Electrical jobs fit many different skill levels from entry-level apprenticeships and helper positions to college professors who teach in fields related to electrical engineering. With the proper training you will have opportunities to work in electrical jobs for large corporations, the government or as an independent contractor. Education remains vital regardless of the type of work because of constant technological advances and changes in electrical regulations.
Field technicians, or electronics technicians, install, repair and maintain electrical devices and their components. Companies hire field technicians to keep equipment operational, especially in production industries where shutting down a production line for repair is not an option. Electrical equipment companies employ field technicians to travel and service customer equipment. The types of equipment serviced by technicians may be computerized retail sales equipment, heavy duty industrial controls, production-line robots or airport radar systems. Self-employed field technicians respond when customers call with equipment problems. Employers and customers alike prefer field technicians with a degree in electronics. Professional certification is frequently needed and may be required by employers.
Electricians work in residential and commercial repair and installation of electrical systems. They are among the first on the job at construction sites, where they install electrical power systems to provide electricity on the job site. Electricians must maintain a working knowledge of national and local electric codes and read and understand electrical blueprints to ensure the proper installation of electrical systems and equipment. Their job requires the use of hand tools, such as drills, saws and ladders, as well as specialized test equipment including ammeters and multi-testers. Good physical condition benefits the electrician who spends the day working inside and outside, climbing stairs and ladders, stooping and bending for long periods of time and carrying equipment and supplies. Electricians receive training through a four-year apprenticeship that combines classroom and on-the-job training. Education continues throughout an electrician's career due to changes in national and local electric codes and advances in electrical technology. Licensing for electricians varies depending on state and local requirements.
An electrical engineer designs electrical systems, devices and components. They are usually involved in a design project concerned with the design of circuit boards for home electronics, components of an electrical power grid or other electrical systems and devices. Electrical engineering covers a broad range of areas, so electrical engineers specialize in areas such as computer systems, bioelectrical engineering or solid-state electronics. A bachelor's degree is the minimum education required to enter a field of electrical engineering. Most engineers choose to continue their education and earn a master's degree or even a doctorate. Electrical engineers must strive to continue their education for the extent of their careers to keep up with changes and advances in electrical technology.
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