How does one become an electrician? The requirements vary by jurisdiction, of course, but generally, one is required to undergo an apprenticeship program where instruction is combined with practical work experience and training in the field. These usually last for an average of four years, and the work can include both electrical maintenance and construction work. Of course, the theoretical aspect is just as substantial: math, electrical code requirements, and a good working knowledge of blueprints and electrical systems and theory. Safety programs, communications systems, even specified equipment training are sometimes included as an integral part of an electrician’s training period.
Once qualified in terms of the hours of apprenticeship required, and after passing an examination, one becomes qualified to be licensed as an electrician. Overall, the working scenario for an electrician is pretty comprehensive: they would need to be savvy enough to make calculations, operate technical equipment, work within safety limits, and conform to a jurisdiction’s laws regarding electrical systems, while at the same time being physically fit to handle the often rigorous and exacting physical aspect of an electrician’s job.
Such demanding complexity is why electrical work is licensed by the state. Because the work is so specialized, and so potentially dangerous, this is not a field in which unlicensed novices are encouraged to experiment. When working with electrical systems, wiring, or in setting up a building’s power usage, it is always advisable to call a professional and licensed electrician to do the work he had been trained and educated to do.
It is a field that is also growing in demand worldwide, with the growth of industries and the steady and ongoing construction of various infrastructure. From residential homes, commercial units like buildings and warehouses, to transport terminals, whether new construction needing electrical systems put in place, or old buildings and infrastructure needing electrical maintenance or modern electrical system upgrades, there is a steady stream of work available for licensed and qualified electricians. The demand for, and consumption of electricity is directly proportional to the need we have for qualified individuals to provide us with electrical services.
It is a promising field to enter, career-wise, and in fact there has been a steady increase in the number of individuals who enter apprenticeship programs in order to become licensed electricians. And because older electricians are also retiring, the increasing need for electrical services in light of infrastructure development has created a great demand in the market. Commanding top prices are electricians with enough years of practical experience, and who also manage to stay updated with recent developments and improvements in the field.
Experience comes with time, but knowledge is the result of ongoing learning and education. It’s pretty obvious that the working environment in which the electricians of today operate are completely different from the kind of work that their predecessors did. While there may be a lot of work available out there for electricians, the competition can also be tough. One is expected to know the tried and true methods of old-fashioned electrical work, but one is also expected to stay updated with the ongoing developments in the field. There is always something new – whether it is new software, new equipment, new methods, or even changes or developments in electrical code regulations. Electricians are expected to be online and tech-savvy just as they are expected to be proficient in the work that they do out in the field. It is a rapidly growing, rapidly evolving area, and qualified electricians are promised plenty of work and good pay, but who are also expected to stay competitive in terms of their skills and knowledge.
More than all this, being a competent and skilled electrician is a good skill to have, especially with all the secondary skills you need to be one – mathematical skills, geographic proficiency and the ability to read blueprints, and the physical fitness you need to personally maintain to do the physical aspect of the work. An electrician, even those who are self-employed or who run their own business (for which one needs to have at least 5 years’ experience and a contractors’ license) and have greater discretion in the type of work they do and the hours they keep, are guaranteed to always have work available to them for their entire lifetime.