Becoming an Electrician

Every home, office building and factory needs electrical power, communication, lighting, and control systems. Electrician Delray Beach installs, repairs, and maintains these systems in compliance with regulatory standards.


Training for this profession can be either at a trade school or through an apprenticeship program. Some apprenticeships last up to five years.

If you love working with your hands and enjoy challenging tasks, a career as an Electrician may be the perfect fit. This highly regulated and skilled field requires excellent problem-solving skills, the ability to work well in teams, and good physical endurance. It is also important to be able to adhere to state and local regulations, which may change over time.

A degree in Electrical Technology offers a well-rounded education that can help prepare you for a variety of career options in the industry. It includes classroom and lab work as well as internships, allowing you to learn the theory of electrical engineering and apply it to real-world situations. Many electrical programs also feature guest speakers and events that give students an insider’s look into the latest trends and technologies in the industry.

Some schools offer specialized training programs that focus on specific areas of the field, such as residential, commercial, or industrial electrical work. This can make you more valuable to employers and open up new job opportunities. Aside from a degree, it is also a good idea to pursue professional certifications, which can validate your knowledge and adherence to industry standards. In addition, pursuing additional training in areas like renewable energy systems or smart home technology can help you stand out from the competition.

Once you have a degree and some on-the-job experience, you can begin your journey to becoming a licensed electrician. Licensing requirements vary from State to State, but generally involve completing a program or apprenticeship (2-4 years) and passing an exam. Some States even require you to complete a safety program and attend code updates to be eligible for licensure.

An online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Technology degree can provide you with the education and practical training you need to start your career in this rewarding and exciting field. The coursework will prepare you for a variety of roles in the industry, including Electrical Technician and Systems Designer. It will also give you the foundation to expand your skills and move into a leadership role. The curriculum will also provide you with a solid understanding of construction management, which is essential for working on large projects.

Training Requirements

The qualifications and training requirements to become an electrician vary by state. Some require a high school diploma or GED certificate, while others may include specific training programs and apprenticeships. Most programs combine classroom study with on-the-job experience. Students learn about the different types of electrical equipment, how to create diagrams for wiring and other technical documents, and how to read blueprints to follow the electrical plans for construction projects.

Apprentices begin with basic tasks and gradually work up to completing full range projects and performing maintenance on existing wiring. They also receive education in OSHA standards, commercial, industrial, and residential wiring, trade math, and more. To advance to a journeyman electrician level, they must have 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience and pass an exam.

To succeed in the field, electricians must have good physical fitness and a strong sense of balance. They need to be on their feet all day and lift objects that weigh up to 50 pounds. They also need normal color vision to identify wires by color and be able to read and write technical documents. In addition, they must have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. Many electricians also have customer service skills and a willingness to work overtime to meet deadlines.

Some electricians specialize in specific areas, such as power generating stations and substations. They are responsible for maintaining and repairing these facilities, which are critical to the nation’s energy supply. They may also install and repair components, including circuit breakers and transformers. Some electricians also have a background in computer networking and can help install smart systems and IoT devices.

Many electricians go on to become supervisors or even business owners and run their own contracting companies. To do so, they need to be proficient in project management and financial planning. In addition, they need to have a strong understanding of electrical codes and how they change over time. To keep their skills sharp, electricians should regularly attend code updates and take courses on new technologies. They should also seek out opportunities to work with other electricians to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry.

Job Duties

Electricians install, repair and maintain electrical wiring, equipment and fixtures in homes, buildings and factories. They use sketches or blueprints to determine the location of wires and equipment and ensure that all work meets governmental and building safety codes. They may also test circuit breakers, fuses and other electrical components to pinpoint problems, then replace or repair them. They must stay current on changes to national electrical code standards and other relevant building and safety regulations.

They must be comfortable working in all types of weather conditions, and often have to climb ladders or scaffolding. Some electricians specialize in specific areas such as voice-data-video (VDV), which combines audio and video, or power systems, which deal with higher voltages. Others perform maintenance on industrial machinery, such as motors and generators. Other electricians focus on specialized areas such as transportation equipment or marine and aviation vehicles.

Some electricians are members of unions such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and must comply with their union’s policies. In addition to their daily job duties, they must pay union dues and meet regularly with their employer or management to discuss work schedules and other issues.

A successful career as an Electrician requires strong problem-solving skills. They must be able to assess the situation quickly and accurately to make quick decisions, even when they are under pressure. In addition to their technical skills, they must have excellent communication and customer service skills, as they interact with clients on a regular basis.

In order to become a licensed Electrician, candidates need to complete a 2-year program that includes an Associate’s Degree in Electrical Technology and 1-2 years of practical experience. Then, they must pass an exam to earn their license. This profession can be rewarding for those who enjoy working with their hands, are interested in engineering and technology, and want to help make the world a better place. Depending on their specialization, the pay for electricians can be very competitive. In addition to the base salary, some employers provide benefits such as medical coverage, 401K, paid time off, insurance, profit sharing and bonus potential, and the use of company tools and safety equipment.


An experienced Electrician can command a sizable salary. The pay scale varies by region, with higher salaries in areas of high demand for skilled workers. For example, electricians in Silicon Valley earn well above the national average.

Apprentices who are still gaining their skills may work at about 40 percent of a journeyperson’s hourly rate while they learn the trade. Once they are fully certified, they’ll usually see their wages increase as they take on more responsibilities and leadership duties.

While a typical day as an electrician can be physically strenuous, it’s also rewarding. For example, Martinez says that her job allows her to be financially independent and supports her family. She can also be flexible about her hours, working as needed when her schedule changes.

As a bonus, many electricians enjoy robust health insurance and retirement plans, giving them peace of mind that they’ll have a financial safety net when the need arises. In addition to these essential perks, some employers offer additional perks like free tools and access to technology that improves the efficiency of their employees’ work.

The aging electrical infrastructure of many regions requires maintenance and repair, creating a steady demand for skilled workers like electricians. In addition, the transition to renewable energy and the growing popularity of electric vehicles will require the expertise of electricians to install electrical systems.

Experienced electricians boast a nuanced understanding of complex electrical systems and troubleshooting prowess, earning them premium pay. In addition, certifications act as supercharged credentials that validate specialized skills that employers are willing to pay premium prices for.

If you want to advance your salary as an electrician, consider starting your own business. It’s not without risk, but if you can get your foot in the door of new customers, you’ll be able to take control of your career path and boost your paychecks. Another way to increase your salary is to invest in additional education. Continuing your training with courses or online tutorials can make you more valuable to an employer, allowing you to negotiate higher rates for your services.