Electrician Training Programs
Choosing the career of electrician is a decision that offers diversification, challenge, and job security. It can be a mobile career, for electricians are needed in every state, every town, in the country. Every business building, every home, every lighted street, ball field, hospital, and every area of life, require electricity. Since electricity is required for virtually every activity of life, electricians are highly sought after, valued individuals.
The person who chooses to become an electrician must be in good physical condition, be interested in working with his/her hands, and willing to work in extreme climate conditions. He must be able to lift heavy loads at times and willing to learn to supervise individuals.
- Penn Foster Career School
How to become an electrician
Once the choice has been made to become an electrician, there are two avenues to obtaining the necessary education. One may work under what is called a master electrician, where the apprentice learns from a practicing electrician until he acquires enough hours to work as a journeyman and eventually a master's electrician.
The other option is to attend a trade school, or a community college that offers a certificate as an electrician. This requires attending at least one full year of education, during which the student attends academic classes and receives instruction on the basics of performing electrical work. He/she also attends labs, or "hands on" classes where he puts into practice what he has learned. There are great advantages to choosing this route. The student is taken, methodically, from the basics of wiring a building, to the intricate details of the finished project. At each step along the way, the student is tested and reviewed, before proceeding onto the next chapters in the books being used and the practical laboratory experiences. The hours spent in school count toward the necessary hours to obtaining a journeyman's license.
What you'll learn in an electrician program
Some of the topics covered in college include:
- basic electrical theory
- conduit bending
- transformer principles
- grounding and bonding
- outlet installation
- knot tying
- trouble shooting
Some colleges allow the student to attend classes, while working for a journeyman or master. If the student attends a community college for his education, he may take core college courses and obtain an associate's degree, along with the certificate as an electrician. This enables the student to return to college, should he so desire, later on in life. It also looks nice on a resume.
Working as an electrician
Once the student obtains his/her certificate as an electrician, he must find work in which he functions under the supervision of another electrician or a company. Either way, he is under supervision as he obtains the necessary hours to obtain his journeyman's license. Once the necessary hours are accumulated, he is eligible to take the journeyman's exam in the state in which he wishes to practice his trade. After obtaining the journeyman's license, he must continue to work under supervision until he accumulates enough hours to take the master's test. If he is successful in passing this examination, he has the option of forming his own electrical business and working for himself. In some areas, a journeyman may work on his own.
There are many avenues available for an electrician. He may work as an industrial electrician, which is ideal for the candidate who wishes to accumulate enough hours rapidly to obtain his journeyman's license. Industrial work requires long hours, offers high pay, and potentially benefits. There is also the advantage of having the company search out new jobs, once the present one is completed.
Other avenues include commercial wiring and the wiring of homes. These possibilities offer their own advantages. The hours may be more predictable. These options do not allow the hours to accumulate as rapidly but may allow the student to practice in one area, opposed to moving around the country, following whatever job the industrial company may offer. Commercial and residential electrical work is usually sought out by the electrician who has his master's or journeyman's license and is working for himself.
Regardless of the path chosen, the career of electrician is rewarding. There is opportunity for advancement, including management roles. It requires attention to detail and perseverance. This makes it a challenging, rewarding career for the right individual.