Nashville Electricians are a type of skilled tradesmen who specialize in installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical wiring, and equipment. Whether working for a large commercial company or as self-employed contractors, electricians use their skills to ensure that the electrical systems in buildings and homes function properly. Their job duties include executing electrical wiring plans, performing inspections, ensuring compliance with state and local building and safety regulations, and providing maintenance and repair services.
While the work of an electrician can be physically demanding, it also offers a lot of flexibility in scheduling. For example, some electricians choose to be on-call, allowing them to work as much or as little as they want each week. Others work on a regular schedule and enjoy time off on weekends and holidays.
A successful career as an electrician requires a combination of education and on-the-job experience. Those who are interested in the field can pursue an apprenticeship program through a union or trade school. These programs typically take 4-5 years to complete and combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training hours. Some of these programs are offered by the National Electrical Contractors Association, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Independent Electrical Contractors.
Those who have successfully completed an apprenticeship can apply for a journeyman electrician position. To become a journeyman, applicants must pass an exam. The exam covers a variety of topics, including electricity theory, reading blueprints, interpreting specifications, and following the National Electrical Code, State, and local building and safety regulations.
Some electricians, called line installers, are responsible for bringing power from the power plants to the houses and buildings of customers. They may need to work on high-voltage lines hundreds or even thousands of feet in the air. To do so, they must undergo specialized training and be certified in high-angle rescues.
Other electricians, known as inside wiremen, are responsible for connecting customer electrical systems to the power grid. To do this, they must install conduit (pipes or tubing) in walls and other concealed areas, pull insulated wires or cables through the conduit, and fasten metal or plastic boxes to walls to house switches and outlets. They must also keep up with the latest technology and tools in the industry.
Education and Training Requirements
The education and training requirements for electricians vary by state, but most programs include classroom instruction and on-the-job experience. Programs typically last four to six months and teach students the fundamentals of electrical theory, residential wiring and electric motors. Some trade schools also offer programs that combine coursework and an apprenticeship, so students can graduate with both a degree and work experience under the supervision of a master electrician.
Many apprentices work under the direction of a master electrician for several years, gaining hands-on experience and learning the ins and outs of the trade from experienced professionals. During this time, they typically receive a salary and benefits, and their hours count toward the required training for licensure as a journeyman electrician.
Individuals can find apprenticeship opportunities through their local union or through online resources. Those interested in becoming an electrician should have good math skills and keen eyesight. They must be able to read blueprints, which are technical diagrams that indicate where wiring and outlets will be installed, and they should have physical endurance. They must also be familiar with the various tools of the trade, including power tools, hand tools and a variety of different wires and connectors.
Once a student has completed a formal trade school program or an apprenticeship, they must take their state’s electrician license test. These exams typically include questions on the national electrical code and other industry knowledge. Many states require additional coursework or seminars in order to keep up with changes to the national code, so individuals should be sure to stay current on these developments.
Electricians who want to open their own businesses may need to obtain business insurance, as well as workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. In addition, if they wish to work in more than one state, they must get a license from each of those jurisdictions. Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow licensed electricians to work in other states without further paperwork or fees.
Some electricians work for power companies and other utility providers, maintaining the power grid and repairing any issues. Other electricians may specialize in the installation of solar power or other alternative energy sources. Still others focus on the maintenance and repair of appliances and electronics. These electricians often must use different types of power tools, such as conduit benders and screwdrivers, as well as a variety of hand tools, such as pliers and wrenches.
Electricians work in a variety of environments. Depending on their specialization, they may have to bend and twist themselves in cramped spaces, or work at heights using ladders or scaffolding. They must also adhere to workplace safety regulations and follow a lot of rules when working with electricity. Their job sites can be dirty and noisy, and they must use tools with care to avoid causing injuries.
Some electricians work on a contract basis and travel from site to site. Others have a regular place of work. They could be based in a power station or at a company’s headquarters, for example. They might be employed as electrical contractors, or work for maintenance departments of factories, plants, mines and shipyards. Industrial electricians install, repair, test and troubleshoot machinery and related electrical and electronic controls in industrial establishments. They are also required to read and understand blueprints. Other electricians specialize in one particular field, for example, instrumentation electricians who work with electric control panels and devices used in large-scale air conditioning, refrigeration and heating systems, highway electrical system electricians who manage the installation and repair of lighting, signage and traffic management systems on roads, and solar panel electricians who install, test and maintain solar energy equipment.
Due to the nature of their jobs, most electricians are on call and must be available during any emergencies or outages. This is especially true of those who work in the field of utility, where power lines and other infrastructure are constantly being upgraded or maintained.
In general, electricians can expect to spend about 40 hours a week at their job sites. However, overtime opportunities are often available for those who are in high demand. They also may need to attend training sessions for new tools or technology, as well as meet health and safety requirements for their specific fields of employment. They are also liable to be called upon to assist other tradespeople when needed, such as mechanical or plumbing workers. As their experience grows, many electricians take on supervisory responsibilities and become mentors to apprentices or junior electricians.
Whether working in the field or in a shop, electricians can earn a good salary depending on their experience and education. However, the salary they earn also depends on the region in which they work. Typically, states in the Northeast pay higher salaries to electricians than those in the South and West. This is because the cost of living is higher in these areas and the demand for electricians is usually higher as well.
Some electricians choose to work for large companies while others prefer to work independently or for small businesses. Electricians who work for large companies often have a variety of benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacations. Smaller employers may not be able to offer these benefits, but they can usually pay a competitive hourly rate.
For those interested in becoming an electrician, the best way to learn is by working as an apprentice for a licensed electrician. These apprenticeship programs typically last four years and include classroom instruction and on-the-job training. The average salary for an electrician with one to four years of experience is $12 to $20 per hour. Those with five to nine years of experience can earn $17 to $25 per hour. And, those with 10 or more years of experience can expect to earn $22 to $35 per hour.
Another factor that affects the salary of an electrician is the amount of overtime they are required to work. If an employer requires their electricians to work overtime, they will likely have to pay them at a higher hourly rate than those who do not.
Electricians who are in the union can also expect to make more money than those who do not. This is because many unions offer lucrative benefits including medical and dental coverage, life and disability insurance, and a 401(k) plan.