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Electrician Duties and Responsibilities

Specific job duties for electricians vary based on their industry and employer. However, there are several core tasks common to all electricians, such as:

Install Electrical Systems Electricians install electrical panels, switches, light fixtures, motors, electrical circuits, and so on. They understand safety procedures involved with installation and are comfortable using hand tools.

Perform Electromechanical Repairs Using tools and instruments such as drills, wrenches, pliers, clamp-on ammeters, and more, electricians troubleshoot faults in electrical systems. They repair systems to ensure everything is running smoothly and efficiently.

Maintain Relationships with Customers Electricians offer excellent customer service. They are friendly and helpful when answering questions or comments from customers.

Maintain Logs and Records Documenting maintenance and repair activities, electricians keep track of their own labor in addition to the materials and supplies used. They report these logs accurately and in a timely manner.

Read Blueprints Working with generators, panels, and circuits, electricians know how the parts work on an electrical system. They read blueprints and interpret drawings related to the operation and installation of machinery.


Electrician Skills and Qualifications

Electricians have a strong mechanical understanding of electrical systems. Working with their hands, they use a variety of tools and have a knack for putting things together. In addition to two to three years of experience, employers typically look for candidates with the following skills and qualifications:

  • Mathematical knowledge – working with voltages and blueprints, electricians often interpret numbers and perform basic arithmetic as necessary for the job
  • Physical dexterity – lifting objects up to 50 pounds, electricians are physically dexterous and are capable of performing heavy lifting and pulling as necessary; using their arms, hands, and fingers on the job
  • Safety regulations – electricians follow state and federal electric codes and regulations in their work to ensure safety particularly the National Electrical Code, which is the standard for safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment in the US
  • Electrical systems knowledge – to install and maintain electrical systems
  • Hand and power tools – using hand and power tools, such as wrenches, drills, pliers, and cutters, to perform their duties

Electrician Education and Training

Although there are no minimum educational requirements to be an electrician, many employers prefer those with an associate or bachelor’s degree with related coursework in electronics, control systems, AC/DC motors, and electrical components. Many employers also require employees to have an electrician’s certificate and two to three years of experience in electrical installation and repair.


Electrician Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for electricians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $52,720, or $25 an hour. The lowest ten percent of electricians make less than $31,800 while the highest ten percent make over $90,000. In the next ten years, employment for electricians is expected to grow nine percent. This is the average for all occupations. As demand for construction spending and alternative energy sources grows, demand for electricians will also grow. Electricians who hope to stay competitive in the industry can sharpen their qualifications with education and certificates.


Helpful Resources

Do you want to learn more about being an electrician? Here are some resources to help you learn more about this profession:

Mr. ElectricThe blog on the Mr. Electric website offers valuable information about electric systems. With DIY projects, energy saving tips, and helpful information on different types of lighting, it guides readers through the various aspects of electric systems.

The Electrician’s Trade Demystified – Written by David Herres, this book covers the ins and outs of an electrician’s profession. The goal of this book is to help readers pass the electrician’s licensing exam. It reviews the National Electrician’s Code, covers electrical theory, and discusses practical electric work.

Black and Decker Complete Guide to Wiring – Wiring is an essential part of electricians’ jobs. By the editors of Cool Spring Press, this instructional book comes with 30 common wiring maps and step-by-step guides to essential home wiring projects, giving readers an understanding of the different procedures involved in wiring.

Electricians Tips and Tricks Blog – With helpful information on energy efficiency, electrical wiring, and selecting new appliances, this blog covers the basics of working with electronics and appliances. For those who are looking to learn the basics of installing and maintaining electrical systems, this blog is a helpful place to start.

Blueprint Reading for Electricians – It’s essential for electricians to read blueprints. Oftentimes, interpreting drawings and blueprints can be confusing. This book exposes readers to the symbols involved in various electrical construction fields and serves as a reference and manual to reading instructions with the aid of blueprints.