There are a lot of good reasons to consider becoming an electrical contractor. Certainly the pay is good, and there is no shortage of work. But if you are considering this career path, the question becomes what you need to do. How does a person become an electrician? The following outlines the three major steps you will need to take to realize a career as an electrician.
You need to receive vocational training
The first thing you need to do is find out your state's requirements for education. Each state has different requirements. Usually, the educational requirements will be stated as a number of class hours, and there may a requirement for the program to be accredited in some manner. You will have to make sure that it is the program that is accredited and not just the school. These programs for electrical training are found in vocational schools as well as community colleges. The programs at community colleges do not require you to earn an associates degree, but only to successfully complete a certain number of classes just as you would in a vocational school, and then you will earn a certificate.
You need to serve an apprenticeship
Book learning is not enough to become an electrician. You will need to serve an apprenticeship by working with one or more licensed electricians. Like education, work requirements will vary by state. It will be defined as a specific number of hours, and this can easily be converted to months and years. An apprenticeship will take a few years. The good news is that the time is cut down by getting credit for job experience with your schooling. There will likely be a maximum amount of school hours that can be applied to your work experience, but it will cut down the time you serve as an apprentice.
You need to get your license
Once you have fulfilled the requirement for education and on the job training for your state, you will be able to apply for your license. Along with your application, you will need to show proof you have fulfilled both the educational and work requirements. At this point, you must pass your state's licensing examination to become a journeyman electrician. There is no national test that is used. Each state has its own test, but there are often study guides available to help you prepare for your state's examination.
Becoming a licensed electrician does not happen overnight, but the pay is good, and you will likely find work wherever you go. In time, you can even start your own business.
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