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Ashworth College Blog

What Does an Electrician Do?

Written by Autumn Granza on Monday, 01 June 2020. Posted in Career

Electrician working on wire.

Electricians work to repair, replace, or install the wiring or equipment of electrical and power systems. Work may be done on homes, businesses, commercial buildings, or factories. Electricians use a variety of tools to maintain the equipment where electricity flows.

There are various jobs electricians may have. Some positions include

  • Outside linemen. Outside linemen install and maintain overhead transmission lines that move power from power plants to homes or businesses.
  • Inside wiremen. Inside wiremen work to connect commercial electrical systems to an outside powersource, and then distribute power throughout the facility.
  • Telecommunication technicians. Telecommunication technicians inspect and service wiring and electrical equipment. They maintain equipment that carry communication signals, like telephone lines.
  • Residential wiremen. Residential wiremen install electrical power in single- and multi-family homes. They may install the circuit breaker, electrical lines, or troubleshoot.

How much does an electrician make?

Electricians are in demand with a 7% faster than average job outlook. Almost every building has electrical power and electricians are relied on to install or maintain power systems. The salary of an electrician may vary depending on the job or type of work they do. In 2019, the median salary for electricians was $60,040, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, the median salary for line installers was $74,530 and telecommunications technicians earned $60,370. Most electricians work full time and their hours may vary depending on the details of the job. Oftentimes, electricians may work overtime, or their hours may be cut due to inclement weather. While an apprentice, hours may vary. The average salary of an apprentice is $53,300.

How do you become an electrician?

To become an electrician you need training. You’ll need both schoolwork and on-the-job training. Ashworth’s online Residential Electrician Career Diploma program can help you take the first steps toward a career. Our courses align with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and may help you develop the skills you need to enter the field. You’ll take lessons such as

  • Electrical Tools, Safety, and Calculations. In this lesson, you’ll learn to describe regulations and procedures related to electrical safety and how they can help protect you, and the buildings you work on, on the job.
  • Electrical Plans, Drawings, and Schematics. You’ll learn to interpret symbols and required specifications listed on electrical schematics, diagrams, and other technical drawings.
  • Conduits, Cables, and Conductors. You’ll understand the basic properties of electricity, how electrons flow, and how different materials affect conductivity.
  • Working with Residential and Small Commercial Electrical Systems. In this lesson, you’ll be able to explain the purpose and use of electrical materials and tools required in system installations and repairs so you can apply that knowledge to your work.

Most electricians must also complete a 4- to 5-year apprenticeship in addition to schoolwork. Apprenticeship requirements may vary by state. Electricians may also be required to be tested and licensed. Licensing and test requirements also vary by state.

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