How to Become an Electrician

If you want to become a skilled electrician, it helps to pay close attention to math and shop classes in high school. You can also enroll in a vocational training program or an apprenticeship.Electrician

These programs offer the hands-on experience and strong foundation you need to advance in your career. Plus, they often take less time than a bachelor’s degree. Visit for more information.

Electricians install and repair electrical systems. They work with both residential and commercial buildings and may specialize in particular types of equipment or installations. For example, some electricians work on fire alarm and voice-data-video (VDV) wiring. Others work on power distribution networks or industrial automation.

Electricians must have extensive knowledge of physics, mathematics, electronics, and electrical engineering to be successful. They also need to understand current building and electrical codes. The National Electrical Code, or NEC, requires that all electricians follow a set of standards when installing wires, circuits, and other electrical equipment. These standards are meant to keep people safe and prevent fires.

During an installation, electricians must follow a blueprint or map to ensure that all wiring is properly positioned and connected. This includes creating a timeline for when tasks should be completed and ensuring that all the necessary materials are on hand. For example, if an electrician is working on a home’s kitchen, they must make sure that all outlets, light switches, and other electrical components are properly plugged in.

In addition to following a blueprint, electricians must also make sure that all wiring is up to code. For instance, if an electrician installs a wire that is too thick for the space, it can pose a safety risk. Also, if the connection circuits are not properly designed, they can deliver incorrect amperage to appliances. To avoid these issues, it’s important to choose a licensed master electrician who has the experience and in-depth knowledge required to perform quality work.

Many electricians choose to join a union, which provides them with protection against unfair treatment by employers and access to specialized training and skills. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is one of the largest unions for electricians.

After completing high school, aspiring electricians can pursue an associate’s degree in the field or enroll in a four-year bachelor’s program that includes classes in advanced math, electronic circuits, electricity, electrical engineering technology, and power distribution systems. In some programs, students can take a hands-on internship to gain valuable job experience. Other career paths for electricians include becoming linemen, who work on power lines for utility companies at higher voltages, and inside wiremen, who deal with lower voltages used in homes and offices.


Maintenance electricians are responsible for inspecting and repairing electrical equipment, wiring, and fixtures on a regular basis. They often work on power systems that provide lighting, heating, cooling, and other essential services in offices, apartment complexes, hospitals, and large commercial buildings. They must be able to read blueprints and understand electrical schematics. They use a variety of tools, including wrenches, drills, soldering irons, and volt-ohmmeters, to troubleshoot electrical problems. They also repair broken circuit breakers, switches, and other devices that control the flow of electricity.

Maintaining the electrical system is important to prevent safety issues. This is especially true in hazardous locations such as schools, prisons, daycare centers, and hospitals, where electrical malfunctions are a common cause of fire. Regular checks performed by a maintenance electrician can help to avoid these breakdowns by identifying potential problems before they occur.

These electricians typically work a forty-hour week, although they may clock in extra hours when serious breakdowns arise. They must be able to diagnose and solve problems quickly because the safety of people who work in buildings that they service is dependent on their skills.

They can encounter challenging work conditions since they may be working in dirty or confined spaces where it is difficult to move around. They can also be working from ladders or catwalks and must wear protective clothing, as they sometimes work with high-voltage equipment.

In addition to maintaining the electrical systems, they must keep track of inventory and ensure that supplies are available when needed. They must also communicate with vendors about the types of materials and products required for a particular job. They may also be asked to train other staff members in the maintenance department about electrical techniques. They also provide suggestions on how to extend the life of equipment and recommend upgrades when needed. They must also keep accurate records of all work projects, material consumption, and man-hours used. These records are then submitted to supervisors for review. Lastly, they are responsible for communicating with building tenants regarding any maintenance issues that they have discovered.


A significant part of an electrician’s job is working on electrical repairs. This can involve rewiring equipment or fixtures, replacing outlets and switches, or inspecting and repairing electrical components and wiring. Often, it involves troubleshooting issues to find the source of a problem. This requires strong analytical thinking skills and the ability to think on one’s feet.

For example, if a wall outlet or plug stops working, the electrician may start by testing it for continuity and checking for voltage. If there’s no problem with the circuit, she may then try to track down the problem by tracing electrical pathways to see what has caused it to stop working. She might also consider whether a breaker or fuse is tripping. In most cases, the cause of the problem is a burned or open connection.

It’s also important for electricians to have effective communication skills. This is especially important when they’re working with customers, as they need to be able to explain technical information in an easy-to-understand way. Additionally, they should be able to communicate clearly with other professionals who work in the field, such as architects, engineers, contractors, and building inspectors.

When selecting an electrician for your home, make sure you choose someone who has experience working on residential systems. If you’re having work done on an older home, it’s a good idea to research the pro online to see if they have any previous experience working on that type of home. If you can, check their website to make sure it’s well organized and professional.

It’s also important to choose an electrician with a positive attitude and a solid work ethic. It’s not uncommon for electricians to face challenging situations on the job, so it’s crucial that they have a positive attitude and can think on their feet when needed. Additionally, they should be able to work efficiently and effectively to ensure they meet their deadlines. This can help them avoid costly delays and keep their customers happy. Lastly, it’s important for electricians to take responsibility for their mistakes. This can help them build trust with their clients and demonstrate that they’re willing to learn from their mistakes.


If something goes wrong with an electrical fixture, the electrician must be able to determine what’s causing it and then correct it. The troubleshooting process involves several steps that the electrician may follow, depending on the problem.

The first step is to gather information about the specific appliance or fixture that’s not working properly. This usually includes checking if there is an owner’s manual or other technical documentation that can provide details about how the fixture or appliance should function. This will help them figure out what parts of the fixture may be causing the malfunction, so they can focus their attention there.

Next, the electrician will examine the circuit with careful observation. This involves looking for signs of mechanical damage, such as indications of impact, strained wires, and loose components. It also includes paying attention to any signs of overheating, as these could indicate a faulty component that’s producing too much heat.

Once the electrician has gathered all of this information, they’ll use test instruments to measure various aspects of the circuit. This will include examining voltage, current, and resistance. The electrician will then compare the results of these tests to what they should be if everything is functioning normally. If the results are off, it means that one or more of the circuit’s components is faulty and needs to be repaired or replaced.

This is where the electrician will need to be creative and logical. They’ll need to consider all of the possible causes of the problem and then eliminate them. For example, if a light bulb keeps blowing out or the circuit breaker is continually tripping, they might have to rule out certain appliances that generate a lot of heat, such as hairdryers and steam irons.

It’s important for the electrician to take their time and carefully observe the entire circuit. They should also be sure to follow all of their company’s safety precautions and rules when working on any piece of electrical equipment, as it can contain enough electricity to seriously injure or kill someone if not handled correctly.