A career as an electrician provides you with job security, interesting daily work, and the ability to grow your income. Training to become an electrician can take several years, but you work in the field most of that time and make an income as you learn. Here are some steps in working toward your electrician certification and things to know about working in the field.
Start With Electrician Trade School
Competition for an electrician apprenticeship can be high, so a good way to be more valuable to an apprenticeship program is to go to trade school first. This gets some of your classroom learning out of the way, and you may even complete the basic skills training that you need on the job. You'll then be in a stronger position to apply for an apprenticeship where you can complete your classroom and on-the-job training as you work toward becoming a licensed electrician.
Learn Your State's Requirements
Each state is different when it comes to the hours of training needed and the steps required for licensing. A few areas don't even require state licensing, and in that case, licensing might be overseen by counties or cities in the state. States may not have reciprocity when it comes to licensing which means you could have to get licensed in another state if you move. Knowing the requirements of the state where you live or plan to move helps you choose the right training program to obtain your electrician certification.
Understand Requirements For Sub-Specialties
It's also good to know what field you want to train for before beginning your training. Certain fields, such as work with low-voltage wiring or security systems, may require different training and specialty licenses. You may need different training and certifications to be a residential or commercial electrician.
You will probably need further training and licensing to become a contractor who employs other electricians. However, any career as an electrician starts with learning the basics by working in the field and taking classes about electrical theory.
Maintain Your License
If your state requires that you're certified before you can work as an electrician, you'll need to keep up with your license to keep working. Your license might expire and need to be renewed every year or two. In order to renew your license, you'll need to pay a fee and possibly take a certain number of continuing education hours as required by your state. This keeps you up to date with new technology and keeps you learning and improving throughout your career.