Becoming an electrician is a stable and potentially very lucrative career choice for people who enjoy working with their hands. Getting started, though, can be somewhat difficult. Here are four things you’ll need to start a career as an electrician.
First and foremost, you’ll need training to build the skills and knowledge you’ll be using every day in your career. There are multiple ways to train as an electrician. Technical schools, community college courses and even union apprenticeships can help to take you from an interested amateur to a highly skilled professional. See what kind of training programs are available in your area and then choose the best path for your personal career goals.
Licensing and bonding
Because of the critical work they do, electricians must be licensed to work. There are various types of licences, depending on the scale of the work you will want to do. Starting as an apprentice, for example, carries its own licence. As you train, you’ll want to decide what testing, and thereby what licence, you are building toward. You’ll also need to secure bonding through an insurance company, as this is a requirement to work as an electrician in most areas.
A panel van or enclosed lorry
If you plan to work on your own instead of working for an existing company, you’ll need to get a reliable van or lorry to carry all of your tools and equipment. You don’t necessarily have to buy a brand new vehicle, but invest the money to get something reliable. Nothing will hinder your business more than being late to appointments because your vehicle broke down on the road. You should also have the name and phone number of your business painted on the vehicle, since this will give you some free exposure to new potential customers.
Tools and equipment
Last but certainly not least, you’ll need all the basic tools of your trade. The tools you need will vary a bit depending on whether you’re doing commercial or residential electrical work. Basic tools like a voltmeter, fish tape, pliers, electrical benders for rigid conduit and wire strippers will all be essential to you. Also be sure to load up on conduit, various gauges of wire, wire nuts and other basic components you’ll need for most jobs.
Armed with all of these things, you’ll be ready to start an exciting new career as an electrician. Though it takes time, effort and money to get started in this field, the earnings will quickly make it worthwhile once you’ve begun working.
What is your advice for someone who wants to start a career as an electrician? Tweet us your tips to @CareerCamel.
My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.
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