Also see: Get a job as an electrical technician
The Lee College Electrical Technology Program provides students with practical knowledge of electricity through practical application and electrical theory. The Electrical Program is designed to prepare students for entry level positions as industrial electricians. Both a Certificate and an Associated of Applied Science Degree are available.
Opportunities in the electrical field are increasing. As technology advances, the demand for qualified industrial electricians also increases. Today’s electricians install and maintain electrical systems including climate control, security and communications. They may install coaxial or fiber optic cable for computers and test circuits for proper connections. They work with blueprints and must follow the current National Electric Code and comply with state an local building codes.
Electricians often work for large industrial plants, public utilities, government agencies, electrical contractors, building contractors, and construction companies. Hospitals, school districts and department store chains often employ electricians.
Skills needed to succeed in this field are good reading and writing skills, logical thinking for problem-solving and a current knowledge of state and local building codes. Personal qualities needed include being safety-minded, patient, self-motivated, having stamina and a willingness to learn.
Electricians work for many different companies, including electrical companies, industrial plants, and construction companies. Some are elf-employed. Most work on a full-time basis. Those who are self-employed may work alone, or they could have their own contracting companies with several employees. Apprentices who are training to become electricians earn a percentage of a fully trained, or “journeyperson,” electrician’s salary as they train. Usually this means they begin by making between 40-50 percent of what a journeyperson makes. They then receive increases in pay as they complete each year of their apprenticeship. This means that they generally earn between $30,000 and $36,000 a year.
Fully-qualified journeypersons typically earn between $50,000 and $70,000 a year, with a median of about $58,000 a year. Contractors who operate their own businesses can earn over $80,000 a year.