If you’re bright, you’re good at fixing things and are looking for a great career, chances are you have educational obstacles in your way. You probably think you have to do some serious college time and rack up significant loan costs along the way. Not true. There are trades you can consider that will pay well and reward you in myriad other ways, and becoming an electrician is one of them.
But don’t think it’s a soft-touch career. The training is rigorous and time-consuming, but the good news is that you’ll get paid while doing it in a town like North Reading, so let’s take a deeper dive into what it takes and some of the most important decisions you’ll have to make along the way.
Initial Education – High School or GED
Given some of the tasks that electricians have to perform as part of their daily duties, it’s hardly surprising that you need a high school diploma. It’s a little more surprising that you can get by and do just fine with a GED, and there are more pleasant surprises to come when it comes to professional education.
Simply put, you can enter the profession with either of those basic educational requirements. You will have to take some classes and go through an apprenticeship, but when you counter the theoretical cost of college with the possibility of getting paid training as an apprentice, becoming an electrician starts to look like a pretty good deal.
Vocational Classes, Tech School or Associates Degree
Once you have the educational basics in place, the choices start to get intriguing. You can take vocational classes geared toward becoming an electrician, and while these classes may lead to some kind of certificate, your real goal is to land an apprenticeship. But that’s not the only way you can get there. Electricians are in short supply these days, and to counter that shortage, there’s been an explosive growth in tech schools to fill that gap.
Some are associated with vocational schools, while others are independent, but that doesn’t matter if you land that all-important apprenticeship. The availability of associate degrees as a way to become an electrician is relatively new. It’s a response to the shortage of electricians, and it also speaks to the cost of many college degrees that just aren’t cutting it when it comes to landing a well-paying job. If you’re strong in academics, though, an associate degree like that is well worth considering, depending on the cost issues that come into play.
The Electrician Apprenticeship
Once you’re in an apprenticeship program, your training starts in earnest. You’ll be working in the field with a licensed electrician who can show you the ropes, and the hands-on experience you get will be invaluable. It definitely won’t be sunshine and puppies in the beginning, though. Apprenticeships for electricians are notoriously tough out of the gate, and you’re likely to find yourself doing things like digging ditches, stripping wires, and cleaning up work sites.
If you stay the course, though, you’ll be rewarded in spades. Electrician apprenticeships are also notorious for being rigorous, which means you’ll be getting about 8,000 hours of hands-on work and class time to learn the profession inside out. You can get this kind of apprenticeship in one of two ways. The first is to go through the vocational school, tech school, or the college where you got your associate degree.
It’s their job to get you there, so if you’ve worked hard and done well, they’ll generally be happy to help. You can also get an apprenticeship through a union. Doing this is a little more nebulous when it comes to the particulars – it helps to know someone, but you’ll still have to show that you’ve had the right training and you can handle the equipment. Union apprenticeships tend to pay a little better than their non-union counterparts, but either way, you’ll get paid a decent wage. Once you complete the apprenticeship, you’ll be able to pass the exam and get a license, and that’s when you get out in the real world and experience life as a full-blown electrician.
Services That Electricians Perform
Make no mistake, some of the jobs you perform will be ordinary. You won’t be doing cleanups or digging ditches anymore, but you will be handling common tasks like installing and testing wiring systems or diagnosing and fixing those same wiring systems when something breaks or goes wrong. You’ll likely do some other tasks and be on jobs that are ordinary, but the more experience you get, the better the opportunities you’ll encounter. You can become a project manager, work on industrial systems, or get a more lucrative job working for a utility, and those three items are just the beginning of the possibilities.
Chances are you’ll do most of this as a journeyman electrician, but if you stay the course and keep learning and advancing, you can become a master electrician. Many master electricians start their own businesses, while others take top-tier jobs with great companies that value their expertise.
Why You Should Consider Working for Us
Speaking of taking top-tier jobs, you should look at 128 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electric whether you’re just starting your career as an electrician or you’re an accomplished professional looking for great opportunities. We can give you those opportunities in North Reading, MA.
The company features numerous ways to advance professionally, along with outstanding benefits and an excellent salary. You’ll also be working for a company that provides a supportive and inclusive work environment, and you’ll be working with other top-level professionals who are as ambitious and driven to excellence as you are.
You do have to get the ball rolling, though, so submit your application here so we can get an idea of what you’re about. Once you’ve seen what we do and how we do it, we’re convinced you’ll want to be part of our team and advance your career in ways you probably never thought possible.