Get wired about this exciting field
So you're thinking about going to school to become an electrician. The good news is that electricians are going to be in demand for a long time to come. As long as people use electrical devices, there will be a need for electricians. The downside is that the constant changes to technology and infrastructure are going to require electricians to keep upgrading their education throughout their entire careers. The best electricians are going to be the ones who are the best learners.
Some of the recent changes and improvements to electrical technology include the streamlining of the electrical infrastructure and increasing use of renewable forms of energy. Today's electricians will have to learn these new concepts, in addition to the things that electricians have always done like installing and maintaining wiring and controls for home and business and reading blueprints.
It's common for an electrician to spend years learning his or her trade - most electrician apprenticeships last three to five years, consisting mainly of on-the-job training. However, attending a local career college for training in areas like electronics, blueprint reading, safety and telephone, computer and other special wiring is also beneficial to prospective electricians.
There are around 700,000 electricians working in the U.S., and the majority work in either maintenance or construction. Only a small fraction are self-employed. Most electricians earn somewhere between $15 and $27 an hour for their services.
Electricians work in a variety of conditions. Some work exclusively outdoors at construction sites, so they are subject to variable weather conditions. All electricians face the risk of shock and electrocution, therefore it's vital they understand and follow safety procedures at all times.