How to become an electrician

Job description: What does an electrician do?

The electrician profession includes the installation, repair, and maintenance of electronic systems. This includes, for example, production machines, switchgear, control systems, energy supply systems, and communication systems as well as lighting. An electrician can be employed in any area of ​​industry. Depending on the place of work, your task varies, which makes the job a varied activity.

In ​​production systems, electricians are primarily responsible for the maintenance and repair of the machines. They work with various drives and motors in industrial engineering and build light barriers or electric motors themselves. Working with hydraulic (water-operated) or pneumatic (pressure-operated) systems is just as much a part of your work as dealing with control systems that fully automatically take over the control of large machines.

Safety systems are also programmed or installed by electricians. All machines require maintenance after installation, which is a big part of working life. If a company changes its electronic system or set up from scratch, electricians are responsible for safely putting them into operation.

Today almost every area of ​​life is equipped with electronics so that electricians can have a wide variety of work environments. In production or operation, they are mainly responsible for production technology; they work in power stations or substations in energy supply. In the mobility sectors, they are responsible for assembly lines, while as an employee in retail or wholesale, you mainly work with household items. Much of the work is devoted to maintenance and repair. Here, the job can quickly become exciting and hectic when a failed system has to be brought back up and running quickly. Regular testing and logging of courses are also part of the electrician’s duties.

Electricians must also instruct others in the use of equipment or systems. They explain the working method understandably and point out unique problems or details in operation. They also often produce short, written instructions for future users. Furthermore, clients often have to be advised on new systems. Electricians then create circuit diagrams and check the modifications.

Average salary: How much does an electrician make in the United States?

The average salary for a electrician is $52,200 per year ($23 per hour) in the United States and $8 overtime per year.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Electrician responsibilities and requirements

As a lot of technology surrounds an electrician, there should be an affinity for all technical things in everyday life. The job consists mostly of practical tasks such as building plants, so you should be skilled in the craft and be interested in creating something with your hands. The profession of electrician also takes place very much in theory. Data has to be evaluated, processes and circuit diagrams have to be optimized, and new parts must be added to a system. This requires a lot of theoretical knowledge, as such plans are initially only made on paper and then later put into practice.

Care and self-organization are essential aspects of this job. Working with large systems, which cause immense costs in the event of a failure, requires a high sense of duty. Plans have to be checked conscientiously, and the results recorded – errors caused by inattention can very quickly have serious consequences. Technology is an area that is developing rapidly at the moment. Therefore, prospective electricians should always be aware of the latest developments in their field of work. Curiosity and a good memory are beneficial here. If you often have to plan theoretically, you have to have a lot of abstract thinking in addition to manual skills.

The most elementary school grades for an electrician are mathematics. Texts and instructions must be well understood, but instructions must also be able to be passed on. A good understanding of the text and a good knowledge of the English language is essential. Mathematics plays a significant role in technology, for example, when calculating resistances or the current strength.