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What Does an Electrician Do?

Electrician Nashville TN installs and repairs electrical wiring, circuits, and outlets. They also work with specialized equipment like solar energy systems and voice-data-video (VDV) cables.


To become an electrician, you need to earn a high school diploma or equivalent and then attend trade or technical schools for a few years. You then enter an apprenticeship program where you’ll get paid while getting on-the-job training.

A certified electrician is a skilled professional who works with electrical wiring, fixtures, and equipment to ensure that buildings have power for lighting, appliances, and other purposes. They install, inspect, and repair electrical systems and components to meet governmental safety standards. They also troubleshoot problems with malfunctioning systems, appliances, and electrical devices. Electricians plan and layout the installation of electrical wires, equipment, and fixtures based on job specifications and codes.

In order to perform their jobs, electricians must have a high school diploma or GED certificate and complete an apprenticeship. Moreover, they must be licensed by the state to practice in their profession. Other qualifications include strong critical thinking skills, physical stamina, and the ability to work well with customers and assistants. Electricians use a variety of hand and power tools, such as drills, saws, pliers, wire strippers, and screwdrivers to complete their tasks. They also use specialized tools such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, and ammeters to test and diagnose problems.

Residential and commercial electricians install, repair, and maintain electrical wiring, outlets, switches, fixtures, and other equipment in homes and other buildings. They also work on electrical systems for industrial locations, such as factories and warehouses. Additionally, they may install security alarms and other electrical equipment for elevators. They must be able to communicate effectively with their supervisors and coworkers, and follow all safety procedures while performing their duties.

Telecommunications electricians lay cabling indoors and outdoors with a specialty in phone and data lines. They can work with both AC and DC currents. Outside linemen are the ones you see riding around on boom lifts repairing telephone wires. These electricians must be able to work in the elements and climb tall telephone poles. They also work with renewable or green energy components and systems. They may be called to do emergency repairs and be required to work on weekends or holidays. Other duties may include administering first aid and CPR, providing expert advice to customers, ordering parts, and removing trees, branches, and brush that interfere with power lines and utility rights of way.

Education Requirements

There are several routes to becoming a licensed electrician, depending on your background and career goals. For example, you may choose to complete a vocational program that offers an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electrical technology, electrical system design or a similar field. Or, you may prefer to take courses in trade school or an apprenticeship. Other qualifications include passing an examination that tests your knowledge of electrical theory and codes, as well as undergoing practical training under the supervision of a master electrician to gain on-the-job experience.

The minimum requirements for entering a vocational program or an apprenticeship are usually at least 18 years old, a high school diploma or GED certificate and a good understanding of basic scientific concepts. If you’re planning on working as a commercial electrician, then you need to have a strong understanding of mechanical drawing and blueprint reading. It’s also important to have a solid grasp of math, particularly algebra. Electricians often use math to measure wiring lengths, determine electrical circuit angles and calculate the force of electrical currents.

Trade schools and apprenticeships offer classroom-based and lab-based educational programs. The curriculum includes courses in electricity, basic mathematics and engineering principles. Students are also taught how to read and interpret technical documents, such as electrical blueprints and circuit diagrams. Many of these programs also incorporate an internship where the student works on actual jobs as part of their training.

Other qualifications include physical strength and stamina, the ability to work with tools, and excellent customer service skills. It’s also important to have full-color vision, since electricians must be able to identify wires by color. In addition, electricians need good hand-eye coordination and keen attention to detail.

Training Requirements

Electricians need to be able to use their hands, have good vision and hearing, and have the ability to solve problems. They also need strong customer service skills and the ability to work independently. Most electricians learn through an apprenticeship program, but you can also find job-based training at technical schools and trade schools. Some programs are designed to provide a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree while others focus on specific aspects of electrical work.

Many apprenticeship programs require a high school diploma or GED certificate. You can improve your chances of getting into one by taking math and science courses, as well as shop and mechanical drawing classes. You should pay particular attention to algebra, since this type of math is used to determine wire lengths and other dimensions in electrical diagrams.

The electrical industry is changing rapidly, and new technologies are being introduced all the time. This makes it important to have the latest information about electrical safety and how to apply it in different situations. You can get this information by attending seminars or taking online courses that are specifically designed for electricians.

Some electricians choose to specialize in a certain facet of the industry, such as solar power or refrigeration. This gives them greater earning potential and enables them to work on projects that they are passionate about.

Choosing the right apprenticeship or training program can make all the difference in your career success. The best programs will teach you everything that you need to know to become a licensed electrician. They will also provide the practical experience and skills that you need to succeed in the field.

You will need to pass both a written and practical exam to become a licensed electrician. To prepare for these exams, you should take a series of classes at a local trade school or technical college that offer electrical training. These classes will teach you the basics of electrical work, including how to read blueprints and wiring diagrams.

During the interview process, you should ask the candidate about their education and training, as well as their work experience. This will help you decide if they are the right fit for your company.


Electricians generally earn more money than other tradespeople with similar training and experience. However, like any career, the amount of money an electrician makes depends on the type of employer and location. Electricians who work for large companies or electric utilities often earn the highest salaries. Some electricians are self-employed, and therefore able to set their own rates.

The average salary of an electrician is $55,000 per year, but this can vary significantly based on several factors. The most important factor is location. Electricians who work in major metropolitan areas typically earn more than those working in rural areas, due to the higher cost of living in these areas. Additionally, the type of work an electrician performs can also have a significant impact on their salary. For example, wiring technicians earn about the same as general electricians, but they focus on installing and maintaining electrical systems for commercial buildings. Electrical substation technicians, on the other hand, earn more than wiring technicians because they oversee and maintain the electrical transmission lines that route power to homes and businesses.

Another factor that can affect an electrician’s salary is whether or not they belong to a labor union. Labor unions represent a group of workers and negotiate contracts with their employers on behalf of the members. While some electricians choose to join a union, others prefer to be self-employed and work independently.

Lastly, the amount of stress an electrician faces on the job can also have an impact on their salary. Some jobs require them to be on call for emergencies and urgent repairs, which can result in unpredictable hours. This can be particularly challenging for those with children or other responsibilities outside of the workplace.

Ultimately, the biggest factor in an electrician’s salary is their own hard work ethic. Bosses appreciate workers who show up on time and give it their all every day, and they will often reward them accordingly with a higher paycheck. In addition, electricians who continue to expand their skills and knowledge are likely to make more money than those who do not.