How to Become an Electrician

If you have a passion for performing electrical work and want to become an electrician as your career path, you may have wondered what types of training program you need to complete and what type of skill set you need to acquire in order to obtain the best jobs. Becoming an electrician can be a fairly lengthy process, and it's important that you seek out the right training program that meets your state's basic requirements, and also provides you with extensive training that you will use over your entire career.

Many people who choose to become an electrician focus on specializing in a certain area so that they become specialists in their field - and also command higher-than-average salaries as a result. Do you have what it takes to become an electrician? Here's what you need to know about mastering this trade and becoming an electrician.

What Does it Take to Become an Electrician?

When you decide you want to become an electrician, you will need to be confident in your physical and mental abilities and skills to perform the complex electrical work and tasks in a typical job setting. You might consider taking a career suitability test if you are still unsure if you want to become an electrician or pursue other trades in this field. But what does it really take to become an electrician? Successful electricians need to possess the following characteristics and traits:

  • Strong interest in physics, math and science
  • Technical knowledge and aptitude
  • Comfortable working with their hands
  • Able to perform physical labor and work in cramped spaces
  • Ability to concentrate on small projects for long periods of time

Steps to Becoming an Electrician

When you are trying to find out how to become an electrician, you can start by reviewing an electrician job description and determining what the basic training requirements are as dictated by your state's board. You can also learn more about this trade by contacting local chapters of the National Electrical Contractors Association or even by checking the job requirements posted by electrical contracting companies. Other associations and organizations that offer information on those who want to become an electrician include the Independent Electrical Contractors Association, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Associated Builders and Contractors organization.

Review the educational requirements of electrician degree programs and find out how you can get an apprenticeship in the field. Apprenticeship training hours are a requirement for licensing, and the number of hours you will need to complete will depend on the state you live in. Most apprenticeship programs take about four years to complete and require a minimum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.

Other Tips for Becoming an Electrician

Some other tips to keep in mind for becoming an electrician include:

  • Advanced courses are available to become a master electrician and to get your master electrician license
  • You will need to take continuing education courses to keep up with industry trends and changes
  • Job opportunities for licensed electricians are expected to increase over the next decade, and those who specialize in a particular area or have strong skill set for a specific industry will enjoy the best job prospects and opportunities