There are three levels of training to become an electrician. The first is the Apprentice, who is paid a reduced wage while he or she learns the trade. Apprentices complete hundreds of hours of classroom instruction and are contractually bound to the apprenticeship standards for three to six years. Once they have completed the Apprenticeship and have proven themselves competent in the electrical trade, they become Journeymen. Journeymen are paid a set amount of money, depending on their level of expertise.
Experienced electricians may design the electrical system of a new building. They may work alongside an architect or building engineer to determine the layout of a building. They may also work on HVAC designs. Other options for electricians are to work as a contractor for construction companies or as a subcontractor for home builders. A skilled electrician can also set up his or her own electrical contracting business. These opportunities are rewarding, but they require a higher degree of education.
In addition to being educated and licensed, an electrician is expected to enjoy a steady increase in demand in the next decade. The overall growth of the construction industry and the need to maintain older equipment in manufacturing plants will both increase the demand for electricians. As long as the demand continues to increase, there should be plenty of work available for electricians. They can expect to have excellent job growth for the next decade, with the number of electricians expected to grow by 10% by 2026. This means there will be 74,000 new electrician jobs by that time.
Apprenticeships in the electrician trade are typically four to five years in duration and provide hands-on training. Apprentices must be at least 18 years old and have completed a high school diploma and one year of algebra. Apprentices are required to undergo on-the-job training as well as a substance-abuse screening before they can practice as an electrician. The National Electrical Code is also an important aspect of becoming an electrician. The National Electrical Contractors Association describes this job as a highly technical occupation.
Apprenticeships in the electrical industry require a combination of technical skills, including analytical and problem-solving skills. Many electricians work on their feet all day and may work at high elevations. They may also be required to lift objects that weigh up to 50 pounds. Ultimately, however, an electrician’s success depends on his or her aptitude for troubleshooting and figuring out solutions. As a result, an apprenticeship is a rewarding career for the right individual.
An electrician’s career path depends on whether or not you have a knack for mathematics, good communication skills, and a love of mechanical things. As an electrician, you’ll be required to learn new products and regulations, and to continuously refine your skills to stay ahead of your competition. If you are interested in becoming an electrician, consider Lincoln Tech’s electrical program. The program will teach you how to read blueprints and install components. This hands-on program will prepare you for a job as a new journeyman electrician.