Electrician is a specialized job where one need to be actively involved in the upkeep of heavy electrical equipment providing their expertise in servicing, testing, installing, repairing and maintaining the electrical equipment. For starters, these industrial electricians work with mostly large employers and it is not uncommon to find experienced electricians in this field working independently. Electricians are heavily employed in the construction industry and any other place where electrical maintenance is in high demand or is the essence of the business. Their job requirement is not limited to construction and maintenance alone, they are also highly in demand in steel industries, auto vehicle manufacturers and even by mining companies.
The demand of such specialists has increased substantially because of heavy reliance of machinery and equipment on electricity. While basic knowledge and know-how can only get you so far, this particular field of late has become highly competitive where more knowledge and education has become an essential tool for better jobs and success. Many such technicians are raising the competitive bar by acquiring knowledge even in the field of robotics and space vehicles. The manufacturing industry heavily relies on robotic contribution and such equipment often requires repair and sustained maintenance, the need for Electricians in such fields is steep and these jobs are often very high-paying. In most of the countries there are many electrical associations that sponsor programs, which the interested candidates can join to further their career and carve niche for themselves.
The minimum qualification to apply for a job of an electrician is a high school diploma or something equivalent. Not only knowledge of math’s and science is essential but a passing grade in these courses is a must to be considered for the job of an electrician. One of the most common and popular way to lead up to an electrician job is to apply for and complete an apprenticeship course. This course is usually 4 years in duration and entails both classroom courses and on-the-job instruction program. There are certain minimum number of course work points that are to be completed each year both in the classroom and practical department. On an average, the students in the apprenticeship program have to complete approximately nine thousand hours. There is wide variety of courses offered pertaining to electrical knowledge. These usually include courses like fundamentals of electricity, electric wiring and controls, how to read electric codes and blueprints, knowledge of circuits etc.
The successful completion of apprenticeship can be followed with taking a state examination, whereupon its successful completion one can become a licensed electrician. The licensed technician is also called the journeyman electrician. Further than that a journeyman electrician can become a master electrician with requisite extended experience and /or higher educational qualification.
The Job and its Challenges
The job of an electrician can be quite challenging. Often times, these technicians are required to work in difficult conditions, they have to work on big and heavy machines, which they have to climb for repair and maintenance purposes. Working in confined and tight spots is not unheard of for electricians. They are also required to be effective in communication so that they can explain and articulate clearly to their customers, co-workers and all other people they have to deal with. Understanding of blueprints and interpreting electrical codes is an absolute requirement and they are supposed to be proficient in doing all these activities.
These technicians usually work a set number of hours per week, often times working in shifts. Sometimes they are called upon to work during the off-hours since such is the nature of the job, as any electrical emergency can crop up at any time.