What Does an Electrician Do?
Electricians prepare, assemble, install, test, troubleshoot, and repair electrical wiring and related equipment. Handyman Naperville IL also adheres to state and local regulations based on the national electrical code. Most electricians do not have degrees but learn through on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs. A well-trained electrician can spot potential hazards and understand how to read diagrams. They will also know how to crimp terminals and splice wires properly.
Most states require electricians to obtain a license, and the requirements for licensure differ from state to state. In general, prospective electricians need to complete a post-secondary education program and pass a state exam. The exam reviews the student’s knowledge of electrical safety, complex systems and hazards. Some trade schools and apprenticeship programs combine the education and training requirements with on-the-job experience. Apprentices need to spend between four and seven years in the field working under a master electrician before applying for a journeyman license.
A journeyman electrician is licensed to install, repair and alter wiring or appliances that generate electricity for heating, power and lighting in residential, commercial and industrial structures. To become a journeyman electrician, most states require 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience under the supervision of a licensed master electrician. In addition to on-the-job experience, most states also require the completion of some classroom training.
In some states, the licensing process for electricians is administered by a city or county rather than the state. In these cases, the applicant must show proof of license and insurance. In addition, some states offer reciprocity, which means that if an electrician is licensed in another state, he or she can work in that state without additional documentation.
While the primary job duties of an electrician are to troubleshoot and repair malfunctioning electrical products or systems, many other skills can be helpful in this career. Some of the most important skills include critical thinking and customer service. The ability to think logically is essential because electrical problems can involve fire hazards, electrocution risks or other safety issues. Customer service skills are necessary because electricians often interact with customers.
Some electricians need to travel between jobs, and the need for a mobile workspace may require the use of a van or other vehicle. In this case, the electrician should have a valid driver’s license and proof of automobile insurance. In addition, some employers will not hire employees unless they have a clean driving record. If an electrician plans to commute between different states, he or she should research the licensing laws of both jurisdictions.
Electricians install, repair, and troubleshoot electrical systems. They may specialize in a number of different fields, including solar photovoltaic installation, wiring for electronic devices, and industrial component wiring. Regardless of their specialty, electricians are expected to be skilled at several tasks and to have the physical stamina to work in dirty and noisy environments. They must also be able to read technical and wiring diagrams, as well as blueprints. Other important skills include the ability to use a variety of hand and power tools, including wrenches, drills, soldering irons, volt-ohmmeters, and circuit testers.
To become a licensed electrician in New York, you must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent GED certificate. Most electricians begin their careers by completing an apprenticeship program, which typically takes four or five years to complete. The apprenticeship program includes a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Alternatively, you can attend a vocational school or trade school that offers an electrician program. Some vocational schools offer associate degrees, while others focus primarily on hands-on learning and apprenticeships.
After completing your education, you must pass an exam to become a journeyperson electrician. To advance to the master electrician level, you must have a minimum of ten years of experience as a journeyperson. During this time, you must have demonstrated excellence in the field and passed an exam that tests your knowledge of current National Electrical Code standards.
In addition to being a licensed electrician, you must carry general and professional liability insurance. You should also have workers’ compensation coverage if you work for an employer. If you have your own contracting electrical business, you will need to have commercial property insurance as well.
Although there are a few different routes to becoming an electrician, most people start their career by completing a vocational school program or apprenticeship. They can then go on to work for a union or non-union electrician and become a journeyperson. After gaining some experience, they can choose to become a master electrician and work independently. The industry continues to evolve, so it’s essential for electricians to stay updated with the latest codes and procedures.
Electricians work on electrical systems, which are used in a variety of settings. It is essential that they have proper training in order to install and repair these systems and components. The best way to gain this training is through an apprenticeship program, which is typically four to five years long and offers on-the-job experience in addition to classroom instruction. Other forms of training include completing an associate degree program or graduating from a vocational school that offers an electrician’s program. Students who complete these programs can learn and adhere to state and local regulations that are based on the national electrical code.
In addition to learning the technical aspects of electrical work, electricians must also have a good understanding of math and science. They need to be able to read and understand blueprints, circuit diagrams, and other technical documents. They also need to be able to perform mathematical calculations quickly and accurately, even while working on-site.
Another important skill for electricians to possess is a concern for safety. They frequently work in environments that put them at risk of shocks and burns, so it is crucial that they follow strict safety protocols. They must also be able to think logically when products and systems fail, in order to determine the root cause of the problem and find solutions. Finally, they must be able to work independently and have physical endurance, as they may need to move heavy equipment around the site.
To become a licensed electrician, prospective professionals must first earn a high school diploma or GED certificate. If they plan to attend college, it is recommended that they choose classes that will help them succeed in an electrical program, such as physics and a variety of math courses. These include algebra and geometry, which are used for measuring wire lengths and determining the angle of a circuit. In addition, they should take shop and mechanical drawing classes.
Those who do not wish to attend college can also take online electrical training courses. These courses, such as those offered by Penn Foster, offer flexible schedules and a variety of study materials. These materials can include practice exams, textbooks, and videos that cover the topics necessary for professional electricians. They can be purchased separately or as part of a larger study package. These courses also include progress tracking and goal setting tools, which can help students create a personalized study plan that will lead to success on the exam.
Regardless of what kind of electrical work they do, electricians must be able to read and interpret technical diagrams. They also need to be good at working on their feet and lifting heavy objects. It’s a good idea for an aspiring electrician to start off as an apprentice, or a journeyman’s helper, and learn from the experienced electricians they work with. It typically takes about four to five years to become a journeyman.
If you’re thinking of becoming an electrician, make sure you attend a vocational school that offers both classroom-based and hands-on training. The course should cover a wide range of topics, including electricity, safety procedures and practices, circuitry, CAD drawing, and the National Electrical Code. Many vocational schools also offer internship programs for students, where they can get real-world experience in the field of electrical engineering.
Other important job requirements for an electrician include being able to communicate with other skilled trade workers and design professionals and reading blueprints. They must be able to follow the National Electrical Code, state and local building codes and regulations, and use various testing equipment. In addition, they must be able to read and write effectively in order to understand technical diagrams and specifications for wiring, fixtures and equipment.
Electricians can find employment with construction companies, power utility companies or as self-employed contractors. They can work in residential, commercial or industrial settings, depending on their level of expertise. Other job duties include inspecting equipment, repairing and replacing wiring, fixtures and devices, and ensuring that all work is up to code.
If they specialize in a particular area of electrical engineering, such as installing generators or power systems, they can become very valuable to their employers. This can lead to increased opportunities for career advancement, as well as higher salary potential.
Other benefits of being an electrician include medical insurance, retirement plans, life and disability insurance, paid time off, the use of company tools and safety equipment and bonus potential. Some electricians also choose to start their own businesses, which can be both rewarding and challenging.