How do I Become an Electrician?

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  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 December 2018
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A person who wishes to become an electrician can receive a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training through a four-year apprenticeship. Organizations that offer sponsor such paid apprenticeships are local chapters of the National Electrical Contractors Association, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Independent Electrical Contractors Association, or the Associated Builders and Contractors. No matter how a person decides to become an electrician, he or she will need a high school diploma or GED (General Equivalency Diploma).

Since electrician apprenticeships cover an extensive amount of training, upon completion of the program, the fledgling electrician is often qualified to work in both construction and maintenance work. During the four years of comprehensive training, a student receives about 144 hours of instruction in the classroom. He or she also benefits from about 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. Typical classroom courses include classes on blueprint reading, safety and first aid, math, electrical theory, and electrical code requirements. A student electrician will also receive valuable instruction concerning fire alarm systems, communications, elevators and cranes, and soldering.

While working with an experienced electrician, the student learns a variety of skills. Initially, students will learn to drill holes, place anchors, and connect conduits. As their training progresses, they learn to measure, make, and install a conduit. They will also learn how to install, connect, and test outlets, wiring, and switches. The apprentice will set up and sketch diagrams for electrical systems as well.


If someone wishes to become an electrician, he or she can attend a vocational or technical school to receive classroom training instead of immediately applying for an apprenticeship. Those who choose to take classes often find that employers will hire them over another candidate who has no classroom training. Graduates of an electrician program can receive a higher salary than candidates who learn on the job. Some who wish to become an electrician will begin their careers as an electrician helper, an entry level position where they assist an experienced electrician. Their job may include helping to set up the job site, collect materials, and performing basic job duties.

The job of an electrician is an important one. Without the special skills of an electrician, buildings, houses, and other facilities would have no electricity. Electricians install and maintain the equipment that helps electricity to flow. Fuses, wiring, and other important components are the equipment an electrician works with on a daily basis.



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