of becoming a licensed electrician you can benefit a lot by working under the supervision of a master electrician. This program comes just before the actual apprentice stage and helps a lot in improving your skills to that of a professional level. Don’t think of this as simply work because you will learn a whole lot from a master electrician and perhaps gain a mentor encouraging you along the way.
Once you have matured your skills under a licensed master electrician, the next step is to seek further hands on education through a good training program. At the minimum, this program should take up to two years but in some cases it can extend up to four years. Under this program, you will be known as an apprentice electrician. Generally, you will get acquainted with some great hands-on experience together with classroom instructions which is going to vastly improve your electrical skills.
Once you have successfully finished your training program, you can apply to sit for a state electrician certification exam. This examination usually focuses on your hands-on skills, technical knowledge, as well as your grasp of the National Electrician Code. In order to qualify for this exam you must have at least four to seven years of an electrician’s experience but this requirement differs on a state by state basis.
You must understand that the codes governing this profession keep changing as time goes by. Once you become licensed, it is important that you keep studying and learn of any changes (in the codes) that may affect your career so as to adapt to them accordingly. Above all, in order for you to excel in this career you require passion, hard work, discipline including plenty of patience over and above just a good technical mind.