Start your journey towards becoming an electrician with our comprehensive guide. Learn about the education, training, and certification requirements needed to succeed in this rewarding career.
The field of electrical work is not only a stable and lucrative career choice, but also a rewarding one that allows for personal growth and job security. As an electrician, you will be responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems in residential, commercial, and industrial spaces, ensuring that people can live and work in a safe environment. This article aims to provide aspiring electricians with a comprehensive guide on how to get started in this profession, including the requirements, education, and training needed to be successful. Additionally, we will provide a few links to online courses and schools that can help you get started on your journey to becoming an electrician.
Requirements to Becoming an Electrician
- Education and Training
The first step to becoming an electrician is to obtain the necessary education and training. Most electricians begin their careers by completing a high school diploma or GED, with courses in mathematics, science, and technical subjects. These foundational courses provide a strong basis for the more advanced electrical theory and practical skills that will be required later on.
Next, aspiring electricians must complete an apprenticeship program, which typically lasts four to five years. These programs combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed electrician. Apprentices learn about electrical theory, blueprint reading, electrical code requirements, safety practices, and first aid, among other topics. They also gain hands-on experience in installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems.
Upon completing their apprenticeship, electricians must pass a licensing exam to become a journeyman electrician. This exam tests their knowledge of electrical theory, local electrical codes, and safety practices. Once licensed, electricians can work independently and continue their education to become a master electrician, which requires additional experience and passing another exam.
- Skills and Qualities
Successful electricians possess a variety of skills and personal qualities that enable them to excel in their field. Some of the most important skills include:
Problem-solving: Electricians must be able to identify issues with electrical systems and determine the most effective solutions.
Critical thinking: Electricians need to be able to understand complex electrical systems and use logic to make sound decisions.
Physical stamina: Electricians often work on their feet for long periods, and may need to lift heavy equipment or materials.
Manual dexterity: Electricians must be able to work with small tools and components, often in tight spaces.
Communication: Electricians must be able to effectively communicate with clients, coworkers, and other professionals to ensure that projects are completed successfully and safely.
In addition to these skills, electricians should have a strong work ethic, be detail-oriented, and have a commitment to safety.
- Certification and Licensing
To work as an electrician, you must obtain the appropriate licenses and certifications for your state or jurisdiction. Licensing requirements vary, but generally include completing an apprenticeship program, passing an exam, and obtaining a certain amount of work experience. Many states also require electricians to complete continuing education courses to maintain their licenses.
Some electricians choose to pursue additional certifications to specialize in a specific area of the field, such as solar installation or industrial controls. These certifications can help electricians stand out in the job market and may lead to higher-paying positions.
Electrician Online Courses and Schools
- Penn Foster College's Residential Electrician Program
Penn Foster College offers an online residential electrician program that provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to begin an entry-level career in the electrical field. This program covers topics such as electrical theory, wiring, and circuitry, as well as safety and building codes. Students also have the option to participate in an externship to gain hands-on experience in the field. Upon completion, graduates are prepared to enter an apprenticeship program or pursue further education.
Learn more about Penn Foster College's Residential Electrician program here.
- Ashworth College's Electrician Training Program
Ashworth College offers an online electrician training program that covers the fundamentals of electrical work, including wiring, circuits, and electrical codes. This program is designed to help students gain the knowledge needed to enter an apprenticeship program or start their own electrical contracting business. Graduates also receive a set of professional-grade tools to help them get started in their careers.
Learn more about Ashworth College's Electrician Training program here.
- Alison's Introduction to Electrical Wiring Systems
Alison offers a free online course that provides an introduction to electrical wiring systems, covering topics such as electrical symbols and diagrams, wiring techniques, and electrical safety. This course is suitable for those who are interested in learning the basics of electrical work or who are considering a career as an electrician.
Learn more about Alison's Introduction to Electrical Wiring Systems course here.
Becoming an electrician is a rewarding career choice that offers stability, job security, and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. With the proper education, training, and certifications, aspiring electricians can develop the skills needed to excel in this field. By taking advantage of online courses and schools, individuals can get started on their journey to becoming an electrician from the comfort of their own homes. With dedication and hard work, a successful career as an electrician is well within reach.