Electricians are in charge of installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems. These professionals typically work on large commercial and residential projects. They may also be responsible for specialized electrical work, such as working with solar energy or refrigeration systems. Some electricians operate as sole traders while others are employed by electrical businesses. Specialising in a particular facet of the industry can boost earning potential, but it’s also important to have solid skills across all sectors of the industry.
Those interested in becoming an Electrician should start by gaining a high school diploma or GED certificate. It’s a good idea to focus on math and science courses during high school to ensure you have a strong foundation for your career. You can then find a vocational or trade school that offers an apprenticeship program. These programs usually last four to five years and include on-the-job training alongside a master or journey electrician. You’ll be paid for your time and receive valuable experience while pursuing your license.
Once you’ve completed your trade school or apprenticeship program, you’ll need to pass a licensing exam. This is typically administered by PSI and involves a written test that includes multiple-choice questions. The questions are based on the National Electrical Code and Washington Administrative Code, so you can use approved reference materials to help prepare. You’ll need to score at least 70% to pass the exam. If you don’t pass, you can retake the exam within two weeks.
After passing the licensing exam, you’ll need to complete an electrical experience report for your employer. This document will detail the types of work you’ve performed as an apprentice and demonstrate that you have the skills necessary to be a licensed electrician. The experience report will also help you find employment after you’ve passed your license exam.
As a licensed electrician, you’ll need to renew your license every two years. The renewal process depends on your state’s rules and regulations. Some states require you to attend continuing education classes while others only need proof that you’ve maintained your skills. To learn more about the renewal process in your state, contact your local regulatory authority.
Those who enjoy hands-on work and the thrill of creating something from scratch might enjoy a career as an electrician. The job can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding when you see the results of your labor. Many electricians are self-motivated and enjoy working alone. However, some prefer to be a part of a team and enjoy working with other people.