What Do Helpers—Electricians Do?
Electricians are experts in their craft, but even they require talented helpers in order to do their job correctly. As a helper for an electrician, you will be in charge of carrying out tasks that require less specialized skill but are still essential. This can include holding and supplying the electrician with materials and tools and cleaning equipment when needed. You will most likely also be tasked with ensuring that the work area is kept clean at all times. There is going to be a lot of potential for growth in this field. A 37% increase is expected to occur every year, meaning there will be 3,200 job openings annually. Electricians need good help, and with these numbers, there should be plenty to go around.
Helpers—Electricians Skills and Abilities
Although you may not possess the same prowess as a professional electrician, you should still understand basic construction principles. That includes being familiar with the various tools, materials and methods you will regularly be using during your time as an electrician’s helper. You may also be depended upon to interact with the customer, which is why it is always advantageous to have superior customer service skills. Having a background in physics or design certainly would not hurt. Every helper needs to have exceptional active listening and troubleshooting skills, so you can identify potential problems before they get too out of hand. Knowing the principles of quality control will also be incredibly helpful.
Depending on the company and the electrician you work for, you may have a different set of duties than someone with the same job. However, there are certain tasks that should be a given no matter where you work. You may be asked to measure and cut wiring using the appropriate tools. You may also be accountable for examining an area in order to determine the extent of the problem and recommend what you would do to fix it. You may also be tasked with cleaning and maintaining all tools and equipment, so they work when need be. Various other responsibilities could be asked of you such as:
- Threading wire through conduits.
- Welding metals.
- Moving materials and tools to where they need to be.
- Digging trenches.
- Fabricating various components.
- Ordering new pieces of equipment.
- Breaking apart concrete.
- Removing debris from the work area.
Helpers—Electricians Tools and Technology
Generally speaking, you will need to know how to use a number of different tools in order to do your job effectively. Some of the tools you should become accustomed to using include:
- Wire cutters
- Circuit testers
- Conduit benders
Education and Training for Helpers—Electricians
Since you will merely be assisting the electrician, you will not require the same level of education or experience. Most helpers enter the field with just a high school diploma or less. There are no real courses or programs you will be expected to take because you will likely receive a small amount of training once you actually get a job.
As expected, you will not make as much as an electrician, and most helpers tend to enter the field making $9.16 an hour. As you gain more and more experience, your salary can increase to the median wage of $13.43 an hour, and some helpers can even make around $20.00 an hour or more.
Helpers—Electricians Jobs by Geography
Building contractors and local governments have the greatest need for electrician assistants. The states where you will find the highest concentration of helper – electrician jobs per population are Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. The top paying state for this kind of work is Alaska, which has an annual mean wage of $39,440.