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What Does an Electrician Do?

Some people are natural trouble-shooters, and good electricians often possess that quality. Electricians design, install, maintain and repair wiring and electrical systems in any kind of structure, from homes to factories. They use testing equipment to identify problems, inspect electrical components such as circuit breakers and transformers, and install all elements of the electrical distribution system. They follow safety regulations as set by the National Electrical Code.

Electricians may be construction electricians, who install wiring, or maintenance electricians, who fix previously installed wiring. Construction electricians install wiring systems, fuse boxes and fixtures. Maintenance electricians repair and upgrade existing electrical systems and all components.

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Our one-of-kind Opportunity Meter rates jobs based on salary, current openings and future demand to help you choose the career that is best for you.
Median Salary $
Jobs Available
An electrician installs wiring
An electrician may rewire a home one day and install a fuse box in a factory the next. (Credit: guruXOX/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Plan electrical systems
  • Install, maintain and repair wiring, fixtures and fuse boxes
  • Inspect and maintain circuit breakers, transformers
  • Read circuit diagrams and blueprints
  • Troubleshoot electrical issues using appropriate testing devices
  • Follow safety measures as laid out in the National Electrical Code
Education + Training

Most employers require a high school diploma or equivalent. Those with no prior experience attend technical school, taking classes on circuitry, electricity and electrical safety. Graduates usually receive credit toward an apprenticeship. Workers who gained electrical experience in the military or in the construction industry may qualify for a shortened apprenticeship based on their experience.

Most students learn their trade in an apprenticeship program lasting about four or five years. For each year of the program, apprentices typically receive 2,000 hours of paid, on-the-job training and technical instruction.

Electricians are considered to be journeymen — meaning they are able to perform duties on their own — after they complete an apprenticeship, pass an exam and get a license, which is required in most states. Some continuing education courses are required to maintain the license, and some electricians continue training to become licensed master electricians.

  • Have excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills 
  • Are good at math 
  • Are safety-conscious
  • Communicate well with customers
  • Are skilled with hand and power tools
  • Are able to see the full spectrum of colors (not color blind), as electricians need to identify wires by color
  • Have the physical strength to move heavy items and the physical stamina to move around all day for tasks like wiring

Electrician training in your area


Low Volt Technician Certificate

Columbus State Community College
Columbus (0.0 Miles)

Electrical Trades, Programmable Logic Controls (PLC) Concentration, A. A. S.

Central New Mexico Community College
Albuquerque (0.0 Miles)

Electrical Systems Technology Diploma

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Electrical Maintenance of Okuma OSP-7000 / 700 Controls Certificate

York Technical College
Rock Hill (0.0 Miles)
Brookdale Community College

Electric Utility Technology- Substation, A.A.S.

Brookdale Community College
Lincroft (0.0 Miles)

Electrical Technology – General Industrial Electrician, A.S.

Long Beach City College
Long Beach (0.0 Miles)

Industrial Electronics: Electrical Short Certificate

Lawson State Community College
Birmingham (0.0 Miles)

Independent Electrical Contractors Apprenticeship

Tallahassee Community College
Tallahassee (0.0 Miles)

Commercial/Industrial Wiring Electricity Certificate

Mohave Community College
Kingman (0.0 Miles)

Building and Facility Maintenance Program

Delaware County Community College
Media (0.0 Miles)

ABC Electrical Apprenticeship Certificate of Achievement

San Diego City College
San Diego (0.0 Miles)

Electrical Technology Occupational Certificate

San Jacinto College District
Pasadena (0.0 Miles)

Find Electrician Jobs in Your Area


Electrician Leader

Department of Defense
Everett ( 0.0 ) Miles
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Journey Electrician

University of Houston
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Erin Izen in Home Depot store with apron
Ask the Expert

If you’re considering a career in the skilled trades, and the construction industry in particular, you no doubt have questions. Are there good jobs available? Can I earn a decent living? Will I like it?

Erin Izen, director of workforce development and military relations at The Home Depot, has some answers. She and her team work to equip and upskill populations that are often underserved so they can grow their careers. This includes connecting potential tradespeople to careers in the residential and commercial construction and remodeling industries.

Read more.