While many electricians start out their path to a career as an apprentice, some choose to start off in trade school or college. Either way, you will enter a career field where the job positions are diverse and the opportunities are impressive.
If you have yet to make up your mind about starting out as an apprentice, you can benefit by looking at the advantages of an apprenticeship. Take a look at four of the biggest advantages of entering an apprenticeship program as a prospective electrician.
- Potentially Earn Credit Toward a Degree
Even though not all electrician apprentices go to college, you may choose to do so if you want to further your career possibilities or specialize in a specific area of the field. One of the biggest advantages of taking part in a formal apprenticeship program is that you can often earn credit which you can use as college credit to earn either an associate or bachelor’s degree.
For example, if you spend two years as an electrician’s apprentice, you may earn credit hours that you can apply toward a degree in a college of your choice when your apprenticeship is over.
- Make a Living While You Learn Your Trade
Apprenticeship programs can last anywhere from one year to six years. During this time as an apprentice, you will obviously need to support yourself financially. Although some apprenticeship programs in other industries may be unpaid, apprenticeship programs under a licensed electrician are typically paid. Therefore, you will earn an income while you learn.
Even though you will spend time learning and gaining new skills, you will also be an electrician helper in most cases. The average pay for an electrician helper is $13.94 per hour, but how much you are paid can vary depending on your location and can change as your skills grow.
- Establish Yourself as a Professional Through Networking
Networking with other industry professionals is an ever-valuable component of any successful career. When you work as an apprentice with a company or a licensed electrician, you have the potential to have exposure to numerous professionals in the field.
Whether you work with a traveling journeyman or are stationed in one area, you will meet many new people during your time as an apprentice. You can garner valuable contacts who learn to recognize your name, which means you may easily make your way to a permanent position in the future.
- Gain Exposure to Skills Needed in the Electrician Field
As an electrician, you are expected to possess certain skills when you apply for certain positions. And, even if you intend to start your own business as an electrical contractor, certain skill sets are necessary. Some skills electricians are expected to have include:
- Understanding electrical systems
- Knowing how to conduct electrical system tests
- Recognizing both local and state electrical codes
- Repairing systems and troubleshooting system problems
- Maintaining and using equipment and tools in the electrical field
Your time as an apprentice will undoubtedly expose you to many skills you will eventually use as a licensed professional. With or without further training in trade school or college, these skills will be valuable to your career as an electrician.
Get Your Electrician Career Off to a Good Start
The job outlook for electricians between 2019 and 2029 is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 62,200 more jobs could be added by 2029, and there is an eight percent growth rate projection, which is faster than average occupations. If you are ready to get your electrician career started on the right path, reach out to us at the Independent Electrical Contractors of Greater Cincinnati.