Electricians are earning more money than ever, especially in the burgeoning energy business. Whichever the direction of the energy business here in America, whether it be solar, wind, or even conventional sources, there is always going to be a need for electricians. The question is: is becoming an electrician the right job for you? If so, then you'll need to get started with the electrician aprrenticeship program.
The first thing you may want to consider is what kind of electrician you want to be. A career as an electrician can mean this is what you’ll be doing for the next 25 years, so you need to give it serious consideration.
Just like the oil and gas business has its three basic branches, so too do electricians.
1. If you’re not fond of dangerous situations, if you’re the type who prefers to play it safe, then a Low Voltage Technician might be the right choice for you. Low voltage electricians install video, audio, fiber optics, and security cabling, among other low-risk, low-voltage types of electrical wiring. If you’re afraid of heights, or high voltage that can get into the hundreds of thousands of volts, than this may be the path for you.
2. Those electricians who work in the construction field, taking the power lines from the service drop into either residential, commercial, or even industrial settings, are known as Inside Linemen.
3. If you’re not afraid of heights or working in the great outdoors, then perhaps an Outside Lineman is the right choice for you. These are the guys you see on boom trucks and climbing up poles. And we talk about high voltage we are talking about HIGH voltage, sometimes into the hundreds of thousands of volts.
If you’ve made it this far then odds are becoming an electrician still sounds good for you. Be aware that to become a journeyman electrician does require at least 180 hours of classroom time each year of your apprenticeship, and four years total of working out in the field.
While four years might sound like a long time, remember that you are earning while you are learning. Remember, electricians (along with plumbers) are among the highest paid technicians in the construction industry. And the best part: it’s not grunt work. Meaning, that it requires more brain than brawn.
Exactly how you get started is really up to you. Truth is, however, it really is just as easy as putting together a list of local contractors in your area and going to speak with them. Most electricians started the same way you did and are open to newcomers if the time is right.
As your apprenticeship gets into the latter stages it will be time to start thinking about taking your journeyman’s exam and becoming a full-fledged, electrician yourself. Your boss will undoubtedly help you out. Here are some of the books we recommend when studying for your journeyman’s exam.