Are you considering a career as an electrician?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is a high-demand career choice as of March 2020, with a projected growth rate well above the 10% average between 2018 and 2028. That said, the median annual salary is $55,190 as of March 2020, according to the BLS, making it a high-paying career choice.
Becoming an electrical trainee is the first step to becoming an electrician. But there are other skills and attributes you'll need in addition to electrical training to succeed in the industry.
Read on to learn what you need beyond training to succeed as an electrician.
When you're an electrician, your days are not just about work and wires; you also need to communicate with your customers and co-workers.
You want to communicate well with your customers so you can provide the best customer service possible. Communication is also important for problem-solving. You need to be able to ask the right questions and listen to the answers to get to the root of the problem.
In some workplaces, there may be other tradesmen working at the same time, such as plumbers, plasterboard installers and carpenters. This is usually the case with new releases. You will have to communicate with them to coordinate the different aspects of the project and keep everything on schedule.
You will also communicate regularly with other employees of the company. You may receive communications from the administrative staff about the location and details of your next job.
At times you may be working with other electricians on projects. You will need to discuss this to make sure you are on the same page and getting the job done effectively. You may also need to report regularly to your supervisor about your work.
Eventually, you may be given the task of training apprentices. You won't be an effective trainer if you can't clearly explain what you're doing and talk your apprentice through different tasks.
The root cause of electrical problems is not always obvious. In many cases, there may be multiple possible causes, or there may be multiple problems with the electrical system.
Before you can solve an electrical problem, you need to diagnose the problem. This requires critical thinking to tap into your electrical knowledge.
If this is a problem you have never encountered before, you will need to use your electrical knowledge to come up with a solution.
During your training, you will have an electrician to guide you and confirm your decisions. Once you are certified, however, you may often work alone. You will need the confidence and ability to make these decisions on your own.
There are inherent risks in working in electric fields. You are at immediate risk of electrocution.
But there are also long-term dangers if you don't get the job done correctly. Faulty wiring can lead to a house fire, which can be devastating and fatal.
As an electrician, you need to be safety conscious. Working methodically and following your training will ensure that you get the job done correctly and safely.
Even if you don't want to run your own electrical business one day, you need a solid understanding of business skills to perform well for your employer. Taking a business-minded approach will keep your customers happy, and therefore your bosses happy.
Providing top-notch customer service is one of those skills. You need to present yourself professionally and treat your clients with respect, courtesy and patience.
If you own your own business or work as an independent contractor, you will need to keep accurate records of electrical work. You'll need to handle invoicing, tax preparation and other financial tasks.
Electrician school is just the beginning of your learning in the field. Electricians need to be constantly aware of the codes, safety and skills of the area. This helps you stay current and improve your skills to become a better electrician.
Continuing education is also required to update your certification. In California, you will need 32 hours of continuing education to renew your certification.
In addition to taking courses to meet the requirements, wanting to learn more about the industry is a sign of one's commitment. It also shows that you want to be the best electrician you can be, which makes you and your customers safer.
The electrical field is very technical, and if you don't have mechanical and technical skills, this can be a challenging career for you. Again, if you don't enjoy this type of work, you may not stay happy in the field for long.
You'll need an in-depth knowledge of the various building codes and regulations that guide electrical work. You will be working with power tools and using a variety of electrical materials regularly. Reading blueprints is also part of the job.
If you like to tinker with things and take things apart, then an electrician may be a good fit for you. This is especially true if you seem to have a talent for putting things back together. If you get frustrated easily with do-it-yourself projects, electrical work may be a frustrating career for you.
Being an electrician may not seem to require stamina, but you will need a certain level of physical fitness to do the job well. As an electrician, you won't spend much time sitting, but you may need to crouch and bend down a lot to reach different areas.
You may need to swing your body into tight spaces to reach electronic components. Other jobs require you to climb ladders or work on scaffolding.
Sometimes you will need to bring heavy equipment or materials to the job site.
Your fine motor skills are also important in electrical work. You will need manual dexterity to work with small wires, connectors and tools. Hand-eye coordination is also important for putting everything together.
Electrical work doesn't always happen during working hours. You may need to take shifts to handle emergency after-hours work.
Sometimes, these emergencies can last late into the night. Even routine work that starts during the day may take longer than expected. You may need to work overtime to get your work done.
It's important to be flexible with such unpredictable schedules.
If you are ready to return to work after a workplace accident, excellent electrical tools are your best bet. Knoweasy tools are professional electrician tools that can meet the various needs of electricians when working and effectively improve the efficiency and safety of their work.
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