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What are the steps of becoming a electrician?

I'm in alternative school and working towards getting my electrician or automotive certificate.

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Debbie’s Answer

Hello Tyshade! If you're curious about career paths, bls.gov is a fantastic resource for you.

Electricians usually acquire their skills through apprenticeships, although some choose to kickstart their journey at a technical school. Be aware that most states require electricians to be licensed. You can find more details about this by reaching out to your local or state electrical licensing board.

Education
To become an electrician, you'll need at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Some electricians begin their journey at a technical school. These institutions often provide programs that cover circuitry, safety protocols, and fundamental electrical knowledge. Completing these programs can earn you credit towards your apprenticeship.

Training
The majority of electricians master their craft in a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship program. For each year of the program, apprentices usually receive 2,000 hours of paid, hands-on training along with some technical instruction.

If you've gained electrical experience in the military or in the construction industry, you may qualify for a shortened apprenticeship based on your experience and testing.

Apprentices receive technical instruction in areas like electrical theory, blueprint reading, mathematics, electrical code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. Additional specialized training may be provided in areas like soldering, communications, fire alarm systems, and elevators.

Various groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. The requirements for these apprenticeships can vary by state and locality.

Some electrical contractors offer their own training programs. These programs may not be recognized apprenticeship programs, but they do provide both technical and on-the-job training. It's also worth noting that the Home Builders Institute offers a preapprenticeship certificate training (PACT) program for eight construction trades, including electricians.

Upon completing an apprenticeship program, electricians are considered journey workers and can perform duties independently, subject to local or state licensing requirements.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Most states require electricians to pass a test and be licensed. The requirements can vary by state. For more details, reach out to your local or state electrical licensing board. You can find many of the requirements on the National Electrical Contractors Association’s website.

The tests usually include questions related to the National Electrical Code and state and local electrical codes, which establish standards for the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment.

To maintain their licenses, electricians may need to take continuing education courses. These courses typically cover safety practices, changes to the electrical code, and training from manufacturers in specific products.

Electricians can also earn additional certifications to demonstrate their competency in areas like solar photovoltaic, electrical generating, or lighting systems.

In some cases, electricians may need to have a driver’s license.

Advancement
After fulfilling additional requirements and gaining experience as a qualified electrician, journey workers can progress to become master electricians. There are also opportunities for electricians to advance to supervisor positions or other roles in project management. Keep striving, and you'll reach your goals!
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Bart’s Answer

Here's a straightforward guide on how to become an electrician within 5-7 years, even without a High School or GED diploma:

1. **Education**: Start with a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. Although it's not a must, a good grasp of math and science can be helpful.

2. **Pre-Apprenticeship Program**: Enroll in a pre-apprenticeship program at a vocational school or community college. These programs will give you a basic understanding of electrical concepts and some hands-on experience.

3. **Apprenticeship**: The usual way to become an electrician is through an apprenticeship. Find an employer who will take you on as an apprentice. This apprenticeship usually lasts 4-5 years, during which you'll work under a licensed electrician, gaining practical experience while earning a salary.

4. **Classroom Training**: Alongside your on-the-job training, you'll also need to attend classroom-based technical instruction. This will cover electrical theory, codes, safety procedures, and more. Some apprenticeships include this training, while others require you to do it separately.

5. **Licensing**: Once you've finished your apprenticeship and any necessary classroom training, you'll need to get a license to work as an electrician. Licensing requirements differ by state, so make sure to check with your state's licensing board for the specifics.

6. **Journeyman Electrician**: After getting your license, you can work as a journeyman electrician. This stage lets you work independently on most electrical projects, although some states may impose restrictions.

7. **Continuing Education**: Electricians often need to take continuing education courses to stay current on electrical codes and safety regulations.

8. **Master Electrician**: To take your career to the next level, you can become a master electrician by fulfilling additional experience and examination requirements. This allows you to tackle more complex projects and oversee other electricians.

Remember, the exact requirements and processes can differ from state to state, so it's crucial to research and adhere to the regulations in your area. I hope this guide assists you in your journey to becoming a professional electrician.
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