Electricians install, repair, and maintain electrical systems. They also inspect and test electrical equipment for safety.
Obtaining an electrician’s license requires at least a high school diploma and some training. Most electricians complete an apprenticeship program lasting about 4-5 years, which includes classroom instruction and hands-on training from a master electrician.
Electrical work is hazardous, presenting the potential for serious shocks and burns. Electricians and other workers who work directly with electricity need to adhere to safety procedures and wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
To reduce the risk of injury, companies should perform hazard assessments. These assessments identify all possible hazards and provide the necessary information for workers to take action.
When working on a project, always disconnect the power source before starting any electrical work. This helps to ensure that any equipment can’t be energized by mistake, which can cause an electrical fire or other dangerous situation.
Electricians often work with a variety of people, and it’s important to be able to communicate clearly. This includes both written and verbal communication, especially when it comes to submitting work orders or assessing problems for management and non-technical decision-makers.
Having excellent communication skills can help you build relationships with clients and prevent misunderstandings on the job. Moreover, you need to be able to understand their needs and specifications so you can provide them with the best possible services.
Communication also involves responding quickly to customers’ requests for service. Whether they need to know where to get an electrician or they want you to show them how to save money on their electrical bill, it’s crucial to respond promptly to their calls or email inquiries.
Problem-solving skills are necessary for electricians to diagnose electrical problems and solve them quickly. They also need to be able to think creatively to develop solutions that work for their clients.
Electricians, such as Toronto electricians, who work in residential settings often have to interact with customers on a daily basis, so it’s important that they have good customer service skills. This includes listening to customer complaints and making them feel comfortable in your presence.
Time management is another important skill for electricians to have. They often work on multiple jobs in one day, so they need to be able to estimate how long each job will take and then complete it on schedule.
Flexibility is a key concern for electricians because their jobs can take longer than expected, and they may need to work extra hours to complete them. Having flexibility also means being able to adapt your schedule as necessary for a client’s needs.
To reduce hazards, cords must be connected in ways that prevent tension at joints and terminal screws. Flexible cords are more finely stranded for flexibility than fixed wiring; straining them can cause the strands to loosen from under terminal screws and touch other conductors, exposing live wires and creating short circuits.
In addition, they must be inspected regularly for damage that might lead to fires and electrocution. For example, abrasion, aging, temperature extremes, chemical and radiation exposures, and rough use can all damage sheathing and insulation on cords.
Electrical work isn’t as routine and monotonous as other trades, so it provides plenty of opportunities for career advancement. Electricians can choose to work for different companies in different areas or even move to a new location and start their own business.
Typically, electricians complete four to five years of on-the-job training and classroom instruction through an apprenticeship program. These programs are generally run by a union-based Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee or JATC.
During this time, you’ll gain practical skills and learn about personal safety while performing your duties. Despite the risks, electricians are rarely killed in accidents while on the job. However, it’s still important to wear protective gear and follow occupational best practices.