How to Become a Licensed Electrician
If you’re technically adept and interested in providing a service that helps the modern world go round, consider becoming an electrician. Licensed, or master, electricians are highly-trained technicians whose responsibilities include everything from replacing an electrical outlet to wiring a newly-constructed house or building. This article provides information on the work of an electrician, the educational and training requirements for becoming an electrician, and how to get your license.
Part One of Three:
Prepare to Become an Electrician Edit
Understand what the job entails. Electricians work in a variety of settings, including homes, businesses, schools, hospitals – any type of facility that needs electricity to function. Electricians may find themselves working in extremes of heat and cold, indoors and out any time of year. Electricians may also perform electrical work on trains, airplanes, ships and vehicles. Electricians’ work includes the following:
- Reading blueprints, or technical diagrams of a work site’s electrical wiring.
- Connecting wires, circuit breakers, and outlets, and replacing or adding wires, circuit breakers, connections, and fuses.
- Using specialized equipment, including oscilloscopes, ammeters, ohmmeters and voltmeters, to perform their work. 
- Working as part of a team in coordination with the construction project manager, homeowner, or building manager of a work site.
- Knowing and following building codes and regulations to ensure buildings are wired safely.
Have an aptitude for electrical work. Electricians are adept at diagnosing problems and using good judgement and the right techniques to solve them. Electricians have the following traits:
- They are detail-oriented. Electricians know that glossing over details in a wiring project could at best result in non-functioning wiring, and at worst create a dangerous situation.
- They have strong manual dexterity. Electricians work with small tools and parts that must be handled with care and precision. They often have to climb ladders or enter crawl spaces to perform their jobs.
- They are flexible. Electricians are comfortable working at many different sites, under a variety of conditions. They are able to effectively communicate with managers and members of construction teams.
Talk to electricians. If you’re serious about becoming a licensed technician, contact electricians in your area and set up informational interviews.
- Ask if you can shadow them or help out on a project to experience a day in the life of a technician.
- Seek a master or licensed electrician willing to take you on as a longer-term helper. This will give you the opportunity to gain some knowledge and experience in the field.
- Ask for recommendations on trade schools and certification programs in your area.
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