A Career As an Electrician

Nashville Electrician assembles, installs, tests and troubleshoots electrical wiring systems. They also read blueprints and schematics to locate wires and equipment.


Most electricians attend trade school or complete an apprenticeship program before they can work without supervision. They study and accumulate verified work experience to qualify for a license exam.

A career as an Electrician requires a strong commitment to learning and a willingness to perform physical work. However, it offers the satisfaction of serving as an essential member of a skilled trade and the stability of a job that is in high demand. There are a variety of paths to becoming an electrician, including traditional vocational school programs and apprenticeships. Individuals with experience in other trades such as HVAC, carpentry, or auto mechanics may also find themselves qualified for an electrician apprenticeship.

Some individuals choose to attend a trade school program that prepares them for the national electrical code test and the subsequent licensure exam. Many programs include classroom instruction in the fundamentals of electrical theory, as well as hands-on training in wiring and installation methods. Some schools even connect students with an apprenticeship opportunity upon graduation.

Upon graduating from a trade school program or completing an apprenticeship, most states require that students pass a licensing exam to become certified as an electrician. This is a critical step that tests an individual’s knowledge of the trade’s best practices and safety protocols. The exam is typically administered by the state’s licensing board or department.

In addition to obtaining a license, many electricians opt to pursue advanced certifications in specific areas of specialization. These can help them stand out to potential employers and expand their career options. Acquiring certifications in areas such as energy management, programmable logic controllers, or building automation can enhance an electrician’s professional portfolio and provide them with new opportunities for employment.

Those who wish to move up in the field and become a supervisor or small business owner should work on their communication skills to build trust with clients and coworkers. This includes developing the ability to explain technical concepts in easy-to-understand terms and providing excellent customer service.

Electricians who specialize in residential work can expect to spend most of their time on site, adding power outlets and lighting fixtures to new home or business constructions. They can also be expected to troubleshoot issues with existing residential systems and perform routine maintenance on wiring.

Job Duties

Electricians assemble, install, test and repair electrical wiring, equipment and fixtures. They use hand and power tools as well as electronic testing devices such as ohmmeters and voltmeters. They also liaise with clients, architects and engineers to ensure that their work is in accordance with specifications and building codes.

Electricians can specialize in specific types of projects or locations. For example, linemen work on electric utility company distribution systems at high voltages, while electricians working in buildings or other structures are called wiremen. Electricians can also focus on residential, commercial or industrial projects. In addition, some electricians specialize in low-voltage systems such as voice-data-video (VDV) or fiber optic cable installation and repair.

Many electricians choose to become self-employed rather than work for an established electrical business. This allows them greater flexibility in terms of the projects they take on and how they interact with clients. Nonetheless, those who do take this route must still keep abreast of any revisions to electrical standards and legislation in their jurisdiction.

In addition to their core duties, electricians must also possess excellent problem-solving skills in the event that a system or component malfunctions. They must be able to identify the root cause of an issue and find effective solutions in a short space of time. This may involve rewiring a piece of equipment, tracing electrical pathways or identifying issues with fuses and transformers.


Electrical work is hazardous and requires specialized skills. It can also be physically demanding, requiring long hours on feet, climbing ladders, and maneuvering in tight spaces. It is important for electricians to adhere to strict safety protocols to avoid accidents and injuries.

To become a licensed Electrician, you will need to complete an apprenticeship or go through a trade school program that offers hands-on learning. The programs usually take four to five years and incorporate on-the-job training and classroom instruction. The classes will cover topics like wiring diagrams, the National Electric Code, and safety rules. They will prepare you for the exam required to get your license.

Once you have completed your education and training, you must meet the state requirements to become a licensed electrician. These may include having 8,000 hours of experience as an apprentice and passing an exam. Some states allow a portion of the training hours gained through a college or trade school program to count towards the experience requirement.

After meeting the state requirements, you can apply to work as a journeyman electrician. You will need to pass a background check and drug test to be licensed. In addition, you will need to submit proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage for your employees. You can find information about local licensing requirements on the website of your state’s department of labor or at a nearby union hall.

Some electricians choose to operate as independent contractors and work for themselves. Others prefer to work within a larger electrical business, which can provide a steady stream of work and support. In either case, strong attention to detail and excellent communication skills are essential for the job. Electricians must be able to work with clients to determine the scope of a project and then communicate with them to schedule the work. They must also liaise with customers after the work is completed to insure they are satisfied with the results.

Because the industry is constantly evolving, it is important for Electricians to remain up-to-date on yearly modifications to codes and regulations. Additionally, they must be able to adapt to changing working conditions, such as incorporating new technology into existing systems.


As with most jobs, electricians’ salaries vary by region. In urban areas, demand for skilled labor tends to be higher and thus salaries reflect that fact. However, other factors, such as cost of living and licensing expenses, can impact the average electrician salary. Likewise, the experience level of licensed electricians can significantly impact pay rates. Apprentices can expect to receive a lower salary than journeymen and master electricians.

Many specialized industries require licensed electricians to ensure the safe and efficient operation of their equipment. In this way, these electricians are a vital part of the economy. In addition, the construction of residential and commercial buildings often requires licensed electricians to install electrical wiring. This work can range from simple to complex, but regardless of the complexity, these electricians should be well compensated for their expertise.

A savvy licensed electrician can maximize their earnings by expanding the scope of services they offer. For example, a service technician who can repair generators and solar panels can greatly increase the value of their services. While this may require some additional training, it can also help the technician build a loyal client base and generate more referrals.

Licensed electricians can also earn more by starting their own businesses. While this can be a significant investment of time and money, it can boost incomes by increasing the number of jobs they take on and the amount they charge for those services. Additionally, an experienced electrician can often negotiate better rates with contractors and get more jobs done in less time.

Another way to increase your earnings as a licensed electrician is by joining a union. While some people aversion to unions is based on misconceptions about the trades, joining a union can actually be very beneficial for an electrician. This is because unions typically negotiate with employers to raise wages, and in some cases, even extend vacation days or other perks to their members. In this way, it’s possible for a union electrician to earn substantially more than the average electrician salary.