Electrician are skilled tradespeople who design, install, and maintain electrical products and systems. They can work indoors or outdoors, depending on the project at hand and whether they’re focusing on the generation, transmission, or utilization of electricity. They can also be found in industrial settings, where they troubleshoot and repair machinery that uses electricity, or in research and development labs.
An electrician can work with a wide range of materials, including copper, aluminum, steel, and plastic. They may also use computer software to plan and create wiring diagrams for a new system. Most electricians start their careers through an apprenticeship, which lasts about four years and includes classroom learning and on-the-job training.
High school students interested in becoming an electrician can prepare by taking a variety of advanced placement (AP) and college-prep classes, including physics, chemistry, algebra, geometry, and calculus. Students should also seek out extracurricular activities, camps, and internships related to their interests, as these can help them stand out to potential employers in the field.
A career as an electrician can be very rewarding. Many people are attracted to this profession because it doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, and it offers high pay and benefits. However, there are certain disadvantages associated with this job. For example, it can be dangerous for an inexperienced electrician to do work on power lines. There is a risk of electrocuting yourself or falling off a ladder, so it’s important to get as much training as possible.
Some electricians are self-employed, but others choose to work for a large company. Some are able to find an apprenticeship with their local union, and this can be a great way to gain experience and earn a living while doing something you enjoy. Choosing to work for a larger company can also give you the opportunity to advance quickly in your career.
In addition to technical skills, an electrician needs a keen sense of safety. It’s not uncommon for them to work in dangerous environments, and they need to be able to think critically and solve problems. They also need to have good customer service skills when dealing with customers.
In order to become an electrical engineer, you will need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited engineering program. You will also need to obtain a license from your state in which you wish to work. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but typically include passing a fundamentals of engineering exam and gaining four years of relevant work experience as an engineer-in-training (EIT). In some cases, you will need to pass additional exams, like a professional engineers (PE) exam, in order to become licensed.