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What Does it Take to Be an Electrician?

Job Description & Duties Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.

Electrician Responsibilities

  • Install ground leads and connect power cables to equipment, such as motors.
  • Plan layout and installation of electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures, based on job specifications and local codes.
  • Direct or train workers to install, maintain, or repair electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures.
  • Use a variety of tools or equipment, such as power construction equipment, measuring devices, power tools, and testing equipment, such as oscilloscopes, ammeters, or test lamps.
  • Fasten small metal or plastic boxes to walls to house electrical switches or outlets.
  • Test electrical systems or continuity of circuits in electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures, using testing devices, such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, or oscilloscopes, to ensure compatibility and safety of system.

Electrician Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Electricians say are important on the job.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Repairing: Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Installation: Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Types of Electrician

  • Construction Electrician
  • Inside Wireman
  • Lightning Rod Installer
  • Traffic Signal Mechanic
  • Electrical Sign Servicer

Job Outlook for Electricians

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 666,900 jobs in the United States for Electrician. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 59,600 new jobs for Electrician by 2026. The BLS estimates 82,000 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Electrician are Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Vermont, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does an Electrician Make?

The salary for Electricians ranges between about $32,940 and $94,620 a year.

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Electricians who work in Illinois, District of Columbia, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

How much do Electricians make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $47,590
Alaska $76,330
Arizona $47,950
Arkansas $43,650
California $69,320
Colorado $55,500
Connecticut $59,500
Delaware $58,890
District of Columbia $76,030
Florida $45,240
Georgia $50,540
Hawaii $75,810
Idaho $50,170
Illinois $75,820
Indiana $59,060
Iowa $53,360
Kansas $54,940
Kentucky $53,060
Louisiana $52,200
Maine $53,670
Maryland $56,960
Massachusetts $68,030
Michigan $59,090
Minnesota $70,410
Mississippi $49,540
Missouri $60,860
Montana $58,990
Nebraska $50,470
Nevada $62,420
New Hampshire $54,610
New Jersey $71,660
New Mexico $51,050
New York $77,810
North Carolina $44,140
North Dakota $63,260
Ohio $53,130
Oklahoma $53,030
Oregon $69,330
Pennsylvania $65,890
Rhode Island $57,620
South Carolina $44,720
South Dakota $45,490
Tennessee $50,610
Texas $50,980
Utah $54,120
Vermont $51,440
Virginia $51,290
Washington $68,640
West Virginia $53,440
Wisconsin $60,130
Wyoming $59,400

Tools & Technologies Used by Electricians

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Electricians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Word processing software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Database software
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
  • Turtle Creek Software Goldenseal
  • Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate
  • Insight Direct ServiceCEO
  • Wonderware InTouch
  • Craftsman CD Estimator

How to Become an Electrician

What education or degrees do I need to become an Electrician?

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What work experience do I need to become an Electrician?

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Who Employs Electricians?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being an Electrician may also be interested in:

References:

Image Credit: Fran Hogan via Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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