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Most people take it for granted, but every time they flip a switch, turn up the heat, or heat up a pizza in the microwave, they have an electrician to thank. So many things in homes, offices, restaurants and concert halls are run on electricity, from the frivolousness of a hair crimper to the importance of fire alarm systems -- they are run on the power of electricity.

It takes an electrician to set up the wires in the walls of these buildings, wires that bring electricity into our homes. These talented workers are experts when it comes to not only installing, but repairing these electrical systems. They can alter electrical systems, as well, adding in new power sources as needed.

They are often involved in the construction stage, when homes and offices and other buildings are just going up. Electricians go into the skeletons of these buildings, and wire in the power. They must be careful to get it right, as many buildings, rely on electricity for so much. The role of an electrician goes far beyond just setting up electrical sources where we can plug in the TV.

Electricians are often self-employed, but many find work on permanent staff with construction crews, property managers, municipalities, and manufacturing plants. Their work is important, but often those who work independently have a harder time finding regular work. They may work solidly during construction season, but have little work in the winter.

Many electricians are finding opportunities in wiring homes and offices when they are undergoing renovations. Perhaps a family is expecting a new baby, and want to install an intercom system in the nursery. Perhaps an office needs to upgrade its computer systems, and needs extra outlets. This is steadier work, and though it may not be as exciting as wiring a whole indoor hockey arena, it is still important work.
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UEI College

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Programs Offered:
  • Electrician



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
Median Salary:
Highest 10% of Earners:

  Interests and Skills  
Interested in working as an electrician? These individuals must be good at math, and have good communication and reading skills. They require good mechanical abilities, as well as strength, stamina, and manual dexterity. Good eyesight and normal color vision are also important. Electricians should be comfortable with heights and small, confined spaces. They must have a logical, analytical mind and should methodical as well as precise.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Meet with client or construction crew supervisor to determine wiring needs
  • Troubleshoot electrical problems
  • May draw wiring diagrams
  • Study and interpret architectural drawings, electrical code specifications and wiring diagrams
  • Install and maintain electrical wiring and equipment
  • Repair or replace faulty electrical equipment
  • Service electrical machines
  • Test electrical work for safety
  • Keeps records of the problems found and fixed
  • Connect wires to fixtures to form circuits
  • They work with construction crews, assistants, and on their own to either install or repair a wiring system. Some work is quick and easy, but some whole days could be spent on difficult or complicated task. Electricians work in buildings that are under construction or being repaired or altered, as well as on projects such as power supply cables and street lighting. They are often exposed to dangerous situations, especially when working in construction. They can work regular hours, especially when permanently employed. They also work longer hours when trying to meet a deadline.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Electricians are employed by electrical service companies, construction crews, building contractors, municipalities and factories. They also work on telecommunications equipment and offshore drilling rigs.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Electricians may branch out into their own business, or find a permanent place on staff with a mine, plant or construction company. They can stay with the organization they started with and advance to positions such as foreperson or superintendent. Electricians may also choose to work as safety code and by-law inspectors.

  Educational Paths  
Electricians receive their training either through informal, on-the-job training or through an apprenticeship program. Trade certification can be obtained either through an apprenticeship program or after several years of work experience. While trade certification is not mandatory in all to become an electrician, it can be a requirement for many employers and can also help secure employment.

Apprenticeship programs involve a combination of on-the-job training with classroom instruction. A pre-apprenticeship course may also be available which takes about five to six months to complete at a community college and is designed to help you get connected with a good company to apprentice with. It is important to apprentice with a reputable company as that is your education. While some apprenticeship programs may not require a high school diploma, it is important to note that employers generally prefer to hire high school graduates.

Apprenticeships can vary, however a typical apprenticeship lasts four to five years. The apprenticeship is a paid position however wages are about 50% less than what an employer pays the journeyperson, with yearly increases. After successfully completing the apprenticeship requirements, their industry training and apprenticeship office awards the electrician a certificate of completion.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

Programs Offered:
  • Electrician

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