Becoming a commercial electrician is a smart career move. Commercial electricians can always find work, and the job is well-paid compared to other trades. Commercial electricians enjoy having a challenging and rewarding job, and they can build a solid career future in the business.
Averill Electric explains what you should know if you are looking to become a commercial electrician, from the education and training that you will need to get started to the basic duties of your job.
Training and Education
Before you begin training to become an electrician, you will need to receive your high school diploma or GED. This educational step is important because the curriculum covers many of the basic principles you will use on the job. If a regional vocational high school is available, that is your best option. Most vocational high schools offer an electrical program and provide an excellent opportunity to start your career.
If you are still studying in high school, here are the courses you should focus on:
- Math: You will generally need to pass one year of high school algebra with at least a “C” average to qualify to become an electrician.
- Physical Science: To become an electrician, it is important that you have a basic understanding of physics, especially the physics of electrical currents. If you take physics in high school, it will prepare you well for the task of becoming a commercial electrician.
- Career and Technical Education: If your school offers courses like electricity, electronics, woodshop, or automotive mechanics, you should sign up. Even if these disciplines are not directly related to the electrical trade, they will help you learn to work with your hands.
After receiving your diploma or GED, you will have the option to become an electrician’s apprentice and/or enter a vocational program. Most professional electricians recommend that you start with a quality electrical training course or with an apprenticeship combining on-site and classroom experience.
It is recommended to check the international brotherhood of electricians local branch to see if they have opportunities for you. The IBEW has great training centers and job opportunities. All Averill Electric employees complete the IBEW apprentice training courses.
It is easier to qualify for a good apprenticeship if you already know many of the basics behind being an electrician. Having a solid grounding in the principles of electrical work will be a big help when you want to further your career. Also, the math and science background will help to qualify for these programs.
Vocational training will teach you the skills, information, theories, and calculations that you will need when you work as an electrician. Most courses will teach you about electricity basics, skilled labor tasks, local electrical codes, and technical math.
When your training is complete, your vocational school may have a program that helps to match you with the right apprenticeship for the next phase of your training.
Apprentices work with more experienced electricians at real job sites. You will be able to practice the necessary skills to become a journeyman electrician alongside qualified professionals. Your state may require that you must work as an apprentice for a set length of time before you are allowed to become a journeyman electrician yourself. Most states require an apprenticeship of two to seven years.
If you are an apprentice who has not taken a training course, you may need to take a course covering the National Electrical Code (NEC) and the codes that are relevant in your state.
After your training is complete, you can take a test to acquire your state license. A license is a must when working as a journeyman electrician. You will need to provide proof of your apprenticeship and proof that you have sufficient experience. You will need to have test scores that show that you are knowledgeable about the principles of electrical construction.
After you pass your exams, you will be able to get a state license and work on your own as a journeyman electrician.
You will need to return to the classroom every few years for refresher courses on electrical codes. You will also be trained in new electrical codes and methods for completing electrical work. Averill Electric journeyman complete there continuing education at the IBEW training center in Boston, Ma.
Tasks Performed by Electricians Today
Skilled electrical contractors like Averill Electric work on a wide variety of projects that will test your experience. One of the most important services provided by an electrical contractor is pre-planning services for builders and architects. The electrical system in a new building needs to be planned out at the same time as the construction itself.
Electrical contractors work with lighting, general power, power to mechanical and plumbing systems, fire alarms, security systems, solar energy systems, generator systems, and lightning protection. They are also involved with communication wiring, point-of-sales wiring, and retrofitting of existing buildings to come up to current codes.
Becoming an Electrician
Electricians are highly qualified tradespeople. They understand how to construct a safe system to provide the utilities that building occupants need to get their jobs done. You will find that being an electrician is stimulating and personally rewarding. This is a career that you can be proud of.
Averill Electric recommends that interested students investigate becoming electricians when they are still in high school or even before they get to high school. This will give them the most time to complete all the educational and vocational training requirements.