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An electrician specializes in electrical wiring and maintenance of buildings, transmission lines, and stationary machines. An electrician also performs maintenance and installation of new electrical components. An electrician works in both commercial and residential settings. Some electricians specialize in one area, such as commercial building electrical wiring. An electrician can also be found working in a utility company, manufacturing plant, or factory, installing electrical equipment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for electricians is expected to increase over the next few years. Between 2014 and 2024, there will be more than 79,900 new jobs created. This is a growth of nearly 14 percent, making electricians one of the fastest growing job fields. This growth is due to increased wiring of homes and businesses.
Electricians can work as independent contractors, or they can join a union. The largest union for electricians is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which has hundreds of thousands of members worldwide. However, whether union membership is required depends on the company policies. Union members pay dues to the union, which helps protect their interests. They also get to meet with union officials to negotiate contract terms.
A job as an electrician requires a certain set of skills and attributes. Electrical professionals must have excellent communication skills, be physically fit, and enjoy problem solving. An electrician will install, test, and troubleshoot electrical wiring and electrical equipment. In addition to a career as a general electrician, an electrician may also specialize in electrical design.
To do their jobs, electricians use a range of hand and power tools. Common tools include a conduit bender, a wrench, and a meter. Some electricians get their start working for private contractors. Among these tools, the conduit bender is used to make accurate bends in electrical conduit.
Continuing education is common for electricians. This includes training for changes in the electrical code and safety practices. In addition, an electrician must be knowledgeable in identifying colors and wires, which can help them make electrical repairs and other projects. Electricians must also be friendly to customers and be able to answer customer questions. The majority of their work will be hands-on.
An electrician may work in various settings, including construction sites, offices, and private residences. They may also work in confined spaces and use power tools. A residential electrician will install and troubleshoot a home’s electrical system. They may also install new lighting fixtures and household equipment. Alternatively, a commercial electrician can build infrastructure and conduct electrical systems for businesses and government entities.
There are three levels of electrician training. Apprentices will receive a lower wage while they are training. During their apprenticeship, they will complete several hundred hours of classroom instruction. Apprentices will eventually become journeymen. Once they have completed their apprenticeship, they will be paid the same as a journeyman.