In the day to day life of most people who live in modern countries, electricity is something taken for granted. When it doesn’t work or when a home or business owner wants to make changes to what they already have, they call an electrician. Night or day, rain or shine, electricity is a vital part of every day life. It keeps food cold, water warm, and houses cool or warm as needed.
The electrician who trained to do the varied tasks needed to meet the needs of an electricity-driven society is a true professional, with the dedication to undergo rigorous and meticulous standards of education and on the job experience. It’s not surprising that they’re professional, but some of the following might come as a surprise to those who aren’t an electrician.
Master Electricians Train Nearly As Long As Doctors
Experience is definitely the name of the game when it comes to all matters electrical. This is not a field where there is room for error and those who have earned the rank of Master Electrician have been training through classroom instruction and hands on experience for at least eight years. Just as physicians are trained to master all things medical, even though most choose to specialize in a certain field, the Master Electrician has to be prepared to correctly diagnose and apply the correct “treatment” to a problem.
Doctors deal with patients who self-medicate before they come in to get treatment for what ails them and electricians encounter customers who have created dangerous situations in their homes or businesses through a lack of understanding how electricity works and what its limits are. The electrician must correct the situation, not just so it’s safer, but so that it meets building and safety codes. This requires extensive experience with vast amounts of technical knowledge as quite often misapplication can mean a fatal end result.
Electricians Specialize In One Of Four Major Areas
The doctor analogy continues when it comes to specialization in these fields. While the entirety of the electrical field doesn’t have quite as many parts as the human body, it does have four major areas.
Residential: This electrician handles all electrical needs within the home. From breakers to circuits to repairing older lines and installing new ones, every aspect of electrical power in every type of residence is under the domain of the residential electrician.
Commercial: Commercial buildings, such as office buildings, restaurants, theaters, and schools, as well as city and state government projects are where this type of electrician practices his or her trade. These types of structures often use heavy machinery, as well as computer, security, surveillance and lighting systems that far exceed that used in a private home.
Industrial: Complexes of all types fall into the skill set of the industrial electrician. Factories, processing plants, and manufacturing in its many forms means heavy machinery and the correct wiring to support it. These electricians are also well versed in generators, transformers, and control systems. As technology advances, robotics are increasingly used and industrial engineers are involved.
Outside Lineman: If residential, commercial and industrial electricians do everything electrical within a structure, the outside lineman is the professional who brings the electricity from the plant to the home. They work with substations, transformers, and the lines that run either underground or from pole to pole, doing the work necessary to bring the power to the structure.
Electricians Need To Be In Good Shape
Electricity can be dangerous and by virtue of that fact it’s usually safely tucked away in walls, or underground, and in other hard to reach places – such as behind refrigerators and in back of washers and dryers. These lines run through attics and in basements and very few of its locations are easy to reach. Electricians need to be able to perform their work in less than optimum conditions. It may be very hot or very cold and in most circumstances its not going to be done in a comfortable standing or sitting position.
Electricians will need to have the stamina to climb ladders and stairs repetitively throughout their work day, crawl through attics and other inhospitable areas. In many cases, the electrician need to be able to work longer than an eight hour day to ensure that a project that can’t be completed in one day is left in safe circumstances. In addition, call outs on nights and weekends can be a part of the work schedule of many electricians.
Electricians Need To Have Good Thinking Skills
There’s an extensive amount of information each electrician has to learn before he or she can undergo testing to become a Journeyman Electrician and that’s after a minimum of four years of working and learning as an apprentice. Not only does the electrician have to be good at math, they have to know how to read blueprints and technical schematics, and they have to know both federal and local codes in their field.
Organization and good planning are vital, as it a component of flexibility and quick thinking. All of that comes from the knowledge electricians receive throughout their training. There are no short cuts when it comes to working with electricity and good electricians are those who know how its supposed to work and what makes it work safely.
Electricians Are Going Green
While it may seem if energy is a limitless supply, those who work with energy know that’s not a sustainable vision. Many businesses and homes, both new and those undergoing renovation, are incorporating green technologies. As solar power technology grows in both scope and practicality, business and home owners are using solar arrays to provide electricity. From LED lighting to the power outlets for electric cars, electricians are at the forefront of installing and maintaining these newer energy technologies.
It may take a while for the stereotype of “blue collar” to fade with regard to this career arena, however, for those in the know, there’s no surprise that the Master Electrician is a highly-trained, highly-skilled professional on the forefront – and behind the scenes – in one of the most valuable fields in the world: Energy.