To become an electrician contractor, you may need to attend a formal training program, depending on the type of electrical contracting you wish to do. Training often takes place through a combination of on-the-job training and vocational school classes. The hands-on training to become an electrician contractor can be physically demanding.
When you become an electrician contractor, you will find many electrician careers and jobs that offer excellent salaries. You may find a position in electrical engineering or become an electrician contractor in a residential setting. Most electricians choose residential work because it is the easiest type of work to learn, but electrical contractor rates in this field are low compared to other industries. For this reason, residential electrician jobs are less profitable than commercial occupations.
The benefit of an apprenticeship is that the training allows you to be paid for your work while you learn. When classes are needed, some employers will pay for the cost of tuition. When this process is complete, you will take an examination. If you pass, you will become a journeyman electrician, allowing you to work on your own. In most cases, licensing requires approximately 2,000 hours on the job training and 144 classroom hours.
Those who want to become an electrician contractor must learn many skills. The work requires you learn to read blueprints, address public safety issues, learn building codes and electrical theory. Your time will be spent installing, repairing and maintaining electrical systems. The work hours may take place on evenings and weekends for residential work.
Electrician work may be performed on interior electrical systems, or you may work outside on electrical transformers and other high-voltage systems. This is why electricians must follow stringent safety codes. Safety is of the utmost importance because electrical shocks can severely injure or kill a worker.
Licensing requirements for electrician contractors vary by location. In many cases, a board made of community or industry leaders will review your skills, physical aptitude, and school performance. Such boards will also make the determination whether an individual can begin an apprenticeship. The apprenticeship will require three to five years training under the guidance of a master electrician.
Some locations will require continuing education for electricians to maintain their licenses. In most cases, the requirements mandate a small number of hours. You may be required to spend four to eight classroom hours in continuing education classes before license renewal.