Do You Really Need Formal Training to Become an Electrician?

Do You Really Need Formal Training to Become an Electrician?

Some jobs can be performed without formal training. For example, you might be able to start working as a handyman or cleaner without having to attend trade school and complete an apprenticeship. Unfortunately, electrician isn't one of these jobs because the work is very technical and potentially dangerous. Each state has different requirements, but it's virtually impossible to work as an electrician without job training.

Fortunately, this doesn't mean that you'll have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your education and acquire a lot of student debt. The most time-consuming part of your training will be your apprenticeship, during which you might already receive payment. Although your apprentice salary won't be as high as that of a qualified electrician, you'll be able to support yourself while you learn.

How to Become an Electrician

As mentioned, there isn't a single path for aspiring electricians because different areas of the country have different requirements. It's likely that you'll need to have a high school diploma or a GED to apply for apprenticeships and schools. Almost everyone has to go through an apprentice program, but vocational or trade school is usually optional. After 5-6 years, you'll be a fully qualified journeyman electrician, and you can start working in a company or on your own.

Earn Your High School Diploma

You won't need to go to a four-year college to become an electrician, but you will need a high school diploma or a GED. This is because certain math and science skills are necessary for the job. If you already know ahead of time that you'd like to work as an electrician, you can take subjects that will be useful later on. Algebra and trigonometry could be good choices because you'll frequently need to measure angles, calculate force, and determine lengths.

Another great school subject for aspiring electricians is physics, since it will help you to understand scientific concepts to do your job. Your school might also offer some practical classes, for example, ones related to mechanical drawing. These can offer you a good foundation for when you need to design electrical systems. Finally, don't forget to take English because you'll need good oral and written communication skills to interact with peers and customers.

Consider Attending Trade School

In many areas, trade or vocational school isn't mandatory, but it can give you an edge over the competition when applying for apprenticeships, especially if you didn't take all the above-mentioned subjects in school. There are full four-year courses available, which include both practical and theoretical study, but there are also shorter programs.

When deciding whether to enroll in a training course, it's important to note that some of your school hours can replace apprenticeship hours. Therefore, you might not need to spend as many years in an apprenticeship position if you've already attended electrician school.

Complete an Apprenticeship

The apprenticeship is the core part of your education, and it can last for up to six years. You can apply through your trade school, through a union such as The Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees, or through another organization like the Independent Electrical Contractors. You might have to complete an aptitude test as part of your application, and in some areas, you have to register as an apprentice electrician before being allowed to start work.

During your apprenticeship, you'll learn and hone all the skills you need to be successful as an electrician. These might include reading and constructing technical diagrams, installing and repairing electrical systems, making sure that your work complies with national and local regulations, and using specialized tools.

Get Certified or Licensed

At the end of your apprenticeship, you'll receive your certification or license, so you can start working as a journeyman electrician. By this time, you will have spent up to 10,000 hours working with more experienced professionals, and you'll be ready to start a professional career. In some areas, you'll have to pass an electrical exam, but in others, assessments administered by your organization or master electrician are enough.

Is Electrician a Good Job?

As you can see, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work to become a qualified electrician. So, is it worth it? Will you be able to earn a good wage after you've completed your training? The answer is that electricians can make an above-average salary in most areas of the United States because they are in high demand. This isn't likely to change in the next few years, as technology is becoming more and more important in our lives.

When you first qualify, you might make between $20-25 per hour, but you can soon earn $30 or more if you perform well at your job. What's more, you can set up your own electrician business and further increase your income. It's also worth noting that electricians are needed all around the country, so you won't struggle to find a job even if you move to a different state.

How Can I Maximize My Career?

After completing their apprenticeship and working for several years, many electricians start their own small companies. This is a great way of maximizing their income because they don't have to share profits with their boss, and they can even hire other electricians to work for them. If you have good business instincts and you're able to provide great customer service, it's likely that your company will be successful.

Becoming an electrician is a long process that involves getting your high school diploma and spending 4-6 years learning from a more seasoned technician. For many people, this career is an excellent choice because it allows them to earn a good income and start their own businesses. Send us a message at ServiceBox to find out more about how to become an electrician, how to set up your company, and how to use our software to maximize your profits.

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