For everyone interested to become an electrician in the USA there are two possible options for training that provide the skills and knowledge needed to become a certified professional. The first option is to enroll in a training program offered by one of the many electrician schools or like they are more popularly known, technical schools, where employment-preparation skills for trained labor will be gained. The second option prefered by most of the prospective professionals, is to gain their skills by completing an electrician apprenticeship. The prospective electricians who decide to do an electrician apprenticeship get both technical in-class electrician training as well as hands-on practical experience on the electrician job. There are a lot of benefits which determine this second option to be more prefered by most of the prospective electricians, and some of the most valued ones are the fact that all the skills and knowledge needed are mastered under the supervision of experienced electricians with many years of practical expertise in the field, combined with the great advantage that prospective certified electricians are paid while they do their apprenticeship.
The majority of electricians learn their trade in a 4-year electrician apprenticeship. During their apprenticeship all the prospective electricians are required to complete a minimum of 144 hours of technical electrician training and 2 000 hours of paid, practical on-the-job training. All the apprentices study mathematics, electrical theory, electrical code requirements, blueprint reading, along with the obligatory for the job safety and first-aid practices, during their classroom training. Depending on the profile selected additional, specialized in different types of systems training is received. Because of the extremely comprehensive training, prospective electricians who complete apprenticeship programs qualify to do both construction and maintenance work.
Because of the specific nature of the electrician duties and responsibilities, all the prospective professionals must meet some important requirements which include a minimum age of 18 years and possession of high school or equivalent diploma. Prospective electricians also must have met the minimum score on an aptitude test and have done at least one year of algebra. The prospective professionals also must be drug-free certified.
In addition to these requirements, prospective electricians must also have the following important qualities:
- Perfect color vision
- Great critical-thinking skills
- Troubleshooting skills
- Customer-service skills
- Managerial skills
1. Union Apprenticeship And Training Programs For Electricians
Considered to be one of the best electrician apprenticeship programs offered, preparing one of the most highly trained electrical professionals in the USA, is the electrician apprenticeship program developed by the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Industry (NJATC). Complete information about the program and the affiliated local apprenticeship training committees offering it all over the USA can be found here.
2. Independent Electrician Apprenticeship And Training Programs
These training programs are set up by some of the biggest electrical contractor and building companies and their unions in order to properly train their entry-level employees. These training programs a perfect option for all the prospective electricians who are interested in, secured, stable, lifelong employment. These types of training programs however are not suitable for professionals who want to become independent electrical contractors after they complete their electrician apprenticeship, so other options must be considered.
3. Military Electrician Training
Typically the apprenticeship training programs offered by the US Military are not considered enough, but they have their great benefits and are worth consideration. One of the biggest benefits of the military electrician apprenticeship programs is the fact that the prospective electricians are provided with really advanced electrical training, because of the nature of their duties and the equipment used by the military. Another great benefit is the payment received, which is bigger, compared to a civilian apprenticeship. After successful completion of the military electrician training and fulfillment of the obligatory period of military service, certified professionals can continue to develop their electrician career in the military or they also have the options to transfer their skills and certification to a civilian career.