Becoming an electrician may be a good option for people with little education. There are currently over 650,000 electricians in the United States, and that number is growing every year. (According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of December 2018)
While most jobs today require a four-year degree, one of the great things about working as an electrician is that you don't have to go to college or university to do it. Instead, you can enroll in some electrical technician training programs that will teach you what you need to know to start a career as an electrician.
But before you sign up for an electrical training program, you should take the time to understand the risks and rewards of becoming an electrician. It will give you an idea of whether life as an electrician is right for you.
There are many benefits to becoming an electrician. We'll discuss them later, but until then, there are some risks you should understand before enrolling in an electrical technician training program.
Check out some of the risks you should carefully consider below.
Some people think that the only thing you need to do to become an electrician is to attend one of the electrical technician training programs mentioned above.
You will indeed need to take classes at trade and vocational schools before you can become an electrician. But that's not the only step needed to start a new career.
You will also need to spend at least a few years as an apprentice under a professional electrician. This electrician will be responsible for showing you the ropes and teaching you everything you need to know to become a full-fledged technician.
As an apprentice, you may not be forced to do a lot of dangerous work. However, you will be taking on many jobs that more experienced electricians do not want to do. You will have to pay your dues before you can one day finally become a real electrician.
Electrician work is not a normal 9 to 5 job.
Sometimes you will be out fixing someone's home after they wake up and find they have no electricity. There will also be times when you will be answering the phone late at night.
The people in your community will rely on you to help them with all their electricity needs. If you want to show them that they can count on you, sometimes you will have to sacrifice your work-life balance to do so.
At the same time, you need to make sure you can focus on the task at hand while logging long hours. If you make one wrong move while using electricity, it could put you and others in danger.
Some electrical jobs are relatively simple. For example, replacing a light fixture or installing a new outlet for a homeowner isn't a tough job.
But sometimes you will be pushed to your limits when handling electrical work. You may have to climb a tall ladder or crawl through a dark basement to get the job done.
When you're 25, 30, or even 35, doing these things won't be so difficult. But once you reach 40, 45, 50, or even older, you won't be able to get around as much as you used to.
Working as an electrician can take a toll on everything from your back and shoulders to your knees and feet. Make sure you're prepared for the physical demands of it.
No matter how well you have done in your electrical technician training program and how long you have worked as an electrician, there are always risks associated with electricity.
If you make a mistake while installing electrical wiring or installing a new electrical panel for a home or business owner, you could end up being electrocuted and killed. Unfortunately, nearly 200 electricians die on the job each year.
That's only a small percentage of the total number of electricians. Still, it is a reminder that working as an electrician can be a very dangerous job.
As you can see, working as an electrician can be a risky job. But the rewards of becoming an electrician far outweigh the risks and are worth it.
If you choose to pursue a career as an electrician, here are some of the rewards you will receive
As of today, there are more than 40 million Americans who carry at least some student loan debt. In total, they owe more than $1.5 trillion, and the average college graduate leaves school with about $37,000 in debt.
If you decide to enroll in an electrical technician training program, there will be some costs associated with it. However, if you go to college, you won't owe nearly as much as you would if you were in debt.
Those who wish to avoid student loan debt at all costs should consider a vocational school job like that of an electrician. This will allow them to start their careers without having to worry about paying off a bunch of student loan bills.
Once you go through an electrical technician training program and serve an apprenticeship, you will become a full-fledged electrician. At that point, you should be able to find electrical work easily.
Many new electricians spend time working for the same company they worked for as an apprentice. But that's not the only option you'll have.
You can start your own electrical repair company. You can also find work with a commercial or industrial company that employs electricians. The possibilities are almost limitless.
Despite a strong job market, there are still many college graduates who won't be able to find a job in 2018. This won't be something you'll ever have to deal with.
When you're working as an electrical apprentice, you may be paid by the hour. But once you become an established electrician, you'll start earning a good salary.
Your salary will depend on the specific job you do. It's best to look up salary data on any websites specific to your field. These sites may provide information about average industry salaries, especially if your field is relatively uncommon.
You may also decide to start your own electrical business, which may be more lucrative than working for someone else. While this comes with a lot of responsibility, you can make a fortune if you can turn your business into a success.
The money you make while working as an electrician will be great. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much money you can make year after year.
But the thing you may end up enjoying the most while working as an electrician is how much of an impact you will have on people's lives. They will sincerely thank you when you show up at their home or business to do work on their electrical system.
Many people don't realize how rewarding it can be to play the role of an electrician in their community. However, once they start working as an electrician regularly, they can see firsthand how much of an impact they can have in their city or town.
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