2 answers

What are different job options for Electricians

Asked Aurora, Colorado

2 answers

Caine’s Answer

Updated Alameda, California

Electrical Certification programs and Electrical Engineering Degrees are a good starting point.

Different positions include:

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Lineman
  • Component Testing
  • Device Assembly and Manufacturing
  • Electronic Device Repair Technician

Caine recommends the following next steps:

  • Contact your local community college or look into a 4-year engineering program.
Thank you for agreeing to this informational interview. My name is Saul .I am a Job Corps student at Clearfield Utah, and I am reaching out to you because I believe I would enjoy a career in Electricians, and I would appreciate your perspective on the practical aspects of working in this area. Here are the three questions I have for you. 1. How much education is needed to become an Electrician? 2. How did you go about becoming a Electricians? 3. What is the day to day basis in working in electrician? Thank you in advance for your time. Sincerely, Saul H
I tried to comment - seems I was limited to 800 characters, so I just submitted another "answer" - See above... ;-)

Caine’s Answer

Updated Alameda, California


I am glad that you are looking into becoming an Electrician. For many years, that was my "dream job".  

I got my start at an early age - around 10/11 years to be exact. My step-father gave me my first soldering iron and we would tear apart old radios and televisions. He bought me electronics kits and I started building oscillators, timers, amplifiers, and crystal radios.

My High School offered an "introduction to electronics" course. I took that class and studied subjects such as Ohm's Law and Power Formulas, resistor color coding and tolerance levels. I had to understand the basic math (algebra) behind the theory.

I joined V.I.C.A. (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America) - Now known as SkillsUSA. I competed at the Regional and State level in Applied Electronics for three years in a row.

I went to a local Junior (Community) College and entered into an Electronics Certification program. This program required me to study more math (algebra, trigonometry, and calculus), study more Ohm's Law and Power Formulas, and learn more about electronic theory, operational amplifiers, components, microwave technology, etc.

During the 2nd year, my coursework split between Computer Science and Microwave Electronics. I chose the path of Computer Science and now I am the Sr. IT Security Engineer for Okta. 

While I no longer work with electronics at the theoretical or component level, I do have a good baseline understanding of what's going on in the devices I use and operate on a daily basis and I do know how to calculate for circuit load and power consumption, resistance/impedance, and general troubleshooting.

With all that being said, let me address each of your questions as directly as I can.

1. How much education is needed to become an Electrician? 

This depends. Electronic Certification can take up to a couple years or more depending on how many units you take and how much time you invest. Most certified electricians can then find work as an apprentice and work their way up to journeyman and finally, master level. This of course takes many years of both study, testing, and experience.

2. How did you go about becoming an Electrician? 

As stated, I am not an electrician, but I do have a short background in the field. I took all the steps, I just chose to go an alternate route into Computer Science. An Electronics Certification program is a good start. Many colleges offer courses in Electronics Certification and/or Electrical Engineering.

3. What is the day-to-day basis in working in electrician? 

This depends on where you work. If you go to work for an electronics repair center, you might be tasked with troubleshooting and repairing consumer grade electronic surplus equipment such as televisions, radios, audio and video equipment.

If you work for a company such as Hewlett Packard, you might work in parts and components or at higher levels, equipment construction (ie placing components on mainboard, soldering, testing, etc.). At engineering levels, you might be designing equipment. One of my classmates went to work for a local music store where he was the resident electronics technician who repaired guitar amplified, keyboards, and other such music related equipment.

If you work for an agency such as PG&E, perhaps you will focus on being a lineman or internal house wiring. Perhaps you'll be responsible for designing, building, and maintaining power sub-stations.

If you work for a licensed, independent contractor or decide to own your own business, you might be working on homes and businesses by installing lighting, fixtures, possibly even networking (LAN) components.

I hope this provides you with greater insight.