Without electricians, you would not be able to read this article on your computer in your home or apartment cooled by the air-conditioning system. Electricians are the people who install, connect, test, and maintain electrical systems for a large of purposes such as lighting, climate control, security, and communications. Most electricians tend to specialize either in construction or in maintenance work, even though an increasing number of electricians can do both. For electricians specialized in construction work, it mainly consists of installing wiring systems into newly built houses, businesses, and factories. But it consists also in rewiring or upgrading existing electrical systems as needed. For electricians specialized in maintenance work, it consists mainly in maintaining and upgrading existing electrical systems or repairing electrical equipment.
But maintenance work can vary greatly depending on where the electrician is employed. For instance, an electrician who works in a residential area will not to the same maintenance work than an electrician employed in a factory. The electricians specialized in residential work perform a large array of electrical work for homeowners including rewiring a home, replacing a broken fuse box, installing new lighting and other electric household items. As for electricians specialized in factory work, they will have to repair motors, transformers, generators, and electronic controllers on machine tools and industrial robots.
How to become an electrician? In order to become an electrician, you will have to complete an apprenticeship electrician program typically lasting 4 to 5 years. During this apprentice electrician program, students alternate between on-the-job training with related classroom instruction. Most apprenticeship electrician programs are sponsored by union organizations. After the completion of the apprenticeship electrician programs, you can either specialize in maintenance or construction work, or do both.
In the U.S., there were about 656,000 electricians in 2004 including two-thirds of wage and salary workers specialized in the construction work and the balance worked as maintenance electricians in other industries. Besides prospects for electrical engineers are very good since jobs are expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014.
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