Electrician work on electrical systems including power, lighting and data connections. They also inspect, repair and install equipment wiring and fixtures. Some specialise in a particular area, such as electrical components on airplanes or data and cable lines. They may also oversee other electrical tradespeople. The career is highly sought after by high school graduates, particularly those with a good aptitude for math and science.
Electrician careers offer strong job security, decent pay and the promise of a lifelong, fulfilling career. Those interested in the profession should consider taking a vocational education and training (VET) course or attending an apprenticeship to get started. Generally, college degrees are not required for electricians but many employers appreciate the addition of an associate degree on your resume.
The first step in becoming an electrician is earning your high school diploma, which can be done online. From there, you can choose to complete a certificate, diploma or advanced diploma in electrotechnology. These courses combine classroom study with hands-on training to prepare you for work in the industry. The course duration varies from one year to four years, depending on the program you choose.
You can start preparing for a career as an electrician while still at school by completing a VET course, such as the Certificate II in Electrotechnology – Career Start (UEE22020). This is an ideal option if you’re not sure if being an electrician is the right fit for you and would like to sample the industry. The qualification is often completed in just nine months and provides a great introduction to electrical work.
After completing high school, you can pursue a formal apprenticeship with an electrical company. The amount of time it takes to become a journeyman electrician depends on the state and locality you live in. Some apprenticeships are offered by trade schools while others can be arranged through independent electrical contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors or Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees.
Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you’ll need to obtain a license. Licensing requirements vary by state and region so it’s important to research the specific requirements in your area. Licensed electricians are generally expected to have a certain number of hours of on-the-job experience under the supervision of a master electrician.
Some states require licensed electricians to take continuing education courses in order to maintain their licensing status. Continuing education is an important aspect of being an electrician as it keeps you up-to-date with new technologies and techniques in the field. It’s important to find a training provider that offers relevant certifications in your area. These credentials can add to your resume and help you land a higher-paying job as an electrician. It’s also a great way to gain confidence in your skills and demonstrate your commitment to the career.