An electrician is a person who works on electrical wiring. He installs, operates, maintains and repairs electric devices and electrical wiring. A skilled tradesperson, an electrician may specialize in one of several areas, including residential and commercial work, or in power transmission lines.
Electricians often begin their careers by joining an apprenticeship program. These programs typically last four to five years and offer on-the-job training for a stipend. The program teaches apprentices to read blueprints and other technical documents, as well as safety protocols. After completing an apprenticeship, an electrician must obtain a license to operate in his state or territory.
In addition to a license, electricians also require an extensive knowledge of electrical theory and the ability to troubleshoot problems. They use their problem-solving skills to determine what needs to be fixed, where the wires go and how to connect them properly. They also need good comprehension skills to understand the memos and other technical documents they receive on new job sites.
Working as an electrician requires a significant amount of physical labor. Electricians often need to climb ladders and crawl into tight spaces to perform their jobs. They must also be able to carry heavy tools and equipment. This can take a toll on their backs, necks and joints. It can become particularly difficult as they age. In addition, the job exposes electricians to electricity, which can be dangerous if not handled correctly.
A career as an electrician can be satisfying for people who like to help others and are good at problem-solving. However, it is not a lucrative option for those who want to make a large sum of money. The pay is quite low and it can be frustrating for many to put in so much effort to remain an electrician for decades without seeing their salary increase significantly.
In order to be an electrician, a person must have a high school diploma or equivalent and a high level of physical fitness. He must also be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines. He must also be a quick learner and understand basic math. A successful electrician will have excellent communication skills and be able to work as part of a team.