The need for electricity and electricians is a constant and never-ending demand. They are a must in almost every aspect of life, whether at home or in industries – when you need to install lighting in the home or when you need to make factory equipment work. It is a promising source of income for anyone interested in doing the job.
So how do you become an electrical contractor?
Working with electricity is a hazardous job. It involves working with electrical wires and equipment. They handle a building’s need for electricity typically with wiring installation, electricity line maintenance and repair, or electrical upgrade.
To do this job, you need to prepare because it could get complicated. You need to have:
- The right education and training
- Certification and license
- Business and management skills
- Knowledge on cost estimate
* A college degree, like Electrical Engineering, although not necessary, could come very handy in becoming an electrical contractor. It also increases your chances of landing more job prospects or projects.
* If you’re unable to obtain a degree, you would need education from trade schools and colleges that offer courses on electricity and electrical contracting.
Courses offered in trade schools cover subjects like electrical theories, electrical code standards, electrical wiring, circuitry, job safety, mathematical topics that teach you to compute electrical voltage and frequency, and know-how on handling the business of electrical contracting.
Included in the course is a hands-on program that will give you a better view and understanding of the work you will be handling.
To obtain a certificate in electrical contracting, you would need to be in school for a year. An associate degree takes about two years.
* Apprenticeship is another way of obtaining the required learning and skills. If you are a high school graduate, you can apply for an apprenticeship for your training. Search online for listed apprenticeship programs. Businesses with apprenticeship need post ads online. They also contact local electrical contractor associations for apprenticeship needs to get in touch with them as well.
An apprenticeship program gives you more hands-on experience and exposure to most, if not all, aspects of electrical work as you work alongside experienced and licensed electricians. One of the best things about apprenticeship, as well, is that you get paid while learning on the job.
Apprenticeships also give you actual knowledge on how the business works – day to day operations, employee handling, equipment handling and customer service.
An apprenticeship usually lasts for five years, and you get salary increases along the way. However, for purposes of getting a license, rendering at least 8,000 hours of on the job training will suffice.
You would be required to get a certification and license if you enter the electrical contracting business. A license assures your customers that you have the knowledge and training necessary to do the job in a residential or commercial setting.
The licensing process varies per state so know what requirements are needed before taking the licensing exam.