Electricians make sure the lights, air-conditioning, refrigerators, etc. in your house work. It’s an important profession and if you want to become one here are some important things to know about the profession.

Types of Electricians

There are several types of electricians. You can be a maintenance electrician, one who works in factories or in residences to ensure that the electrical system is working safely and well.

You can be a construction electrician, one who installs electrical systems in buildings, homes and factories while they are still under construction. In all cases you’ll be working with blueprints, electrical measuring devices like ohmmeters, insulated electrical wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, transformers and other components.

Becoming an Electrician: The Apprentice

There are several methods for becoming an electrician. The most surefire way is to find an apprenticeship program. An apprenticeship lasts between three and five years and prepares you with the skills needed for the job.

Apprentices learn the mathematics, engineering know-how, electrical safety and first aid needed for the job. They also learn how to draw blueprints, connect wires, and test circuits.

Similar to an apprenticeship program, you may also work as an assistant to an electrician and supplement the practical experience with mail-order course work. At the end of either course of learning, to become a licensed electrician apprentices must take a licensing exam that tests their knowledge of federal and state safety codes and procedures along with knowledge of the electrician’s craft.

Electricians in the Future

The Department of Labor projects electrician jobs will increase by 20-35 percent in the next seven years. Being an electrician is a versatile job that’s required in every part of the country. If you want to be an electrician, you’ll likely find jobs available after you get your license.

In the classroom, apprentices learn blueprint reading, electrical theory, electronics, mathematics, electrical code requirements, and safety and first aid practices. They also may receive specialized training in welding, communications, fire alarm systems, and cranes and elevators. On the job, under the supervision of experienced electricians, apprentices must demonstrate mastery of the electrician’s work. At first, they drill holes, set anchors, and set up conduit. Later, they measure, fabricate, and install conduit, as well as install, connect, and test wiring, outlets, and switches. They also learn to set up and draw diagrams for entire electrical systems.