What Does an Electrical Instructor Do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

An electrical instructor educates students about safe, legal, and appropriate installation of electrical systems. Students also have opportunities to learn about maintenance, repair, upgrading, and related activities. Colleges and trade schools are primary sources of employment for electrical instructors, although some may work for private training programs or run their own businesses. Qualifications required can depend on the position, but may include a college degree, industry experience, and certifications from trade organizations or contractor’s boards.

Woman posing
Woman posing

Curriculum design can be part of the job. The electrical instructor may need to consider curricular standards spelling out the knowledge students need to acquire in class when developing an appropriate schedule. A mixture of classroom and lab education is common to provide information and experience for students. Some classes also include job or internship placement, in which case the electrical instructor may need to work with local businesses to provide placement opportunities with students and follow up on their progress.

Lecture portions of class may include discussions, demonstrations, and quizzes to determine whether students are familiar with the material. The electrical instructor needs to keep up with the building code to ensure that students learn up to date information. In the lab, students can participate in wiring and problemsolving activities under supervision. Instructors keep an eye on students while they work, providing safety reminders, and making sure they are comfortable with the level of complexity in the class.

Outside the classroom environment, an electrical instructor may have office hours to assist students who are having trouble. It may also be necessary to attend faculty meetings and to work with other members of the electrical faculty on curriculum development and promotion. Instructors may create new training programs and certifications to remain competitive with other schools and satisfy accrediting agencies.

Some electrical instructors belong to professional organizations that provide them with credentials. They may have degrees along with experience in the electrical industry and a valid license to work with electrical systems. The qualifications expected can depend on the institution. People with more experience and qualifications may have more opportunities as well as being in a better position to negotiate benefits.

It is also possible for an electrical instructor to provide one on one mentoring to private clients. Homeowners who want to work on electrical projects, for example, might hire an instructor to train and help them. This kind of work may supplement teaching or could be the main focus of an electrician’s career.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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