If you are good with your hands, possess solid problem solving skills, and are interested in a career where you can be your own boss, you may want to consider career training to become an electrician. As you ponder a move to this new career, remember that career retraining can serve you well in today's economy.
Although most electricians participate in apprenticeships that provide practical, hands-on training, there are a variety of classes and online electrician training courses that can help you improve your skills and smooth your transition into this career field.
Career Skills for Electricians
Today, electricians work in a variety of environments including construction sites, homes, offices, and factories. They perform a wide range of tasks related to installing, fixing, and maintaining electrical systems. Electricians should be able to call upon different career skills to perform these tasks, including problem solving, following safety codes, and reading blue prints.
Electricians should also be able to perform physical labor and possess good visual-motor skills. Familiarity with electrical equipment and tools is also beneficial for aspiring electricians.
Career Advice: Retrain to Become an Electrician
Electricians can find employment with only a high school education, although many choose to pursue additional career training. Most commonly, electricians participate in a comprehensive apprenticeship programs that traditionally last 4 years. During this training, electricians learn about electrical code requirements, first aid, blueprint reading, and mathematics.
Other avenues of training include online electrician training courses, where you can continue to develop your career skills. If you are looking to improve your skills and qualify for a job that should continue to see growth no matter the economy, consider career retraining to become an electrician.
- What You Need to Know: How to read blueprints and connect various wires to circuit breakers, outlets, transformers, and other electrical components.
- Finding Work: Roughly 61 percent electricians work in the electrical contractors and other wiring installation contractors industry; 9 percent are self employed.
- To Become an Electrician: You typically must complete a 4-year apprenticeship program. Each year involves 144 hours of classroom instruction plus 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
- Do Your Homework: Classes usually include electrical theory, electrical code requirements, blueprint reading, mathematics, and safety and first aid practices.
- What Else You May Need: Training in communications, cranes and elevators, fire alarm systems, installing low-voltage voice, data, and video systems, or soldering.
- Licensing: In most states, you must pass an exam and receive a license to work as an electrician.
- Outlook Good: Employment should increase 20 percent from 2012-2022
- Median Salary: In May 2013, Electricians earned a median annual salary of $53,560 with top 10% making more than $83,860.
- Top Paying States: Alaska, New York, Illinois, Oregon, New Jersey.
- States with Highest Employment: Texas, California, New York, Florida, Illinois.