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Becoming an Electrician

Electricians prepare, assemble, install, test, and troubleshoot electrical wiring, fixtures, controls, and related equipment. They read blueprints and other technical diagrams, and they use hand tools as well as power tools. They need good color vision to identify wires by their colors and have physical stamina.


They also need to be able to solve problems quickly and accurately. These traits are especially important when working on high-voltage systems. Visit https://www.ampi-electricinc.com/ to learn more.

Electricians are responsible for designing, installing, and repairing electrical power systems, including communications, lighting, fire alarms, and elevators. They also inspect and verify that the work meets safety standards and local code requirements. To become an electrician, you’ll need to complete a vocational school program and an apprenticeship. Most programs last four years and combine class work with on-the-job training. You’ll be mentored by a master or journeyman electrician and paid an hourly wage.

While earning your high school diploma, you should focus on math and science classes that will prepare you for the rigors of electrician training. These subjects will help you understand the basics of wiring diagrams and blueprints, as well as the mathematical concepts that are used to calculate wire lengths and other dimensions. In addition, you should take physics and shop classes as well. These classes will teach you the fundamentals of using hand tools and how to safely operate power tools.

After you’ve completed your coursework, many trade schools will help you prepare for the national electrician exam and start accumulating the verified work experience required to become licensed. Some will even offer a bachelor’s degree that can serve as a stepping-stone to an apprenticeship program.

In addition to formal education, most states require you to pass a background check and drug screening before you can work as an electrician. This is to ensure that you’ll be a safe and competent worker. Depending on the state, this may involve an online application or simply filling out a form and paying a fee.

Once you’ve passed your background check and drug screening, it’s time to find an apprenticeship. You can search for opportunities through your local union, or you can sign up with an online program like Penn Foster. These programs feature skilled trade lessons, video lectures, and quizzes to help you gain a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of electricity. They’ll also provide state-specific training for licensing and certification.

Work Environment

Electricians can work in a variety of settings. For example, a residential electrician may work in a home, power plants or private businesses while industrial electricians might work on factories or construction sites. Some electricians travel to different job sites from day to day while others might stay at one location for several days or weeks.

Specialized electricians may also spend the majority of their time on specific types of projects. For instance, an appliance installer might spend a majority of the time in customer homes, installing and troubleshooting major appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. A field service technician, on the other hand, might spend most of his or her time in a company truck travelling from home to customer’s homes to fix their electrical issues.

Regardless of the specialty, all electricians have to complete a lot of physical labor that can be physically demanding and expose them to a number of potential risks including electrical shock, falls and cuts. This is why it’s important for them to adhere to strict safety protocols both during training and during the course of their actual work.

Because they work with electricity, electricians must have good problem-solving skills and must be able to think on their feet. They should also be able to follow instructions, blueprints and other technical documents. Additionally, they should be able to operate hand tools and have excellent manual dexterity. Finally, an electrician should be able to tolerate loud environments and work in cramped spaces.

In addition to the physical labor involved, working as an electrician is often a solitary career. While some electricians will work as part of larger construction teams, it is generally a solitary occupation that suits people who prefer to work alone. It’s also a career that can be affected by weather conditions, as electricians who are working on outdoor power lines will need to take into account inclement weather when planning their work schedules. In these situations, it is sometimes necessary for electricians to stay at their jobs for longer periods of time than normal as they wait out bad weather.

Job Duties

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. They also inspect and test these systems to ensure that they are working properly and safely. In addition, electricians work with other professionals, such as contractors and engineers, to design electrical systems for new buildings. They must have excellent communication skills to collaborate effectively with these professionals and ensure that the final product meets building codes and safety standards.

Electricians typically work in a wide range of settings, from residential homes to large factories. They usually travel between different worksites, so they must be comfortable with local or long-distance commuting. This profession involves working with live electrical wires, so it is essential that electricians take appropriate precautions to avoid injuries and other hazards.

Residential electricians typically install, troubleshoot, and repair electrical equipment in homes and other residential structures. They typically work with low voltage wiring, including fuses and circuit breakers. These electricians must be familiar with local and national electrical codes and regulations. They also need to be able to read and interpret blueprints and other technical documents.

Commercial electricians work in a variety of commercial settings, including offices and other businesses. They often collaborate with architects, engineers, and other professionals to design electrical systems for new buildings. In some cases, they may also perform inspections and maintenance on existing commercial electrical systems.

Industrial electricians work in industrial settings, such as factories and manufacturing plants. They typically install, maintain, and repair electrical systems associated with factory production and other industrial processes. These electricians must be familiar with the specific machinery they are working with, and they may need to troubleshoot complex issues that require extensive mechanical knowledge.

Whether they are installing new electrical systems or repairing old ones, electricians must be skilled at troubleshooting to find the source of problems and develop effective solutions. They must be able to identify electrical faults using tools such as voltmeters and oscilloscopes. They must also be able to trace circuits and determine their connections. Additionally, they must be able to use power construction equipment and hand tools to perform their duties. Because this job requires a lot of movement and climbing, electricians must be physically fit and have good balance. They also need to have good color vision because they often work with a variety of wires that are identified by their colors.


A career as an electrician can lead to a lucrative salary. The salary depends on a number of factors, including experience, education, and location. In addition, many electricians choose to join a union, which often results in higher salaries. Electricians can also improve their earning potential by pursuing additional education and training. For example, they can take courses to learn more about new technologies, such as alternative energy systems and long-distance transmission lines.

The type of industry in which an electrician works can also have an impact on their earnings. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that electricians working in the oil and gas extraction industry tend to earn the highest salaries. The average salary for electricians working in this industry was $81,750 in 2020. Electricians working in construction and utilities industries also earned above-average salaries.

Regardless of the industry in which an electrician works, it is important to maintain a strong work ethic and strive for excellence. This will help ensure that the electrician is able to meet or exceed customer expectations and remain competitive in the marketplace. It is also helpful for electricians to seek out continuing education opportunities, such as classes that teach them about changes in the National Electrical Code and how to install low-voltage voice and data systems.

Electricians also need to be able to read blueprints and follow safety codes when performing work on-site. These skills can be learned through a four- or five-year apprenticeship program that typically includes classroom instruction on electrical theory and on-the-job training. Apprentices can choose from a variety of specialties, including outside linemen, inside wiremen, and sound and communication technicians.

Some electricians can increase their earning potential by obtaining a master’s license, which requires several years of work as a journeyman. In addition, they can seek out additional education and certifications, such as specialized courses in solar energy or long-distance transmission lines. Additionally, many electricians can boost their earnings by joining a union, which provides excellent health insurance and retirement benefits. Finally, electricians can also improve their earnings by starting their own company. This will require a significant amount of capital and risk, but it can result in high profits.