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Electrician

If you've always been fascinated by electrical systems and how they work, a career as an electrician may be for you.


Electricians In a Nutshell

Responsible for truly keeping the lights on, electricians are the go-to labor workers when it comes to electrical power, communications and control systems. From your home to your business, they make sure these essential systems are always in working order.


Why Electricians Are Needed

From frayed wires to total system meltdowns, electricians are needed to diagnose and repair the power systems we depend on every day. They inspect electrical components and identify electrical problems using testing devices, repair or replace wiring, fixtures and equipment with tools and maintain electrical systems. They also read blueprints, follow state and local building regulations as well as train others.


How Electricians Get the Job Done

These are the common tools you may find in an electricians tool kit:

Tool Belt: Complete with plenty of pockets and a padded waist, this belt is essential for keeping all of the tools an electrician needs on hand no matter where they are.

Pliers:  These are used to twist wires together for the best connection. They are also used to cute wires to specified lengths.

Channel Locks:  These tools are used to tighten nuts and connectors.

Nut Drivers:  These are helpful for installing breakers in electrical panels.

Voltage Detector:This comes in handy when an electrician needs to find out if an electrical circuit is on or off.


Types of Electricians:

Apprentice Electrician:  Under the supervision of a journeyman electrician, they install, change and repair conductors, electrical systems and other related equipment. This work is done while completing the necessary 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 hours of technical education to become a journeyman electrician. 

Journeyman Electrician: Aside from the work an apprentice would do, journeyman electricians read blueprints, install wiring and fixtures, terminate cable and supervise apprentices. They also troubleshoot electrical problems.

Master Electrician: These experienced electricians are responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of electrical systems. They make sure these systems are up to code and supervise the apprentices and journeyman doing the work. Most states require master electricians to have a certain amount of on-the-job experience in order before being. 


While on the Job

In order to find and repair electrical problems, electricians need critical thinking and troubleshooting skills to perform tests on electrical systems and components to find out what's behind power issues. They also inspect transformers, circuit breakers and other electrical components to make sure they're working properly.


What it Takes

To become an electrician, you must have a high school diploma or something equivalent to start. Then you may enroll in a technical school to take courses in topics such as circuitry and safety practices.  Continuing education courses may be required after completing the program and most states require you pass a test and obtain a license before officially becoming an electrician. 


Electricians Toolbox

 

Required Education

High School Education, Technical School, License

Preferred Skills / Experience

Critical Thinking, Troubleshooting, Ability to work with Tools

Tools on the Job

Pliers, Channel Locks, Voltage Detector, Nut Driver

Gear

Tool Belt

Career Outlook

Jobs are expected to grow by 20 percent by 2022

  

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Electricians,

on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/electricians.htm

Electrician Mentor, Electrical Tool list at http://www.electricianmentor.com/electrical-tool-list/

Independent Electrical Contractors, Apprenticeship at http://www.ieci.org/apprenticeship/careers