What Does an Electrician Do?
Electrician Fort Worth TX install, repair, and troubleshoot electrical wiring, fixtures, switches, and other devices. They also inspect and test these systems to ensure they meet safety regulations.
To become an electrician, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and complete an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs typically take several years to complete.
The primary job of an electrician is to keep current flowing safely and reliably to outlets and electrical equipment. They also design and install indoor and outdoor electrical control, wiring, and lighting systems. They often work with architects, engineers, and contractors to address functionality and safety issues. They may also work with customers to understand their requirements and ensure that the finished product meets all applicable standards and codes.
Electricians may specialize in residential, commercial, or industrial settings. They may also focus on particular aspects of these systems, such as wiring in new construction or repairing existing wiring. They can also be responsible for installing specialized lighting or security equipment in offices and retail stores. Other responsibilities include:
- Documenting electrical repairs.
- Maintaining records and files.
- Monitoring purchasing.
- Performing preventive maintenance on electrical systems.
An Apprentice Electrician is closely supervised and works with a Master or Journeyman electrician. They can handle up to 50 volts but must have their work reviewed frequently. They must be able to read blueprints, schematics, plans, and manufacturer specifications and install and troubleshoot power distribution devices. They should also be able to operate tools and testing devices.
Industrial electricians work in factories and warehouses, ensuring the electrical system is up to code and providing uninterrupted power. They can also repair or upgrade robotic equipment on production lines. Some electricians specialize in marine or research electrical systems, while others may work at hospitals. They may even be called on to perform emergency repairs on critical power infrastructure.
To become an electrician, you will need a high school diploma and an apprenticeship program that combines classroom instruction and on-the-job training. The apprenticeship will take 4-5 years, and most states require licensure as a Journeyman Electrician. You can also earn a two-year associate degree in an electrical trade school, giving you the skills to begin your career. You will need to be physically fit and have excellent color vision, as you must be able to identify wires by their color. You must also wear protective gear, such as gloves and eyewear.
Electricians connect electrical power from its source to end-users and perform testing, maintenance, and repairs to keep systems functioning properly. They work in diverse settings, from residential homes to large commercial buildings. This variety of experiences allows electricians to see the tangible results of their work firsthand, as functioning electrical systems improve lives and businesses. They also perform several other duties, such as administering first aid or CPR, providing professional advice to customers, and ordering parts. They may also be responsible for removing trees, branches, and brushes that interfere with power lines or electrical utility rights.
There are several education and training requirements for becoming a qualified electrician. Most electricians complete a four- or five-year apprenticeship program, which includes 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and technical instruction. In some cases, related experience or completing a community college or technical institute program can shorten the apprenticeship length.
Apprenticeship programs typically include courses in electrical theory, blueprint reading, residential wiring, electric motors, and AC circuitry. Some programs offer an internship, which gives students the chance to gain on-the-job experience with an electrical contractor. In addition, some apprenticeship programs allow for the transfer of academic credits toward a bachelor’s degree program.
Another option for education and training is to attend a trade school, which offers a certificate program or an associate’s degree in electrical technology. These programs are typically located on a campus and feature labs to provide hands-on training. They also offer courses in mathematics, electrical theory, and blueprint reading.
Attending trade school can be expensive, so if you’re unsure how to pay, you should apply for financial assistance. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) can show you what grants, scholarships, and loans you qualify for with a single application. You can also use your savings to pay for school. It’s important to have enough money saved to cover tuition and living expenses, as it can take a while to get a job as an electrician. This will give you a solid foundation to start your career and save you from going into debt.
Depending on their specialization, electricians may work in residential homes to assist homeowners with electrical problems, in commercial buildings to repair or install wiring for various appliances and equipment, and in construction sites to oversee electrical and telecommunications systems as structures are built or refurbished. They typically travel from site to site, although they can stay in the same place for days or weeks while working on one project. They use various tools and materials and must be physically strong enough to climb ladders and scaffolding and lift heavy objects.
They must maintain records of their projects and follow evolving technologies and safety standards in the field. They often work with other people and must have excellent teamwork skills to help them solve problems and resolve technical issues. They may also need to communicate with clients and supervisors to determine their needs, prepare technical drawings and blueprints, and plan and prepare work orders.
In addition to installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical circuits, motors, and other equipment, electricians may also be responsible for testing and analyzing the condition of power transformers, generators, and large storage battery banks. They may also perform rigging to facilitate the removal and transportation of electrical equipment, including up to 7,000 HP synchronous motors.
Electricians can expect to work long hours, especially during peak building and maintenance periods. They must be available to work nights and weekends and be on call for emergency repairs. While many electricians work full-time, some work freelance and keep a more sporadic schedule. This type of career is perfect for those who like to vary their working environment and want to be free of office space. In addition to being an intensive physical job, it can also be very stressful. For this reason, it is important to have a strong support system at home and an open mind to learn new things every day. The best way to prepare for the job is to get as much experience as possible by completing an internship or a four- or five-year apprenticeship program.
The salary of an Electrician depends on the state where they live and their experience level. Electricians in higher-income states generally make more money than those in lower-income states. The salary also varies by specialization. For example, commercial electricians often earn more than industrial electricians. The average wage for a licensed electrician is $67,500. This figure does not include the various benefits accompanying employment, such as health insurance, which employers typically provide.
The first step in earning a higher salary as an electrician is to get a higher-level license. This will increase your job security and allow you to work more complex jobs. A permit can be obtained through a vocational school or apprenticeship program. A license can take up to four years and may cost several thousand dollars.
Licensed electricians earn a similar salary as drafters, usually making more than solar panel installers and plumbers. On average, electricians make less than crane operators but more than brick masons. However, their work ethic is the most important factor in determining an electrician’s salary. Their bosses will reward them if they work hard and show up on time daily.
Consider returning to school for additional certifications to make more money as an electrician. This will not only improve your career opportunities, but it will also make you more valuable to clients. Additionally, if you can find the right marketing strategy for your business, you can maximize your profit potential.
Investing in payroll software for the trades is another great way to increase your income as an electrician. ServiceTitan, for instance, allows you to streamline your payroll processing and eliminate the need for manual entries. It can also help you save time by automatically calculating your workers’ paychecks and overtime. It also integrates with QuickBooks and Sage Intacct, which can help you manage your finances better. These tools can also help you track customer records and increase revenue.