We know: How to Become an Electrician

What do electricians do?

Electricians install, connect, test, and maintain electrical systems for a variety of purposes, including climate control, security, and communications.

What’s the standard pay for electricians?

According to the government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, in 2002, median hourly earnings of electricians were $19.90. The middle 50 percent earned between $14.95 and $26.50. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $11.81, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $33.21. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of electricians in 2002 are shown below:

  • Motor vehicle parts manufacturing $28.72
  • Local governments $21.15
  • Building equipment contractors $19.54
  • Nonresidential building construction $19.36
  • Employment services $15.46

What are the job hours?

Most electricians work a standard 40-hour week, although overtime may be required. Those in maintenance work may work nights or weekends, and be on call.

How are electricians trained?

Most people learn the electrical trade by completing an apprenticeship program lasting 3 to 5 years. The typical large apprenticeship program provides at least 144 hours of classroom instruction and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training each year.

Apprenticeship programs may be sponsored by joint training committees made up of local unions; company management committees of individual electrical contracting companies; or local chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Independent Electrical Contractors Association.

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