An apprentice electrician is someone who assists electricians with the idea of becoming an electrician himself. Apprentices help with installation, repairs and maintenance of electrical systems of businesses and residences. He performs duties such as wiring outlets, connecting circuits and breakers, replacing fuses and fuse boxes. An apprentice must be prepared to work long and odd hours, and often be on call to help an electrician in emergency situations.
Apprentice electricians receive on-the-job training, usually along with classwork. Apprentices typically specialize in various forms of electrical maintenance and repairs. Some apprentices focus on residential electricity, performing work on individual homes related to wiring new rooms, putting in ceiling fans or switching outlets. Meanwhile, other apprentices work on electricity related to businesses, government agencies or factories. These type of apprentices are known as commercial electricians, and not only work on basic wiring, but also motors and machinery.
An apprentice electrician must be good with his hands and be able to follow direction, as most jobs begin with a blueprint that details where electrical devices need to be installed. He also needs to know where to look for issues and be a capable problem solver. He should be organized, analytical and provide the necessary strength and stamina for a job that involves occasional heavy lifting and flexibility. On top of those things, apprentices need to be able to be able to act on the instructions from a supervisor and work well alone or as members of a team.
The best experience an apprentice electrician can have is a passion for the industry and a willingness to learn. Other than that, most companies seek candidates who are learning the craft in a vocational school or technical college, attempting to possess a degree or certificate. The majority of apprentices will need a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Jobs for electricians are expected to increase by 12 percent during the 2008-18 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. That's about as fast as the job growth average for all occupations.
Apprentice electricians earned an average wage of $18 per hour in March 2010, according to PayScale.com. Those who complete apprenticeships can earn an hourly wage of more than $22, which what the BLS reported was the median wage of electricians in May 2008.
- Photo Credit electrician image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com
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