Electrical technicians are always in high demand. Being a vital part of the construction industry, their services are not only required for new construction.
Electrician Or Electrical Technician
Referred to as simply an electrician in the past, an electrical technician performs all the duties related to installing and maintaining electrical equipment in homes, businesses, factories, and infrastructure.
Because every building requires electrical power, lighting, and communications, trained electricians enjoy competitive salaries and consistent employment.
Job duties of an electrical technician include:
- Reading blueprints and technical diagrams
- Installing and maintaining wiring, lighting, and control systems
- Inspecting electrical components like circuit breakers and transformers
- Identifying electrical problems
- Repairing or replacing wiring and equipment using hand- and power tools
- Following state and local building regulations according to the National Electrical Code
- Supervising other workers in installment, maintenance, and repair of electrical equipment
Electricians may be required to work in cramped spaces or have to stand or kneel for long periods of time. They risk exposure to dirt, debris, fumes, noisy machinery, and inclement weather.
The job can be hazardous as electrical technicians sometimes work at great heights and risk falls, electrical shocks, and burns. For this reason, they must be trained in safety and wear protective clothing, safety glasses, and hearing protection.
How to Become an Electrical Technician
The best way to prepare for a job as an electrical technician is to first enroll in a training program like the one offered at Southern Careers Institute.
Students receive instruction on the installation, operation, repair, maintenance, and replacement of electrical systems for residential and commercial properties.
Required coursework covers electrical theory, mathematics, safety skills, first aid practices, inspections, regulations, and applicable codes.
Students also get hands-on training in handling electrical distribution panels, DC/AC motors and controls, instrumentation, power transmissions, and wiring.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are ready for entry-level training employment working under a master electrician. At that point, they begin earning the on-the-job training hours required to apply for Texas state licensing.
Certification Levels of Electrical Technicians
It generally takes four to five years of apprenticeship training to become licensed as an electrical technician at the journeyman level. Apprentices gain about 2,000 hours of hands-on experience per year.
Each certification level for electrical technicians requires a certain number of hours working under the supervision of a master electrician in addition to passing a licensing examination.
- Residential Wireman: The first level requires 4,000 hours of supervised training and then passing an exam. Wiremen specialize in installing and distributing electricity to single- and multi-family residential dwellings.
- Journeyman Electrical Technician: To advance to this level, electricians need 8,000 hours of training before sitting for an exam. A journeyman installs and maintains multiple types of electrical systems in homes, apartment buildings, businesses, and factories.
- Master Electrician: Before qualifying for the master level, an electrical technician must have a journeyman license for at least 2 years plus 12,000 supervised hours and then pass an exam. A master electrician can supervise other electricians, work as a foreman on jobs, and pull work permits. Master electricians are also permitted to open their own electrical companies.
Successful enrollment at a technical school and military experience can shorten the length of an apprenticeship. Once certified, most electricians participate in continuing education courses to maintain their licenses and keep up with changes in the industry.
Job Outlook and Salaries for Electrical Technicians
Electrical technicians qualify for a number of jobs including residential electrical installers, commercial electrical installers, panel builders, maintenance electricians, automotive electrical technicians, appliance installation contractors, and instrument electricians.
Employment opportunities for electricians are expected to increase by 10 percent in the next ten years. The anticipated rise in construction spending and the ever-growing demand for alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, are the driving forces for this positive outlook.
The average salary for an electrician or electrical technician falls at about $55,000 per year. This number increases for the master electrician with specialization and years of experience. Also, overtime hours are quite common for electricians as they are often required to work nights and weekends.
What Qualifications are Needed to be an Electrical Technician?
Electrical technicians must possess a specific set of skills to successfully do the job.
- Critical thinking and troubleshooting skills. Electricians must be able to perform tests, diagnose problems, and determine the best course of action to solve electrical issues.
- Color vision. Electrical technicians must be able to identify wires by color.
- Physical stamina. Electricians must be in good physical shape in order to move around all day while running wire and connecting fixtures to those wires.
- Physical strength. Electrical technicians have to be strong enough to lift and move heavy components.
- Customer service skills. Working with people on a regular basis is a main part of an electrician’s job. Electrical technicians must be friendly and able to not only answer customers’ questions but work in a team if need be.
Electrician Training at Southern Careers Institute
To get on the path to a successful career, contact Southern Careers Institute at 1-833-SCI-TEXAS to begin the process of enrollment. Our electrical technician program will get you prepared for an entry-level role such as a wiring installer or residential electrician.
Once employed, you can start earning the necessary hands-on hours needed to get your license. Southern Careers Institute has been in business since 1960. We have campuses located in Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Waco, Brownsville, and Pharr, Texas.
In addition to the electrical technician program, we offer career training in business, technology, beauty, the medical field, and industrial trades like welding and automotive service.
We also have online classes in business accounting, computer support, medical billing and coding, and an associate degree in management. It’s time to satisfy your passion for change. Learn more about Southern Careers Institute and contact us today!
Blog Disclaimer: Information stated in this blog is for general information purposes only. SCITexas.edu not assume or guarantee income earning potential or salary expectations based on the programs offered at Southern Careers Institute.
This article was published on: 02/20/20 12:05 AM
* SCI does not guarantee employment or a starting salary upon graduation, completion, or withdrawal from SCI. As an accredited post-secondary institution, SCI has various federal financial assistance programs available for students who qualify and are enrolled in SCI programs. This does not apply to seminar students.