Do you want a career as an electrician? Listed below are some must-have electrician skills to be successful.
You’ll spend 4-5 years as an electrician apprentice. Since you’ll grow in your skill set during your apprenticeship, there’s no need to become overwhelmed looking at this list.
It’s a good idea to also check out our guide on how to become an electrician, which gives a full job description and basic requirements.
Top 10 Must-Have Electrician Skills
1. Good Physical Condition: Lots of moving and spending long periods on your feet are required. And, you don’t want to have a strong fear of heights since you’ll be going up and down ladders and working off of scaffolding at times.
2. Ability to Learn Technical Drawings: Wiring diagrams, electrical blueprints, and building plans will be introduced in your apprenticeship. As you advance in your career, you’ll need to read them efficiently.
3. Mathematic Skills: A high school level of
math would serve you well as a residential electrician. If you are working as a field electrician you would actually use a bit of algebra and geometry, but fairly infrequently. If you can handle basic arithmetic, you will do well.
Most of the math required is simply knowing which formulas to apply (example: ohms law) in a given situation. The actual calculations are very simple. As for geometry, once in a while, I use the Pythagorean Theorem -but that’s just to find angles for conduit bending. Calculus and Trig? Not unless you’re doing engineering and design.
4. Upstanding Character: I can’t stress this one enough. Integrity, emotional-control, flexibility, working cooperatively with others, and initiative to get a job done correctly and on time, are some top traits employers look for.
5. Knowledge of Electrician Tools: Knowing which tool to use in a situation, will save time and get the job done smoothly. A volt-meter, conduit bender, and lockout kit are some in the list of electrician’s tools.
6. Troubleshooting: Electrical troubleshooting can be challenging. You may need to test a few theories of the cause of a problem before finding the correct one.
7. Critical Thinking: Logic and reasoning skills come into play with this one. You’ll have to decide on the best resolution to problems after considering the benefits and weaknesses of various solutions.
8. Applying NEC Code: Following the National Electrical Code is necessary for safety and for projects to pass inspection. You can’t memorize it all, but you should know how to find what you need in the code book. Keep a copy in your toolbox or truck.
9. Communication: Listening and speaking respectfully to customers is a must. Can you communicate logically and effectively? Do you have the ability to train others? At times, gentle persuasion is needed with customers and fellow workers.
10. Understand how Power Works: Get the basics of electrical power and theory under your belt. Your confidence and skills will multiply!