What Do Electricians Do?
Electricians have a very essential job. They are the people who are in charge the installation, repair and maintenance of electrical fixtures, equipment and wiring in a variety of environments from commercial buildings to homes. These professionals additionally must ensure that their work is in compliance with the appropriate codes. They may additionally install electrical control systems and street lights. People in this field can expect job growth of 20% in the U.S. This means that the projected job openings yearly will be around 22,460.
Electricians Skills and Abilities
As an electrician, there are specific skills and abilities that are important for doing the job. You must have good critical thinking and active listening skills in order to understand instructions and to identify problems and come up with the proper solutions. Decision-making skills are additionally important, as you may need to choose the best plan of action in certain situations. Some key abilities needed for this position include:
- The ability to recognize problems
- Near vision
- Deductive and inductive reasoning
- Oral comprehension
In addition to these abilities and skills, you should also have a solid understanding of construction and building processes as well as the tools and machinery required for your job. Knowledge of mathematics is also good for an electrician.
There are a variety of duties that must be performed on the job. As an electrician, you may plan both the layout and installation of electrical fixtures, wiring and equipment, connect wires to transformers and circuit breakers, ensure job safety, test electrical systems and train other workers in the field. Some other essential tasks can include:
- Using the proper tools
- Repairing fixtures and wiring
- Determining problems with existing electrical systems
- Digging trenches or holes
- Preparing reports
- Threading cable or wire through conduits or ducts
Electricians Tools and Technology
There are certain tools that electricians use that you must familiarize yourself with. Electricians commonly use different types of screwdrivers and stripping tools. Wire cutters are also important for the job. You may also use current or voltage meters. These can include volt tick meters, current clamps and test lamps. Depending on your position, you may additionally use certain technology. Some forms of technology used by electricians can include CAD (computer aided design) software, analytical software, accounting software and database software.
Education and Training for Electricians
In order to become an electrician, you will typically need a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some individuals choose to attend a technical school to learn safety practices, basic information and circuitry. You may receive credit towards your apprenticeship when you graduate. A majority of electricians do go about learning the trade through a four to five year apprenticeship. This will include on-the-job training and well as courses involving electrical theory, mathematics, code requirements, blueprint reading and safety practices. You may also be able to receive specialized training regarding elevators, fire alarm systems and soldering. In order to enter into an apprenticeship, you must take an aptitude test.
Depending on your location and experience, the salary you receive in this position can vary. The median annual salary in the U.S. for electricians is $51,100, however, those in the top 10% can make $85,600 or more. The lowest 10% in this field usually make around $31,200 per year.
Electricians Jobs by Geography
The top three states with the highest demand for electricians are Texas, California and New York. In terms of annual mean wage, Alaska, Illinois and New York top the list. Alaska, the highest, has a yearly mean wage of $78,800 for electricians. The industries that have the highest level of employment for these professionals include building equipment contractors, local governments and nonresidential construction.