Career Detail

“Power is in Your Hands”
Electricians bring in, maintain, and repair electricity into homes, businesses, and factories.
The Job
Electricians install and maintain the wiring, fuses, and other components through which electricity flows. Many electricians also install and maintain electrical machines in factories. Wiring for voice, data, and video networks is also in high demand. When installing wiring, electricians use hand tools such as conduit benders, screwdrivers, pliers, knives, hacksaws, and wire strippers, as well as power tools such as drills and saws. To ensure public safety, electricians follow the National Electrical Code, and State and local building codes. Most electricians work a standard 40-hour week, although overtime may be required. Those who do maintenance work may work nights or weekends and be on call to go to the worksite when needed.
Work Environment
Electricians work indoors and out, at construction sites, in homes, and in businesses or factories.
College Majors
Electrical Engineering
Minimum Qualifications
Most electricians learn their trade through apprenticeship programs. All apprentices need a high school diploma or a G.E.D. Most States and localities require electricians to be licensed.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Skills needed to become an electrician include manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, physical fitness, and a good sense of balance.
Quick Facts
  • Most electricians acquire their skills by completing an apprenticeship program lasting 4 to 5 years.
  • About 4 out of 5 electricians work in the construction industry or are self-employed.
  • More Info: National Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, Internet:
Compensation and Outlook
In May 2008, median hourly wages of wage and salary electricians were $22.32. The middle 50 percent earned between $17.00 and $29.88. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $13.54, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $38.18.
Comments and Updates
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