Electricians work with wiring, equipment, and circuits in all types of buildings and other structures. They are employed by electrical contractors, building maintenance departments, or they may be self-employed. They prepare, assemble, install, test, troubleshoot, and repair electrical wiring, fixtures, and control devices.
They are also responsible for ensuring that their work meets national and local codes. This includes adherence to safety standards, using standardized tools, and following industry-recognized practices.
Those who want to be an electrician must earn their credentials through a formal education program. These programs can be found at vocational schools, trade schools, and community colleges. Some are two-year associate degree programs and others are certificate programs.
These programs are designed to train students in the fundamentals of electrical technology. They teach basic circuitry, safety procedures, and blueprint reading. These courses also include math and general education classes.
The curriculum is based on the National Electrical Code and covers topics such as load color codes, ohm’s law, and safety. It also addresses the learn more use of tools like wire strippers and conduit benders.
After the classroom training, students take an apprenticeship. This apprenticeship is a three- to five-year program, and it is required for those who are seeking to be licensed. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, students are eligible to take the licensing exam and apply for a job as a journeyman electrician.
They are often required to travel to remote jobs sites, where they can complete one task before moving on to the next. These work sites can be far from the electrician’s home.
Once on site, apprentices learn from master electricians and journeymen. They are given small tasks such as pulling cable, assembling wire carts, and building electrical conduits.
During the course of their apprenticeship, electricians learn to read blueprints, which show where electrical wires should go. They then use handtools and power tools to assemble and install the wiring in a home, office, or other structure.
A digital multimeter is a helpful tool for an electrician to have on-hand. It can measure current, resistance, voltage, and a number of other measurements.
This meter can help you make sure that all connections are safe and compatible, and it can be used to find out how much energy is being transferred through a wire or circuit. It can also be used to check for harmonics.
When a circuit is finished, electricians test it for damage or compatibility with other components by measuring the current with an ammeter. This is usually done by placing the ammeter in series with the circuit. If the ammeter doesn’t read the correct amount of current, it can lead to a dangerous situation that could cause a fire or electrocution.
As the baby boomers retire and younger generations enter the workforce, the demand for electricians will continue to increase. This is especially true for those who work with older homes and businesses that have aging or outdated systems.