A licensed Electrician specializes in the installation, repair and maintenance of electrical wiring, fixtures and equipment in buildings or other structures to provide electricity. They may work as part of a larger team or independently, depending on the type of projects in which they are involved. They are often called upon to troubleshoot and resolve problems with electrical systems and their components, and they must follow strict safety rules to avoid exposing themselves and others to dangerous situations.
If you are interested in becoming an electrician, it is helpful to have a high school diploma or GED certificate as a minimum educational requirement for most apprenticeship and certification programs. Some vocational schools and trade colleges offer Electrician programs that combine coursework with on-the-job training to give you the hands-on experience you need to begin your career.
After completing the educational requirements, many states require electricians to pass an exam before they can start working on their own or with their own clients. Typically, this involves passing a written and a practical exam to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job safely. You can take these exams through the state licensing department or through a private testing agency.
As with any profession, the key to success as an electrician is finding a good fit between your skills and the type of work you enjoy doing. Some electricians prefer to do residential or commercial work, while others may be drawn to more specialized jobs. You also need to consider the level of detail involved in each type of project as well as the financial rewards, as you will find more opportunities for higher pay if you specialize in more complex or demanding work.
Residential and commercial electricians are usually responsible for installing, maintaining and upgrading electrical systems in homes, retail and office buildings, and other types of structures. They must be able to read blueprints or technical diagrams to understand the layout of a building’s electrical wiring and to locate the right fuses, circuit breakers and other parts for each job. They must also be familiar with various building codes and regulations to ensure that the wiring is safe and up to code.
Industrial electricians are usually employed by power plants or other large industrial facilities. They are often responsible for installing, maintaining and upgrading the various machines that use electricity in these facilities. Those working in this field need to have a thorough understanding of the different types of machinery that they are responsible for, and they must be able to troubleshoot any issues quickly to keep production running smoothly.
Having excellent communication skills is another important trait for electricians, especially those who work on their own. This is because they must be able to communicate clearly with their customers in order to explain the work that needs to be done and answer any questions that they might have. They also need to be able to collaborate with other members of the construction crew, including plumbers and carpenters, to ensure that all work is carried out properly and safely.