Job Duties

Electricians work with electrical systems that power everything from security to climate control. They install, connect, test, and maintain these systems for home, business, and industry use. Electricians specialize in construction, maintenance, or both. They work with blueprints of factories, office buildings, homes, and other types of places. They study the location of circuits, panel boards, and other electrical necessities. They must follow the National Electric Code, as well as State and local codes, when installing electrical systems. They use insulated wires or cables, as well as plastic-covered wire, and connect this wire to circuit breakers, transformers, and other equipment. After they have finished wiring, they often test the circuits to ensure they have made sound connections.

Electricians also work with low voltage wiring systems, including those of telephones, computers, intercoms, and alarm and security systems. They may install fiber optic cable or coaxial cable systems to power telecommunications equipment. When they are doing maintenance work, they may rewire homes in order to hook up new appliances. When they work in large factories, they often repair motors, transformers, generators, and electronic controllers. Those who work in office buildings usually repair a wide variety of electrical equipment.

Job Skills

Those wishing to develop a career as an electrician should be in good physical condition. They should be healthy and able to lift moderate loads. They should have excellent agility and manual dexterity. Because electricians are often required to distinguish between wires of various colors, they need to have color vision.


In 2002, electricians earned a median hourly wage of $19.90. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $11.81, to the highest 10%, who earned more than $33.21. The following shows the median hourly wages in the industries employing the greatest numbers of electricians:

  • Motor vehicle parts manufacturing: $28.72
  • Local government: $21.15
  • Building equipment contractors: $19.54
  • Nonresidential building construction: $19.36
  • Employment services: $15.46

Training and Education

A few electricians still learn the trade through on-the-job training, and some complete 3-year training programs. Most electricians gain their skills through formal apprenticeship programs that usually last from 3 to 5 years. Apprentices learn all aspects of the trade and, upon completion of the program, have a much higher chance of obtaining employment. Many apprenticeship programs include at least 144 hours of classroom instruction and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. After completing the program, they become journeymen and continue to learn more electrical skills on the job. High school courses in mathematics, electricity, electronics, mechanical drawing, science, and shop can provide a good foundation for electrician apprenticeships. Most programs require applicants to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and pass a skills test. Electricians can advance to supervisors or superintendents, and some go on to start their own contracting businesses.

Click here to review a list of Electrician Schools and the programs that they offer.


In 2002, electricians held about 659,000 jobs. Over 25% were employed in the construction industry, and about 10% were self-employed.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of electricians is expected to increase faster than the average. Overall growth of the population and the economy will create demand for more electricians to install and maintain electrical wiring and devices. New technology will also stimulate demand. Job opportunities are expected to be good.

Electrician Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Electrical Training Program
            Intercoast Colleges , Rancho Cordova
            • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
            • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Master of Science in Construction Management

            As the flagship university in the LSU System, LSU has been preparing students for rewarding careers for nearly 150 years. Today, LSU is proud to bring our passion for learning and tradition of excellence to online students, making our outstanding university education even more accessible.

            • Online Courses
            Jurisprudence with concentration in Land Management (Bachelor of Science) - Online
            • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
            • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
            • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
            • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Mayfield College , Cathedral City
            Good for Working Adults
            • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
            • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
            • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
            • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 locations in Cathedral City and Twentynine Palms, California.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid