An electrician installs wiring, fuses and other electrical components in homes, businesses, and factories. He or she also maintains that equipment. In addition to working with high voltage wiring, many electricians install and maintain voice, data and video wiring. An electrician can specialize in either maintenance or construction but many work in both areas.
Electricians read blueprints, which are technical diagrams of electrical systems that show the location of circuits, outlets, and other equipment. They use different types of hand and power tools, such as conduit benders, to run and protect wiring. Other commonly used hand and power tools include screwdrivers, wire strippers, drills, and saws. While troubleshooting, electricians also may use ammeters, voltmeters, thermal scanners, and cable testers to find problems and ensure that components are working properly.
Many electricians work alone, but sometimes they collaborate with others. For example, experienced electricians may work with building engineers and architects to help design electrical systems for new construction.
What will I learn?
Throughout your Electrical apprenticeship you’ll learn a wide range of theoretical, practical and personal skills to aid your career progression in the industry. You’ll be taught about the installation and maintenance of power systems, lighting, electrical machinery, electrical motors and any other major electrotechnical equipment.
You’ll learn the theory of electrical science and craft, and about health and safety wiring regulations. We’ll also improve your communication and teamwork skills, vital for working on-site.
Essential Electrician Skill Set
Business skills – Self-employed electricians must be able to bid on new jobs, track inventory, and plan payroll and work assignments.
Color vision – Electricians must identify electrical wires by color.
Critical-thinking skills – Electricians perform tests and use the results to diagnose problems. For example, when an outlet is not working, they may use a multimeter to check the voltage, amperage, or resistance to determine the best course of action.
Customer-service skills – Residential electricians work with people on a regular basis. They should be friendly and be able to address customers’ questions.
Physical stamina – Electricians often need to move around all day while running wire and connecting fixtures to the wire.
Troubleshooting skills – Electricians find, diagnose, and repair problems. For example, if a motor stops working, they perform tests to determine the cause of its failure and then, depending on the results, fix or replace the motor.