See a list of Electrician Programs by Clicking Here!
What is an Electrician?
An electrician is responsible for the installation and maintenance of wiring and lighting systems. Individuals in this field will identify problems and provide solutions for shorts, and wiring problems and other issues that may arise. Individuals should be able to read schematics and blueprints as well as maintain state standards regarding such systems. Though electricians primarily work alone, they may work with others during construction in order to devise special layouts or schematics per customer demand.
Though not necessary to enter the field, electrician programs generally take two years to complete and are offered through community colleges or trade schools. Certified programs offer credit toward the four year apprenticeship necessary to become a licensed professional. Upon completion of an apprenticeship under a qualified electrician, individuals are considered journey workers capable of taking on tasks on their own. Licensure requirements will vary by state and should be researched by interested individuals.
A curriculum may include:
- Electrical Codes
Employment Opportunities and Job Growth
Individuals in this field will work in buildings and other locales requiring electrical and lighting systems to be put in place or maintained. Individuals with additional training and skills in alarm systems, soldering, communications or other specialties will be able to find consistent work. Overall job growth is expected to increase due to the high demand for wiring installation and the need for newer and more efficient systems to be placed or replaced, though opportunities may be limited based on region or area. Ten percent of employed electricians work independently and are able to set their own schedules rather than adhering to established full time positions.
Salary and Related Fields
Electricians earn approximately $48,000 annually, though experienced electricians can earn as high as $80,000 per year. Most electricians work full time, and may be required to work overtime, particularly on jobs requiring strict adherence to deadlines. Apprentices will typically earn between 30-50% less than licensed professionals during the years of their apprenticeship.
Individuals interested in becoming electricians may also be interested in a career as a lineworker, information technology, or electrical and power transmission installation.