What Does an Electrician Do?
An electrician is a professional who installs and maintains electrical systems. They specialize in building wiring, transmission lines, and stationary machines. They may also perform maintenance on existing electrical infrastructure. Electricians may work in homes or businesses. There are several different types of electricians. All of them specialize in different areas of the electrical industry.
An electrician’s training includes both classroom instruction and on-the-job training. The education and training a person receives is tailored to suit their specific needs. Most apprenticeship programs combine classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training. These programs are sponsored by individual electrical contracting companies or local chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Independent Electrical Contractors Association.
Electricians also need the proper equipment and tools to perform their jobs. They use crimping tools to apply terminals to cables. These tools can be hydraulic or hand-held. Some hand-held tools have ratchets to ensure proper pressure is applied. Hydraulic units can be used to achieve cold welding of aluminum cable. Other tools an electrician should have are an Insulation Resistance Tester (IRT), also known as a Megger. This tool applies several hundred to a thousand volts to a cable to determine its insulation resistance value. Some electricians also use a Knockout Punch to insert cable connectors. Other tools may include a GFI/GFCI Tester and a Voltmeter to measure electrical potential between two points in a circuit.
An electrician’s job requires concentration and focus. They may work long hours in cramped, dirty environments. Some electricians must work overtime during busy times. The amount of overtime they work depends on the region, industry, and the type of job. They may work indoors or outdoors, alone or with other construction workers. They may also need to work in confined spaces and may need to work at heights.
An electrician can install electrical systems in homes, businesses, and factories. Aside from installing the electrical system, an electrician can also maintain it by replacing damaged or faulty equipment. Maintenance work includes replacing or repairing components, replacing motors, and testing materials to ensure safety. If a piece of electrical equipment is not working properly, an electrician can help by using power tools and hand tools.
An electrician who has formal education will have an edge over others in the field. The electrical trade is physically demanding and can be hazardous if not performed correctly, so it is imperative to receive a good training program. Apprenticeships are usually a minimum of two years long and include classroom and on-the-job training.
Another great option for aspiring electricians is to start their own business. This can be more rewarding than working for someone else, but it does come with a high level of responsibility. However, if you run a successful electrical business, you could make a fortune. With that in mind, being an electrician may not be for everyone, but if you’re skilled and passionate about your work, you can earn good money.