How to Become an Electrician
Electricians work with electrical systems and equipment to provide safe, secure, and reliable electricity to their customers. They may work alone, or as part of a larger construction team. In addition to installing electrical wiring, electricians may also perform inspections, test equipment, and troubleshoot malfunctions.
An electrician’s career can lead to other opportunities such as owning a business or becoming an independent contractor. To become an electrician, a person must have a high school diploma or equivalent, a valid license, and apprenticeship or formal education. The exact requirements are regulated by each province and can vary. However, an electrician is typically required to be in good physical shape and have excellent communication and comprehension skills.
The best way to begin your path to becoming an electrician is to shadow an experienced electrician. It is also a good idea to ask a colleague to mentor you. He or she can give you tips on how to succeed and offer valuable advice.
For those who don’t want to commit to a full-time, four-year program, there are several certificate programs available. These courses are designed to train individuals in the technical aspects of the field, and are often a shortcut to an apprenticeship program. Some certificates can be completed in a matter of months, while others take a year or more.
An apprentice’s training will involve an average of 6,000 hours of on-the-job training, as well as 1,000 classroom hours. This will include a variety of practical and theoretical knowledge, including an understanding of the National Electrical Code. After completion, an apprentice should expect to be working in an apprenticeship for at least three years, or five if the apprentice is seeking certification from a specific organization.
If you have a higher-than-average aptitude for science and math, you could consider pursuing an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. Many colleges and technical institutes offer this type of degree, which is often a great option for those who want to begin their careers quickly. Most associate degree programs require two years to complete, and prepare students for jobs in the field immediately following graduation.
Another option is to attend trade school. This can be a great choice for those who learn better in a classroom setting. During a typical trade school program, an apprentice works one day per week in the classroom, and spends the other seven days on the job.
As with many occupations, a successful electrician will need steady hands and a keen eye. When working with electrical systems and products, it is important to be able to quickly solve problems. Excellent communication and critical thinking are also key.
Obtaining an apprenticeship or formal education will allow you to gain the necessary skills to start a rewarding career in this thriving industry. Depending on the type of work you want to do, you can specialize in areas such as residential or industrial electrical technology. You may even want to choose to specialize in renewable energy.