Are you considering a career as an electrician? It is important to know that there is a lot of work involved in becoming a professional in this trade. It is a physically demanding job, and you will be exposed to hazards on a daily basis.
However, no day will be the same which makes for a very exciting job, and you will earn a good salary. With enough experience, you may decide to become a self-employed electrician and so you can work the hours that you choose and manage your workload.
How to get started
You will need to take part in formal training to become an electrician. This may involve enrolling at a technical training school or gaining an apprenticeship, some of which may be paid. The training program lasts four years.
Once you have completed your training you should secure a job with a reputable organisation like Lincoln Electric. During your first year after graduating from your training program, you will most likely be assigned a mentor who you will shadow and who will give you on the job training.
As a junior electrician, you may be required to transport equipment, so it is a good idea that you have a driving licence before starting employment. If you find yourself doing less interesting jobs at the beginning of your career, do not be disheartened. You will be learning a great deal and if you show that you are willing, hardworking and a team-player your colleagues will notice this.
You will, in most cases, require a license to become a professional electrician. This will require satisfactory completion of exams and you will have to prove you have worked a set amount of hours in the trade. The license requirements change depending on your location so make sure you are aware of the details that apply to you.
What to expect
You should be in good health and fit if you are thinking about a career as an electrician. It is a physically demanding job. You will be moving around most of the time, bending over a lot and climbing ladders. You will also need good eyesight or correct eyewear when dealing with more intricate problems. The environment you work in will change on a daily basis so you may find yourself outside in the rain, indoors in dusty buildings, underground in a confined space or up very high.
The work can also be dangerous. Electricians are obviously at risk of receiving an electric shock. They are often required to climb ladders or scaffolding and so risk injury from falling. However, you will have to complete and comply with health and safety training so that you can perform your job in a safe way.
Most electricians work a conventional 40-hour week. However, some overtime and weekend work may be necessary, depending on the type of work you are involved in.
The average salary of an experienced electrician is $65,000. Apprentices and newly qualified electricians will be earning less, but you can have the confidence that if you work hard you will receive a very generous income.