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 Progressing as an Electrician

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Number of posts : 111
Registration date : 2011-03-03

Progressing as an Electrician Empty
PostSubject: Progressing as an Electrician   Progressing as an Electrician EmptyTue Jun 21, 2011 1:12 pm

Individuals who want a lucrative and challenging career and hate the thought of being tied to a desk would be wise to investigate the electrician's career path. These highly trained professionals are essential members of almost all industries. Becoming an electrician is a lengthy process that includes a great deal of practical and theoretical training. However, those who make this time investment find that the rewards are well worth their effort.
Formal training is essential for all electricians because of the huge volumes of information they must memorize, and because of the safety risks involved. Technical schools and apprentice programs are two excellent options for obtaining this training. Apprenticeships should be endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); this organization also offers paid training for some students. These training courses last an average of four years. All branches of the United States military also provide this training to new recruits who declare an interest in it.
After the first year of formal training, students are called "helpers." These individuals are legally allowed to accept certain jobs, provided that they are working in collaboration with at least one other electrician who holds the rank of journeyman or above. At this point, the helper must have a thorough knowledge of job site safety, basic tool use and electrical basics. Helpers are also often used to make deliveries. Working like this provides extra income and valuable resume experience.
Prospective electricians who want to progress beyond "helper" rank must proceed with the licensing requirements as determined by their state. These licenses require extensive training, but allow the electrician to command significantly higher wages. Most areas require some combination of state, county, and city licenses. However, some require none at all. It is common for licensing authorities to require written examinations, as well as a minimum number of hours of practical training and experience. Some also require that the applicant have at least four years of training.
To prepare for certification, prospective electricians must become intimately familiar with the National Electrical Code, which is the standard used for code enforcement throughout the United States. Some states and counties use modified versions, so it is prudent to contact the local IBEW office and ask. Actual certification exams usually contain a mixture of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. There is also a practical component, designed to weed out students who know the National Electrical Code but do not have the required practical experience under their belts.
Individuals who pass the licensing exam are called journeymen. In many areas, electricians may take a second, more difficult exam that grants them the rank of "master." Since the training process for becoming an electrician is so lengthy, it is wise to begin the process at a young age. Many high schools offer quality vocational training to interested students; other students must wait until they graduate high school and can enroll in a community college or vocational technical institute.

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