There are many classes and certifications that you can take that will help you become a great electrician that does work safely and effectively. Here are the steps you need as you learn how to become an electrician.
How to Become an Electrician: 6 Steps to Take
1. Find a School
Finding a good school is the first thing that you need to do to become an electrician. The electric field is a very specialized trade. Learning the ins and outs of the trade effectively from the beginning can keep you from making serious errors in your work. Schools vary in their quality of teaching, so you want to find a good trade school that will give you the quality certifications you need.
Not every school teaches trades like becoming an electrician. Specific schools like trade schools or vocational colleges can help you get the skills and experience you need to get a headstart in this great career. In your specialized classes, you'll be able to learn how to do electrical work up to code in your location. You'll also learn about safety in the workplace. Some schools will give you great hands-on experience so that you are ready for the next step.
2. Find an Apprenticeship
Finding a good apprenticeship can be difficult and often highly competitive. A variety of organizations offer apprenticeships. You can also often find apprenticeship openings online on job listing sites. You will want to start thinking about applying for an apprenticeship early, maybe even before you've finished school, because finding a placement can often take some time, and you don't want to just grab the first option that becomes available.
Just like you want to find a good apprenticeship, employers want to find good apprentices. You will have to interview for your position and pass a drug test in order to be hired. In addition, you'll need to take a test that shows you are qualified to do the basic skills needed for the position they will put you in. Going to a great school will help you be able to pass these tests and interviews with ease.
Registering to work as an electrical apprentice is different in every state, so you will need to check the requirements in your state. Making sure that you are working legally with the proper permits and licenses is important and can help you avoid heavy fines and penalties. You will need to check with your local licensing department to see what you need to do to get registered properly in your state.
If you want to make things a little easier on yourself, talking with your local licensing department can help you through the process of becoming an electrician in the right order. Sometimes it's hard to know which order everything needs to go in when you are looking at getting licensed, so having a conversation with them upfront can be very helpful.
4. Take the Test
Many states require you to pass a rigorous state board exam in order to become licensed. Studying for this test beforehand is a good idea as the test can be expensive to re-take. As mentioned previously, going to a trade school and through an apprenticeship will really give you a head start on what you need to know to pass this exam. Not only will you have classroom knowledge, but also hands-on experience that will help you through this test.
Find a location and schedule your exam ahead of time to make sure you can get it done when you need to. These tests are not given all the time, and there may be other qualifications that you need to complete in your state before you can take the exam. Checking these details ahead of time will help you be able to continue smoothly on your path toward becoming an electrician without being held up by waiting to take your test.
5. Get Licensed and/or Certified
After you have passed your state boards, you need to get your license or certification. As mentioned previously and something to keep in mind, each state has its own rules and laws about licensure and the qualifications needed, so be sure to check into what the state you live in requires. If you're planning to work in other states as well, check into those details ahead of time.
As with registering, you will need to check with your local licensing department to see what you need to get licensed. You'll probably need your test results from your state board exam to show that you are qualified for being licensed, and some other information for your application. Call the office before going in with your paperwork so that you will have what you need when you get there and won't have to make multiple trips.
6. Get to Work
Now that you have gone through the many hurdles required to start your new career, you can start looking for work. Job sites such as LinkedIn can help you find a job quickly. Make sure to do your research on what a fair salary looks like for a newly certified electrician so that you don't get taken advantage of in a competitive job market. Finding a good first job is important so you can continue advancing and learning new skills.
Once you have completed your certification to become an electrician, check out ServiceBox. We have a lot of great features that can help you as you work in the electrical field. We can help with all your scheduling needs. We have a great system that helps with time-sheet management, invoicing, accounting, and inventory tracking. Getting started in the electric field can be a challenge, so let us take some of the burden off of you and help keep you organized!