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Become An Electrician Technician

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Working As An Electrician Technician

  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $50,297

    Average Salary

What Does An Electrician Technician Do

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems in homes, businesses, and factories.

Duties

Electricians typically do the following:

  • Read blueprints or technical diagrams
  • Install and maintain wiring, control, and lighting systems
  • Inspect electrical components, such as transformers and circuit breakers
  • Identify electrical problems using a variety of testing devices
  • Repair or replace wiring, equipment, or fixtures using hand tools and power tools
  • Follow state and local building regulations based on the National Electrical Code
  • Direct and train workers to install, maintain, or repair electrical wiring or equipment

Almost every building has an electrical power, communications, lighting, and control system that is installed during construction and maintained after that. These systems power the lights, appliances, and equipment that make people’s lives and jobs easier and more comfortable.

Installing electrical systems in newly constructed buildings is often less complicated than maintaining equipment in existing buildings because electrical wiring is more easily accessible during construction. Maintaining equipment and systems involves identifying problems and repairing broken equipment that is sometimes difficult to reach. Maintenance work may include fixing or replacing parts, light fixtures, control systems, motors, and other types of electrical equipment.

Electricians read blueprints, which are technical diagrams of electrical systems that show the location of circuits, outlets, and other equipment. They use different types of hand and power tools, such as conduit benders, to run and protect wiring. Other commonly used hand and power tools include screwdrivers, wire strippers, drills, and saws. While troubleshooting, electricians also may use ammeters, voltmeters, thermal scanners, and cable testers to find problems and ensure that components are working properly.

Many electricians work alone, but sometimes they collaborate with others. For example, experienced electricians may work with building engineers and architects to help design electrical systems for new construction. Some electricians may also consult with other construction specialists, such as elevator installers and heating and air conditioning workers, to help install or maintain electrical or power systems. At larger companies, electricians are more likely to work as part of a crew; they may direct helpers and apprentices to complete jobs.

The following are examples of types of electricians:

Inside electricians maintain and repair large motors, equipment, and control systems in businesses and factories. They use their knowledge of electrical systems to help these facilities run safely and efficiently. Some also install the wiring for businesses and factories that are being built. To minimize equipment failure, inside electricians often perform scheduled maintenance.

Residential electricians install wiring and troubleshoot electrical problems in peoples’ homes, which can be either single-family or multi-family dwellings. Those who work in new-home construction install outlets and provide access to power where needed. Those who work in maintenance and remodeling typically repair and replace faulty equipment. For example, if a circuit breaker repeatedly trips after being reset, electricians determine the cause and fix it.

Although lineman electricians install distribution and transmission lines to deliver electricity from its source to customers, they are covered in the line installers and repairers profile.

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How To Become An Electrician Technician

Although most electricians learn through an apprenticeship, some start out by attending a technical school. Most states require electricians to be licensed. For more information, contact your local or state electrical licensing board.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is required.

Some electricians start out by attending a technical school. Many technical schools offer programs related to circuitry, safety practices, and basic electrical information. Graduates usually receive credit toward their apprenticeship.

After completing their initial training, electricians may be required to take continuing education courses. These courses are usually related to safety practices, changes to the electrical code, and training from manufacturers in specific products.

Training

Most electricians learn their trade in a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship program. For each year of the program, apprentices must complete at least 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training.

In the classroom, apprentices learn electrical theory, blueprint reading, mathematics, electrical code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. They also may receive specialized training related to soldering, communications, fire alarm systems, and elevators.

Several groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. Many apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications to enter an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school education or equivalent
  • One year of algebra
  • Qualifying score on an aptitude test
  • Pass substance abuse screening

Some electrical contractors have their own training programs, which are not recognized apprenticeship programs but include both classroom and on-the-job training. Although most workers enter apprenticeships directly, some electricians enter apprenticeship programs after working as a helper. The Home Builders Institute offers a preapprenticeship certificate training (PACT) program for eight construction trades, including electricians.

After completing an apprenticeship program, electricians are considered to be journey workers and may perform duties on their own, subject to any local or state licensing requirements. Because of this comprehensive training, those who complete apprenticeship programs qualify to do both construction and maintenance work.

Some states may require a master electrician to either perform or supervise the work.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require electricians to pass a test and be licensed. Requirements vary by state. For more information, contact your local or state electrical licensing board. Many of the requirements can be found on the National Electrical Contractors Association’s website.

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

Important Qualities

Business skills. Self-employed electricians must be able to bid on new jobs, track inventory, and plan payroll and work assignments. 

Color vision. Electricians must identify electrical wires by color.

Critical-thinking skills. Electricians perform tests and use the results to diagnose problems. For example, when an outlet is not working, they may use a multimeter to check the voltage, amperage, or resistance to determine the best course of action.

Customer-service skills. Residential electricians work with people on a regular basis. They should be friendly and be able to address customers’ questions.

Physical stamina. Electricians often need to move around all day while running wire and connecting fixtures to the wire.

Physical strength. Electricians need to be strong enough to move heavy components, which may weigh up to 50 pounds.

Troubleshooting skills. Electricians find, diagnose, and repair problems. For example, if a motor stops working, they perform tests to determine the cause of its failure and then, depending on the results, fix or replace the motor.

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Electrician Technician Jobs

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Electrician Technician Career Paths

Electrician Technician
Field Service Technician Systems Administrator Engineer
Chief Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Operations Manager General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Electrician Maintenance Supervisor Operations Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Industrial Electrician Maintenance Supervisor Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Property Manager General Contractor
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Controls Engineer Project Controls Engineer
Controls Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Systems Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Electrical Technician Electrical Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Electrical Supervisor Field Engineer Estimator
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Maintenance Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Supervisor Maintenance Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Instrument Technician Project Manager Property Manager
General Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Industrial Electrician Electrical Foreman General Foreman
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Equipment Operator Electrician
Lead Electrician
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Electrician Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineering Technician Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Electrical Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Instrument Technician Field Engineer Project Engineer
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Electrician Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Chief Electrician 7.6 years
Master Electrician 6.1 years
Plant Electrician 4.1 years
Electrician 4.1 years
Lead Electrician 3.8 years
Marine Electrician 3.8 years
Top Employers Before
Electrician 26.6%
Technician 6.1%
Supervisor 2.1%
Owner 1.8%
Top Employers After
Electrician 24.7%
Technician 5.7%
Owner 2.1%

Do you work as an Electrician Technician?

Electrician Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

93.6%

Female

4.7%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

60.1%

Hispanic or Latino

17.8%

Black or African American

12.0%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.5%

French

15.2%

Carrier

6.5%

Polish

6.5%

Portuguese

4.3%

Vietnamese

4.3%

Arabic

4.3%

Turkish

2.2%

German

2.2%

Persian

2.2%

Ukrainian

2.2%

Dakota

2.2%

Russian

2.2%

Italian

2.2%
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Electrician Technician Education

Schools

Community College of the Air Force

9.8%

University of Phoenix

8.5%

ECPI University

6.1%

Fox Valley Technical College

6.1%

The Academy

6.1%

Saint Cloud Technical College

4.9%

Kirkwood Community College

4.9%

Houston Community College

4.9%

Metropolitan Community College

4.9%

Trident Technical College

4.9%

Lee College

4.9%

Midlands Technical College

4.9%

ITT Technical Institute-Atlanta

3.7%

Saint Louis University-

3.7%

Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

3.7%

Wake Technical Community College

3.7%

Hudson Valley Community College

3.7%

Pennsylvania College of Technology

3.7%

IVY TECH STATE COLLEGE - KOKOMO - Health Sciences

3.7%

Pellissippi State Community College

3.7%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering Technology

30.5%

Electrical Engineering

23.7%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

6.6%

Industrial Technology

5.7%

Business

5.0%

Heating And Air Conditioning

2.6%

Computer Science

2.4%

General Studies

2.4%

Education

2.3%

Management

2.0%

Electrical/Electronics Maintenance And Repair Technology

2.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.0%

Automotive Technology

1.9%

Information Technology

1.9%

Electromechanical Instrumentation And Maintenance Technologies/Technicians

1.7%

Criminal Justice

1.7%

Music

1.7%

Aviation

1.3%

English

1.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.3%
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Degrees

Other

42.7%

Associate

23.8%

Bachelors

14.4%

Certificate

11.0%

Diploma

4.5%

Masters

2.3%

License

1.1%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Top Skills for An Electrician Technician

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  1. PLC
  2. Preventative Maintenance
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Experienced troubleshooting complex electrical problems using Allen-Bradley PLC2 and SLC500 programmable logic controllers.
  • Developed preventative maintenance overhaul by eliminating non impact items and equipment deserving less frequency of involvement.
  • Help customer visualize practical application of safety systems and new project ideas.
  • Performed installation and modifications of avionics, electrical systems and wiring on United aircraft using blueprints and technical data.
  • Perform electrical maintenance tasks for largest aggregate company in America.

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