How To Become An Electrician

How To Become An Electrician

Electricians are absolutely vital to our world, as they maintain and install electrical power, lighting, and communication systems in our homes, manufacturing facilities, and businesses. Responsibilities of electricians include reading technical diagrams, installing wiring, lighting, and control systems, identifying electrical issues, and repairing electrical equipment.

In order to properly and safely inspect, repair, and maintain electrical and power systems, electricians must follow state and local building regulation codes. If you have a passion for illuminating the world, you may want to explore a career as an electrician.

Why Become An Electrician

Without electricians, there would be no light and no power! The electrician’s skills and expertise are essential to powering our world. Electricians utilize their knowledge of power and electrical systems to help homes, businesses, and manufacturing facilities run efficiently and safely. Our society is dependent and affected by circuits, power, and wires that power our Earth. If you are seeking a career that is challenging, technical, and growing day by day, you may want to pursue a career in the electrician industry.

Electrician Work Environment

Electricians may work outdoors, indoors, within manufacturing facilities, construction sites, homes, and businesses. An electrician may travel to various locations and often work in confined spaces. Work hazards such as burns, falls, and electrical shocks may occur during an electrician’s career. It is imperative that electricians understand the risks of installing power and electrical systems, while protecting themselves from potential injuries.

Electrician Salary

The Occupational Employment and Wages Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor showed the median annual wage, of an electrician, is $49,840. The annual wage of electricians is dependent on experience and education within the field.

Average Electrician Salary

Electrician Salary By State

Rank State Hourly Rate Annual Salary
#1 Alaska $39.23 $81,600
#2 Hawaii $35.95 $74,770
#3 Illinois $35.17 $73,160
#4 New York $35.10 $73,010
#5 District of Columbia $34.59 $71,960
#6 New Jersey $34.29 $71,310
#7 California $32.75 $68,130
#8 Oregon $32.26 $67,100
#9 Massachusetts $31.80 $66,130
#10 Washington $31.37 $65,260
#11 Minnesota $30.94 $64,360
#12 Nevada $29.92 $62,240
#13 Montana $29.61 $61,580
#14 North Dakota $29.33 $61,010
#15 Pennsylvania $28.92 $60,160
#16 Missouri $28.63 $59,550
#17 Wyoming $28.24 $58,740
#18 Wisconsin $27.84 $57,910
#19 Indiana $27.73 $57,680
#20 Connecticut $27.63 $57,470
#21 Michigan $27.21 $56,600
#22 Delaware $27.07 $56,300
#23 Kansas $26.52 $55,160
#24 Maryland $25.88 $53,830
#25 Rhode Island $25.54 $53,130
#26 New Hampshire $25.00 $52,010
#27 Iowa $24.98 $51,960
#28 Utah $24.95 $51,900
#29 Ohio $24.86 $51,710
#30 West Virginia $24.85 $51,690
#31 Kentucky $24.69 $51,360
#32 Louisiana $24.43 $50,810
#33 Colorado $24.32 $50,580
#34 New Mexico $24.16 $50,250
#35 Arizona $23.78 $49,460
#36 Virginia $23.74 $49,380
#37 Maine $23.48 $48,850
#38 Oklahoma $23.34 $48,560
#39 Vermont $23.32 $48,510
#40 Mississippi $23.20 $48,250
#41 Idaho $22.97 $47,770
#42 Nebraska $22.85 $47,530
#43 Virgin Islands $22.45 $46,700
#44 Tennessee $22.41 $46,620
#45 Georgia $22.35 $46,490
#46 South Dakota $22.31 $46,410
#47 Texas $22.31 $46,410
#48 Alabama $22.29 $46,360
#49 Florida $21.30 $44,310
#50 South Carolina $20.94 $43,560
#51 North Carolina $20.65 $42,960
#52 Arkansas $20.45 $42,540
#53 Guam $17.94 $37,320
#54 Puerto Rico $13.33 $27,720

Electrician Career Outlook

The career outlook for an electrician looks to grow much faster than other career areas, with a projected increase of 20% from 2012 to 2022. With the creation of new homes, buildings, and businesses, electricians will be needed to install electrical components within these areas. The growth of the construction industry, the demand for repairing old electrical components, and maintenance of power grids will only increase the demand for electricians.

With new types of power generation, such as wind and solar energy, electricians will be necessary in order to install such modes of power generation.

Electrician Degree

In order to become a licensed electrician, you will need to attend a technical school or learn through an apprenticeship to receive training. Many technical schools offer training within the fields of circuitry, electrical information and components, and safety practices. In order to truly obtain a hands-on experience, it is imperative that you enroll in an apprenticeship program.

The majority of electricians learn their trade by obtaining a four or five year apprenticeship program. Within an apprenticeship program, you must obtain at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job, paid training and at least 144 hours of technical training.

As an apprentice, you must understand and interpret blueprints, mathematics, safety practices, electrical code requirements, and electrical theory. Additionally, you may specialize in specific areas of training related to other electrical tasks, such as soldering and various electrical systems, such as elevator and fire alarm systems. Upon completing an electrician apprentice program, must become certified.

The certification for an electrician varies from state to state; the certification exam will have questions pertaining to the National Electric Code, your state’s electrical codes, and local electrical codes. Once you complete your certification, you may work as a journey worker, signifying that you can perform electrical duties on your own, within your field of choice. As an electrician, it is imperative that you have strong business skills, proper color vision, critical thinking skills, customer service skills, and exemplary troubleshooting skills.

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