Although the rewards are several, they come with responsibilities for the safety of the public and the electrician. An individual who wishes to be an electrician should be willing to comply with the codes as well as the safety rules created to protect the public. Similarly, one needs to have a wide understanding of the responsibilities of an electrician as well as his work context.

Job description

An electrician provides electrical equipment repair services to businesses and homes. He is responsible for setting up and maintaining fuses, electrical outlets and other sections involved in electricity flow. An electrician can specialize in either construction or maintenance. He must be able to study blue prints and maintain data, video and voice wiring. Companies often hire electricians to undertake installation of electrical equipment. Usually, they use both power tools such as saws and drills and hand tools like wire strippers, pliers and screwdrivers.

Caution

Electricity can be life threatening if not channelled or handled properly. The most harmful hazard an electrician can encounter is electrical shock, which can at times cause death. Other job hazards include falls when climbing scaffolds and ladders or injuries from cuts while using sharp tools like knives or saws. An electrician must comply with safety rules associated with working with electricity. Likewise, he is responsible for providing public safety by following regulations or codes that have been put into place pertaining electrical appliances and electricity. It is necessary that electricians follow state, local codes as well as national electrical codes.

Types of electricians

Electricians are of three major types namely factory, maintenance and construction. Normally, an electrician concentrates on only one major area though some function in both the maintenance and construction field. Construction electricians set up wiring systems to new constructions such as factories, businesses and homes. They also set up electrical outlets, breaker boxes and other electrical system components. On the other hand, maintenance electricians are in charge of repairing, replacing and inspecting wiring systems. The tasks involve troubleshooting for electrical faults, replacing faulty wires or other components such as light switches, electrical outlets and breaker boxes. Factory electricians troubleshoot, install and undertake maintenance tasks on motors, industrial robots, electrical generators and controls on machinery.

Educational requirements

To become an electrician, you need to register in an apprenticeship program. The program combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction under the supervision of qualified electricians. To register in such a program, you should have a GED or high school diploma. Additionally, you must be not less than 18 years of age. Generally, these apprenticeship programs last for four years. They include 144 hours and 2000 hours of classroom instruction and on-the-job training every year respectively.

Professional requirements

Most municipalities and states need licensed electricians. To get a license, one needs to pass an examination that tests the national electrical code, local building and electrical codes and knowledge of electrical theory. An electrician should have eye-hand coordination and good manual dexterity. He must also possess a good sense of balance as well as be physically fit. Since an electrician should be able to recognize wires by colour, great colour vision is essential. To succeed also in this career one needs to have certain personal qualities or soft skills. Strong troubleshooting skills will enable the electrician to find out the major cause of electrical problems and how well to fix them. Critical thinking skills are also useful as they assist the professional in evaluating the pros and cons of probable solutions.

Salary

The salary range of an electrician falls between $12 and $35 per hour. On the other hand, the average salary that he earns is approximately $21 per hour. Wages paid hourly are based on experience. The salary increases as the electrician earns more experience. Benefits are also dependent upon the organization for which the professional works. Similarly, it depends on whether the electrician is a union member or not. Many unions represent electricians, though this depends on the kind of field the professional works in. In respect to the wage potential, the increase in the number of jobs within the electrical field often depends on certain factors such as state of the economy and the population growth.

Advancement Opportunities

A qualified electrician has several opportunities for advancement. He can advance to a supervisor or a project manager in construction firm. A few electricians choose to venture into business and become contractors. Others also climb to the position of electrical inspectors for municipalities.

In sum, electricians are important in our day-to-day life. They provide us with a range of electrical services, which improve our comfort and lives more.

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