An electrician is a professional who installs electrical wiring in homes, buildings, transmission lines, and stationary machines. They may also be hired to maintain existing electrical infrastructure. The job responsibilities of an electrician vary, depending on the location and the electrical equipment and components they install. An electrician may also perform electrical repairs and inspections.
The most common way to become an electrician is to pursue an associate’s degree in electrical technology. Associate’s degrees are typically two years long and are offered by many trade and technical institutes. They offer hands-on training and prepare students for entry-level employment upon graduation. Apprenticeship programs can also be found. Apprenticeships allow students to gain experience in the field and earn classroom credit while on the job.
As the world moves toward renewable energy sources, more electricians will be needed. Alternative power generation is likely to require more electricians, as these systems must be linked to power grids and homes. However, the growth of this industry will depend on government incentives. If the government can lower the installation costs, this will spur consumer demand for alternative energy systems.
An electrician apprenticeship typically involves classroom study and on-the-job training. On the job, apprentices are paid by the hour and typically start out at 40 percent of the hourly wage of a journeyperson. As they gain experience, their wages will increase.