If you’ve decided to become an electrician, congratulations! If you’re still on the fence about whether or not this is the right career path for you, there are a number of things to consider, including the following:
- Your natural or innate talents
- Your interests
- The amount of time you are willing and able to put into training
- Your long- and short-term career goals
- The salary range
- Any concerns or misgivings
- Other trades or careers that interest you and the pros and cons of each
Being an electrician can be extremely rewarding – but it doesn’t come without a lot of hard work. According to the Stratford Career Institute, you should figure on about 2,000 hours of hands-on training for four years to become an electrician.
Still interested? Here are five things you need to do:
- Secure an Apprenticeship
As with most things worth having, there is no shortcut; you must put in the time and effort to become an electrician. In this profession, experience is worth its weight in gold and the best – and most common – way to gain experience is by securing an apprenticeship with a master electrician. After four years under his or her tutelage, you’ll be ready to work on your own.
- Choose an Area of Expertise
Sure, there is a market for generalists. But specialists tend to be more in demand and often can command a higher fee. Just as a cardiologist specializes in a different area of medicine than a neurologist, electricians specialize in many areas. Some types are domestic electrical installers, installation electricians, and maintenance electricians.
- Know the Dangers
Being an electrician can be dangerous, as there is always a chance of getting shocked or electrocuted when on the job. It is important to be aware of the kinds of dangers that you might face so you can prepare yourself properly and take preventive safety measures. According to SafetyElectricy.org, you should always check the cords of your power tools before using them.
- Get a License
You can’t work without a license. According to ElectricianSchoolEdu.org, there are two types of licenses, one for special electricians and one for master electricians. In order to apply for a license, you must be at least twenty-one years old, submit the Background Investigation Questionnaire, have at least seven and a half years of experience combined with education, and pass a written and practical exam.
- Learn Codes
According to HVAC Technical Institute, “you will likely need to return to the classroom periodically for a refresher on relevant electrical codes.” Put the courses on your calendar so you can keep track of which ones you have taken and when you have to take refresher courses. It is also a good idea to study codes on your own time, as they are constantly changing with new technology.
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