Did you know that over 730,000 electricians operate within the United States?
Becoming an electrician can be quite challenging since you need dedication and time. It’s especially when you don’t know the requirements to get a license. This could lead you to waste efforts on unnecessary investments.
Don’t worry yet.
In this guide, we prepared five simple steps to becoming an electrician. That way, you’ll have a definite path toward your goal. Read on and find out more.
1. Learn More About the Job Description
The first among the steps to becoming an electrician is by doing your research. It will help you a lot if you research the things to expect before starting your journey. The last thing you want is to spend years working towards your goal and discover you don’t enjoy it.
Here are some requirements to consider:
- Minimum age of 18
- A high school diploma or GED
- Passed an aptitude test
- Qualified a substance abuse test
- Reliable transportation
- Able to work well in groups
- Able to follow instructions
These are general, but you may need more depending on the country you live in. Take note, working as an electrician needs a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. A qualified electrician does a lot since you can do more jobs within a usual workday.
As an electrician, expect to get varying work orders. You can go from helping a client choose between an LED or Fluorescent bulb to fixing a broken conduit. Regardless, you’ll handle plenty of physically demanding tasks.
A big part of the day is connecting and fixing circuit breakers, transformers, and other electrical components. You must also find and identify potential defects and hazards to lessen the risk of accidents. That’s why you must know how to deal with various appliances, machines, lighting, and so on.
2. Get Training as an Apprentice
Once you learn more about becoming an electrician, you must apply for an apprenticeship. This will act as your training to learn the necessary technical skills. Check your local Department of Labor for any open apprenticeships.
As part of the application process, you must go through an aptitude test. It usually tests your reading comprehension and ability to solve basic arithmetic and algebra. After that, you have to go through a job interview to make sure you meet the requirements.
When you finish the abovementioned steps, you must decide on the specifics of your apprenticeship. You can choose to either become a residential apprentice or an inside wireman apprentice. The former has several responsibilities, such as installing a grounding system for a home.
An inside wireman has more responsibilities like installing or fixing traffic signals, outdoor lighting, and many more. If you’re more into industrial level work, you need to maintain or replace equipment and use programmable logic controllers.
Most apprenticeships let you have eight hours of on-the-job training. You will also receive classroom instructions and lessons. Enroll in a trade and vocational school since it gives you more context on basic electrical training.
3. Start Finding Work
The best way to get experience and get a grasp of the job is to look for work. The moment you join an electrical contractor, you’ll become a helper. Your responsibility is to help a journeyman electrician in accomplishing their daily tasks.
This serves as your first experience with hands-on work. Thus, expect your first tasks to be repetitive. Most helpers have to watch crews run wirings, install light fixtures, and other simple tasks. Most of the time, you’ll likely use a shovel to accomplish your responsibilities.
After all, new helpers dig and clean ditches to allow the company to add underground conduits. Take note, having a good electrician tool belt makes it easier for you to move around. Once you get more experience, you’ll start getting more complicated tasks like installing a generator or a UPS system.
4. Study the National Electrician Code
There is a global written standard for electricity safety known as the National Electrical Code (NEC). It’s a huge document written by lawyers and higher authorities. Not only will this help with your work, but you can also use your knowledge of NEC to pass the final exam.
The NEC is for safeguarding properties and people from dangerous hazards associated with electrical installments. As for every country, it establishes a standard for the basics of electrical safety. The NEC states safety procedures and instructions on how to prevent hazards.
5. Pass the Exam to Obtain a License
After gathering more experience and education, you become eligible to take the Master Electrician test. The requirements for getting a certification vary by country. You must know a lot about NEC, electrical concepts, safety practices, and building codes.
Once you accomplish these tasks, you can now choose the type of electrician you want to be. For the final step on steps to become a qualified electrician, start as a journeyman and move up:
- Journeyman electrician
- Master electrician
- Independent electrical contractor
A journeyman is the most basic level of an electrician. You can work independently as long as you finished your apprenticeship. You are independent, but you can’t offer apprenticeship training, pull permits for electrical work, or lead a job site.
Master electricians must have at least two years of experience to qualify. This is worth your time since you enjoy lots of privileges. You can lead jobs, offer apprenticeship training, and direct an electrical team.
Independent electrical contractors are essentially small business owners. You can hire teams of electricians to do various jobs for you. As an independent contractor, you must at least be a master electrician and have insurance in case things go awry.
Take the Steps to Becoming an Electrician Today!
These are the five simple steps to becoming an electrician. Use these to get a license and start a career in this profession.
Do you want more helpful guides similar to this one? If so, check out our other blogs for more helpful guides and tips.
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