The Electrician’s Guide to a Great ApprenticeshipOct 19, 2022
Vocational programs are required for most skilled trades occupations. An electrician license is no exception. The hands-on nature of electrical projects and the danger associated with a faulty job make in-depth training necessary. Ranging from 3 to 6 years, depending on the type of license you aim to acquire. An apprenticeship can be very intimidating for first-timers. After all, it's a new environment, new information, and in most cases, a new group of people you've never worked with before. Feeling overwhelmed is expected. So, with the help of some successful electricians, we came up with the following tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your apprenticeship.
Don't be afraid to ask questions
No matter who you are, the possibility that you will know everything about electricity off the bat is slim. The amount of information needed to become a great electrician is plentiful. After being taught something new, it can be easy to feel confused. Lots of people feel embarrassed or scared to ask for help or clarification. However, it's essential to remember that an apprenticeship's purpose is to train, practice, and learn. Poor electrical work can cause short circuits that result in dangerous fires. So stay humble and ask questions. In the end, you will gain more from a strong work ethic than from acting like an expert from day one.
Take your bookwork seriously
Apprenticeship requirements will vary. However, everyone should expect a mix of hands-on training and classwork. Because most people only think of the hands-on training side of an apprenticeship, the bookwork is often seen as secondary. Yet electrical systems are complex. There is a lot of technical information an electrician needs to know. You could read about electricity for years and still have information left to learn. So take your classwork seriously. The more you understand, the better prepared you will be to do a great job.
Learn to work with others in the skilled trades
Teamwork is a huge part of working in the skilled trades. Carpenters, plumbers, and HVAC technicians commonly work side by side with electricians throughout projects. So, understanding the importance of other people's jobs and learning to communicate is especially important. A home or commercial building cannot be completed if everything isn't installed appropriately. Ultimately, your goal should be to leave everything flowing and functioning as a unit.
Don't give up
Depending on your superiors, there are different types of work environments you will experience. High stakes and strict safety regulations mean lots of pressure on those training for their license. While many employers are starting to attempt to create a more open and communicative environment. The figure-it-out-yourself attitude is still prevalent in many apprenticeships. As a trainee, part of your job is to make the most of your situation.
Use your years as an apprentice to enrich your knowledge and sharpen your skills. Learning on the job is part of the experience. So view your mistakes as lessons and your superiors as mentors. But most importantly, keep the end goal at the forefront of your mind. Becoming an electrician is an amazing opportunity to take control of your career. Once licensed, you can work for a corporation, start a business, or become an inspector or supervisor. Abundant opportunities are waiting for those who make it to the finish line.
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