Become an Electrician
If you are wondering how to become an electrician, you are off to a good start.
With the recent changes to the world economy and the new baseline for unemployment, it is more important than ever to give your career choice a lot of thought whether you are just getting started after high school or are making a career change later in life.
Too many people have graduated from college in recent years with a mountain of debt and no job prospects. The employment landscape has changed and it may take years before we all enjoy another economic boom.
State Contractor Requirements
So let's take things step-by-step so you can see how it can be done. Don't worry if you don't have a college education or work experience. You don't need either to get started as an electrician apprentice.
What you do need is determination and passion.
Training as an electrician apprentice is exciting but difficult work. You'll never be given jobs you haven't been fully trained to do.
You'll start with the basics and perform more difficult and dangerous jobs as your skills improve. The training is a long process and typically takes about four years to complete.
One of the great benefits of becoming an electrician apprentice is that you get to Earn While You Learn.
You will receive a paycheck during your apprenticeship. Your salary will increase as your skills develop.
You will learn how to become an electrician through on the job training combined with classroom instruction.
To be successful, you should have an aptitude for math. If you are still in high school, be sure to take an algebra class.
If you are out of school, you may need to take an algebra class at a local trade school or college to become eligible for admission into an apprenticeship program.
The minimum requirements for acceptance include:
-At least 18 years of age
-Good physical health
-One year of high school Algebra
-Possess a high school diploma or GED
Other attributes that are helpful include being handy with tools, having no fear of heights or tight spaces, good reading comprehension, and having the ability to learn new skills easily.
In order to learn how to become an electrician, you must be accepted into a qualified apprenticeship program. You will earn while you learn and upon completion of your training, you will take a test for your Journeyman Electrician license.
You can further your career by advancing to the Master Electrician level or by becoming an Electrical Contractor. It all starts though with an apprenticeship program and here are the ways to go about it.
Union Apprenticeship Program
You can learn how to become an electrician with the help of the electrician's union. The union apprenticeship program is a combined effort between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC).
As an electrician, you'll gain many benefits as a member of the IBEW. They will support you throughout your career and help you get started by matching you with a local apprenticeship program.
State Sponsored Apprenticeship
Another way to learn how to become an electrician is to take a state sponsored apprenticeship. These can take different forms. Sometimes they are created with the support of the NJATC or funded by employment initiatives. These apprenticeships are in place to help those entering the workforce or in career transitions find careers with job security and decent wages.
One thing to keep in mind is regulations on how to become an electrician can vary from state to state and even among jurisdictions within a single state. They are all quite similar but it is important to know your local requirements when you are seeking an apprenticeship.
U.S. Military Electrician Career
You can learn how to become an electrician in the military too. The training requirements are similar to civilian apprenticeships so you will be able to transfer your training and experience to a civilian license when you leave the military. Having a U.S. military electrician career offers many additional benefits such as the chance to work with cutting edge technology and the opportunity to travel the world.
Online Electrician Program
Learning how to become an electrician is a two part process. One part is hands-on learning while the other is book learning. It is possible to complete the book learning portion through an online electrician program.
Be sure the program you choose is accredited so your hours will apply towards a journeyman's license and qualify for the educational portion of your apprenticeship. Taking classes online is very convenient, especially when you are working fulltime.
You can also learn how to become an electrician through Job Corps training. Not all centers provide the electrician trade, but they do offer other trades that are just as good. The Jobs Corp is a government program overseen by the US Department of Labor. Its goal is to help young adults gain valuable trade skills so they have the promise of a brighter future.
To qualify you must be under the age of 25 and meet income guidelines. You may need to relocate within the US and undergo your apprenticeship in areas of the country where your skills are needed most.
The program you choose will determine what your cost of training will be. Your education may be completely free or you might have to pay for the classroom learning portion if the classes are taken at a local college or online.
The hands-on portion of your learning is cost free, and even better, you are paid a salary during your training. So not only do you earn a steady paycheck during your apprenticeship, you don't have to worry about graduating with a huge mountain of student loans to pay off.
Once you learn how to become an electrician and are licensed to practice, you'll find you have a lot of options in your new career. You can work indoors with residential wiring or work on power lines and climb poles in all kinds of weather.
The work you will do is important to the comfort and safety of your community so you can feel pride in your job. So if you are still wondering if it is worth it to learn how to become an electrician, just think about the job security, satisfaction, income, and job diversity you will enjoy. Very few other jobs can offer the same benefits as an electrician.