If you’re interested in becoming an electrician, you’ll have a wide range of career routes you can follow, from working as an electrical systems technician or an in-home installer to working on high voltage (HV) systems.
Electricians basically are tradesmen who specialize in the electrical wiring of buildings, machines, or related equipment. They could be called upon to install new electrical equipment, or repair existing electrical components, from outlets to circuit breaker boxes. Some may even specialize in wiring on/for airplanes, ships and other transportation platforms, or data and video cables. Typically, an electrician will fall into one of two broad categories: linemen – those who work on high voltage utility company systems, and wiremen – who generally work inside buildings on lower voltage equipment.
Some of the jobs filled by electricians include domestic installers, which usually entails completing smaller jobs around homes; installation electricians, which can include larger projects, such as security, power and fire protection systems as well as commercial or construction work; instrumentation electricians will test, find fault and repair environmental control systems, such as large air conditioning units; and highway electrical system technicians, who are trained in maintaining street lights and traffic signals, among other areas.
Many electricians will become proficient in several types of electrical work so their work and career opportunities are maximized. On the plus side of becoming an electrician, job growth is expected to be in the 9-10% range through 2026, with the total number of new electrician jobs created over 2016 approaching 60,000 nationwide. And, unlike most jobs, electricians don’t typically work in the same office space month after month.
Keep in mind, however, they may be asked to work in buildings that still are under-construction, or outside. And, their work environment usually involves live electrical wires, so it can be dangerous if they aren’t careful.
All-in-all, though, becoming an electrician can provide a nice livelihood and it isn’t the sort of job that can easily be outsourced overseas. Fortis Colleges and Institutes offer Electrical Trades or Electrical Systems Technician programs at campuses in Alabama, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To learn more and to find the program offering nearest to you, visit our Skilled Trades program page.