What are the duties of an electrician?

Electricians are responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining electrical wiring and equipment. They use various tools and skills to perform their job duties, including interpreting diagrams and blueprints, reading technical manuals, testing equipment and troubleshooting malfunctions. They may work on commercial, residential or industrial projects and must adhere to local and state regulations governing electrical safety and standards.

An Electrician must have a number of qualities to be successful in their career, such as excellent critical thinking and communication skills. They must be able to read and interpret complex wiring schematics as well as understand the physical demands of the job, which can include working with high voltage lines positioned hundreds of feet above the ground.

Some electricians work for companies while others operate their own independent businesses, which requires strong business management skills and the ability to interact directly with customers. They may also need to negotiate contracts, invoicing and payment terms. For electricians who are self-employed, customer service is particularly important as satisfied clients will often refer their friends and family to the business.

A typical career path for an aspiring electrician begins with completing a high school diploma or equivalent. Many vocational schools offer certificate programs and career diplomas specifically in the field of electrical technology, while some community colleges also have associate degree options that can provide a broader education in preparation for a career as an electrician.

Most electricians enter the workforce through an apprenticeship, which can last up to five years. These apprenticeships are offered through both union and non-union organizations, such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Apprenticeships typically require the completion of a trade school program or an equivalent level of educational achievement.

After completing their apprenticeship, electricians are usually eligible to apply for journeyman status. This can allow them to take on more challenging projects and earn higher pay rates. Some electricians choose to continue their education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field, which can help them advance to management positions.

An electrical engineer is a specialist who designs and builds complex electrical systems for various industries. These systems can include power distribution networks, lighting and control circuits. Electrical engineers may also be responsible for testing and analyzing electrical equipment. They must be familiar with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and other industry standards.