Important Things To Know When Becoming An Electrician

Electricity is an essential part of virtually every area of life. As a result, electricians always are in demand.

Becoming an electrician sets the foundation for a rewarding career. The ongoing need for electricity, especially in construction, provides seemingly endless professional opportunities.

The following are important things to know when becoming an electrician.

Becoming An Electrician Requires Years Of Training And Experience

Becoming an electrician starts with being an electrical apprentice. This involves going to school and learning from a master electrician for four years.

You need approximately 2,000 hours of hands-on training to become an electrician. Then, you can begin working independently.

You Likely Need to Become Licensed

Many states require licensing to work as an electrician. This means enrolling in a class, gaining on-the-job training, and taking an exam to earn a license.

You Must Choose An Area Of Expertise

The focus of your electrical apprenticeship may be on commercial or residential work. A commercial electrician works in offices or buildings. A residential electrician works in home construction and maintenance.

You may become an industrial technician or a lineman. An industrial technician works in factories, data centers, or other large facilities. A lineman brings electricity from the electrical plant’s public lines to the outside contact of the home or building.

Working As An Electrician Can Be Dangerous

Being an electrician involves working with high-power electrical equipment. As a result, shock hazards and arc flash hazards create risks of burns or electrocution.

Other common hazards from working in elevated locations include:

  • Slips
  • Trips
  • Falls
  • Lacerations from sharp edges or tools
  • Pinch and nip points from rotating equipment

You must be ready to work in the rain, snow, heat, or cold. Dressing in personal protective equipment (PPE) that is appropriate for the weather and work conditions is essential.

Examples of PPE include:

  • Nonconductive hardhat
  • Arc-rated hood
  • Balaclava
  • Face shield
  • Nonconductive safety glasses or goggles
  • Arc-rated, natural fiber long-sleeve shirts, pants, jackets, coats, overalls, or coveralls
  • Hearing-protective inserts
  • Rubber-insulated gloves
  • Leather-protected sleeves
  • Leather electrical hazard-rated footwear

You Can Earn a Competitive Income

Engaging in an electrical apprenticeship involves earning an hourly wage for your training as you go to school. After you complete your apprenticeship, you can secure a full-time job with higher wages or salary.

An electrician’s income depends on skills, experience, location, area of expertise, and other factors. Your income can increase as you gain experience. Becoming a master electrician also helps grow your income.

Ready To Begin Working As An Electrician?

Partner with Trade Management to land your first job as an electrician. Apply to our current openings!

Explaining Electrical Apprenticeships & Different Career Paths

Working as an electrician provides many career opportunities. The ongoing reliance on electrical systems provides you with a high level of job security. One of the best ways to begin your career as an electrician is by securing an electrical apprenticeship. The skills and experience you gain can lead to your first full-time job.

Find out what an electrical apprenticeship involves and what some of your career options may be.


A high school diploma or GED is needed to gain an electrical apprenticeship. An emphasis on algebra, trigonometry, physics, shop, and mechanical drawing is important. When you secure an electrical apprenticeship, you typically have 4 weeks of classroom training per year for 4-5 years. This training should include electrical theory, current safety measures, and related information. Once you complete 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training, you graduate to a journeyman electrician. This additional experience provides you with greater earning potential. If you decide to become a master electrician, you typically need to work an average of 2 years, complete at least 4,000 documented hours as a journeyman electrician, take classes, and pass a test. Then, you can work unsupervised, pull permits, supervise other electricians, and train electrical apprentices. Reaching this level can further increase your earning power.

Job Duties

In an electrical apprenticeship, your tasks are determined by the journeyman electrician, who is your supervisor. Initially, you’ll learn to read schematics and gather tools and materials for the job. As you gain experience, you might install conduits or new wiring, replace old or damaged wiring, or install lighting, fire alarms, or security systems under close supervision. Other tasks may include mounting panel boards, switches, and other equipment or troubleshooting and repairing equipment.

Licenses and Certifications

Most states require electricians to pass a test and be licensed. Contact your local or state electrical licensing board to determine the requirements for licensure. You may need to work for several years as a journeyman electrician supervised by a master electrician.

Maintenance and Construction Careers

If you like working in different areas, then you may want a career in maintenance and construction. Typical duties include wiring and working on repairs for residential buildings. You can work with the construction team to bring electricity to the structure.

Industrial Establishment Careers

If you want to perform electrical work in different industries, you may choose a career in an industrial establishment. Most work involves installation, essential maintenance, and repairs for switchboard meters, industrial storage batteries, and hydraulic electrical control units. The more basic aspects include wiring, assembling fiber-optic cables, and installing and repairing light fixtures.

Network Cabling Careers

If you want to help set up communication systems, you may choose a career in network cabling. You may install and maintain data systems for internet providers, ensure proper video transmissions for telecommunications, or maintain the communication systems of educational institutions and industry offices.

Find an Electrical Apprenticeship

Work with Trade Management to secure an electrical apprenticeship. Register with us today.