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Job Duties, Hours & Salary of an Electrician

Becoming an electrician requires significant training, Students of this trade typically complete a four-year apprenticeship program that combines on-the-job training and classroom instruction so they are well versed in both installing electrical components and maintaining and repairing them. Electricians typically have to acquire a state license in order to work legally. Electricians are able to perform a variety of duties concerning electric components. They work typical schedules and make above-average money. This makes this profession attractive to many people.

Duties

Electricians are responsible for the installation and maintenance of electrical wiring and other electrical systems in buildings, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They wire homes and businesses according to state and local codes and also install and maintain electrical equipment and hook it up to power.

Most electricians perform most of their daily duties during construction, or they may deal primarily in maintenance. Some electricians do both. Some electricians become electrical inspectors and check the work of others as state or city officials. They may work for a construction company, utility company, a factory or they may be self-employed.

Electricians read blueprints and schematics and may advise people in homes, businesses or factories that using certain equipment could lead to danger because of the current wiring in the structure. They can then make recommendations on how to improve the situation. The electrician may also be required to work around dangerous electrical systems and possibly out in stormy weather in some positions.

Schedule

Most electricians work a normal 40-hour work week from Monday until Friday. There are exceptions, though. When it comes to electricity, the need is constant and many electricians are considered to be on call at all times. Whether the electrician works for the local power company or is self-employed, there is the possibility that someone will request his services at odd hours.

Power outages can mean working evenings or weekends, but overtime is usually paid during these times, according to the Degree Directory website on Electricians.

Pay

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2008 average wage for an electrician was $22.32 per hour. This is slightly above average, considering the average hourly wage for all professions was $20.67.

The highest-paid electricians earned more than $38 per hour, while the lowest-paid electricians earned around $13 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.



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