Electrician Courses & Training

Whether you are someone who is interested in pursuing a career in the field of electrical engineering or you simply want to work as an independent electrician in your area, choosing the right electrician course is very important. Different states and countries will have different electrical codes and regulations so before enrolling in any home electrical courses, you need to make sure that course you enroll in is recognized and approved by your local electrical authority.

Although electrician is a highly sought-after profession, you should set a realistic expectation of how much you can make before you decide to embark on this journey. There are many factors that can affect your earnings or hourly wages and one of them is competition level. The problem with having too many electricians in an area is that in order to survive in the market, they will tend to offer reduced rates. As a result, you will most likely have to resort to the same strategy, which often translates to not following proper electrical guidelines and cutting corners at the expense of customers’ safety…

So before you decide to learn the trade, it is advisable that you read the electrician job description and see if you meet the minimum qualifications. After that, do a quick market research and find out what is the average electrician salary in the area which you intend to offer your services. Most electricians who make a decent living are often experienced and highly trained. It is also a good idea to talk to some of them and if you’re lucky, you might even be able to get an electrician apprenticeship with them.

Before you can start making money doing electrical work, you need to go through certain electrician courses which include classroom education (about 140 hours), apprenticeship (working under a professional and licensed electrician for about 2000 hours), and getting professionally licensed. To get started, you can either: enroll in a normal college, go to a trade school, or join an apprenticeship program.

Classroom education may sound like a lot of studying to do but they are absolutely necessary for giving you a solid foundation and understanding of proper electrical work and safety requirements, as well as familiarizing yourself with the electrician tools you will be working with. As you progress through the course, you will learn more advanced electricity theories, wiring regulations, inspection, requirements for proper electrical installations and many more.

The apprenticeship is where all the real fun (training) begins as you will learn important electrical skills and various tricks of the trade to help you do your job effectively and efficiently. In fact, apprenticeship is by far the fastest and most effective way for most students to learn the trade. After completing their apprenticeship, most students will feel really confident about their newly acquired electrical skill and knowledge. All that remains is for them to get professionally licensed…

Electrician Tools

As an electrician, you will need various electrician tools to help you get your job done quickly and efficiently. Using the wrong tools can not only make your job harder but also dangerous in many cases. Fortunately, most of these tools are not as expensive as they used to be and many of them have gone through some major upgrades while keeping their price affordable. Although there is no limit as to how much tools you can carry to a job site, it is recommended that you only bring tools the necessary tools or get a few of those multipurpose tools so that you won’t have to worry about losing them so often.

Below are some of the tools you will be using the majority of the time while performing your work:

Screwdrivers–both Square and Phillips. This is the standard must have electrician tool that you will use pretty much most of the time. It is recommended that you have them in a variety of sizes and lengths so that you’re able to handle different jobs and situations effectively. Make sure all your screwdrivers come with insulated grips.

Nut drivers and Hex key sets. This is for places that do not use the standard Square or Phillips screws.

Wire strippers. Since you will be stripping wires almost all of the time, this is also another must-have tool for an electrician. Although it’s possible to strip wires using a normal knife, it’s faster and far safer to use a wire stripper.

Pliers. There are many different types of pliers you can get in the market. As an electrician, the most useful ones are long-nose pliers, mini pliers, lineman pliers, side-cutting pliers, needle-nose pliers, channel lock pliers, and diagonal cut pliers.

Grounded wrist strap. Wrist straps are a must if you work with delicate electronics. This is because the buildup of static electricity in you can affect and even damage electronics. By wearing the wrist strap, you won’t have to worry about static electric damage while working with sensitive and delicate electronic parts.

Continuity tester. Every electrician worth his or her salt will have this in their inventory of must-have tools. Basically, a continuity tester is a pretty handy and inexpensive tool that helps you determine whether and where a wiring installation is broken.

Multi-meter. This is another important tool that any electricians worth his or her salt will have. It is basically an all-in-one tool (ohm meter, volt meter, and continuity tester) that is used mainly for doing voltage checks.

Voltage Tester. This tool is used for checking whether the wires you’re working on are live or hot. Basically, the tool has an indicator light which up will glow when it detects a live circuit.

Circuit Tester. This is basically a simple tool you plug into a power outlet to check whether the circuit is properly grounded.

Soldering iron. This is a pretty common tool used by electricians when they need to repair broken wires or solder the parts when they are repairing circuit boards. Soldering iron goes hand in hand with solder so make sure you bring enough solder with you.

Electricians tool belt/electricians pouch. How do you keep all your tools organized when you have to bring so many of them with you? Instead of placing all over the place and losing them all the time, you should get an electrician’s tool belt or electrician’s pouch to keep all your tools organized so that you know exactly where they are when you need to use them. If you plan to keep your tools in the pouch or belt, make sure that you choose tools that are lighter in weight and smaller whenever possible.

Other tools that will be useful to you in your field of work include power tools such as power drills, reciprocating saws, spiral saws and so on. You should also bring your own safety equipment with you at all times to protect yourself from various hazards. Safety equipment such as safety glasses, insulating gloves, and dielectric boots are a must.

Final Words

In short, using the right electrician tools to do your job can really make a difference in the quality of your work as well as keeping you safe. Since you’re working with electricity, you want to make sure that all your hand tools are double insulated. If you’re working in a flammable environment, make sure that you only use non-sparking tools.

Getting Ready to Become an Electrician

Different Electrician Training Courses

Becoming an electrician can be a solid career choice but before this can occur you must embark on a full-fledged career training program to become an electrician and many academies & training schools across the country offer courses.

Prerequisites and Programs Offered

Before starting an electrician training course there are few requirements that have to be met and the most important one is a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or its equivalent and of course, you should be 18 years and above. Apart from that you also need to have good eyesight, balance, proper color vision, and good eye-hand coordination. Courses for electrical training are offered by state-approved organizations such as the Associated Builders and Contractors, Independent Electrical Contractors Association, Electrical Workers, and National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). A combination of classroom instruction and paid-on-job training is the ideal way to start off as an electrician.

Nature of Work

The job of an electrician is to install and maintain an array of electrical equipment in homes, businesses, and factories; though the installation and maintenance can be combined, sometimes electricians can work only in the installation or maintenance sub-categories. But the electrical training course involves both aspects and students are taught the complete installation process, wiring, and about equipment control.

Electrician Training also involves learning and following the state and local building codes. The National Electrical Code is also taught so when you graduate you comprehend these rules and know which rules have to be adhered to and for what reason. This introduction should take place; after all, this is a career profession you are considering on engaging. When working on a building the electrician has to know how to read the blueprints and technical drawings that have complete details on the panel boards, and circuits and all this is part of an electrician training course. The use of hand tools is an important aspect and the proper and safe use of different tools such as wire strippers, conduit benders, pliers, screwdrivers, and backsaws are also taught.

On the Job Training For Electricians

Before becoming an electrician, a person has to tackle an on-the-job apprenticeship even if a formal electrical training course has been completed. The apprentices undergo training under the guidance and supervision of experienced electricians and start off with small tasks such as drilling holes and attaching conduits.

Eventually, they will learn to set up and draw diagrams and then install conduits and test wiring before mastering all the tasks required to be a complete electrician. Vocational technical schools offer electrical training before absorbing the students on an apprenticeship basis or they can also find work outside this particular domain. But education for an electrician continues throughout their career due to rapid technological advances and it is good to be updated about the latest developments even after completing an electrician training course.

Dealing with change is a concrete component of the electrical field just like it is in so many other careers.

Work Environment

An electrician’s work can be both indoors and outside such as construction sites and also involve lifting heavy objects and standing for long hours. Electrical jobs also involve risk of injury from electrical shock and sometimes cuts and falls are part of the job. Weather is also a factor and electricians may sometimes have to work under extreme weather conditions.

The standard work hours for electricians is a 40-hour work week but huge projects or companies that operate on a 24-hour basis may offer shifts to choose from. If you work a normal 40 hour work week and you work more than 40 hours in a week, over time should be on the cards.

Licensing Requirements

Even after the completion of the electrical training curriculum and on the job training, electricians must obtain a license to work and the licensing specifications may vary from state to state. Generally, a state-approved exam testing your knowledge, capability, and adherence to The National Electrical Code has to be passed.

Electricians working on huge projects such as bridges and highways or even colossal public structures require special licensing. Some states may also require master electrical certification. It is good to check out the different requirements for a particular state, along with the electrician training requirements.

Career Advancement

Once a person completes his training and starts to work on a regular basis and attains a decent amount of experience you can start applying for supervisory jobs and even go on to become project managers or even construction superintendents. These are some of the different avenues that could be available. Another career option for electricians could also be electrical inspectors.

Some people also like to start their own electrical company and become an entrepreneur. This will involve business and marketing and could involve a massive amount of hours in the beginning before the community begins to know your name. This could entail installation and maintenance work on an individual basis. This is just another option to consider in this huge and vital field.