An Electrician Career Paths profitable, exciting, and stable. If you are considering smart trading, this is a good option. Also, you may not know that an electrician’s career path is very diverse and comes with many different choices. And while training to become an electrician, knowing all your options for a future career is essential.
Electricians provide buildings with energy to light rooms, hot water, and power devices. They install, inspect and test electrical equipment, ensuring it works properly and safely. You can maintain traditional systems in homes, shops, and offices as an electrician. Some electricians work with renewable technology or fiber optics. Others service motors, transformers, street lighting, or traffic systems or work on engineering projects. And more electricians branch out into specialty fields offering various perks, from higher salaries to increased job satisfaction.
With today’s high demand for electricians showing no signs of abating, now may be the time to explore all of your potential career paths. At the beginning of your working life, deciding which direction to take can be difficult. There are many trades to choose from, and you want to choose one that is right for you in the long run. So the electrician career path can be one of your best options.
Is becoming an electrician a good career path?
Literally, yes. Becoming an electrician is a great career choice. Electricians have the highest average income of all trades. Many have the option to work part-time, and since there are job openings for electricians in many fields, job opportunities abound.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the job outlook for electricians is higher than most occupations. Estimated job growth in the field by 2030 is 9%. This is above average expectations for overall job market growth (estimated at 8%) and tops other trades (estimated at 5%) by a wide margin.
How to become an electrician
Here are several ways to become an electrician. Nowadays, you can get the qualifications you need by completing a university course or an apprenticeship. If you already have relevant experience, you can apply directly to an employer for a job.
Importantly, those who qualify as industry-recognized training routes such as courses and apprenticeships at City & Guilds or EAL have better job and earnings prospects.
It would be best if you explored the options to find which is suitable for you.
To become a fully qualified electrician, you must complete the AM2 assessment. This is an industry-recognized qualification and is usually the last unit of your electrical stuff.
To work with electrical wiring, you need normal color vision and pass a color vision assessment test.
An apprenticeship with an electrical installation company is a good route into the industry.
Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work at least 30 hours per week. Your time will be split between work experience and a college or training provider.
Installation and Maintenance Electrician Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) can be done. And you can train to become an electrician through an apprenticeship in the Armed Forces. It would help if you usually had 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) in grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and Math, for an Advanced Apprenticeship.
Typical career paths and positions
If you follow electrician career paths, you can choose to work on a wide range of projects indoors and outdoors.
Residential or Commercial – Residential electricians work in homes to install, maintain, repair, or improve wiring and other electrical structures. Responsibilities include working with the home’s service panel and heating or water systems. This is one of the most common positions in the electronics industry. As a licensed electrician, you can do this work as part of a company or as an independent contractor.
Commercial electricians perform many of the same services as residential electricians. But they find their jobs in large commercial buildings instead of private homes. The pay scales for both these electrician career paths are comparable. Commercial activities are often carried out by groups rather than by individuals. Therefore, most commercial electricians work for an electrical company rather than independently.
Industrial and Maintenance – Industrial and maintenance electricians often work in factories and power plants with heavy machinery and equipment. This work is specialized. It can be difficult or dangerous, and the pay for these positions is usually higher than for residential or commercial electricians.
Alternative career options for electricians
If traditional electrician career paths don’t interest you, you still have various options. There are many ways to use your skills as an electrician.
Vehicles include very complex electrical systems. Designing, installing, analyzing, and diagnosing these specialized electronic devices is an ever-expanding field.
With the growth of hybrid and electric vehicles, automotive electronics are advancing rapidly. Demand for skilled electricians who understand the dynamics of automobiles will remain high. It could be an excellent specialization if you are interested in emerging technologies.
This may be the most common type of minimal electrical work, but both large and small boats have electrical components that require maintenance and repair. You will need to complete specialized training in marine systems for this job. Pay for these rare positions varies widely. But most are at least in the median salary range for electricians.
Linemen or Highway Systems Engineer
Linemen work outdoors on high-tension power lines. It is dangerous, tedious work that requires a great deal of safety training. Linemen are often called upon in an emergency. Hours are, therefore, less predictable than traditional electrical careers. Pay for these positions is typically about 50% higher than a commercial or residential electrician.
Highway systems engineers design and maintain systems for roads. This electrician career path is not dangerous. But it requires extensive study and specialized licenses and certifications.
This work involves handling all aspects of electronic equipment, such as signals and street lights required to manage traffic flow safely. As a highway systems engineer, you can expect to earn about 15% more than a residential electrician, and you’ll typically still work regular hours.
Solar and wind power are growing industries. Today, there is a tremendous demand for electricians with the necessary skills to install and maintain renewable energy systems. Electricians must wire the converters and tie the energy from photovoltaic fields and wind turbines into the grid or battery banks.
These jobs are mostly outdoors and may require you to travel more than a resident electrician. Pay varies widely depending on your level of expertise and geographic region. The lower end of the salary range is average for an electrician, while the upper end of the scale is two to three times higher for renewable energy engineers.
If you have a few GCSEs (or equivalent), including English and Math, along with good practical skills, you may be able to get a job as an electrician’s mate, apprentice, or assistant. Your employer can then help you train to become fully qualified.
Work experience is essential for getting jobs in the industry. You can get this by working with a company or relative who works on electrical installations at school or at weekends and holidays. Potential employers will always be happy to see work experience listed on your CV.
Candidates with relevant work experience can complete the Level 3 Electronic Technical Experienced Worker qualification from EAL.
- Additional skills that can be useful to anyone considering a job as an electrician include:
- Knowledge of engineering and technology
- Mathematical knowledge
- Design skills and knowledge
- Be thorough and pay attention to details
- Analytical thinking skills
- Excellent verbal communication skills
- Ability to confidently use a computer and significant software packages
What does an electrician do?
As an electrician, you are responsible for ensuring the safety of electrical equipment. It may include fixing reported problems or installing new systems such as lighting and heating in new structures.
And the job role of an electrician includes the following tasks:
- Inspecting electrical systems, wiring and equipment to ensure they are safe and functioning properly
- Repair electrical faults or replace parts
- Connecting sockets, switches, lighting fixtures and appliances
- Laying cables to connect equipment to power and computer networks
- Installation of security or data network systems
- Working with street lights and traffic management systems
- Installation of fiber optic cables
- Maintenance of electric motors, transformers and machinery
- Fabrication and installation of electrical control panels
- Programming computer-controlled ‘intelligent’ buildings
- Following technical plans
- Compliance with strict safety regulations
- Learning about new electrical laws
- Responding to emergency calls such as power outages
- I worked on a construction site, in a domestic or commercial setting, offshore, domestic or overseas, often in confined conditions or at height.
Highest Paying Electrician Jobs
Suppose you’re pursuing an electrician career path. Now that you know about some of the widely different positions you can follow, you’re probably wondering about salary ranges and other aspects of these careers.
The highest salaries, usually
As with other trades, the highest-paying positions are usually the most dangerous or difficult to qualify. Maybe both. For example, linemen and highway engineers earn higher wages than most resident electricians.
There are also some great income opportunities you can get through your experience on the job, such as leading a construction crew or starting your own business.
Average salaries, especially
Average salaries for electricians in the United States range from $60,000 for a residential or commercial electrician to $150,000 for high-level linemen. Career options that are less physically hazardous but require more advanced education, such as highway system engineers and solar energy engineers, also pay very well. These salaries range from $72,000 to $85,000 per year.
How much can you earn as an electrician?
The expected salary for an electrician changes as you become more experienced.
Apprentice electricians can earn from £10,316 in their first year to £22,425 in their final year.
Trained electricians earn an average salary of £33,495.
Qualified electricians with experience can earn £42,500 or more.
Salary depends on location, employer, level of responsibility, any overtime you may do, and whether you’ve completed an industry-recognized training path. Self-employed electricians set their wage rates.
Why do electricians choose alternative career paths?
Electrical engineers are motivated to explore new opportunities in a big way nowadays.
Amount – Wages do not always match the market. So you won’t pay what it’s worth. Your willingness to learn new skills and move into a niche field can add more to your paycheck.
Stagnation – Every job can feel repetitive once you master the basics. Maybe you’ve been in residency for four years and can’t see yourself doing it much longer. It is more exciting to walk a new path.
Pride – Job satisfaction is more than just feeling good at work. It is also a good feeling about work.
Training and experience – Even if your employer doesn’t offer a formal training program, you learn from every job you take, especially when transitioning to a new role.
Adventure – Some people love the road warrior lifestyle. Contract work can provide employment opportunities for skilled trade workers across the country.
Are electrician career paths right for you?
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics recommends the following qualifications for electricians:
- Physical strength and stamina
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills customer service skills
- Color vision
Electrical work requires you to be able to physically move around and sometimes enter small confined spaces or lift heavy objects. Most electricians don’t sit at a desk all day.
You must be able to think through a situation or identify a problem and take reasonable action. Being agreeable and comfortable working with clients and co-workers will help you thrive in this job.
If you’re looking for a career that offers lifelong opportunities to earn a good living, expand your experience and education, and choose from various job options across the country, follow one of the many electrician career paths. It is a great choice you are making.
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