Electrician is a job with a bright future. Electricians install and maintain electrical wiring and devices in homes, businesses, schools, and any other type of building. They usually work alongside surveyors and other building inspectors to produce detailed reports on infrastructure. This career is expected to grow by almost 20% from 2020 to 2023 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it an excellent time to get started on this lucrative career path. Becoming an electrician requires at least an associate’s degree in the field as well as several years of apprenticeship and on-the-job training. The costs associated with becoming an electrician can vary greatly depending on whether or not you have prior experience in electrical work, which programs you choose, and where you live. If you’re ready to take the next step toward becoming an electrician, here are ten tips that will help you succeed:
Gain plenty of hands-on experience
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a career as an electrician is to gain plenty of hands-on experience. You can start by volunteering for electrical work at local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. You can also get hands-on experience by taking classes at a community college or technical school. Make sure to speak with instructors about the possibility of getting hands-on experience as part of your coursework. When you’re volunteering or getting paid to do electrical work, make sure that you’re following all necessary safety protocols. It’s also a good idea to take an electrician certification course. These courses are designed to give you a basic understanding of electrical theory as well as the tools and equipment used in the field.
Network and find the right apprenticeship program
The best way to find an apprenticeship program is to network with people in the industry. You can do this by getting involved in local trade unions, finding out which electrical businesses hire apprentices, and talking to friends, family members, and people you know who work in the electrical field. When you find potential apprenticeship programs, ask about their application and eligibility requirements, expected costs, program length, and hiring practices. It’s a good idea to apply to more than one apprenticeship program since not all programs accept new apprentices each year.
Go to school and get a certification
If you don’t have any experience in the electrical field and don’t know anyone who’s willing to hire you as an apprentice, consider going back to school and getting an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or electrical technology. Make sure to look for accredited programs that offer hands-on courses. You can also get an edge by obtaining certifications in various aspects of electrical work, including as a certified journeyman, residential electrical contractor, or medical electrician. Certifications will help you stand out to potential employers and make it easier to gain employment.
Learn the basics before you start an apprenticeship
It’s a good idea to take a class or read a book on the basics of electrical engineering. This will help you understand important concepts like electrical currents, voltage, engineering terminology, and how electrical systems work. It will also make you more prepared for the hands-on training you’ll receive during your apprenticeship.
Have the right tools and equipment when you start
When you start your apprenticeship, you’ll be expected to have the necessary tools and equipment so you can start working as soon as possible. You can expect to need between $3,000 and $5,000 in tools and equipment, including an OSHA-approved tool belt, hand tools, electrical testing equipment, and safety equipment like a hard hat and work boots. Your employer may provide some or all of these tools and equipment, but you should have a budget for these expenses regardless. You can often find used tools online or at a local tools or hardware store. You can also find out if any of your classmates are selling their tools. You can often get great deals on used tools if you’re careful and know what to look for.
Get licensed and certified as soon as possible
You can start getting licensed and certified once you’ve finished your apprenticeship. The process can vary between states, but most require you to take a state exam. You can usually find out what exams are required by visiting your state’s department of licensing website. Once you’re certified you can legally inspect and produce EICR reports for clientele.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during training
Many apprentices get nervous about asking questions during their training. However, it’s important to ask as many questions as you have throughout the course of your apprenticeship. Your journeyman will appreciate your desire to learn and grow in the field and may even offer you extra help and advice that would otherwise be off limits.
Know your worth, and negotiate with employers
Becoming an electrician is a great career choice, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for low wages. Make sure you know your worth as an electrician and are able to negotiate a salary that is fair and just. Many electricians earn between $30,000 and $50,000 per year, but your salary will vary based on your experience level and geographic location. If you find that you’re not being paid what you’re worth, you can ask your employer for a raise. Negotiating salary is a skill all professionals should have, and it’s one you can learn with practice.
Becoming an electrician can be a great move for anyone who’s handy, enjoys working with their hands, and is good with numbers. It’s an excellent career choice for those who are passionate about working with electricity, and there are plenty of opportunities in this field. If you’re ready to learn more about becoming an electrician, these ten tips are a great place to start. They’ll help you get the experience and education you need to jump start your career and become an electrician with ease. With these tips and a little hard work, you’re well on your way to a successful career as an electrician.