Becoming an Electrician: A Few Easy Steps You Can Take to Get Licensed

Becoming an Electrician

Across the United States, a large number of the working population of the country are certified and licensed tradesmen. Believe it or not, during the last few decades there has been such a large promotion of college education that this has resulted in a shortage of trade workers across the country.

If you’re interested in electrical work, or you have the desire to learn a respectable trade, taking the steps towards becoming a licensed electrical contractor just might be the career path right for you.

Like painters, roofers and plumbers, electricians are valued tradesmen, and the skills you’ll learn while on the job can be applied to almost any industry across the nation.

Here, we’ll explore the process of becoming an electrician and you’ll be well on your way to being trained in one of the more valuable trades around. And this applies to whether you’re fresh out of college or simply looking for a career change.

Get Educated

Many electricians learn their skills while on the job. This on-the-job training provides a young apprentice with the framework for understanding electrical components, hardware, wiring, and the essential knowledge needed to work around electricity in a safe manner.

Some electricians begin by taking vocational courses while still in high school. These classes, just like OTJ training, give you the basics of working knowledge of electricity, how to modify components, run diagnostics, and perform intricate repair work.

Additionally, some electricians also go a step further and enter into higher education to major in airplane and powerplant technology. These higher-level courses give you a much deeper understanding of the nature of electricity and how it is applied in major industries.

If you’re planning on working on aircraft, or on large commercial projects, an airplane/powerplant certification or an Associate’s degree in Applied Sciences would definitely be a path that you should consider.

Get Licensed

Once you’ve completed your education and training, it’s time to get licensed. While many electricians operate as journeymen, an electrical contractor must become licensed within the state that he or she intends on performing work or services in.

Your state requires that you must obtain an electrical contractor’s license in order to legally perform any work. It’s good to note that each state operates under a different mandate of requirements for education and training in order to get licensed.

In order for you to be properly licensed, you’ll need to contact your state or city contractor licensing department to find out just what is required, as all state or city requirements vary from state to state.

Once you’ve obtained your license, now you can begin working with other electricians or go into business for yourself as a freelance journeyman or an electrical contractor.

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Continue Your Education

Just because you’ve finally got your license in hand doesn’t mean that your training and education in the field of electrical work stops cold. With the lightning-quick pace of modern technological advancement, electrical code and ordinances are always changing or being modified.

This means that you need to stay on top of your game and keep up to date with the evolution of your trade.

Additionally, depending on your state’s requirements you’ll have to get your license renewed every few years. Again, depending on your state, this often requires anywhere between 8 to 16 (or more) hours of continuing education training prior to getting your license renewed.

It’s a good habit to keep up with trends in your field. But, it’s equally valuable to be as educated as possible in all aspects of your trade. This is what gives you top earning potential, and will earn you the respect of being an expert in your field.

In the world of trade work, there are many roads to choose from. You might consider plumbing, welding, HVAC, residential contracting or any other field. 

Regardless, demand for skilled workers in these trades has been on the rise for years and as such, you’ll be able to earn a decent living once you’ve been properly trained and licensed.

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