Qualified and experienced electricians are some of the most sought after skilled tradespeople in the world today. With the need for certified electricians only going up and a large percentage of electricians getting ready to retire, this is a great time for anyone interested in becoming an electrician.
Electricians can earn excellent salaries depending on their level of certification. There are also a number of ways to specialize and make even more within this field! Being an electrician is often highly technical and requires proper patience and planning to be done correctly and safely. With this type of responsibility comes a good wage.
It’s very important to understand that, if you want to become an electrician, you should receive the proper training and advice before starting any electrical tasks. This is dangerous work if you don’t know what you are doing which is why it is a career path in the first place. If you think you’re the right type of person to become this type of sought after tradesman then read on and learn about how to become a career electrician.
How Do You Become An Electrician?
Becoming An Electrician – Personality Check
When talking about how to become an electrician, it’s important to note that not just anyone can become one. It takes a certain type of personality to succeed in the electrical trade. Check through this list and see if you match up!
- Patient – They never rush through installations.
- Cautious – They respect the power of electricity and they prepare accordingly.
- Diligent – They plan out everything they do and leave nothing to chance.
- Perfectionists – They refuse to leave a contract poorly done or incomplete.
- Hard Workers – They know electrical work can be both physically and mentally tiring.
If you match up with the criteria on the list then you’re in luck. You just might have what it takes to become an professional electrician. If you don’t quite fit with what’s on the list there is nothing to worry about. All of those traits can be learned over time. You might just need to put in more effort but it will pay off.
Becoming An Electrician – Education
The next step on the journey to become an electrician is to start your electrician education. While some states and countries allow you to become an apprentice without any schooling, it’s highly recommend that you take some courses at a local college or trade school even if you don’t actually enroll in an electrician training program.
Most colleges and trade schools will offer electrical training programs in which you will learn all about the technical and practical aspects of being an electrician. The average electrician training program takes 1-2 years but you learn a lot. Contact your local colleges and trade schools for more information regarding what kind of electrician training program they offer. While it is tempting to just start working, you are better off learning important concepts in conjunction with hands on experience.
Becoming An Electrician – Apprenticeship
Once you’ve completed or enrolled in an electrician training program it’s time to begin an apprenticeship. An electrician apprenticeship is when you are hired by a master electrician and you act as their assistant. You’ll typically carrying out tasks like helping to perform installations, carrying equipment, repairing electrical equipment and more. During your apprenticeship you may be required to attend specific classes in which you will learn about electrical code and the proper procedures.
If you take an electrician training program they will often help you find an apprenticeship. If not, you’ll need to look for yourself but since this is a growing field have a good chance to land some work. Start out by contacting your local IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) office and request information about becoming an apprentice in your area. They’ll be glad to help you.
The great part about being an apprentice is that as you learn to become an electrician and you also get paid. The average apprentice starts out at roughly $12 per hour but as they become more experienced and can offer more help they begin to make more money. During your fourth year apprenticing you can expect to make up to $22 an hour.
The duration of an apprenticeship varies depending on electrician laws in each state. In some places you must complete 4,000 hours, which is around 2 years, while and in other states you need to complete 9,000. Go to your state’s official website for information on your specific location. Knowledge is power.
Becoming An Electrician – A Journeyman Electrician
The final step on your journey to become an electrician is to take the journeyman electrician exam or your state’s equivalent. The exam will test you on everything you learned over the course of your training and apprenticeship including electrical code, proper safety procedures, electrical installations, circuit theory, and more. From the day you apply to take the exam you’ll likely have one year before it expires. Don’t rush the exam, take your time and study well. Once you are sure you have studied enough go ahead and take the exam. if you pass then congratulations to you! You have become an professional electrician.
Becoming An Electrician – A Master Electrician
After you’ve become a journeyman electrician the next step is to tackle becoming a master electrician. master electrician are at the very top of their trade and are paid accordingly! If you want o become an electrician there are two main routes.
A) You can gain experience as a journeyman electrician for 5-7 years and then write the master electrician exam.
B) you can obtain a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and then write the master electrician exam.
The master electrician exam is much more in-depth than the journeyman exam and will focus more on electrical planning and circuit theory as well as electrical codes and procedures.
Becoming An Electrician – Congratulations
Once you’ve become a master electrician there are many more options for you to choose. Many master electricians end up starting their own companies or becoming electrical engineers or foremen. This is the highest level you can obtain within your field and for that you command a premium for your services. Often the process to move from a journeyman to a master is even more easy than when you started out since you are already experienced and love what you do. At this point your career is shifting into high gear and hopefully you have plenty of work due to word of mouth referrals.