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Becoming a certified electrician – Important things to know

Becoming a certified electrician – Important things to know

If you are starting a career as an electrician or want to build an electrical kit for home use, you have to choose the right power and electrical supplies. And it’s not about buying any tool for the job but picking ones that could last for years before you need to purchase a replacement. Furthermore, as a beginner, you should know about the certification and training required to become an electrician.

Common electrical and power supplies
To be an efficient electrician, you will always need some basic hand supplies handy. A few must-haves in your kit include-

  • Tape measure
  • Multimeter
  • Wire stripper
  • Non-contact voltage detector
  • Plier
  • Utility knife
  • Wire crimper
  • Screwdriver and nut drivers

While these are the basic tools to have in your kit, you may require power tools to become an efficient electrician. These tools operate far faster and require less effort than their manual counterparts. The must-haves include:

  • Combi power drill
  • Oscillating multi-tool
  • Circular saw
  • SDS drill
  • Laser measuring tools

Steps to electrical training and secure a job
To become a certified electrician and take up contracts, follow the below steps.

Get a diploma
The first step in becoming an electrician is to earn a high school diploma or equivalency, such as a GED. Also, consider taking courses including Math, English, Physics, and electronics to better prepare for the career.

Pursue a post-secondary certification
After earning the diploma, you could pursue a post-secondary certificate or associate’s degree from a college or trade school. Electrician schooling will offer a foundation of knowledge of wiring techniques, electrical theory, safety practices, and the national electrical code. The course usually takes 1 to 2 years to complete and is optional.

Register as an apprentice
Once this is complete, register as an apprentice or trainee (if required). Some states require aspiring electricians to register before they are permitted to work on a job site. The registration process is usually easy and quick, which includes filling out a form and paying the fee. Ensure that you check with the local labor authorities to determine the eligibility requirements in your region.

Work with a master electrician
Find and complete an apprenticeship that could help hone your skills and perform the tasks of a licensed electrician. The learning phase takes about four years to complete, with the qualification criteria demanding 2000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 hours of classroom lessons. A master or journeyman electrician usually conducts the training and pays you for the work completed. You could use the U.S. Department of Labor’s search tool to discover apprenticeships in your area. Alternatively, look online and get in touch with organizations like the National Electric Contractors Association (NECA) and Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC).

Get an electrician’s license
Before becoming an independent electrician, you should obtain an electrician’s license. You need to contact your district’s local officials to learn how and where you must apply. To qualify, you must have knowledge of the National Electrical Code, electrical safety, local laws and building codes, and basic electrical concepts.

Types of jobs
As a certified electrician, you can install, repair, and maintain electrical systems in homes, offices, commercial buildings, and industries. Here are some of the common types of electrician jobs and how you can get started-

Residential electrician
It is the most common electricity job, where you must install, fix, and maintain electrical systems in domestic settings. As part of the job, you may need to install, maintain and repair electrical systems in residential spaces. To become a residential electrician, you must complete an apprenticeship and formal classroom instructions.

Commercial electrician
A commercial electrician works in larger buildings such as schools, offices, and malls. You may need to maintain, repair, and install electrical components and complete wiring systems by following necessary safety precautions. To become a commercial electrician, you should complete an apprenticeship training in commercial setups.

Maintenance electrician
To qualify as a maintenance electrician, you must complete a formal apprenticeship and have an electrician license to work independently. You could be assigned work in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Your primary job will be to review the safety of electrical systems to ensure they function correctly. You should also test, troubleshoot, and diagnose electrical problems. Furthermore, you will be trained to repair or replace important equipment.

Electrical engineer
As an electrical engineer, your work profile could involve designing, developing, testing, or supervising the production of electrical equipment. You could work in industries including research and development, manufacturing, telecommunications, engineering services, and the federal government. To become an electrical engineer, you must have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and electronics engineering. An employer may also value practical experience, such as internships or participation in cooperative engineering programs.

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