Maybe you want to learn electrical work but don’t know the trade to pick. Choosing electrician career paths is always confusing, mostly for newbies. But as an expert in electrical installations, I will make sure I guide you into choosing the best electrical trade.
Becoming an electrician requires a diploma qualification or its equivalent, and a four to five-year apprenticeship program to learn the job.
A successful apprentice receives a license after the training program, however, it is country based. You can contact your state electrical licensing board or visit the National Electrical Contractors Association’s website for details.
Work of electricians
Electricians do a lot of work like installations, wiring, troubleshooting and repair of electrical faults. Others include:
- Installation of the electrical system in a new house
- Inspection of electrical devices such as circuit breakers and transformers
- Troubleshooting electrical faults using testing tools
- Read blueprints and electrical drawings
- Repair and replacement of electrical equipment using hand and power tools
- Direct and train apprentices on how to install and repair electrical wiring and equipment
- Follow state and local building regulations as recommended by the National Electrical Code.
Electrician carrier paths.
An apprentice electrician works under the supervision of a licensed electrician for about 4 to 5 years. He also takes approved classes during the job-training.
After the electrical training, the apprentice takes a journeyman’s licence exam. If he excels, he becomes a journeyman electrician.
A journeyman electrician can read blueprints, wire a building, provide cost estimates, and also troubleshoot electrical faults.
A journeyman electrician works under a master electrician for at least two years to become a master electrician. Master electricians have licences and are more experienced than journeymen.
They can work unsupervised, pull permits, and also guide other electricians. Master electricians train apprentices and also receive higher pay than journeymen.
An electrical contractor is a person or firm that specializes in construction work such as installation and maintenance of electrical systems.
The contractor may not be an electrician but must have a licence and insurance to cover his business. In most cases, they hire electricians to work for them.
These electricians work on transmission and distribution lines. They install, repair and maintain high powered electrical lines. A lineman electrician also called ground man can run and repair both underground and overhead cables.
They mostly work in energy companies, telecommunication, and utility companies.
A residential electrician is a licensed person who works in residential buildings. It requires apprenticeship training and some practical work experience.
The work of a residential electrician includes
- House wiring
- Blueprint reading
- Inspection of electrical components to make sure they are ok
- Troubleshooting and repairs of an electrical system
- Replacing bad and worn out materials
- Make sure all his wiring follows the national electrical code recommendation.
Industrial electricians work in factories, plants and industrial establishments. They install, repair and maintain electrical components in industries.
Other duties of an industrial electrician include
- Installing and repairing transformers, meters, circuit breakers and others
- Installation and maintenance of electrical wiring, outlets, conduits and other components
- Working on alternators, generators, electrical motors, industrial storage batteries, and others.
Network cabling specialist
These electricians work in telecommunication and network providing companies. They install, maintain and upgrade communication systems for voice, data and video transmission.
Their work includes
- Performing system upgrades
- Installation of wall adapters and telecommunication outlets
- Installing CATV equipment
- Routing cables through data centres and buildings.
Security and fire-alarm installer
These electricians specialize in the installation of security and fire alarm systems. Their work includes
- Installation of video cameras and sensors on doors and windows
- Installation and repair of doorbells and security systems
- Installing electrical systems and components
- Mounting and fastening control panels, etc.
Another career path for electricians I will not forget is commercial electrician, that’s it. Take out your time, study the training programs and choose the one that suits you.