An electrician is a professional tradesman specializing not only in electrical wiring but also in electrical maintenance and installation of electrical equipment, stationary machinery, and other related apparatus. Electricians can be employed by a variety of private firms or large public utilities to undertake work associated with electrical systems. Electricians can be specialized in any given field as per their experience, qualifications and skills. Electricians performing work for government institutions and schools need to possess certain skills and work experience which are relevant to such work.
Electricians perform work on both new electrical components and retrofits of old electrical wiring. Some of the tasks performed by electricians include installing and repairing communications systems, new and upgrading circuit breaker units and ventilation fans, installing and repairing power distribution systems, installing and repairing security fencing, repairing lighting fittings, and installing and repairing interior and exterior conduit systems. Electrician also helps to provide information about various electrical products including installation, operation, maintenance, design, and repair of electrical equipment and instruments. Electrician performs functions such as testing, maintaining, inspecting, servicing, and replacing transformers, fuses, circuit breakers, generators, electrical wiring, home wiring, and telephone wiring.
Electricians use different kinds of equipment like measuring devices, pliers, screwdrivers, hammers, wire strippers, wrenches, sockets and wiring. They need to wear protective clothing to protect themselves against electric shock. Electrician uses various types of tools like wire strippers, pliers, electrical cable cutters, and electrical cable strippers. They may also use wrenches to help remove nuts and bolts from the walls and ceilings.
There are two types of electrician – Journeyman and Master. Journeyman level is the first level which typically requires minimal training and work experience. The apprentice has no formal training but can perform basic tasks easily. As an apprentice, an electrician would learn how to handle different kinds of tools, do light and heavy work, and install and repair electrical devices. At journeyman level, electricians gain more knowledge and skills in installing and repairing appliances. However, the apprentice still needs to master the basics of electricity so he/she may not perform complicated jobs.
As the level progresses, journeyman electricians gain more skills as he/she begins to perform more complex task related to wiring. He/she also learns how to read blueprints, select and use wiring products, how to properly organize electrical materials, how to safely work with wiring, and read the latest safety standards and codes. A journeyman electrician also learns how to safely and securely install lighting and ventilation systems, install and repair cable systems, install and fix circuit breakers, and how to safely operate and maintain various types of apparatus such as computers and telephones. Finally, he/she becomes a certified electrician which means he/she holds a professional license issued by the state that he/she is working in.
The intermediate level of the education is where students begin to understand how electrical systems work and what they are composed of. As students continue to learn and gain more knowledge, they will become adept at handling some commercial electrical systems. Students can be expected to perform routine work like installing exterior lighting, installing interior light fixtures, and fixing ceiling fans. More complex jobs such as installing central air conditioning systems, making repairs to electrical equipment, and installing security alarms are not completed in this phase of the education.
Finally, electricians work their way up to the career pinnacle. Electricians who obtain a certification are able to find a better paying job as an electrician or contractor. There are many advantages for electricians in the construction industry including having the opportunity to work for a variety of clients. Electricians have the opportunity to work on building complexes, office buildings, schools, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, industrial parks, etc. There are even construction firms that hire electricians to oversee their entire construction process.
All in all, becoming an electrician can be a rewarding and exciting career. Although the educational requirements differ by state, the work is generally well compensated with great benefits and a fast paced pace. To learn more about the job industry, contact a career center today.