What does an Electrician do?What does an Electrician do?

Become an Electrician ★ Find a School

The most common avenue to become an electrician is through a apprenticeship program that consists of 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. This usually takes about 4-5 years to complete, after which, a license is usually required according to each state's regulations.

An accredited technical school can be acceptable with courses taught in safety practices, circuitry and basic electricity, as well as, some math and blueprint reading.

Job Description of an Electrician

An electrician installs and maintains electrical power for lighting systems, communication, wiring and control systems to hospitals, factories, businesses or homes, to include, appliances or other equipment that meet the needs of the client. They are qualified to inspect electrical components, like, circuit breakers and transformers.

They use various testing equipment to identify any electrical problems and would be expected to do any needed repairs or replacements of equipment or wiring. An electrician reads blueprints that reveal the location of outlets, circuits and other equipment. He or she uses a variety of tools for the job, such as, hand and power tools, like, conduit benders, wire strippers and power tools. They also use tools like ammeters or voltmeters.

There are basically two types of electricians. One type is residential, which, typically, works in private homes or new home construction. The other type of electrician is an inside electrician that works more in factories or businesses with larger electrical systems. Some electricians specialize in areas, such as, fire alarm systems or other more specified areas. An electrician's occupation exposes he or she to the danger of electrical shocks or other hazards.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 20 percent growth in 2012-2022 in this career field based on new construction growth and alternative powers, such as, wind and solar energy. Because of the peak periods of new construction for building and maintenance, employment is considered more stable for working in factories.