Electrify Your Career: The Essentials of Being an Electrician

Nashville Electricians install, connect, and repair electrical wiring and equipment. Their work can be seen in homes, businesses, factories, and construction sites.


They read blueprints to understand layouts and use tools like ohmmeters, voltmeters, and circuit breakers to test connections. They also collaborate with construction professionals and safety inspectors to ensure projects are safe and up to code.

Electricians need to have a variety of technical and non-technical skills to perform their work. Some of the most important skills include problem-solving, working with a team, and communication. Developing these skills can help electricians succeed in their career and avoid common mistakes that could be costly for customers.

Electrical technology is constantly changing, and electricians must be able to adapt to new trends. This requires an agile mindset, which can be developed by staying current with industry updates and utilizing online resources to learn new techniques. It also helps to stay physically fit, as electricians often work on ladders or scaffolding for extended periods of time.

When tasked with inspecting electrical systems or equipment, electricians must be able to read and interpret blueprints in order to identify any issues. They must also be able to write reports and make recommendations based on the findings. In addition, electricians may need to be able to work with different types of people to complete projects. For example, when wiring a new house, they may need to collaborate with plumbers and carpenters. Having strong interpersonal skills can help them communicate effectively and resolve any issues that arise.

Another essential skill for electricians is their ability to troubleshoot issues and find solutions quickly. This is because electrical problems can be dangerous for customers and cause serious damage if not addressed in a timely manner. To ensure customer satisfaction, electricians must be able to identify the source of the issue and resolve it as efficiently as possible.

Since electricians are regularly working with a wide range of people, including customers and other contractors, it’s important that they have excellent communication skills. This includes being able to speak clearly, listen attentively, and explain complex topics in simple terms. It’s also helpful for electricians to be able to translate technical jargon for clients or other members of their team. This can ensure that everyone is on the same page and eliminate confusion. It’s important for electricians to be able to express themselves in a way that is clear and understandable, especially when they are explaining technical details or working with high-risk machinery.


The educational qualifications you need to become an electrician depend on your desired specialty and the state you live in. Most states require a postsecondary education and practical experience to become licensed. You can obtain this through an apprenticeship program, a certificate from a vocational school, or a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

Many vocational schools offer two-year associate degrees in electrical technology. These programs include classroom instruction and lab work, as well as practical on-the-job training with a mentor or licensed electrician. These programs provide a great alternative to apprenticeships and can also serve as a stepping stone to a four-year bachelor’s degree.

An apprenticeship is the primary way to train as a professional electrician. Apprenticeships are available through local unions and contractor associations, and typically last for 4-5 years. In exchange for 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training, you receive valuable technical instruction and gain practical experience. Some apprenticeship programs will allow you to apply academic credits toward your program, which can shorten the time it takes to meet licensure requirements.

A vocational school offers a certificate in electrical technology that provides classroom and hands-on learning. You can also pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, which can give you a broader base of knowledge and prepare you to be more competitive in the job market.

If you want to start your own business, a bachelor’s degree in business can be useful for managing projects and hiring employees. You can also get specialized certifications, such as Certified Electrical Technician or Residential Wireman, to prove your expertise and demonstrate a commitment to the profession.

Continuing education is vital for electricians, as rules and regulations change often. Courses and workshops can help you stay up-to-date on the latest technologies, equipment, and tools. You can also learn new skills and improve your job performance by attending classes in a specific area, such as renewable energy systems or smart home technology. These courses can also provide networking opportunities and make you more marketable to potential employers.


While a high school education is sufficient for many jobs, some Electricians pursue post-secondary training. Trade schools offer courses that combine technical education with hands-on apprenticeships. Program prerequisites vary, but most programs require a high school diploma or GED certificate, math skills, and good hand-eye coordination. A bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or electrical technology can offer a deeper understanding of the electrical system’s theory and design.

Continuing education is vital for electricians to maintain their licensure and keep abreast of new technologies and systems. For example, a new smart system may be installed in a commercial building or home that relies on a network of sensors and devices to function. In order to install and troubleshoot these systems, the electrician must be familiar with how the system works and its safety regulations.

Most electricians also participate in ongoing professional development through workshops, seminars, and online classes. This allows them to stay up-to-date on new technologies and methods that can improve their efficiency and quality of work. In addition, they can continue to learn and develop the skills required for advancement within the industry by pursuing certifications like a Journeyman or Master Electrician license.

Licensing requirements for electricians vary by state, but most states begin the process with an apprenticeship or equivalent experience. Once an apprentice has gained enough on-the-job experience to demonstrate their competence, they can apply to become a limited journeyman electrician. This level of licensure requires at least four years of on-the-job experience and a promise to not work on electrical systems with more than 600 volts. Some states allow apprentices to test for a limited journeyman license after three years of on-the-job experience and the endorsement of two statement vouching for their expertise.

An electrician’s toolbox contains a variety of tools used for measuring current, voltage, and other important electrical information. Among the most common are an ammeter, which measures current flow, and a digital multimeter, which can measure current, capacitance, resistance, and voltage. Other useful tools include pliers, wire strippers, and electrical tape. An insulator is the opposite of a conductor; it resists electrical current and prevents it from reaching dangerous levels.


Electricians install, repair, and maintain electrical wiring and equipment in residential and commercial buildings. Some also work on industrial systems and power generation equipment. Most states require working electricians to hold state licenses, and some even offer specialty licensing options. The journey to becoming a licensed electrician typically begins with earning a high school diploma or GED certificate and attending a vocational or trade school. Students can take classes in mathematics, physics, and shop drawing to prepare for the rigorous apprenticeship training that follows.

Apprentices work under the supervision of a master electrician, learning job-specific skills and benefitting from mentorship during a four-year program. They are paid a salary and often receive benefits while they train. The experience they gain during their apprenticeship helps them earn a higher salary as they advance to journeyman status.

Once an apprentice finishes their training, they can apply for a journeyman electrician license in their state. This requires them to have 8,000 hours of work experience, of which 6,000 must be in commercial or industrial jobs. Up to 1,000 hours of education in a vocational or technical program can be counted towards the experience requirement.

In addition to having the right amount of experience, a prospective electrician must also pass an exam and meet other requirements such as a background check, fingerprinting, and a physical examination. If an electrician wants to run their own business, they can obtain a contractor license, which requires them to employ other master electricians and carry liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage.

The average annual wage for a licensed electrician is $56,900, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those who specialize in certain areas can command a much higher salary. For example, the median annual wage for electricians who specialize in green energy is $76,700.

It’s important for electricians to stay up to date on their license and insurance requirements. If they don’t, they may be subject to fines and penalties from their local government. In addition, an expired license can limit their employment opportunities, as many clients will only hire licensed professionals.