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Sitting on the Electric Fence? The Risks and Rewards of Being an Electrician

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Are you looking to launch a potentially lucrative career without spending four years (or more!) attending college?

Being an electrician might be a great option for you. At the moment, there are more than 650,000 electricians in the U.S., and that number is growing every year. (According to the BLS as of December 2018)

While most jobs these days require four-year degrees, one of the big benefits of working as an electrician is you don’t need to go to a college or university to do it. Instead, there are electrical technician training programs you can sign up for which will teach you what you need to know to start your electrician career.

But before you sign up for an electrical training course, you should take the time to learn the risks and rewards of being an electrician. It’ll let you know if life as an electrician would be right for you.

The Risks of Being an Electrician

There are so many benefits of being an electrician. We’ll discuss them in a second, but before we do, there are a few risks you should be aware of prior to enrolling in an electrical technician training program.

Take a look at some of the risks you should carefully consider below.

1. You Won’t Be Able to Become a Full-Fledged Electrician Right Away

There are some people who are under the impression the only thing you need to do in order to become an electrician is to attend the aforementioned electrical technician training program.

You do need to take classes at a trade and vocational school before becoming an electrician. But it’s not the only step you need to take to start your new career.

You’re also going to need to spend at least a few years working as an apprentice under a master electrician. This electrician will be in charge of showing you the ropes and teaching you everything you’ll need to know to work as a full-fledged technician.

As an apprentice, you probably won’t be forced to do a lot of dangerous jobs. But you will get saddled with many of the jobs the more experienced electricians don’t want to do. You’ll have to pay your dues before eventually becoming a real electrician one day.

2. You’ll Have to Work a Lot of Odd Hours

Working as an electrician is not a normal 9-to-5 job.

There are going to be times when you’re out making electrical repairs to someone’s home after they woke up to find they didn’t have any electricity. There will also be times when you’re responding to calls late at night.

Those in your community are going to depend on you to help them with all their electrical needs. And if you want to show them they can count on you, you’re going to have to sacrifice your work-life balance for it at times.

At the same time, you’re going to need to make sure you’re capable of focusing on the tasks at hand while you’re logging long hours. If you make one wrong move while working with electricity, it could put you and others in harm’s way.

3. Your Job Will Often Be Physically Demanding

There are some electrical jobs that are relatively simple. For example, replacing a lighting fixture or installing a new outlet for a homeowner isn’t exactly back-breaking work.

But there are going to be times when you’re pushed to the limit while tackling electrical jobs. You might have to climb up tall ladders or crawl through dark basements to finish a task.

When you’re 25, 30, or even 35, doing these things won’t be that difficult. But once you reach the ages of 40, 45, 50, and higher, you’re not going to be able to move around the same way you used to.

Working as an electrician can take a toll on everything from your back and shoulders to your knees and feet. Make sure you’re prepared for how physically demanding it can be.

4. Your Job Will Also Be Dangerous at Times

No matter how well you do in an electrical technician training program and how long you work as an electrician, there is always going to be a risk associated with working with electricity.

If you make a mistake while you’re installing electrical wires or putting in a new electrical panel for a home or business owner, you could end up electrocuting yourself. There are, unfortunately, almost 200 electricians who die every year on the job.

This represents a very small percentage of the total number of electricians. But still, it’s a reminder that working as an electrician can be a very dangerous job.

The Rewards of Being an Electrician

As you can see, working as an electrician can be a risky business. But the rewards of being an electrician far outweigh the risks and make it worthwhile.

Here are some of the rewards you’ll get to enjoy if you choose to launch a career as an electrician.

1. You Won’t Rack Up a Mountain of Student Loan Debt

As of right now, there are more than 40 million Americans carrying around at least some student loan debt. They owe more than $1.5 trillion collectively with the average college graduate owing approximately $37,000 when they leave school.

There will be some costs associated with enrolling yourself in an electrical technician training program if you decide to do it. But you won’t owe anywhere near what you would owe if you were to attend college.

Those looking to avoid student loan debt at all costs should consider a trade school job like being an electrician. It’ll allow them to start their careers without worrying about paying off a pile of student loan bills.

2. You Shouldn’t Ever Have Trouble Finding a Job

Once you work your way through an electrical technician training program and serve as an apprentice, you’ll become a full-fledged electrician. And at that point, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding work as an electrician.

Many new electricians spend time working for the same companies they worked for as an apprentice. But that’s not the only option you’ll have.

You can start your own electrical repair company up. You can also find work with a commercial or industrial company that hires electricians. The possibilities are virtually endless.

There are lots of college grads out there who are having trouble finding work in 2018 despite the strong job market. This won’t be an issue you’ll ever have to deal with.

3. You Could Make a Good Salary

When you’re working as an electrical apprentice, you’ll likely get paid an hourly rate. But once you become a full-fledged electrician, you’ll start to make a good salary.

Your salary will obviously depend on the specific job you take. It’s good to look for any sites specific to your field for salary data. These sites may have info on industry average wages, particularly if your field’s a rarer one.

You might also decide to start your own electrical business, which could be even more lucrative than working for someone else. While there will be a lot of responsibility that comes along with doing this, you could make a fortune if you’re able to turn your business into a success.

4. You’ll Also Make a Difference in People’s Lives

The money you make while working as an electrician will be nice. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much money you can pull in a year in and year out.

But the thing you might end up enjoying the most while doing electrician work is how much of a difference you’ll make in people’s lives. They’ll genuinely appreciate you when you show up at their home or business to perform work on their electrical system.

There are many people who don’t realize just how rewarding it can be to play the part of an electrician in a community. But once they start working as an electrician on a regular basis, they get to see first-hand how much of an impact they can actually make in their city or town.

Is Being an Electrician the Right Career Move for You?

If you’ve ever thought about being an electrician, make an effort to learn more about what working as an electrician is like.

There are many electricians in your community who would probably be happy to speak with you about what their work is like. You can also use the internet to your advantage and read blogs about launching an electrician career.

Additionally, you can reach out to someone at a trade and vocational school to ask them about the electrical technician training programs they have to offer. They can speak with you more about the costs associated with these programs as well as what you’ll learn during them.

Would you like to see if one of these programs might be right for you? Contact us today to hear about our program and to find out if being an electrician is in the future for you.

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Isaac Coy
Isaac Coy
3 years ago

Is there a test to see where you test in at?? As in, I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I wanna know if I’m eligible to just take a test and see where my rankings are and obviously I want my own business in doing so. Many years and lots of hours under my belt that benefits me.

1 year ago

I am a 65 year old man who has pretty much “AGED” out of his career as a Payroll Coordinator. What is the feasibility of a guy like me being able to start over in a career like this at my age?

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