Everything You Need To Know About Becoming An Electrician
So You Want To Become An Electrician...
Are you interested in becoming an electrician?
Great, you've come to the right place! It's never been a better time to become an electrician. In fact the demand for electricians in the US has skyrocketed in recent times, and that's even with all the economic uncertainty that's going on in the world today!
The best thing about becoming an electrician is that you don't have to accumulate tens of thousands of dollars of student debt to earn a good living. In fact, as an apprentice electrician you'll be able to earn while you learn your trade. That means that while your peers are slogging through the tedium of college with no guarantee of a job after they graduate, you'll be earning a decent wage and your electrician training at the same time.
If all of this sounds good to you, then read on for more vital information about how you can become an electrician in the quickest and easiest possible way.
Why You Should Become An Electrician
Still not convinced that becoming an electrician is the right career path for you? Here are 3 reasons that might just help to convince you:
1. It's A Very Respected Profession
Let's face it, there are a lot of jobs out there that you would be embarrassed for having, but being an electrician is definitely not one of them. It is a very well-respected profession within the construction trade, and it's actually considered by many to be THE top job within the industry. In fact, most people would understand that it takes no small amount of skill and expert knowledge to work with electricity every single day. That in itself brings you a whole lot of respect for doing what you do as an electrician.
2. It's Not The Hardest Job In The World
I'm not saying that being an electrician is easy at all, but you definitely won't have to push yourself to the limit physically to get the job done. The job is really about using your head as much as your hands, so if you're good at problem solving and have an eye for detail, this would definitely be the perfect job for you. Not to mention that you'll encounter new challenges with each new project that you work on, so it will never get boring either.
3. It's An Opportunity To Start A Business
Everyone knows that you won't get rich working for someone else, so eventually many people decide to strike it out on their own and start their own business. As an electrician, you have a huge advantage because you have a skill that is very much in demand regardless of the economic climate. If you're good at what you do and have a knack for managing your time and resources effectively, then starting a business should be a no-brainer for you once you've accumulated enough experience. That way, you can take on your own apprentices and slowly build up your electrical empire.
How To Become An Electrician
So how do you become an electrician? Although there are many excellent vocational courses out there, the best way to become an electrician is still to do an apprenticeship.
As an apprentice electrician, you'll get to go out into the field and experience every aspect of what being an electrician is all about. That's something that no teacher or course can ever teach you. And as I already mentioned, while you'll be paying thousands of dollars for a course, you get paid to learn your craft as an apprentice.
Before you rush out and sign up to your local apprenticeship program though, you should take some time to find out more about the different areas of electrical work and which area you might want to specialize in.
Typically, most electricians will focus on one particular area of expertise, namely commercial work, industrial work or maintenance work. Although all licensed electricians will be able to do residential installation and repair work, specializing is where the big money is so you'll definitely want to build towards that.
Becoming An An Apprentice Electrician
To become an apprentice electrician, you'll need to be at least 18 years of age and have either a high school diploma or a GED. You should also be in good physical shape, have good hand-eye coordination and very importantly, you cannot be color-blind. After all, electricians work with wires with many different colors that denote the function of the wire, and you'll need to be able to tell these wires apart to do your job effectively. If you haven't tested yourself to see if you're color-blind, I highly recommend going in to get it checked before you apply for an apprenticeship.
If you fulfil all the requirements, great! You're ready to take your first steps towards becoming an electrician. It's important to note that you'll need to join a certified apprenticeship program so that your time as an apprentice will be valid in the eyes of your local certification board. I know it's an obvious thing to say but you'll be surprised at how many people end up doing a non-certified course and end up regretting it. The best place to go to find out more about the apprenticeships available in your area would be your local Joint Training Committee (JTC) or Electrical Contractors Association.
Doing an electrical apprenticeship normally takes four years, and this includes 144 hours of class time and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training each year. In your class time, you'll be learning all about fundamental electrical theory, the National Electrical Code as well as your local rules and regulations. Down the road, you will be tested on these concepts and codes so make sure you pay attention! After you have finished your apprenticeship, you'll have to sit for an exam to become a licensed electrician. In most states this is known as getting your Journeyman License.
How Much Does An Electrician Make?
Based on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the average electrician in the United States makes just over $48,000 a year. While that doesn't seem like a lot of money to some people, it's important to remember that that's the average of ALL electricians, including the apprentices, journeymen and master electricians. Obviously an apprentice would earn much less than a journeyman or a master electrician, so that's where the figures don't tell the full story.
By doing a little more digging, I managed to find out that the bottom 10% of earners among those surveyed made just under $28,000 a year, while the top 10% of earners made a whopping $80,000 per annum. That's almost three times more! Obviously, the more experience and credentials you have as an electrician, the more money you'll earn. It's as simple as that.
Of course, these figures don't include the profits made by electricians who own their own business as well. When you factor that into the equation, then becoming an electrician can be very lucrative indeed. The most important thing is to learn your craft well, build up your reputation within the industry and when the time comes, you'll be fully equipped to start your own profitable electrical services business.
Interestingly enough, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that the demand for qualified electricians will explode in the next ten years. In fact, they expect more than 130,000 new electrician jobs to be created before over this time period, which is a staggering 23% increase. Based on their analysis of the growth of various industries and professions, this is significantly higher than average.
This study basically confirms what we already know, which is that regardless of the economic conditions, people will still continue to require the use of electricity in their everyday lives. More importantly, they will need electricians to install, maintain and repair these electrical systems for years to come.
The Final Word On Becoming An Electrician
Of course, whether or not you should become an electrician really boils down to one thing. Is working with electricity and solving the unique challenges involved in the whole process something that you have an interest in? If your answer to that question is yes or even maybe, then I encourage you to find out more about becoming an electrician and electrician apprenticeships. It could be the best decision you've ever made!
Feel free to leave your questions and comments about becoming an electrician here!