Electricians install and maintain electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, and factories. There are two types of electricians, inside electricians who maintain and repair large motors, equipment, and control systems in businesses and factories. Residential electricians who install wiring and troubleshoot electrical problems in peoples' homes.
The important qualities to be an electrician include:
Business skills. Self-employed electricians must be able to bid on new jobs, track inventory, and plan payroll and work assignments.
Color vision. Electricians must identify electrical wires by color.
Critical-thinking skills. Electricians perform tests and use the results to diagnose problems. For example, when an outlet is not working, they may use a multimeter to check the voltage, amperage, or resistance to determine the best course of action.
Customer-service skills. Electricians work with people on a regular basis. As a result, they should be friendly and be able to address customers’ questions.
Troubleshooting skills. Electricians find, diagnose, and repair problems. For example, if a motor stops working, they perform tests to determine the cause of its failure and then, depending on the results, fix or replace the motor.
You can learn more about electricians from the Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014.
The following guest post is authored by Robert Baird, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs for the Independent Electrical Contractors Inc. Read what other employers and workers have to say about apprenticeship here.
The world is becoming more dependent on electricity every day. From innovative automated systems to the charging of our mobile devices, electricity places a major role in our homes and in our professional lives. The demand for high-level, skilled electrical workers will continue to increase. That is why it is critical to have properly trained electricians. America’s Registered Apprenticeship system provides the solution to this high demand.
Our society depends on electricity; and electricians are instrumental in ensuring that the necessary electrical distribution, control, and utilization systems are installed and maintained to serve consumer demand.
Electricity is powerful and dangerous. For their own safety, and for the safety of others, electricians need to have the best possible training. That’s why the Independent Electrical Contractors, also known as IEC, provides electrical training through Registered Apprenticeship programs.
Registered Apprenticeship is a tried and true training methodology that has been adapted to today’s needs. IEC’s electrical apprenticeship program is a national standardized curriculum and course of on-the-job learning that has been specifically designed to provide the electricians-in-training with the related technical instruction, safety training and supervised hands-on experience that they need to prepare them for their careers as safe, efficient and productive journeymen.
From the perspective of an electrician, the knowledge, skills and abilities acquired during apprenticeship have provided a solid platform that will last throughout his/her career. It has provided a well-paid career with virtually unlimited growth potential that can’t be exported.
Whether an individual remains in the field as an electrician, or has aspirations to move into the office to become an estimator, foreman, supervisor or project manager − or even start their own company − the opportunities are there.