Many electricians are capable of performing several types of electrical work to increase their job opportunities.
An electrician is any skilled craftsman who designs, installs, maintains, and repairs electrical systems and products used in homes, businesses and factories. Electricians work inside and outside of buildings to ensure the safe and reliable operation of lights, industrial equipment and appliances. There are many special types of electricians, including residential electricians, who install wiring and solve electrical problems in homes, and in-house electricians, who maintain and repair control systems, motors and electrical equipment in businesses and factories.
As an electrician, you are responsible for delivering electricity from the source to where it can be used by individual and business consumers. Specific duties associated with this work may vary by area of expertise but may include：
Electricians may spend time working inside buildings under construction or renovation or outdoors on electrical and telecommunications systems. They may work in large spaces or cramped conditions. These work environments often involve live electrical wires, so they can be very dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. Electricians often work independently on projects, but they may also be part of a larger construction team.
Unlike many employees who have a permanent work location, electricians work at remote sites for some time, ranging from one day to several months, before moving on to their next job. The work site may be far from the electrician's home. It is not uncommon for an electrician to travel 100 miles or more from home to complete a job.
Electricians enjoy the opportunity to work year-round. Their hours vary depending on their role. Maintenance electricians usually have a regular job and they usually work 40 hours a week. Most keep regular hours on weekdays and usually do not work weekends, public holidays or late nights. Some electricians work on call and put in extra hours to solve emergency problems.
In contrast, independent electrical contractors and the junior electricians who work under them do not have such regular hours. They may have a busy schedule for the next few hours of the week. Working as an independent electrical contractor or consultant offers the most flexible schedule for an electrician.
A job as an electrician is one of the best jobs you can get with just a high school diploma or equivalent.
Rather than going to school to earn a degree, electricians receive an education on the job. This usually lasts four or five years through an apprenticeship program. Apprentices must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and take a year of algebra afterward. They must also pass an aptitude test and a substance abuse screening exam.
During their apprenticeship, apprentice electricians must complete 144 hours of technical training per year in which they learn blueprints, safety and first aid practices, electrical code requirements, math and electrical theory. In addition, apprentices participate in 2,000 hours of practical work experience per year.
Less commonly, electricians attend technical schools. Their curriculum covers basic electrical information, safety practices, and electrical circuits. Graduates of technical schools usually receive credit for apprenticeship programs.
Most states in the United States require electricians to be licensed. The National Electrical Contractors Association website provides information about each state's licensing requirements.
Electricians often receive ongoing training throughout their careers. This helps them stay abreast of changes in electrical codes, new safety practices, and how to handle specific products.
Since electricians don't need a degree, their experience is more important than their level of education. That's why on-the-job experience is a major component of the National Apprenticeship Program. It is also the reason why experienced electricians are paid relatively higher salaries compared to new hires.
As a result, electricians with less than one year of experience make up only 2% of the workforce. The majority of electricians, 31% of the workforce, have 10 to 19 years of experience. 24% of electricians have at least 20 years of experience, 22% have 1 to 4 years of experience, and 21% have 5 to 9 years of experience.
This shows the value that the experience of an electrician brings to the role. Electricians who are passionate about their profession should find many opportunities in their careers.
Electricians rely on a variety of technical skills and personal attributes to stand out in their positions. While these attributes are not typically listed in electrician job descriptions, don't underestimate their appeal to hiring managers:.
How much do electricians make? It all depends on their level of experience and location. Entry-level electricians typically earn around $21.25 per hour. Early in an electrician's career, the pay increases dramatically. When electricians have 5 to 10 years of experience, they typically earn about $49,000 per year. The average salary is about $54,000 per year. However, in some of the most lucrative markets in the United States, electricians can earn even more. For example, electricians in Boston, Massachusetts earn an average salary of $86,000 per year; $80,000 in Chicago, Illinois; and $89,000 in Seattle, Washington.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects better-than-national average job growth between 2014 and 2024. 85,900 new jobs for electricians were created during this period, a 14 percent increase in the job market. The bureau says increased demand for wiring in homes and commercial establishments will drive this increase. Many employers are already struggling to find qualified applicants, so electricians should choose favorable opportunities.
Many electricians are content with their positions and do not seek career advancement. If they do, they usually work in very similar jobs as certified electricians or journeyman electricians. These roles add $2,000 to $3,000 to an electrician's annual salary. Less commonly, electricians may become construction project managers, overseeing a group of electricians and other construction workers.
Strong job growth and the promise of a stable long-term career make electrician jobs very attractive to high school graduates. If you are a logical thinker with a talent for math and science, then becoming an electrician may be the best choice for you!
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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