A person who is a skilled tradesperson that installs, operates, maintains and repairs electric wiring and equipment. There are many different types of electricians, with some specializing in residential work and others focused on industrial or commercial settings.
Most electricians don’t need a college degree and get most of their education on-the-job, often through an apprenticeship program that lasts four or five years. They must be able to follow strict safety protocols when working on electricity and other dangerous tools.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for electricians will grow faster than average, with 85,900 new positions between 2014 and 2024. Many electricians are self-employed or work as contractors, but some may also join a union that offers representation, salary protection and more.
Some electricians focus on maintenance, which requires them to visit customers’ homes or businesses to fix problems with electrical products and wiring. They must have good customer service skills and be able to explain complex procedures to laypeople. Other electricians, called journeymen, are supervisors who manage apprentices and other electrical workers. They must be able to read blueprints and other technical documents to plan and oversee electrical projects.
Being an electrician means dealing with electricity on a daily basis, which can be very dangerous if the proper safety precautions are not taken. It can lead to burns, cuts and other injuries if one is not careful when handling heavy equipment or climbing ladders with tools. It can also be tiring because electricians are constantly moving between job sites, sometimes traveling 100 miles or more from their homes.
Some electricians, such as those who specialize in residential work, have regular schedules that they follow each week. They don’t typically work on weekends, holidays or late at night. However, other electricians, such as those who are on call or work for independent electrical contracting companies, may need to adjust their hours based on the needs of their clients. Being an electrician can be a great career choice for people who are interested in a hands-on, physically demanding occupation that pays well. But it is important for prospective electricians to consider the hazards involved before choosing this career path.