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Electrician helpers assist senior electricians with basic electrical systems installation, repair, and maintenance. They perform the more routine tasks of the electrical trade, taking direction from – and under the supervision of – the senior electrician. Electrician helpers work part time and full time on residential and commercial projects. Employers hiring electrician helpers look for high school degrees and minimal experience, so this position is a great way to break into and get experience in the electrical trade.
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Electrician Helper Duties and Responsibilities
An electrician helper’s specific job duties vary depending on industry and job type. Typical duties and responsibilities include the following:
Complete Electrical Installations
Electrician helpers work closely with their supervising electrician to perform routine electrical work. They install electrical equipment, systems, and controls, including electrical wiring, circuit breakers, and lighting fixtures.
Observe and Assist Electrician
Electrician helpers take instruction from senior electricians, who rely on electrician helpers to complete electrical projects. Journeyman and master electricians will give electrician helpers written or verbal instructions, which the electrician helper follows as directed.
Follow Safety Protocols
Given the dangers inherent in the electrical trade, electrician helpers follow all relevant safety codes and guidelines while assisting with the installation and servicing of electrical equipment. They wear appropriate protective clothing and equipment and adhere to job-specific safety protocols at all times.
Maintain Tools and Inventory
Journeyman and master electricians have a wide variety of tools and equipment, and electrician helpers ensure that all necessary tools are on site and readily available during the project. Electrician helpers keep electrical parts and materials organized and will transport tools and materials to the electrician as needed.
Prepare and Clean Work Site
Before a project begins, electrician helpers assist with cleaning and preparing the work space for the electrician. After the project, electrician helpers clean and tidy the work area, removing unused materials, dust, and dirt as needed.
Electrician Helper Skills and Qualifications
Although electrician helpers perform the simple tasks associated with electrical installation and repair under the direction of the journeyman or master electrician, they also learn and practice more advanced trade skills. The following skills and qualifications are common for electrician helpers:
- Color vision and depth perception - when cutting, pulling, or installing electrical wiring, electrician helpers distinguish between different wires based on their colors. Accordingly, electrician helpers are able to differentiate between different colors. They also perceive depth well and can identify and distinguish electrical materials at varying distances
- Fine motor skills - much of an electrician helper's work involves the manipulation of small, hard-to-grip, and hard-to-reach wires and other materials. Electrician helpers rely on small tools or their hands alone to facilitate this work
- Clean driving record - electrician helpers have clean driving records and reliable transportation available to them. They commute to job sites and drive company vehicles as needed
- Physical fitness - electrician helpers work in uncomfortable and sometimes hazardous spaces, including attics, basements, and rooftops. They regularly climb ladders and stairs and may lift up to 50 pounds
- Listening skills - an electrician helper understands and respects his or her role as an assistant to the supervising electrician and follows directions and instructions accordingly
Tools of the Trade
Electrician helpers use the standard everyday tools in the electrical trade, including the following:
Basic hand tools (pliers, electrician scissors, wire strippers, soldering irons)
Electrical equipment (circuit tracers, multimeters, thermal scanners)
Electrician Helpers Education and Training
Electrician helpers usually have a high school degree or GED, but no formal education is otherwise required. On-the-job training, however, is a hallmark of the electrical trade. Accordingly, employers usually look for one or more years of relevant experience.
Electrician Helpers Salary and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the median annual wage for electrician helpers at $29,530, which is less than the median annual wage for all construction laborers and helpers ($32,230).
Electricianemployment, as a proxy for electrician helper employment, is projected to grow 9 percent through 2026, a rate the BLS describes as about as fast as the average for all occupations.
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If you’re interested in learning more about working as an electrician helper, check out the following resources:
this Reddit community provides users with all levels of experience a forum to ask questions and discuss the electrical trade. Electrician helpers can search through previous threads or start new ones to learn more about electricians and the work they perform
Mike Holt is an electrician with an active online presence. He provides useful information to those interested in the electrical trade, including an archive of free weekly newsletters and a YouTube channel with numerous electrical education videos
NECA is a national trade association that educates and advocates on behalf of the electrical contracting industry. NECA's website has a host of helpful resources, including best practices guides and educational webinars
IBEW is a national union of about 750,000 members