Electricians are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical wiring, fixtures, and equipment. They plan electrical wiring layouts and inspect equipment and wiring to ensure they are up to the appropriate codes. Their job requires them to use various tools and equipment including power tools and measuring equipment like voltmeters and oscilloscopes. Electricians can work either indoors or outdoors, under a variety of conditions including all kinds of weather, within noisy factories, or occasionally in tight or uncomfortable spaces. They may work at residences, businesses, factories, or construction sites and may be required to drive to different job sites.
Electricians generally work full time and this can potentially extend to working nights and weekends. They are required to complete an apprenticeship program and most are required to complete a final examination in order to be licensed. The specific requirements of these tests vary from state to state. An additional, unique requirement for electricians is full-color vision, since the ability to distinguish between different colored wires is crucial for safety and productivity.
Electricians need to be able to read blueprints and work orders, understand written and verbal directions, and make and interpret instrument measurements. The Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) assesses the basic math and verbal skills required for an electrician job as well as overall “job-readiness.” This test is usually administered alongside the Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA). The WTMA measures a candidate’s overall comfort and aptitude for learning about, working with, and maintaining equipment and machinery. (Read our whitepaper to learn how testing can help close the skills gap by identifying potential.)
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Median wage in U.S.:
Expected growth rate 2016-2026:
Number employed (2016): 666,900
Education level of Electricians: