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ElectricianThere’s been a lot of discussion in the past few years about the skilled labor shortage our country is facing. The construction industry and all its underlying disciplines need competent professionals to develop the environments we live in. One of these specialties is an electrician. To perform electrical work, it’s essential to get a license. There are a number of steps an interested candidate must go through.


Understand the job and evaluate your abilities

Before moving on to the next step, you should do some research on the responsibilities and duties of an electrician. Check out what the job entails and what skills you may need to be successful. You wouldn’t want to waste the time and money trying to obtain a license if the position isn’t the right fit for you.


Obtain a high school diploma or GED

Some trade schools require you to receive a high school diploma or something equivalent. Regulations vary by state.


Attend a trade or vocational school

This is an important step in preparing to become an electrician. The school will offer courses about basic principles such as circuitry, wiring, motor controls, and other important aspects of the trade.


Enter an apprenticeship program

Again, each state’s requirements vary. Some require at least two years of apprenticeship experience while others require four years. The apprenticeship program combines classwork and hands-on field experience working with a licensed electrician. Look for a local electrical contracting company that will sponsor you through the full program. Upon completion, you will receive your journeyman’s license.


Apply for a license and pay associated fees

Contact your state’s regulation department for specifics on how to apply. You will also have to pay various licensing fees when you submit your application.


Study and take the exam

After applying for a license, you will be given a designated time and place to take the licensing exam. Take the time in between to study the National Electrical Code. You’ll have to demonstrate that you have knowledge of the laws, rules, and regulations of the code in order to pass the test. Read through the codebook and there are a number of test prep books available as well as practice tests that will help.


Once you’ve passed the test you will officially receive a license to work as an electrician. You will still have to take continuing education classes to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing National Electrical Code. From here you have the option of furthering your education by getting special certifications if you choose. These certifications could potentially lead to other opportunities within the construction industry and a chance to get out of the field and climb the corporate ladder.


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