If you’ve been searching for a lucrative career, becoming an electrician might be just the right choice. Experienced electricians are in high demand in most industries. You’ll find them tirelessly working behind the scenes in big industrial plants, office buildings, apartment complexes, homes, and many other areas.
The earning potential is above average. The median income for electricians across the nation is $51,880 per year. The average income for a police officer is $42,000. Unlike police officers, electricians rarely have people shooting at them, so that’s a definite upside. Of course, the earnings potential in big cities like Los Angeles and New York is much higher but so are the living expenses.
The trick is to find a city where the median income is high but housing expenses aren’t exorbitant. Rent and mortgage payments take up the majority of our monthly expenditures. A 600-square-foot apartment in Dallas costs about $700 per month, while a 600-square-foot apartment in New York City might cost $2,000 per month. In addition, Dallas has a wide range of good housing across the city, but good places to live are scarce in NYC, not to mention the impossible parking situation there.
What type of education do electricians need?
The work of electricians can be physically demanding and even dangerous. You must constantly be crawling into tight, dusty spaces. Though most cities have very good safety programs in effect, it’s still possible to get injured working with wiring. That’s why good training is so important. A good technical school will teach you all the secrets of becoming a skilled electrician. But the program should also go over all the ways to make sure that you’re not working with live wires. By following the local and national electrical safety guidelines, you can avoid many of the common issues.
Most training programs for electricians require you to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Though some people enter the field at a relatively young age, others don’t become journeyman electricians until after 40 or so. Sometimes people work in one career for 20 years before getting burned out and looking for something else. Just about every city large and small needs good electricians so you should have plenty of jobs to choose from.
Training programs for electricians can range from one to two years all the way up to four years. Once you are certified, it’s important to get on-the-job training. This is where you learn from the old-timers, what to look out for and how to do the job without injury. As far as innate skills go, most experienced electricians will say that it’s important to be a critical thinker who can diagnose problems well. You must be able to work well with other construction workers on a job.
Pros and cons of being an electrician
Many knowledgeable sites rate electrician work as above average in terms of stress. There’s always that fear that someone hasn’t followed safety protocols and there’s live electricity flowing through the wires. There are plenty of opportunities for advancement and salary increases as well. In many cases, a journeyman electrician will eventually buy a good work van and set up their own company. You can keep it small with only a few employees or build your company into a mega-venture.
When you get ready to purchase your own work van, you’ll also be looking for the best modular storage system. It’s important to keep your tools and equipment stored properly so that they don’t get damaged or stolen. Those who’ve worked in construction for a while understand how easy it is for expensive tools to just disappear. A locking toolbox can help you avoid that scenario.