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Five Things You Need To Know About Becoming An Electrician

Updated on August 6, 2015

Becoming an electrician sounds sounds like a pretty cool career choice but like most other professions there's a lot more to to it than first meets the eye.

I spent 25 years as a journeyman electrician so I know what I'm talking about.

Here are five (5) things you absolutely need to be aware of before you seriously consider the electrical field.

1. You Will Need to be Smarter Than The Average Bear

Although not rocket science, working as an electrician requires a certain amount of analytical thinking. An affinity for math helps as there are calculations that need to be done in order to plan for circuiting and lighting requirements.

The sharper you are will determine how quickly promotions to lead and foreman positions come. Although they require more responsibility, being able to perform some of the more important duties are where you will be able to earn significantly higher wages.

2. Becoming an Electrician is a Process

To make it through an apprentice electrician training program you will need patience, persistence and be somewhat goal oriented.

Electrician qualifications typically consist of 4 years of out-in-the-field work experience plus between 140 to 180 classroom hours of training per year.

You will need to be able to put up with the occasional job foreman who sometimes take delight in making life difficult for new electricians that happen to be lower on the ladder than them.

3. There is a Reasonable Monetary Investment Required

Becoming an electrician will require you to have certain electrical tools and most likely a cordless power drill. A quality tool belt along with the necessary hand tools to get started will set you back at least $250. A decent meter/tester is another 100 bucks. Factor in an additional $250 for a suitable cordless drill with a hammer function and you can see you will be in for a total tool investment of about $600.

Books needed for attending electrician school will also be an expense to consider although some electrical apprenticeship programs will provide the necessary training materials at no cost.

Even though acquiring the necessary tools isn't a cheap proposition, it certainly isn't a deal killer either as your earnings will cover them pretty fast.

4. You Will Eventually Be Earning Decent Money

Starting electrician wages as an electrical apprentice are not that great. Depending on where you live between $10 and $15 bucks an hour is about normal.

By the time you reach journey electrician status you will be earning at least $22 to $25 per hour.

When you begin running your own jobs, $30 to $35 an hour is not out of the question. You can make even more in an electrician union or on a prevailing wage job.

5. An Electrician is Not Just an Ordinary Construction Worker

Becoming an electrician gives you the status as being the most respected of all construction workers as well as being one of the highest paid craftsman in the building trades.

Electricians generally aren't required to work as hard as some of the other construction tradesmen either.

If status is important to you then a career as an electrician will afford you a certain amount of prestige that most members of society will acknowledge.

Hopefully these five transparent insights into becoming an electrician will help you make an informed career choice.

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