Electricians ensure that electrical systems are safe and functioning properly by checking for hazards and repairing them as necessary. They follow national and local codes and safety standards, and they may also be responsible for installing protective devices like circuit breakers or surge protectors. Those with the right set of skills and education can find employment as independent contractors or in positions with companies that employ electricians.
The first step towards becoming an electrician is obtaining a high school diploma or GED certificate. This is a prerequisite for almost all trade schools and apprenticeship programs, and it’s important to take the time to complete this requirement thoroughly. Taking classes in mathematics, electronics, electrical theory, circuitry, motor controls, and welding will help prepare you for the demands of this profession.
Depending on the state and municipality where you plan to work, you may need to obtain a license in order to practice as an electrician. This typically involves passing an exam that tests your knowledge of the National Electrical Code, various electrical principles and concepts, safety protocols, and local laws and regulations.
Many electricians choose to become members of unions, which can help them find jobs and negotiate salaries with employers. If you decide to join a union, be prepared for the commitment of paying dues and submitting to mandatory meetings with union officials. It’s also important to know that electricians often work on emergency callouts, so you may have to be available at a moment’s notice.