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How to Become an Electrician in 3 Steps
The days of the handymen fixing a litany of mechanical problems are long gone. Employers of electricians require academic preparation and experience before they hire. Here's how you can become a top paid electrician, complete with certification and know-how, in a three-step process.

Because technology and business machines have become such an integral part of our lives, the need for qualified electricians continues to grow. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electricians held about 656,000 jobs in 2004, and employment opportunities for electricians are expected to increase as fast as average for all occupations through the year 2014. Electricians have a variety of choices when selecting the sector of the industry that they wish to operate in. From freelance contractors to salaried employees, electricians command a respectable hourly wage and work on a variety of exciting projects.

Become an Electrician: Your 3-Part Plan

The BLS notes the steps required to become an electrician. While specific requirements may vary from state to state, this blueprint is applicable across the country.

  • Classes. Your first step is to take at least 144 hours of accredited classroom instruction from a reputable technical or electrician school.
  • Certification. Next, take your certification exam, which tests your knowledge of electrical theory, the National Electrical Code, and local electric and building codes.
  • Apprenticeship. The last step is to log at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training with a potential employer to demonstrate your expertise.

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Electrician School: What You'll Learn

Earning a certificate and nailing and apprenticeship all depend on how well you hone your skills in electrician school. Here are a few courses you don't want to miss:

  • Managing Field Productivity. Learn how to increase your productivity without increasing your effort. This course prepares you for juggling complex schedules and projects without sacrificing the quality of your work.
  • Basic Estimating. One of the key duties of an electrician is correctly estimating the cost for a project. Get more business and win more blind bids by understanding the ingredients of a smart job estimate.
  • Project Management. If you have aspirations of entering the field of electrician management, this course will prepare you for the added duties and responsibilities of a leader. This is must-know information you can't miss.

The time is right for you to become an electrician. Find an electrician school in your area and inquire about class schedules and financial aid opportunities. You'll be working in this growing field before you might think!

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