How to become an Electrician
Do you have an interest in science, particularly subjects like physics or even mathematics? What about working with your hands and staying physical? If that has piqued your interest, becoming an electrician may be the right career option for you.
Apprenticeships are key to becoming an electrician. The employer often pays for your required technical or trade school classes. You team up with a master electrician who offers on-the-job training. At night, you take the courses. During the day, you work with the master electrician for hands-on experience. Schooling and apprenticeships last four years. Luckily, there are many great local colleges for electricians and you can find those at any time by using the Find a School search box to the right.
In college, students complete courses in electrical codes and electrical theory when becoming an electrician. You learn the tools used in electrical work. You learn how to read blueprints and learn first aid. Because you work with powerful currents, safety measures are critical. You'll learn how to wire machines, homes, and businesses using safety rules that prevent injury to yourself and to others. You also learn the proper gear, including rubber soled work boots, required for electrical work. Electrical work requires strong math skills. Many programs include math courses.
Some workers start electrician school before finding an apprenticeship. These workers usually start at a higher job level. Someone with no schooling often spends their days helping drill holes or getting equipment for the master electrician. Those who have some vocational training start with tougher jobs like installing conduits or testing wiring.
Following the four-year apprenticeship and educational coursework, you'll apply for your state license. State licensing requirements vary. In many areas, you pass a written test covering state codes, electrical theory, and building codes. The exams also cover other aspects of electrical work. Once you pass the exam, you earn your license. Your license will renewed every few years, depending on state requirements. For renewal, many states ask for proof of continuing education.
If you want local information about how to become an electrician, contact the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. They'll put you in touch with your local chapter. The National Electrical Contractors Association is another helpful organization.