A large portion of open positions will arise from experienced electrical workers that choose to leave the field either through retirement or to pursue other opportunities.
- Electrical contractors may be required to:
- Work in tight cramped spaces
- Usually need to be able to climb ladders
- They may also be required to work in inclement conditions.
Depending on the industry in which they are employed they may work 40 hours per week or more. They may also be required to be on call and to work evenings, weekends and/or holidays.
Employment Prospects for Electricians
As this field continues to grow, the opportunities for employment prospects will continue to expand as well. In addition to the traditional areas of new construction and repair and maintenance, it is anticipated that employment prospects will exist in factories as well as expanded opportunities in building renovation and rehabilitation.
Electrical workers may specialize in new construction and therefore either work for themselves or a contracting company. Other prospects include motor vehicle parts manufacturing, government services and the military.
Job Search for Electricians
Open positions within this field can be found through a variety of techniques; although a large portion of open positions are connected to union work. Networking within occupational and union circles can prove to be most beneficial. Other ways of finding work include searching the classifieds and checking industry web sites and job boards.
Resumes for Electricians
Due to the fact that this occupation relies so heavily on experience either the functional or combination resume format would be the best type of resume to use when applying for work within this field. Both of these resume formats allows the candidate to focus on work experience and specifically experience related to certain tasks.
Cover Letters for Electricians
The cover letter used when applying for work within this field should focus on experience and whenever possible mention beneficial references, especially if the candidate was referred to the position by someone.
Training & Qualifications for Electricians
The largest source of training in this field is apprenticeship programs lasting anywhere from three to five years. These types of programs are commonly offered through local union organizations and associations, such as:
- National Electrical Contractors Association
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- Associated Builders and Contractors
- Independent Electrical Contractors Association
Individuals who choose not to enter a training or apprenticeship program may learn skills by becoming employed as an electrician’s helper; however it should be noted that fewer opportunities exist for this type of position and the candidate is not as likely to receive training they need to complete the wide range of tasks necessary to performing the work of master electricians.
In some cases, training and apprenticeship programs train a candidate to work only with specific types of electrical and voltage systems or to work in very specific environments. In other cases, the candidate may be trained to do both maintenance and construction work.
In addition to being in good physical condition, candidates interested in this line of work should have good color vision due to the fact that they must be able to distinguish between multi-colored wires to accurately and safely perform the job.
Most training programs require candidates to be at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma or GED.
Upon the completion of training most areas require candidates to pass an examination in order to become licensed.
The examination usually tests knowledge of electrical theory, the National Electric Code and local building codes. On going education may be required in order for the successful candidate to keep up with changes that affect the industry.
Advancement within this field is possible.
As individuals gain experience they may advance to the position of supervisor and eventually to that of superintendent. Additional pay and responsibility are attached to such promotions.
They also eventually open their own business or become an inspector.