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What to Expect as an Electrician Apprentice

Updated on June 27, 2012
Research electrician training Instructors for the best training your money can buy
Research electrician training Instructors for the best training your money can buy | Source

Electrician Training: Instructors

You are only as good as your teacher so you want to be taught by the very best. Ideally, instructors should have years of experience and a good grasp of both fundamental and advanced know-how.

During the course of your Electrician Training, you are likely to encounter different types of instructors. When looking for a school, pick one that has the best faculty possible to get the most out of your money. Read up on their biographies and find more about their qualifications to be sure.

Remember, your job as a student begins finding out as much about your selected school as possible. If you play your cards right, you would get the best education money can afford.

Electrician Training: Hands-On Learning

Being an electrician is an occupation that relies heavily on skills. Of course you are not born with these skills and you must learn them during training. Books and lectures can only get you so far that is why you need some hands-on learning. In fact, you cannot do without it.

Hands-on learning is a crucial part of Electrician Training. At the very least, schools should have the necessary facilities where students can apply what they learn in the classroom.

Laboratories are great places to apply skills that you will eventually use in the real world.

When looking for a school, choose one that has adequate facilities for hands-on learning. Ideally, laboratories should mimic your potential work environment.

Contractors Jargon for Electricians

It would be impossible for an electrician to work in the construction of commercial and residential structures without understanding some of the jargon contractors use to describe various phases of construction. Some common terms electricians working in new construction will hear are “framed”, “dried-in”, “finished walls”, etc… These are not terms that consumers are usually familiar with unless they’ve had a house or other structure built or added an addition to their home.

For example, “framed” refers to the actual wood frame of a house or addition. This includes all the studs, headers, footers, joists, rafters, etc… When a structure has been “dried-in”, an exterior layer has been added to the frame for the exterior walls and roof. Finished walls are interior walls; this includes things like sheetrock or wood paneling put into place after all the insulation is in place and the electrical and plumbing fixtures have been “roughed-in”.

Electrician’s Jargon; Rough-in

There are several terms electricians use that seem to be parts of their own jargon. They are common terms within the contracting business that most people working in construction are familiar with but consumers without construction experience often have no clue what certain things mean. One such term used is “rough-in”.

When electricians use this term they are referring to the installation of all electrical componentsthat are hidden behind walls—these items are put into place after a structure has been “framed” and “dried in”, prior to the “finished walls”. Of course the quoted terms here are additional terms in construction jargon that many consumers may not be familiar with.

The items an electrician installs when they rough-in the electricity are all the wiring, junction boxes, boxes for receptacles and light fixtures, etc… Bare wires are extended from the main panel, run across and down various studs in the frame of the structure and left poking out of the various types of utility boxes that electricians install for securing items such as lights and switches; leaving the wires poking out of the boxes prior to the finished walls insures that they are easy to grab. The utility boxes that electricians put in place such as for light fixtures and receptacles provide an installation surface for the electrician to secure (screw in) items like light switches, light fixtures and receptacles.

An Electrical Job without Electrician Training

Anyone seriously interested in becoming an electrician needs to go through electrical training. However, for those who are not certain if they want to become a full-fledged electrician or not, they can start by becoming an electrician’s helper. Electrician’s helpers basically do the grunt work during new construction or other types of situations requiring an electrician.

Most companies require that an electrician’s helper have some formal training in advance, even some basic electrical courses so that they can identify specific items and have some understanding of what the electrician is asking them for. However, some private electricians are happy just to have a helper along to do things like fetch materials from the truck, help dig ditches, drill holes, etc.., and they are happy to train the helper as they go along.

For More Information...

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Electrician’s Helper or Apprentice?

There is a big difference between being an electrician’s helper and an electrician apprentice. A helper does just that, they simple help an electrician whereas an apprentice has made a conscious choice to become an electrician themselves and so they are working their way up the ladder.

Electrician helpers usually do the grunt work and any dirty work involved like digging a ditch for buried wires or getting the materials off a truck and buggy lugging them to the jobsite. Apprentices on the other hand have usually completed a few electrical courses and are still enrolled in an electrical program, working with an electrician to get hands on experience and learn as they go. Though they do assist in some of the physical labor, they are also being taught and supervised by the electrician they are under.

Electrician Training Information: Where to Get It

Knowing as much as you can about being an electrician is a must. It gives you a snapshot on what to expect and what to do. The good news is that Electrician Training Information is not an elusive prey.

Schools that offer an electrician training program have all the necessary information you need. There are many but focus your attention on their programs and certifications and facilities.

Another great source of information is of course the internet. It lets you know everything you need to without even leaving the house. You have everything you need at your fingertips.

If you know an electrician, you could ask them for information. This way, you get more precise answers to your questions.

Electrician Career


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