Being an electrician requires some dexterity and good eye-hand coordination. An electrician must be in good physical shape and have good balance. Excellent vision and the ability to distinguish colors are both crucial for working with wires.
Other required skills for electricians focus on mental qualities rather physical. Attention to detail and problem-solving skills are necessary for fixing both electrical and non-electrical issues. Customer service skills are helpful since electricians work with customers and colleagues alike. Good critical thinking comes in handy for running tests and evaluating their results.
Typical duties include installing wiring and lighting systems, reading electrical blueprints and inspecting circuit breakers. Electricians work in both residential and commercial buildings. For new buildings, construction companies need electricians to set up the basic lighting and communication systems. In existing buildings, the electrical work required focuses on maintenance and upgrades of these systems. Most electricians work for contractors and follow a full-time schedule.
Prospective electricians must enroll in an apprenticeship that includes on-the-job training. Usually, the requirements for the apprenticeship include being at least 18 years old and having a high school diploma. Electricians earn a median salary of $49,840 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.