Electricians are concerned with light, power, air conditioning, security, communications and refrigeration systems in homes, and all other buildings. The major areas of their work are installation of new systems during construction or after completion, and maintaining systems in homes, offices and other places. Industrial electricians work with electrical control systems for manufacturing processes, and maintain motors, transformers and other equipment. Increasingly electricians are dealing with wiring for computing systems and communications equipment, robots and other high technology systems.
Most electricians complete an apprenticeship, comprising of a mixture of classroom instruction in an Electrician school, technical institute or college, and on-the-job training. Previous training is helpful for apprentices, and should consist of courses on mathematics, electronics, electrical engineering, simple physics, mechanical drawing, and science at high school level.
Many electricians are self-employed, or employed on a contract basis. Most electricians who specialize in home construction and maintenance work on a call-out basis. Construction and maintenance companies who contract to industry will employ electricians on a permanent or contract basis, and many large manufacturing corporations will employ electricians as maintenance staff.
Well-trained electricians have a multitude of openings, and job prospects are likely to remain good for the next ten years. This profession is adapting to new opportunities, and newly trained and experienced electricians are going to be increasing demand. Earnings are around $40,000 with top electricians earning as much as $66,000 according to the US Department of Labor.