Around 79,900 vacancies are projected for electricians each year, on average, over the decade. The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or the decline in employment and, in some cases, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job offers. Research what it takes to become an electrician. Learn about job prospects, licensing, training requirements and salary to find out if this is the career for you.
An electrician's job is to install and repair various electrical components. Electricians can work independently or as employees, and while most visit people's homes, some may work exclusively in public facilities. After graduating from high school, formal training is required to begin a career as an electrician. Learn about training options and related professional information by reading the table below.
As an electrician, you install and repair energy systems for residential or commercial buildings. While the type of maintenance work performed can vary considerably, hand and power tools are typically used to connect electrical wiring to circuit breakers, transformers, sockets and other appropriate components. Its main function in any situation is to ensure a safe and reliable flow of energy. Your job as an electrician also requires you to focus and comply with safety procedures to avoid accidental injuries, such as electric shock.
You may need to read and analyze the drawings to determine where the circuits are formed. Once you have finished the wiring, you can use measuring devices to test the connections and measure the amount of electricity flowing through a particular system. A standard 40-hour workweek is common in the profession, but power outages can result in overtime or working nights and on weekends if you work for a utility company. As an aspiring electrician, your first step is to complete an internship program, which includes classroom studies and practical experience.
To be eligible for an internship, you must normally be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma and pass an aptitude test that covers basic algebra skills. Apprenticeships typically take 3 to 5 years to complete, and each year includes a minimum of 144 hours of formal instruction and 2000 hours of paid on-the-job training. An experienced electrician will supervise you as you learn about the national electrical code, blueprint reading, fiber optics, transformers, electrical theory and safety procedures, as well as residential, commercial, and industrial wiring. You can also progress faster in your training if you take electrician courses at technical or vocational schools before starting an internship.
Most states require electricians to be licensed. Although the process of obtaining a license varies from state to state, it is usually necessary to pass an exam that evaluates your knowledge of the national electrical code and specific state codes. Considering that almost all buildings have some type of electrical energy, it is expected that the increase in new construction will mean more job prospects for electricians.