How to become an Apprentice Electrician
In today’s world, a lot more people are trying to become electricians compared to the past. This is primarily because of the increasing demand of this profession and because of the high salaries one can get if they become electricians. However, it is important to note that in order to succeed in this field, one must put in a lot of effort and have a serious interest in the work they do.
In order to become an electrician one must first complete their high school diploma or get the equivalent of a GED as this is the most basic requirement of this profession. You must also be 18 years old, have a drug free background and a valid driver’s license and social security number in order to be eligible for the next step.
The next step is to become a part of an electrical apprenticeship. Some states require that you get an apprentice license before you start working as an apprentice so it is important that you find out the requirements specific to your state.
Professional electricians (journeyman electricians or master electricians) teach you crucial skills during your apprenticeship. This training helps one acquire the physical and technical skills needed to become a successful electrician. The best thing about this training is that you are paid as well, which is not common in most trainings.
Who should become an Apprentice Electrician?
If you want to work as a licensed electrician or become an electrical contractor or master electrician, you must complete an electrician apprenticeship because without doing so you will not be eligible for the electrician license exams. An apprenticeship serves as the perfect training ground for people who are genuinely interested in the field and the best part is that you get paid for the work you do during this learning period. To have a competitive edge over others in this field you must have good critical thinking and mathematical skills.
What does an Apprentice Electrician do?
You generally start off with basic tasks so that your supervisor can evaluate your skills and assign you further tasks accordingly. You also start off by helping out with manual labor such as cleaning up a site or carrying equipment. Nevertheless, with time, you get more responsibilities and get to do some real electrical work.
Since the primary aim of an apprenticeship is to gain practical work experience under the supervision and guidance of a qualified electrician, an apprentice has a number of responsibilities including installing and checking wirings for power distribution, lighting, radio, heat and other systems. These jobs are carried out in all sorts of buildings including industrial and residential buildings and in outdoor environments such as street lighting, highways and traffic signals. One gets a number of diverse assignments as an apprentice electrician so that they are well prepared for the future. An apprenticeship also helps one decide whether becoming an electrician is the right choice for them or not.
How much are Apprentice Electricians paid?
Even though this is the initial stage in the career level of an electrician and apprentices barely have the technical skills similar to their supervisors, the pay of an apprentice electrician is around 40-50% of the pay of experienced expert. However, this tends to change with time as you get more experience and become better at what you do. Another important factor is the state in which you work. The salary of electricians varies from state to state. However, there is generally an upward trend in pay as you move on from your first year of apprenticeship to the fourth one.
How to get an Apprenticeship
There are a number of organizations working in the US in order to help electricians find jobs and apprenticeships. You can get apprenticeships by directly contacting individuals who are electrical contractors or master electricians and are running their own companies. You can also contact the local bodies in your area, which can help you get apprenticeships. Two of the major organizations are The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC). So get in touch with such organizations to get the best apprenticeships near you.
What is next after you complete your Apprenticeship?
An electrical apprenticeship gives you the skills required to become a successful electrician. You get the necessary knowledge and on-the-job experience under the supervision of professionals. The program is usually 4 to 5 years long depending on your state’s requirements. You learn the theoretical aspects of your career by attending classes at college or by taking online courses so that you can become familiar with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and other important things such as safety practices, reading blueprints etc.
Once you complete the apprenticeship, a number of job opportunities open up for you. You can continue your career under a local contractor or get licensed as a journeyman electrician and start your own business. You can also apply for other licenses apart from the journeyman one, depending on your preferences and the rules of your state.
Once you become a journeyman electrician and have enough experience, you can also apply to become a master electrician, which is a highly paid position, and the highest position one can get in this field.
To get to know the educational and experience requirements and the exams that you must clear in order to get the license of your choice it is important that you get in touch with your state’s license approving/issuance board.
Why Become an Apprentice Electrician?
- You are paid for the work you do and the training can lead to higher paid jobs in the future once you become a journeyman electrician or a master electrician.
- You get to work in a range of environments both outdoor and indoor under the supervision of experienced professionals
- Practical work experiences, which can help you, decide whether this is the right field for you or not.
- Perfect balance between theoretical and practical knowledge
- You might have to work under risky situations with circuits and wirings that could cause deadly shocks.
- Unconventional working hours; you might have to work late everyday and even on weekends and holidays for long hours.
In order to become an electrician it is important to complete an apprenticeship program. Once you complete it, you can pursue a number of things including continuing your career as an electrician by becoming licensed, working under a contractor, or enrolling in a university to get further education in a field that interests you. Additionally you can also start your own business. Therefore, the possibilities are endless if you have the technical knowledge, the right skills, and a passion for electrical work!