An electrician is a person specializing in electrical wiring and construction of electrical machines, buildings, and other related equipment. Electricians can be employed in both the installation of new electrical equipment or the repair and maintenance of existing electrical infrastructure. They perform all these functions through the utilization of specialized tools and electrical engineering know-how. They may work alone or as part of a construction crew and are often employed before, during, and after construction to install, repair, and maintain the electrical infrastructure of a building.
Electricians are required in residential areas where high-voltage electrical systems and wiring are used. Commercial buildings that use electricity must have reliable and competent electricians on staff. These electricians must be licensed by the appropriate government agency in each state in which they provide their services. All electricians must be trained and certified by one or more of the following organizations: the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECFA), the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA), or the North American Electrical Contractors Association (NACEA). These organizations offer continuing education seminars for electricians that address issues specific to their industry.
All electricians work under a general contractor agreement that establishes their fee schedule; however, there are several variations based on the needs of the client. General contract prices for installation and maintenance electricians range from two hundred to three thousand dollars for one hour of labor. Time and attendance rates vary according to the type of service requested. For instance, maintenance electricians work on an hourly basis and pay for time off during vacation; however, they generally work without compensation if the job is not completed to their satisfaction. Other factors that affect prices include licensing and certification fees, and whether the client requests materials at no additional cost.
Many electricians work inside buildings, helping people run businesses and performing other tasks that involve wiring and the electrical power distribution. Some may work in offices where there is need for cable services, such as inside data cabinets and printers. Electricians also may work for construction companies to install electrical wiring inside buildings. Electricians who supply electricity inside buildings should have a general contractor’s license because some building owners require it.
One of the benefits of hiring electricians is that they usually get on-the-job training. Most certification and licensing programs allow potential electricians to earn up to six months of on-the-job experience before they attain their certification or licensing. Electricians who have acquired both formal training and on-the-job experience are able to compete for high paying jobs with ease. However, there are some drawbacks to on-the-job training for electricians; the majority of electricians who have earned formal apprenticeship programs have been unable to find steady employment in their field, largely because of lack of education and training.
The majority of entry-level electricians often don’t have a lot of physical strength and must have the ability to work with tools. Electricians who have formal apprenticeships often start out in a customer service position. As workers gain experience and work toward better pay and positions of higher responsibility, they can graduate up to become full-time employees. Employers are willing to give their workers this type of training because they often have an easier time hiring someone with more skill than someone who has only worked with tools and hardware. Because of the increased competition for electrical work, employers are willing to pay a higher wage than they were a few years ago. This makes electrical labor much more lucrative than it used to be.