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Everything You Need to Know About a Career as an Electrician

If you’re interested in learning a trade that will always be necessary, pursuing a job as an electrician is a safe bet. After all, most people use electricity every day, and that fact will not likely change in the future. Maybe that’s why the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the growth rate for this career is 14 percent, which is double the average rate. Take a look at how you can enter this quickly growing field.

Training to Become an Electrician

You can start by having a high school diploma, which you can follow up by attending a technical school with courses on circuitry, safety and electrical basics. The other path to becoming an electrician is to contact a union so you can begin an apprenticeship that will last up to five years. During this time, you’ll be paid to get on-the-job training in addition to learning technical information in the classroom. You’ll learn everything from how to read blueprints to what the electrical code requirements are in your area.

Career Path After Training

When you’re done with the apprenticeship program, you will become a journeyman. As such, you’ll be able to perform electrician duties alone, as soon as you pass the test to get the licensing that most states require. If you wish to go even further in this career, you can get a degree or certificate from a trade school that offers continuing education for electricians. This will allow you to become a master electrician, increasing your income and allowing you more job opportunities.

Average Salary for an Electrician

The median annual salary for an electrician is just under $53,000, or $25 per hour. But those in the lowest 10 percent – which often includes apprentices – might make closer to $32,000. Journeymen often make around the median salary, while master electricians are more likely to make up to about $90,000.

Types of Electrician Specialties

Residential electricians install and repair electrical fixtures in houses, including light switches, wires and electrical sockets. Commercial electricians usually have the same types of tasks, but they work in big buildings. Maintenance electricians focus on repairing major machinery and maintaining the power grid.

If you want to become an electrician, you should have a few natural qualities, such as critical-thinking skills, the ability to problem solve, a focus on customer service and good color vision. If you’re prepared to get the training you need, check out Tradehounds for electrician job listings today.

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