One of the most rewarding career paths in trade roles is to become an electrician.
An electrician is a person who installs, repairs, and troubleshoots electrical systems. In most states, an electrician also receives special licenses to install and maintain electrical meters and handle other tasks that may require technical expertise.
In most cases, the job is challenging and requires a lot of physical and mental prowess. Therefore, you must ensure that you’re physically fit and mentally wise!
Is Electrician A Good Career?
Becoming an electrician is a great career prospect for someone who is a problem solver, likes to know how things work, and enjoys a physically demanding job. They are among the highest-paying trades, along with multiple career choices, with considerable job security and benefits.
There’s much to consider before becoming an Electrician. Here are 11 things you can expect in this career!
1. Earn High Income as an Electrician
Whether working for a company or on their own, electricians have shown to be one skilled career, consistently performing as one of the highest earning trades.
Aside from that, when choosing to work for an employer, newly qualified electricians can expect to make around $57,787 annually.
On the other hand, self-employed electricians could charge rates between $55 to $75 per hour. Meanwhile, an apprentice electrician may expect to make between $20 to $22 per hour on average.
Additionally, they get good benefits on top of their hourly earnings. Aspiring electrician trainees can expect a pay raise with gaining expertise in various positions as time goes on!
Find out if electricians make good money?
2. Responsibilities of an Electrician
Electricians need to have a solid understanding of the requirements of the electrical code and construction blueprints.
The work involves handling many types of wiring and equipment, including electrical panels, conduits, switches, breakers, and fuses in the United States.
They are also responsible for installing the correct wiring and equipment when building a home or commercial property to ensure everything works properly.
Overall, the work is never dull because there is always something fresh and exciting to learn!
For professional electricians, one of the best things is the security that comes from knowing that your skill set is invaluable and will stand the test of time.
At the same time, once an electrician student becomes an expert in this field, it becomes a skill they can use for the rest of their life.
3. Levels of Electricians and Required Qualifications
In the U.S., there are three levels of electricians: apprentice, journeyman, and master electrician.
In most states, a typical apprentice would spend several hundred hours in the classroom with a high school diploma often mandated.
Once you are a qualified apprentice with one to two years of experience, you can apply to become a Journeyman.
As a journeyman electrician, you are qualified to work independently and instruct new apprentices. Last but not least, a Master Electrician is an electrical professional with the most advanced level of training and highest earnings.
Additionally, each state has its requirements when it comes to certifications. Moreover, some electrical careers need bachelor’s degrees.
4. Technical and Safety Expertise Training
To start your journey as an electrician, you can enroll in training programs at vocational schools or community colleges. During your initial training, you’ll learn the capabilities and essential safety principles that protect you and everyone else.
Remember, you must pay absolute attention because electricity can be incredibly harmful.
At this time, professional electricians train their apprentices with fundamentals such as installing switching equipment, using the correct power tools, and interpreting and reading voltages.
Above all, it’s crucial to have self-awareness and assurance around safety procedures and in using technical systems.
5. Electrical Apprenticeships
Through the apprenticeship’s hands-on assignments, students will have the chance to put their talents to use in real-world situations.
In addition, apprentices are instructed on maintaining digital networks, which are essential for connecting the modern world.
Students participate in training projects and are familiarized with cutting-edge equipment.
With the apprenticeships and certificates, students will have confidence in their ability to design, connect, maintain, and repair electrical systems.
6. Electricians can Choose to Specialize in Multiple Careers
It is expected that employment for electricians will increase by 9% between 2020 and 2030.
Moreover, electricians can work in various industries, including power generation, residential and commercial construction, government, manufacturing, electronic equipment, and transportation.
For example, by working on substations, students might be motivated to pursue a career as a power station electrician, which is currently among the top-paying professions.
Alternatively, working in the Solar photovoltaic industry might be another great option. As the world pivots to using sustainable energy, the jobs in this industry are growing strongly.
It’s forecasted that there will be thousands of new jobs for electricians.
7. Problem-solving and Physical Work
Electricians often have a long working week. As a certified electrician, you have to move around, stoop, climb ladders, and bend or twist your body in many circumstances.
It almost feels like a workout built right in! Additionally, repetitive work might require using the same body muscles leading to muscle pain.
Moreover, electricians must be efficient problem solvers due to the job’s technical nature, troubleshooting, working under strict industry regulations, and safety measures.
Because of this, it’s a fantastic career option for those who enjoy work that combines mental and physical tasks.
It may be physically demanding for students, especially your body and mind, so you must be physically and mentally prepared for this job!
8. Odd Hours and Work-Life Balance as an Electrician
Electricians often work 40 hours per week and don’t frequently work on weekends or federal holidays. In addition, some electricians put in extra hours and are available on call to handle urgent situations.
As an electrician, there can be occasions when you have to go out and fix electrical issues during emergencies, even at night or early mornings.
For that reason, electricians will occasionally have to sacrifice their work-life balance, especially if they want to show the customer and supervisors that they are reliable.
9. An Electricians Job is Risky
Professional electricians advise young electrical students that this career has risks such as electrical burns, lethal shocks, and exposure to high temperatures.
In other words, one must be extremely cautious while working on transmission lines or high-voltage projects. Furthermore, these high-tension powerline jobs require extensive training and qualifications. However, in beginner roles, one must have appropriate training and supervision and manage the dangers of burns, shocks, and falls.
Generally, students who make a mistake while wiring electrical cables risk electrocuting themselves.
10. Common Roles and Self Contractor
A residential electrician is the most common career choice for an electrician.
These electricians are typically responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing, particularly in residential buildings like homes and apartments.
However, with experience, many electricians choose to run their own businesses on top of their regular employment. Over time once they have built a good client base and reputation, they may switch to completely running their own business.
11. Can Work Anywhere in the world
Because electrical installations, services, and maintenance are worldwide, electricians can live and work anywhere in the world.
Under these circumstances, electricians have good chances abroad due to rapidly growing demand in industries including solar battery storage, installation, integration, structure, and maintenance. However, additional qualifications, training, and certifications may be required to work in foreign settings.
After all, for students to succeed, they must devote a significant investment of time, energy, and determination!
Generally, this industry has a promising future. The advancement of technology is excellent news for electricians as industries are continually changing how they use electricity.
Ultimately, understanding the basics of electricity and knowing how to utilize it effectively will assure a long and satisfying career for aspiring electrician students!
Learn more about the similarities and differences between Electricians vs. Plumber!