While there is a means to become an electrician without having to go to a trade school or college, it is also advisable that you go to school to learn about the basics and procedures to become an electrician in Illinois. Many vocational schools have classes related to electrical such as circuitry safety and electrical information. Most graduates receive credit towards their apprenticeship, and are often sought after by employers since they do not have to start with basic training when they hire graduates. Some vocational schools and colleges offer certificate programs and degree programs to become an electrician.
After schooling, the graduate begins their 4 to 5-year apprenticeship training where they must complete at least 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. While you are working in your apprenticeship position in Illinois, you will also be studying for your license test that will show your ability to know and perform tasks to the standard of the National Electrical Code as well as local and state regulations to ensure safety is a top priority for the electrician. After apprenticeship, electricians are considered to be journey workers and can perform duties on their own. Due to the training received during one’s apprenticeship, the electrician is qualified to do both construction and maintenance work.
According to current projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions as an electrician within a wide variety of industries will be grow by at least 14% between the years of 2014 and 2024. The rising demand of alternate energy calls for skilled electricians to install a variety of new systems, contributing at least in part to the projected 14% growth. Furthermore, overall growth of the construction industry and the need to maintain aging equipment in manufacturing will require yet more electricians.
When you make the choice to pursue a career as an electrician in any of the given industries that make use of them, you will find yourself in the position to begin pursuing a career that is geared toward critical thinking and hard work. In order to be successful, you are going to be required to discover new techniques of your own accord as well as learn the varied techniques created by others in the field. You will need to possess knowledge of past industry trends related to sustainability and energy consumption.
People who enjoy and are keen on the challenges of setting up and maintaining electrical systems are always needed and best suited for this kind of career. When in the trade of the electrician, it is important to understand that you will be subject to a variety of injuries, such as burns, shocks, and falls.
Venturing into the trade of the electrician is a competitive undertaking that tends to open many doors in the professional life of those who choose to work in the profession. Given the lucrative nature of the occupation, most others taking part in the field will be ferociously competing against you. Once again, the client base is large; there will always be structures in need of electrical wiring and the call for renewable sources of clean energy ensure that you will not have a shortage of work.
While on the job, an electrician will be required to read blueprints or technical diagrams, install and maintain wiring, control, and lighting systems, inspect electrical components such as transformers and circuit breakers, identify electrical problems using a variety of testing devices, repair or replace equipment, fixtures, or wiring using hand tools and power tools, follow state and local building regulations based on the National Electrical Code, and direct and train workers to install, maintain, or repair electrical wiring or equipment.
In our society, the vast, vast majority of buildings are imbued with an electrical power, communications, lighting, and control system that is installed during the construction of the building and maintained after the fact. The systems in question serve to power the appliances, lights, and equipment that people use in order to make their lives and jobs more comfortable and easy.
The process of installing electrical systems in buildings that have been newly constructed is often a less complicated procedure than maintaining equipment, wiring, and systems already in place in existing buildings. This is due to the fact that electrical wiring and components are far more easily accessible during the construction process rather than after the fact. Maintaining equipment and systems in pre-existing structures involves identifying problems and repairing broken equipment that is often times extremely difficult to successfully access. The process of maintenance work may involve fixing or replacing light fixtures, motors, parts, control systems, and a variety of other kinds of electrical equipment.
Electricians also must be able to read blueprints, which are, put simply, technical diagrams, of electrical systems that show the locations of outlets, circuits, and other types of equipment. Electricians also make use of a variety of different kinds of hand tools and power tools, such as conduit benders, to run and protect wiring. Other hand tools and power tools that are commonly utilized by electricians include but are not limited to screwdrivers, drills, wire strippers, and saws. During the act of troubleshooting, electricians may also very well make use of voltmeters, ammeters, thermal scanners, and cable scanners to weed out problems and make sure that components are working as they are supposed to.
Many electricians opt to work alone, but they often times collaborate together. To give an example, seasoned electricians often find themselves working with building engineers and architects in order to assist in the task of designing electrical systems for new construction projects. Some electricians might possibly consult with other construction personnel specialists (such as elevator installers and heating and air conditioning workers) in order to achieve the goal of installing or maintaining electrical or power systems. When working within larger companies, electricians are much more prone to working as a part of a bigger crew. As such, they may direct helpers and apprentices toward their goal of completing jobs.
What follows is a small list providing a select few examples of the different kinds of electricians:
• An inside electrician repairs and maintains equipment, large motors, and control systems in businesses and factories. They make use of their knowledge of electrical systems in order to contribute to the safe and efficient running of these facilities. Some inside electricians will also install the wiring for businesses and factories that are under construction. As a measure to minimize the failure of equipment, inside electricians often perform regularly scheduled maintenance.
• A residential electrician is responsible for the installation of wiring and the troubleshooting of electrical problems in peoples’ homes. Those who find work in new-home construction install outlets and provide access to power where it is needed.
Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting and control systems in commercial buildings, and residential homes. Electricians have a higher rate of injury than the national average when compared with other occupations.
You will need qualities such as business skills, color vision, critical thinking, customer service, physical stamina, physical strength, and troubleshooting skills. Business skills are primarily for those who elect to be self-employed or become a supervisor of a crew. They will need to know how to bid, track inventory, and keep hours of the crew. Color vision is needed to know what color the wire is you are using.
Customer service is used by mostly by those who work in residential or are needed for repairing commercial businesses. In new construction of commercial business your need to speak with customer will be significantly lower. Physical stamina and strength are essential to being able to make a career as an electrician. You will have to being moving around all day long running wire and connecting fixtures, switches, and outlets. You will have to move heavy components that can be as heavy as 50 pounds. Troubleshooting skills are needed to find, diagnosis, and repair problems in a building or power plant.
This career involves a lot exposure to the elements when installing these systems due to the fact that many of the buildings do not yet have power ran to them. Most electricians work full time, and even work evenings, nights, and weekends. There are some job dangers such as electrical shock, burns, cuts, and falls. Going to school will help you learn what to do to prevent injury. Electricians will have to be comfortable working in cramped spaces. Long periods of standing and kneeling can also wear on one’s stamina. If you are working on electrical equipment you may need to be cautious of the noisy machinery, and you will need to wear hearing protection.
This career is anticipated to have a 14% growth over the next ten years. This growth is due to the new construction of buildings and the need to maintain and repair already existing buildings. Even newer energy sources, including solar power and windmills, will require electricians to link these sources to homes, power grids, and commercial buildings. Most of this work will most likely be needed by the government.
Many employers are finding it hard to find qualified applicants in the growing electrical field. This is partially due to many electricians reaching retirement age. Job injury create a void that employers are having difficulty filling. However, this void also means that more electrician jobs are available, which translates into more job openings in the coming decade. It is worth noting that as the overall economy fluctuates, so does the employment of electricians. At the peak of the economy, there is a greater demand for capable electricians as periods of construction building and maintenance reach their apex. Unfortunately, electricians may find themselves temporarily unemployed as the overall level of construction and building and maintenance decline. To that end, it should be pointed out that electricians in factories appear to have the most stable employment. As with any other profession, the most versatile worker will have the most lucrative employment opportunities; in the case of an electrician, those who are capable of performing a variety of different tasks—such as electronic systems repair, solar photovoltaic installation, and industrial component wiring—are more prone to receiving the best job opportunities. On another note, it seems applicants with experience in military service are viewed more favorably during the hiring process than those who did not serve in the military.
For obvious reasons, the desire to make one’s own hours and set one’s own rate of pay is a very attractive prospect. For many, this is considered the best and only way to go. There are plenty of benefits to being self-employed like scheduling and keeping your own hours, being your own boss, having the satisfaction of owning your own business, and keeping all of your pay. Following a business plan will greatly enhance the likelihood of your success.
However, the prospect of self-employment is not without its downfalls. For example, you will need to file your own taxes. It is also your responsibility to ensure that you have the clientele to keep your business on both of its legs. A simple way to remedy the challenge of having clients is to remove the problem entirely by working at a maintenance company or an electrical company to build rapport with customers for a few years before branching out to create your own business. While others believe they have the clients that will stick with them when they leave, this may not be case, due to a multitude of factors such as location of the new venue, price change, or commitment to the electrician.
On average, an electrician in Illinois can expect to make an average of $51,880 per year, or $24.94 per hour. This was as of 2015 according to the National Labor Bureau. This only goes up when you have put in more time, and become more valuable to the company you work for or become a specialized electrician. This is an easy profession to achieve self-employment. One in ten electricians were self-employed in 2014.
Rock Valley College
At RVC you can earn your electrician apprenticeship certificate in 41 credits. Take courses in lighting and transformers, motors and wiring systems, alternating current, power controls and even independent study in welding. Contact the school at 3301 North Mulford Road. Rockford, IL 61114.
City Colleges of Chicago
Earn your Associate in Applied Science degree in Electrical Construction Technology. 226. West Jackson Chicago, IL 60606.
Heartland Community College
The CC offers 3 specialty areas including 3 year AAS electrical apprentice degree (tele-data electrician), an AAS degree residential electrician as well as a 5 year program in commercial electrician. This is a 180 hour per year program with a minimum of 8000 on the job training hours. 1500 West Raab Road Normal, IL 61761.
John Wood Community College
If you are brand new and looking into a future career as an electrician then start at John Wood Community College with their electrician certificate training program. 1301 South 48th Street Quincy, IL 62305.
Receive your diploma in electrical construction and maintenance from Coyne College. Classes are forming now. 1 North State Street #400 Chicago, IL 60602.
The outlook is extremely good in Illinois for not only new electricians entering the industry but also those with 5+ years of experience and looking for advancement. With an average salary of $50,000 that doesn’t include some of the perks that are associated with the job. Many employers provide company transportation, tools (or tool allowance), 401K and insurance. A high voltage electrician can earn over $60,000 and private companies are paying ever more. The Chicago, Naperville and Arlington Heights area of Illinois have the most electricians with 13,700 with the highest median averages of the state at $73,750.
A quick search online and you’ll see that Illinois as a whole has a lot of opportunity when it comes to trade programs such as being an electrician. We found entry level positions available in Bensnville, Deerfield, Chicago, Byron and Montgomery. Many of the areas were even offering bonuses for electricians that had over 4 years of experience. Below are just a few reasons why we feel becoming an electrician is a great career move.
1. Hours – Have the freedom to work flexible hours as an electrician. At first while you are an apprentice that won’t be possible but after a few years of work you’ll get a chance to start setting your own hours. If you decide to start your own electrical service then many choose to only work M-F.
2. Exciting Work – Every day is an adventure as an electrician as you’ll encounter something new almost on every project. Unlike a desk job you’ll work outside and remote most of the time.
3. Salary – The median salary for electricians in Illinois is above the national average and cities like Chicago rank in the top 10 cities in the county for electricians.
4. Career Advancement – Don’t stop by just being a service electrician. Many start looking for management opportunities after they have proven themselves as a good technician.