How to Get a Job as an Electrician
An electrician may be taught about volts and amperes during an apprenticeship, but some of their most-used skills are inherent. Many of those who excel are critical thinkers who can quickly diagnose electrical problems. They also should be good listeners and practice patience—”it takes time to solve complex issues with equipment that can be expensive,” says Anthony Pennybaker, a Claypool Electric employee.
Learning to respect and collaborate with other construction workers is also essential. Underwood says it’s important to know “that all levels of people on a job site can have a good idea, and [to have] the willingness to listen to them.”
What is the Job Like?
Many electricians agree that they enjoy the variety found in their work. “I like to have new challenges and experience new problems that need [to be] solved,” says Brunning. “A project is like a big puzzle, and I get to work with new problems every day.” Pennybaker adds: “I like solving problems, and in my capacity working in service and small projects, I get to experience new challenges on a daily basis.” Those in the business could work both indoors and out, helping to install and inspect wiring, and to troubleshoot electrical problems. They could do plenty of standing, squatting, and stooping, plus lots of climbing ladders and lifting tools, but very little sitting behind a desk. Staying in good physical shape is beneficial. Most work full-time for contractors, working around residences, businesses, factories, and construction sites. Evenings and weekend work are common, particularly if an electrical problem or emergency arises.
Minor burns and electrical shocks may occur, and serious injuries may also happen from time to time. Still, electricians receive rigorous training on how to do their jobs in the safest manner possible. “The most important thing about safety is making sure that you have the right PPE [personal protective equipment] and the right clothing for the job that you are doing,” says Underwood. “Be aware of your surroundings and what others are working on around you, and how their work could affect you.”