The job of the electrical technicians is to install and properly maintain electrical equipment in homes, businesses, and factories. These professionals know how to install wiring; the wiring is the means by which electricity flows into a building. They are skilled at installing electrical machines and equipment. These machines must be maintained by the technician. These professionals perform complex work, and it is crucial that they be quite knowledgeable in electrical practices. Competence is an important part of this job. Failure to follow safety measures can be deadly for the technician and others. Thus, there are federal, state, and local laws that regulate this profession.
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Electrical and Electronics Technicians, Installers and Repairers Job Responsibilities
Most electrical technicians will specialize in either construction or maintenance. Some prefer to do both. The professionals that focus on construction installs new wiring into newly built homes, businesses, and factories. Those who specialize in maintenance primarily fix existing wiring that is faulty. All electrical technicians must follow the guidelines of federal, state, and local governments. The National Electrical Code is the standard by which all practicing electrical technicians should base their work.
Moreover, those technicians that specialize in construction must read technical diagrams of newly built buildings. After determining where all of the electrical outlets are located, this professional can install all necessary equipment. They can connect these wires to circuit breakers, transformers, and outlets. Electrical technicians must use a variety of tools to perform their work. Maintenance electricians fix electrical wiring, outlets, and transformers when they break. They must sometimes replace the faulty part. Other times they can fix the existing equipment. Electrical technicians that focus on residential work perform many tasks for the home owner. For example, rewiring, fixing a fuse box or circuit breaker are a few of the maintenance repairs that a home owner might need.
In contrast, those technicians within a factory have more complex work. They must repair huge machines. For instance, generators, industrial robots, and transformers are some of the things that must be maintained in a factory. The electrical technician must be willing to work inside or outside. Various types of weather conditions may be present, and this professional must be willing to work in these conditions. Good physical stamina is important because the work often involves bending, standing, and lifting heavy equipment. There is some risk involved. The electrical technician must risk shock from an electrical current. Strict adherence to guidelines is required to avoid injury.
Electrical and Electronics Technicians, Installers and Repairers Training and Education Requirements
The majority of electrical technicians learn the job by on-the-job training. They enter apprenticeship positions that require them to work under the close supervision of an experienced electrician. Many community colleges combine the apprenticeship program with the class room education. After completing this program, the electrical technician is qualified to perform construction and maintenance work. The program is comprehensive and thoroughly prepares these professionals. The typical apprenticeship program lasts about four years. There is still class room instruction throughout this degree or certificate program.
Employers prefer formal training, and those that possess a certificate or degree can start out in higher positions. Some start as an electrical helper before entering into an apprenticeship program. A minimum of a high school degree or equivalent is required to become an electrical technician. Electricians have to continue to learn all during their careers.
Electrical and Electronics Technicians, Installers and Repairers Salary and Wages
The average wage of an electrical technician is $22.32 per hour. This is considered the median wage. The middle half of these professionals earn between $17.00 and $29.00 per hour. The highest paid electricians earn more than $38.00 per hour. The lowest paid workers earn an average of $13.00 per hour.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Electrical and Electronics Technicians, Installers and Repairers Certifications
The majority of all states require an electrical technician to have a license to practice. The technician must pass a written exam that tests knowledge of electrical theory and the National Electrical Code. Electrical contractors must have a specialized license. These professionals do work for the public. Furthermore, the title of master electrician is bestowed upon those who have at least 7 years experience and pass the written exams.
Electrical and Electronics Technicians, Installers and Repairers Professional Associations
There are many professional organizations that an electrical technician can belong to. For example, the National Electrical Contractors Association is one that has thousands of members. Another organization is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. These organizations serve as a standard for this industry. Members can stay aware of current rules and regulations. Also, members can network amongst each other and provide support for fellow electrical technicians. The professional association becomes a voice for workers in this field. They can get their message across to improve the work conditions of the electrical technician.