How to Get Started in Electrical Contracting

Everyone is looking for a solid way to earn a living … a real profession that you can be proud of. Of course, if you can afford four years in college, you can get a Bachelor’s degree in various fields that offer rewarding careers. But sometimes people don’t have the time and money for that sort of thing. Many people are searching for something interesting with good pay and job stability that only requires a degree from a trade school.

There are actually many such jobs available today and numerous trade schools that are affordable and reliable. These careers include:

  • HVAC installer/repairman
  • Locksmith
  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • Medical billing
  • AutoCAD
  • Computer graphics
  • Video Technology
  • Many others

The most important advice that career counselors give is to search your own soul and see what type of work you’d be happy doing. Of course, you can change careers in midstream if you want to, but settling on one specialty is usually best. Make up your mind, then find the proper training in your city. Trade schools and community colleges usually offer help with finances.

How to choose a career

Some people just know what they want to be/do. Others have to do a lot of soul-searching. You can also take aptitude tests to see where your interests and life skills truly lie. Sometimes people choose educational courses based on the time required to complete the training. Others base their decision on the cost of the training. But it’s also a good idea to check the job market and see whether there’s sufficient demand for the particular skill you are thinking of acquiring. While some areas might be constantly looking for construction workers, other cities might not have much work. New York City is one place where skilled construction workers are always in demand and the pay is higher than average. Of course, it’s an expensive city to live in, but very rewarding.

Electrician's diagram

Get good information

Do some research on various types of trades and that will help you better understand what your every day life might be like. Plumbers will be required to crawl under a house or basement. You may work in damp or wet areas fairly often. There’s sometimes sewage and other unpleasant duties to deal with. But the average salary for a plumber is from $29,000 to $77,000. The more training and experience, the more money. But that’s true with all professions.

Compliance with NEC codes

Working as an electrician is rewarding as well. During your training, you’ll not only learn to do the job but you’ll also learn about being compliant with the National Electrical Code (NEC). This is an important part of the job. You’ll be taught about the dangers that live wires present. Safety training is a big part of the job. Most days, you’ll be working with 12oV to 240V of electricity, so making a mistake will be painful.

Becoming your own boss

As your training nears its close, start looking around for jobs in your area. It might take several months to find the right position. Remember to listen and learn for those first few years from the experienced people around you. You’ll often be working with pros who’ve had 20+ years of experience and they can teach you so much. Some people eventually start their own small business. It’s exciting to become a business owner.

electrician working on high lines

Once you’ve worked for a few years as an electrician, plumber, HVAC tech, or whatever field you choose, you will no doubt own a wide range of tools and equipment, plus a work van or truck. You’ll meet other people in your field. All you need now is a good head for business, a good accountant and a catchy name for your company.

Though each trade has its good points and drawbacks, electricians are typically respected in their communities. It’s easy to build up a good following and earn a positive reputation. As your customers get to know what you can do and how you work, you can build a strong foundation in your community.

Red truck

Another essential in this industry is good storage. When you have a well-designed system to store tools, equipment and accessories, you can get through a day with minimal stress. That’s why Rola-Case has developed a full line of shelving for vans and trucks, including sliding platforms. Our trade packages include everything you need to get your cargo van fully organized. Our cabinet kits are fully customizable. Choose from a wide variety of trolley cabinets that allow you to take your tools wherever you need to go. Rola-Case is your partner for success.

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