Student Resources

What are Electrician Jobs?

The demand for electrician jobs is expected to grow over the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Part of the reason for the growth in electrician jobs is the growth of the population in general that increases the need for new construction and repair of existing power supplies.

Couple this with the huge number of retiring baby boomers in the next several years and you can see why this career will be in great demand in the future.

Also consider that in today’s society, electrical power has become a necessity rather than a luxury. So even when economic times are difficult, power lines will still need to be repaired and maintained.

Electrician jobs are varied and the more diverse your skill set, the better your job prospects. A good training program will prepare you for all kinds of electrical work but you may choose to specialize in a particular area that interests you.

For instance, if you love to work outdoors, you may prefer to work on lines. As a lineman, you would climb towers in all kinds of weather. This job is demanding, but brings great satisfaction since you help restore power to hospitals, businesses, and homes after storms.

You could also choose electrician jobs more closely related to the construction industry and spend your career installing wiring into newly constructed buildings. Maybe you like the challenge of the unknown and like to figure out problems.

If so, you might prefer to work mostly in repair and maintenance of existing power systems. You could also choose to work mainly on low voltage systems, HVAC, or even telecommunication systems.

Electrician jobs generally fall into three categories: residential, commercial, and industrial. Some states require separate testing and licensing for each.

You may even need a specialty license to work electrician jobs in telecommunications or appliance wiring. Other states issue a single license that allows you to work in any specialty you choose.

Electrician jobs require the proper training. This is complex and dangerous work. If you don’t know what you are doing, you could injure yourself, your co-workers, or the public. Most states require a specific number of hours logged in training before you can take a licensing test to become certified and work independently.

The training takes about four years. During that time, you can work on certain electrician jobs as long as you do so under the close supervision of a licensed electrician. The type of jobs you can do is limited until you acquire the skills needed to perform more complex job tasks safely.

To work effectively as an electrician, you must know how to read blueprints and you must understand your local electrical codes. Wiring must be installed and maintained according to local codes.

Electricians install new wiring into homes, businesses, and factories. This includes power systems for lights, heating, and air conditioning. It may also entail installing telecommunication cables and systems.

Electricians are also responsible for maintaining wiring systems that are in place and repairing them when needed. Electrician jobs entail using a number of tools such as drills, wire strippers, conduit benders, voltmeters, ohmmeters, and harmonics testers.

An electrician may perform inspections, do non-emergency work such as replacing fuse boxes, and respond in emergencies to restore power systems. As an electrician, you could also choose to work in an industrial setting and work with cutting edge technology with robots and other technological devices.

Electrician jobs are usually well paying because they require highly skilled individuals and the jobs carry some degree of risk. In addition, many are union jobs so top pay and benefits are ensured.

Most electricians work a regular 40 hour work week, but overtime should be expected. You could be called out on an emergency at any hour of the night if a storm or accident knocks out power.

Plus, many institutions such as hospitals need an electrician on staff at all times so in those cases you may have to work weekends or even the night shift.

Electrician jobs carry many advantages. The pay and benefits are good and you will enjoy job security. A union will protect your career so you will have the support you need to be treated fairly. You can avoid job burnout as an electrician since the jobs you can do are quite varied and each one can provide a challenge and personal satisfaction when complete.