A career as an electrician’s apprentice is a great opportunity for those who want to learn a trade and have a hands-on approach to their work. Being an electrician’s apprentice offers a job that has many benefits, such as earning while you learn, not having to pay tuition or fees, and being able to start working in your new profession sooner than many other careers.
Being an electrician’s apprentice can be a lot of hard work, but it can also become a very rewarding journey. To work as an electrician’s apprentice is not necessarily what you would define as an easy job. They have to start with the fundamentals of electrical theory and simultaneously learn how to install, maintain, and troubleshoot electrical systems in the real world.
But what is it like to be an apprentice in the electrical field and what fundamental knowledge should you know about? This article aims to answer these questions, providing some insight into the trade of electricians.
What Is an Electrician’s Apprentice?
An electrician’s apprentice is a person who learns the skills of being an electrician while also going to school. They learn on the job just like a journeyman electrician and get on-the-job training. An apprentice has many benefits, for example; they have no student debt, receive on-the-job training from more experienced electricians, and can earn more money than being a regular high school graduate.
What Is Required of an Electrician’s Apprentice?
The most important thing to consider of whether or not to become an electrician’s apprentice is mostly if you are willing to dedicate the next 3-4 years to learning and working.
But as earlier mentioned your apprenticeship can also become a very rewarding journey, as you get to know a new and exciting trade, which will give you the opportunity to provide financially for yourself and your family. One of the great benefits of becoming an electrician is that you are getting paid right from the beginning. In this way, you can avoid the burden of any student debt.
Here are two fundamental requirements to become an apprentice in the trade of electricians:
Physical ability: To be an electrician’s apprentice require that you are not afraid of a certain amount of physical labor. Being on a job site can involve heavy lifting and a lot of walking around to fix things. Granted, there are different types of electricians, for example, technicians who most of the time are maintaining and installing in a fixed position. But whether or not you pick the classic electrician or technician, you should be expected to not be afraid to do some physical labor.
Cognitive ability: The education of an electrician has been referred to as a small engineering degree and with good reason. Meaning, in regards to the education of an electrician’s apprentice, you get to learn the mathematical fundamentals of electrical circuits, and how you determine the specific cable type that is needed for a given task. Certainly, you don’t have to be the next Einstein to install and maintain electrical systems, but a minimum of logical, and mathematical sense comes a long way.
What You Are Going Learn as an Electrician’s Apprentice
You’ll get extensive hands-on training from a qualified electrician who teaches you how to install wiring systems that include power distribution systems, power transmission lines, signal transmission lines, high voltage distribution systems, low voltage distribution systems, substations modules.
The most important thing you’ll learn and NEED to learn is the safety protocols involved in being an electrician. There are many electrician apprentices who are great with a screwdriver, but if you lack the basic understanding of safety education, you will most likely not become a full journeyman.
In your education, you are going to be provided with the theory in school while getting real-world experience with a certified electrician.
Electrical Trade School: Electrical School (Electrical Trade School) is the first step to becoming a fully trained electrician in the future. In a classroom setting, you will be introduced to the fundamental electrical systems and circuits, AC/DC, wiring, calculation, a basic understanding of motors, and safety standards in the field of the electrical trade. Before you can step foot in the field as an apprentice you need to know these things.
Many young people, who are starting out, will be surprised that we are also expected to gain some it-knowledge, as more and more electrical systems are being programmed on a computer by the electrician. These systems often make a bridge between the electric installation and the functions necessary for making the system run.
With the rise of smart homes, for example, electricians not only install electrical components but also implement software solutions. This development is one of the top benefits to the trade because it opens up a lot of opportunities to both learning and job security for electricians in particular.
In the real world: Working with an electrician (also called a journeyman), you get to learn how to install, maintain, and repair electrical systems in power stations, industrial buildings, data centers, and residential homes. The electrical installation can be done in new buildings or in existing buildings. In this way you will also get to know your preferences, and what you would like to work with in the future as a fully educated electrician.
In the field as an electrician’s apprentice, you will often get partnered up with the same journeyman, who will guide you along the way. Although you could also expect to be transferred to different people and departments, where you will learn the different skills involved with being an electrician. Remember, that sometime soon in the future, your journeyman will not be by your side, and therefore you should learn as much as possible and be open to every piece of advice you can get.
Understanding of tools: In your education at school and in the field, you will get a solid understanding of the tools to the trade of an electrician. You shouldn’t worry too much about your current understanding of tools like wire strippers, testers, and specific drills. All this you will gradually be introduced to in the coming years of your education. A list of tools and materials you will come to understand and know well is for example:
- measuring tools
- electrical tapes
- cable ties
- electrical drills
- wire strippers
- non-contact voltage tester
- .. and many more
Usually, you have to carry most of these tools around with you on a daily basis. When you start out as an apprentice, you will get provided with both tools and clothes meant specifically for carrying these things around. It may sound like a lot, but you will surely get used to this over time.
Is It Worth It to Become an Electrician’s Apprentice?
If you could see yourself choosing this trade, the answer to the question is definitely yes – it is really worth it. The apprenticeship will provide you with a long list of skills, that you can use in the future in your professional work – and also in your personal life. You will learn how to use different tools and equipment, which will be useful if you choose to work on your own personal projects.
Many people will for example never have a ceiling light or move a power outlet because they are either not able to, or can afford an electrician. Knowing these skills can make your life many timers easier. An apprentice will also have the opportunity to learn about different types of electrical systems, which could help them find a job in the future if they want to change careers. Furthermore, apprenticeships are free and you would get paid during your training period.
Should You Become an Electrician’s Apprentice?
Only you can answer this question, but I would say, that there are many exciting potentials of becoming an electrician. This trade will give you an introduction to a trade with so many opportunities, which is an ever-expanding field, which will only grow in the future.
Is the Electrical Trade a Future-Proof Choice?
I will actually argue that the trades especially is one of the safest bets for job security and happiness in the future as well. We see that many jobs are being automated or outsourced, which is leaving even highly specialized and university-educated unemployed. And on top of that with a huge student debt burden.
There are many factors that point to the fact that the electrical trade is one of the safest choices for thriving in a growing job market for the many years to come. More and more electrical installations are required and countries all over the world need specialized people, who can provide solutions and services in this industry.