The electrician profession is embedded in human history, starting with the electrical discovery by Benjamin Franklin in the 1700s. With electricity integral in today’s daily activities, the importance of electrical technology can’t be understated. This is why electricians have become essential for the efficient functioning of modern life. After all, they are the only professionals who have extensive knowledge on how to install, repair, maintain electrical power, and communication lines in factories, homes, and businesses.
If you’re considering studying and becoming an electrician, you should know the career options that can be available to you. Here’s a detailed guide outlining the career opportunities that are appropriate for you after becoming a licensed electrician:
1. Industrial Electrician
A common career opportunity for electricians that you should consider is becoming an industrial electrician, and they are often employed in facilities that use huge amounts of machinery and equipment. Your role here will be to install, repair, and maintain the industrial equipment. This means you can be hired in a broad range of work settings, such as the shipyard, chemical plants, manufacturing facility, mines, or any other industrial business.
As an industrial electrician, you’ll have a lot more tasks on your hands to tackle, mainly because there are many more electrical obligations expected from you compared with commercial and residential technicians. Some of the roles you’ll be expected to perform are as follows:
- Install and maintain lighting fixtures, switch boxes, receptacles, electrical wiring, coaxial and fiber-optic cable assemblies, and other electrical fixtures.
- Deal with alternators, generators, industrial storage batteries, electric motors, pneumatic, and electrical control systems.
- Install and repair switchboard meters, reactors, test switchgear, transformers, and regulators.
But before an electrician becomes absorbed into the 120,000 new jobs from EJS sources, you’ll be initially required to go through an apprenticeship under a licensed electrician.
Another career path you can take as an electrician is an outside lineman. As a lineman, you’ll be employed by a power company mandated with the distribution and transmission of systems and lines to neighborhoods, commercial buildings, and individual homes. These transmission systems are typically underground in trenches or vaults but can also be overhead. Your role as a lineman typically entails:
- Maintenance and repair of electrical lines
- Installation and maintenance of traffic signals
- Repair and maintenance of power lines
- Installation of poles and towers
- Carry out a routine inspection of poles, equipment, and lines to check for possible damages
- Assembly of substations
- Installation and maintenance of transformers, insulators, and other equipment
- String new wire
Working as a lineman can be dangerous because you’ll often need to climb to extreme heights when doing your different roles, such as repairing the electrical lines. As a result, this increases the risk of falling when performing your duties. In addition, you’ll sometimes be exposed to extreme weather conditions when working outside, thereby increasing the chances of making a slight error, consequently leading to electrocution.
3. Renewable Energy Specialist
The growing emphasis on green energy has created an entire career opportunity for electricians, which is that of a renewable energy specialist. Your role in this job will require working with wind turbines, solar power, and other forms of renewable energy. This career option is an ideal pick if you already have the necessary experience in cable installation and wire management. Renewable energy still boasts incredible potential and is an excellent path you should consider taking if you care for environmental conservation.
4. Home Inspector
Homebuyers often want their potential home fully assessed to check whether all the electrical components and wiring are up to code and safe. This is the duty that you’ll be expected to perform as a home inspector. Besides testing and examining all the electrical systems to ensure they meet the ordinance requirements, specifications, and code, you’ll be required to prepare and submit a report to the prospective homebuyer. This means you need to be able to interpret code and consequently think of appropriate solutions.
5. Project Manager
New construction projects often involve complicated electrical systems and are a huge responsibility. Because of this, there’s a high likelihood of an error happening during the construction process, which could have a devastating impact on the entire project. This is where a trained electrician comes in to perform as the project manager to prevent such an issue from happening.
As the project manager, your role is to make sure the contract documents adhere to the rules and regulations. You’ll also be responsible for monitoring how job sites are progressing as well as reading the specifications to gauge a project’s scope. In addition, it’s a part of your role to think of ways to solve practical issues that arise in the course of the construction.
If you have strong leadership skills and enjoy working with a team, consider this electrician career option of working as a foreman. Your main role will be to monitor and coordinate with all the workers on the job site to ensure they’re diligently performing their duties.
7. Community Antenna Television (CATV) Or Network Cabling Specialist
As a network cabling expert, your responsibility is to install, test, and maintain communication systems for video, data, and voice transmission. These duties will be done across different sectors, including office complexes, commercial institutions, and industrial companies. You’ll be in charge of several tasks, including:
- Carry out system upgrades
- Route cable through buildings and data centers
- Install telecommunication outlet boxes and wall adapters according to a customer’s specification
- Document networks by creating diagrams and labeling cables
As a network cabling expert, you’ll be employed either by a network installation company, internet provider, or telecommunication company.
8. Project Engineer
As an electrician, you can also take the career option of a project engineer, and your role will be offering recommendations and evaluations for projected plans. You’ll also be responsible for designing and troubleshooting the electrical control systems. However, you’ll only succeed as a project engineer if your mechanical understanding is excellent.
There are numerous career options available to choose from if you become an electrician. However, career paths nowadays are much more demanding and specific than in the past; consequently, electricians must undergo additional training. Fortunately, this article has eased your trouble by outlining the career opportunities to consider should you decide to become a licensed electrician.
James Parker is an electrical expert with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and insights amassed over his many years of experience by guest blogging and writing relevant content. When free, James loves going for walks, cycling, boating, and hiking.