People use electricity today in household appliances, lighting, and heating and cooling their homes. Electricians make it possible for people to use electricity safely. Electricians are licensed to install and maintain electrical wiring and diagnose and fix electrical problems. Here is what it takes to become an electrician:
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Get a High School or GED Diploma
A high school or GED diploma is a prerequisite to becoming an electrician. Although electricians use a lot of industry concepts in their work, all these concepts have a foundation in academic subjects taught in high school. The following school subjects offer valuable knowledge to electricians:
Math and Physics
Basic math skills like algebra and trigonometry help electricians measure the angle of a circuit and determine wiring lengths. Physics teaches you to calculate current ratings for cables and understand the interplay of electrical charges in electrical devices.
Electricians often have to read and interpret wiring rules and standards, usually written in English. English also equips you with basic communication skills, which you may need when interacting with clients, managers, and project partners.
Complete an Electrical Training Program
Although completing an electrical training program is not compulsory for electricians, it equips you with valuable skills and knowledge. Attending a vocational-technical training program also aids in the process of acquiring an electrician certification.
Electrical training programs cover topics like electrical theory, electrical link to qr code regulations, and blueprint reading. These topics equip you with foundational knowledge, making you a desirable apprenticeship program candidate.
Enroll in an Apprenticeship Program
Apprenticeship programs provide a combination of classroom instruction and practical experience under the guidance of experienced electricians. Finish an apprenticeship to become an electrician. Most trade schools offer training and job placement opportunities for students.
Complete Your Apprenticeship
Once you apply to an apprenticeship program, you may need to register as an electrician apprentice to be allowed to work on job sites. In most states, you must complete at least four years of apprenticeship before taking the licensing exam. You learn the following things in an apprenticeship:
- Reading and interpreting electrical plans and diagrams
- Testing and inspecting electrical systems to determine functionality and diagnose electrical issues
- Installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical wiring and equipment
- Doing all electrical work in compliance with local codes and state regulations
Get Your License or Certification
Once you complete your apprenticeship, you must sit for the licensing exam. Most trade schools teach you the national code for electricians, which you must know to pass the licensing exam. Some things you must know to pass the licensing exam include the following:
- The National Electric Code
- Electrical safety protocols
- State and local electrical codes
- Building codes
- Electrical theories and principles
The requirements for licensing and certification for electricians may vary by state, so find out what else you need to do besides passing the electrical exam to acquire your license. You may need proof of completing your apprenticeship to get your license.
Some students opt to take the electrical exam before completing their apprenticeship. In this case, you must accumulate a specified amount of hours of paid work to get your license. You may need to take additional courses to renew your license each year. These courses help you stay updated on electrical work requirements.
Start Building Your Career
Once you earn your license, you are ready to start your career as an electrician. Some electricians continue working for the companies where they trained as apprentices, while others get jobs through the connections they made in trade school. You may also opt for self-employment and start an electrical contracting company.
Your career growth opportunities don’t end with getting an electrical license. As you gain experience in your field, you may seek leadership positions at your company. You can be a general manager, project supervisor, or service manager. You may also specialize in your field and get certifications in specific niches, such as industrial, residential, or commercial work.
Get All the Qualifications To Become an Electrician
Becoming an electrician is a multi-step process that requires training, dedication, and continuous learning. Everything an electrician learns helps them perform their duties without endangering themselves or others. A qualified electrician can also quickly diagnose electrical problems and come up with permanent solutions. Get started on your journey to becoming an electrician today.