What Does an Electrician Do?
An electrician is a professional who works with electricity to maintain and repair electrical systems and equipment. The electrician must be able to identify electrical wires and equipment by color and special markings. He/she must also be able to test electrical connections with ohmmeters, voltmeters, and harmonics testers. They must have excellent communication skills and critical thinking to solve electrical problems.
Almost every building has an electrical power system. In addition, most buildings have a communications and control system, which is also powered by electricity. Electricians work on a variety of projects, including repairing and installing fixtures, wiring, and lighting. Some of the tasks that electricians complete are:
For example, if an outage occurs, the electrician will go out and restore power. If an electric circuit breaks, the electrician will inspect the electrical components for safety. Electrical equipment is sometimes repaired or replaced, and the electrician may also consult with a line installer, industrial machinery mechanic, or engineer about the problem.
Electrical apprenticeship programs can help aspiring electricians gain hands-on experience and build the technical knowledge and soft skills that they will need in their future career. Programs typically last four to five years and involve a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Many local chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors or Independent Electrical Contractors sponsor these programs.
Upon completing the apprenticeship program, an electrician is eligible for a journeyman license in his/her state. The electrician will need to pass an exam that tests comprehension of the National Electrical Code and other on-the-job skills. A certified electrician can then apply for a Joint Industry Board Electrotechnical Certification Scheme card, which allows them to work in controlled areas.
Depending on the type of job you want to perform, there are several certifications that you can pursue. These include:
Industrial electricians work on a wide range of electrical jobs in an industrial setting. Their duties include repairing and maintaining motors, generators, transformers, machine tools, and electronic controllers on machine tools. They usually have in-depth knowledge of computer systems.
Other types of electricians include theater electricians. These workers routinely perform electrical work on stage lighting equipment. There are different skills and qualifications needed to become a theater electrician. Typical positions include the lead electrician, the assistant electrician, and the junior electrician.
To become an electrician, you must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. You can enroll in an apprenticeship program or obtain an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. Alternatively, you can study for a bachelor’s degree in electrical technology. This can take two to four years and require general education courses as well as advanced system training.
Starting your own business is an attractive option. An electrical business can be very lucrative. However, it requires a large amount of responsibility. Whether you decide to work for someone else or to start your own company, you will need to devote a great deal of time to training and development. It is important to ensure that you make a good impression and are friendly and courteous with customers.