How to Become an Electrician

Electricians install electrical power and systems in homes, buildings, and factories. They also repair and maintain them. They use their knowledge of blueprints, wiring, circuitry, and safety standards.Electrician

They are a great career option for people who want to work hard and leave a mark on the world. It can be a lucrative job that can help you avoid the burden of student debt and start earning money sooner. Visit to learn more.

A career as an electrician requires a high school diploma or GED certificate and extensive on-the-job training. Some vocational schools offer two-year programs that include both classroom instruction and apprenticeships. These programs focus on basic electrical principles and skills, wiring basics, and safety protocols.

In addition to educational requirements, electricians must be physically fit and able to work in cramped spaces. They must also be able to use hand tools and a ladder. They often need to perform routine maintenance and repairs during the day, evening, and weekend, so they must be available for shift work and on-call emergencies.

Electricians are also required to abide by all local, state, and federal laws related to the installation, operation, and repair of electrical equipment. They must also be able to read and interpret blueprints, schematics, and diagrams. They may also need to make calculations on the fly, using standard equations for voltage, load, and other electrical variables.

Some electricians specialize in specific areas of the field. For example, a solar energy electrician is trained to install and repair solar panels and other renewable-energy equipment. Others may focus on commercial or industrial projects, such as power distribution and lighting systems.

Almost all states require that electricians obtain a license. They must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of the National Electrical Code, various electrical concepts, and safety practices. Some states have apprentice licensing requirements, while others require journeymen to have a certain number of years of experience and meet other criteria before applying for a master electrician license. In some cases, experienced electricians can become supervisors or even contractors. However, establishing a contracting business requires substantial capital and management skills.


Those looking to become electricians should first enroll in a trade school or vocational program. These programs usually offer classroom instruction as well as hands-on training with real tools and equipment. Students will learn skills like soldering, blueprint reading, mathematics, electrical code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. In addition, some programs may provide specialized training in areas like fire alarm systems or elevators. Various groups sponsor these apprenticeships, including unions and contracting companies.

Once students have completed their trade school or apprenticeship, they should apply for a state license. This process varies by state, but most require passing written and practical exams. The exam content will vary, but most states focus on the National Electric Code, general electrical safety protocols, and common trade skills. In addition, some states may also include other relevant topics, such as drywall installations, house painting, masonry, plumbing, alternative energy solutions, and home equipment repair.

In the United States, many aspiring electricians choose to enroll in a pre-apprenticeship program at a vocational school or community college. This program can help prepare them for an apprenticeship, which typically lasts four years. During this time, a student will earn a salary and be mentored by a master electrician.

Some schools also offer a two-year associate degree in electrical technology. These degrees often cover the same material as apprentice programs, but they also provide a more broad education and may open up doors to four-year bachelor’s degree programs. Aspiring electricians should also consider pursuing a post-secondary certificate in specific areas of the field, such as renewable energy or industrial electrical technology. Other qualifications that aspiring electricians should look for include normal color vision, good hand-eye coordination, and strong customer service skills.


Those interested in becoming an electrician must be willing to invest their time and energy into training programs that will prepare them for their career. They may also benefit from joining organizational chapters to keep up with new developments in the field. These updates may include national regulations on safety protocols, wiring and circuitry, alternative energy solutions, and more.

There are many ways to become an electrician, but the most common is through a state-approved trade school program. These schools typically have on-campus labs and instructors that teach hands-on skills. They may also offer a certificate or an associate degree in electrical technology.

Another option is to start an apprenticeship with a master electrician. This type of program offers paid on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Apprenticeships can be either union or non-union. If an apprentice chooses a union apprenticeship, they will be required to join a local union and pay dues. This process will take between four years and 10,000 hours.

After completing their education and apprenticeship, aspiring electricians should take the appropriate tests. They will need to pass a written exam that will cover the relevant National Electrical Code. They will also need to pass a physical exam, which can be difficult because of the repetitive motions involved in the job. Additionally, they will need to have good eyesight and be able to use hand tools. They will also need to have the physical endurance to work on ladders or scaffolding for extended periods of time. Finally, they will need to obtain a license from the state where they plan to work. This step varies by state, but usually involves filling out a form and paying a small fee.

Job duties

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures in buildings. They use hand tools and power tools to perform their duties. They also read and interpret blueprints, diagrams, and schematics. They inspect wiring, appliances, and fixtures to identify problems and ensure compliance with codes. Other job responsibilities include installing conduits and laying piping. They may also connect wires to circuit breakers and other devices.

They can work on a variety of projects, including residential, commercial, and industrial installations. They can work on small jobs, such as replacing switches and outlets, or larger projects, such as new construction or renovations. They can also specialize in certain types of installations, such as voice-data-video (VDV) or fire-alarm systems.

The career requires physical stamina and the ability to climb ladders and work in confined spaces. They must also be able to lift heavy objects. They often work outside and must be prepared for inclement weather. The work can be stressful and dangerous, but it also provides steady employment.

The primary division of electricians is between linemen, who work on electric utility company distribution systems and deal with higher voltages, and inside wiremen, who handle lower voltages used in buildings. The latter category can be further divided into sub-specialties, such as control and fire-alarm wiring. They can be paid by the hour or they can be certified journeypersons, who have passed an exam and have demonstrated skill and experience in their field. Journeypersons typically earn more than apprentices. They can also earn overtime. The career also offers excellent benefits, including health insurance and paid time off. In addition, some employers offer opportunities for advancement, management training, and the opportunity to use company tools and equipment.


Licensed electricians can make quite a bit of money, depending on the exact type of work they do. They can earn a lot more by working on construction projects, which typically involve longer than 8-hour work days and overtime. In addition, they can earn more if they are willing to work away from home, as construction sites in remote areas usually employ shift work in order to save on travel expenses and living allowances.

Electricians with specific skill sets can also earn more. For example, those who specialize in residential electrical repair are more valuable to their companies than those who focus on industrial and commercial. Knowing how to troubleshoot and fix electrical problems quickly will increase the revenue of a company and enhance its reputation in the industry.

Another way to boost an electrician’s salary is to become a supervisor. These professionals oversee a team of electricians and are responsible for training them to meet their company’s standards. They can also earn a higher salary by earning more seniority.

One of the most important factors that influence an electrician’s salary is their work ethic. If they show up to work on time and give it their all every day, their boss is likely to take notice. They will then reward them with a higher salary. It is also possible to advance a career as an electrician by staying up-to-date on the latest technological advancements. This will enable them to offer a more efficient and high-quality service to their clients, increasing the likelihood of repeat business. It can also improve their chances of landing a job with a different company in the future. Health insurance and retirement plans are other perks that many electricians can expect to receive.