If you want to become an electrician, you have chosen a career that is both interesting and financially rewarding. You need to understand the path to follow to start your journey into this profession. Becoming an electrician takes education, experience, and licensing. The following are the main steps that you need to take.
You need to graduate from high school
This is something that cannot be overlooked. If you dropped out of high school, you will need to earn a high school equivalency diploma. Most trade schools will require this, and it may be necessary for the licensing requirements in your state.
You need to enroll in a trade school
Although it may be possible to serve an apprenticeship in your state without attending a trade school, the trend for becoming an electrician is strongly in favor of a trade school. Electricians and electrical contractors prefer to hire those who have a certificate earned at a trade school. It is at a trade school that you will learn all of the fundamentals of electricity, wiring, safety codes, and everything else related to the work of an electrician. There is a lot of book learning involved, but there will also be hands-on work, so you will have some practical experience as well. The amount of time it will take will depend on whether you are a full- or part-time student. A full-time student will likely earn a certificate in a matter of months.
You need to serve an apprenticeship
Although you will have a head start by graduating from a good trade school, state law will likely require that you serve an apprenticeship. This means working with a licensed electrician for a specified period of time. Usually, this is specified in hours, and you will need to serve several thousand hours. You will find it easier to be hired for an apprenticeship if you have completed all of your courses and earned a certificate at a trade school. This makes it easier for an electrician to put you to work.
You will need to take a state licensing examination
After your apprenticeship is served, you will need to pass a test to get your license to become a journeyman electrician. You will be able to work on your own without supervision, but you are usually working for an electrical contractor and answering to a master electrician. However, at this stage, you are now an electrician. If you desire, you can go to the next step and become a master electrician. At this level, you will be creating new wiring and installations, not just repairing them. You can become your own boss and bid on jobs. Becoming a master electrician requires a specific amount of time as a journeyman and passing a test.
Although it takes time to become an electrician, you will find the rewards well worth it. For more information on electrician certification, consult a resource in your area.