Electricity is essential for the running of daily services, powering everything from the light in your room to other important electrical fixtures. This makes the job of an electrician, that is, the person tasked with installing and repairing these fixtures, very important. An electrician is someone who knows how to inspect, gauge, troubleshoot and fix issues related to electricity and electrical fixtures.
An electrician needs to know how to work with electrical equipment from a light not working to a full-blown power outage. They may need to install wiring and lighting and should be knowledgeable about safety standards when working with electricity.
Who is an electrician?
An electrician is an individual that the state has licensed to install, repair, and inspect electrical wirings and fixtures. To get their license, they must complete the required hours of coursework, as well as field experience. After passing a qualifying exam, they can receive their license and start working as electricians.
There are several vital skills one must have in order to find success as an electrician. They need to know how to work with electrical systems, as well as wires. For this reason, color vision is considered important in an electrician. The colorings of the wires are considered essential in informing the electrician of what that wire connects to and what it does. It, therefore, becomes essential to be able to tell the color of a wire for electricians.
Some wires have special colored markings as well, which can further help clarify what that wire is used for. Since the coloring of a wire is essential to understanding what it connects to, it becomes important for electricians to have strong color vision.
The responsibilities of an electrician
An electrician should be able to:
- Install, inspect, maintain and repair wires and other electrical fixtures
- Diagnose problems related to electricity, sometimes with the help of blueprints, or electrical designs
- Conduct tests and troubleshoot for problems
- Know how to recognize the coloring of wires and what they represent
- Installing and repairing electrical wires, fixtures, and equipment
- Know about the National Electrical Code, and comply with the standards set by it
How can you become an electrician?
In order to work as an electrician, you’ll need to be licensed by the state you want to work for. Since different states have slightly different requirements, it’s always a good idea to check with your local state the exact criteria for being an electrician.
To become an electrician, you’ll need to complete hours of assigned classwork, as well as work for an apprentice for a certain number of years. While you don’t need a college degree to become an electrician, you do need your high school diploma or GED scores. Once you’ve graduated from school, you’ll need to apply for an apprenticeship, as well as take classes from a training college or other accredited institution.
You will have to complete 576 hours of classwork, as well as an apprenticeship that can take four to five years to complete. The good news is that you can start earning right from the time you’re an apprentice. Since you need to complete nearly 8000 hours of fieldwork over the course of four to five years to get your electrician’s license, you’ll get a head start with earning as well.
Since working as an electrician provides stability and job security, it can be competitive to get apprenticeships. Consider approaching master electricians directly or asking your local union to help you find the right apprenticeship. After you complete your classroom coursework, as well as your fieldwork, you’ll need to take an exam.
This exam is meant to test your knowledge and understanding of what goes into being an electrician. After passing this examination, you can start working as an electrician. You can either be self-employed or work for a company of electricians. There are several kinds of jobs you can do as an electrician.
What kind of work does an electrician do?
An electrician can either work as an inside wireman or an outside lineman. These have further specializations that help electricians create their own niche and find the right clients to work for.
If you choose to work as an inside wireman, then you’ll mainly be working inside buildings. Your focus will become the wiring and installations inside a building, whether they be residential or commercial. You will need to understand how to read blueprints and designs. You should also know how to install electrical fixtures and should be adept at understanding the coloring of wiring. You may need to troubleshoot and inspect electrical systems and fixtures as well. With the help of various testing devices, you should be able to pinpoint what the issue is.
As an outside lineman, however, your responsibilities are slightly different. You will need a certain level of physical fitness, as well as dexterity in order to be an outside lineman. This is as you’ll need to climb both telephone and power poles to make your repairs. You will have to work with transformers, as well as transmission lines. Traffic signals are another kind of installation and repair work that you may be called in to do. As an outdoor lineman, you may also be asked to assemble or repair electrical substations.
There are other categories that you can fall into as an electrician as well. While these are the two broad categories of work that you can expect to do as an electrician, you may also have to do the following:
- Service Electricians: They are responsible for troubleshooting wire problems, as well as for making repairs. You should have good color vision and be able to tell what a wire connects to, or is responsible for, simply by looking at it.
- Construction Electricians: You will find yourself working in buildings during the construction phase. You may need to lay new wiring, work on maintenance, and ensure that the electrical systems in the building are up to par. You should be able to read blueprints and designs and translate the same onto the building.
Electricians can work in indoor or outdoor environments, depending on their specialization. But they should be adept at working with electrical systems and should have a thorough understanding of what it takes to make an electrical system work.
An electrician is someone who is capable of troubleshooting, inspecting, repairing, and installing electrical systems. Since a degree of job security is associated with being an electrician, getting an apprenticeship can be competitive. Electricians enjoy full-time jobs and can find themselves having to travel to different locations for work.
As an electrician, you can either be self-employed, work for an electrical company, or find work through the union. However, even electricians are exposed to certain career risks, which can result in loss of money. Take, for example, a situation where a disgruntled client takes you to court since they felt the job wasn’t done well. For times like these, you can think about electricians insurance, such as electrician liability insurance.
With the help of insurance coverage, you can financially protect yourself in the event you encounter certain career risks. To learn more about insurance for electrical contractors, click here.