Electrician helpers work under the supervision of electricians. They assist electricians with various tasks. Electrician helpers are typically training to become electricians themselves, and often are considered apprentices.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrician helpers assist electricians by performing duties that are of lesser skill. Electrician helpers hold or supply tools or materials to electricians. They also clean work areas and equipment. Electrician helpers are sometimes called "cable pullers" because they help electricians run wires through walls and ceilings.
Hours and Environment
According to the BLS, a typical electrician helper works 40 hours a week. However, some may work at part-time apprenticeships while working at other jobs full time. Depending on the job location, electrician helpers may work nights, weekends, or be on call when needed. Those who work in industrial settings may have to work periodic overtime for the during retooling or maintenance projects. Some companies that operate 24 hours a day may require different shifts for electricians beyond the typical work hours.
Electrician helpers work indoors and out. They may work at construction sites, factories, in homes, or at businesses. They may have to bend over often, lift heavy objects, stoop, stand, or kneel for long periods of time. They risk injury from falls, cuts or electrical shocks. However, electrician helpers are trained to avoid the risks of the workplace. Some electrician helpers may travel with electricians to different job sites.
Education and Training
An electrician's helper must be at least 18 years old and must have a high school diploma or G.E.D., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They must also pass a test to meet other requirements. Many electrician helpers are in electrician school while they are apprenticing . Examples of training committees that may sponsor such programs include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association. An apprenticeship program typically lasts four years and includes 144 hours of classroom instruction and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, electricians must have good manual dexterity and eye-to-hand coordination. They must be physically fit and have a sense of balance to work in tight spaces, on ladders, and the like. They must have good color vision because they must identify wires and other components by color. Employers view good work history and military experience favorably.
Salary and Job Growth
According to a May 2008 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage of an electrician helper was $13.20, and the mean annual salary was $27,450. Annual salaries ranged from $18,520 to $38,210. Between 2006 to 2016, there is an average projected growth of 7 to 13 percent growth in that job section, and a projected need of 34,000 additional electrician helpers.
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