If you are thinking about becoming an electrician you should first consider if you have suitable personality traits for this career.
- Are you alert and focused? An electrician works with a dangerous (and deadly) energy, you need to know what’s happening around you at all times. Lack of attention can be deadly for an electrician!
- Are you cautious? You need to think before you act and always consider dangers. Safe electricians always consider the worst thing that could happen.
- Can you cope under pressure? You have customers to please or the boss wants a job done quickly. Electricians need to be calm and cool. They need to be able to put themselves in the customers shoe’s.
- Are you able to cope with confined spaces. Electricians need to work in roof spaces and under floorboards.It really wouldn’t be practical to have a claustrophobic electrician!
- To be an electrician you will need to be physically fit. Electricians dig trenches, lift heavy objects, have to manouver themselves in difficult spaces. A degree of agility is also beneficial.
- Are you trustworthy? You are responsible for people’s safety- you need to do the job safely. The community trusts that electrician’s know what they are doing. People also trust the electrician in their homes.
- Make sure that you are not colourblind and have good eyesight, not a personality trait but an electrician must be able to see small coloured wires.
- Are you comfortable working in a team? Often you will be working with other contractors (not just electricians) and you need to be personable and communicative.
- Are you flexible? Being an electrician is not a 9 to 5 job (particulary if you decide to run your own business). It can mean long hours and travelling for work.
So, You think you have the above qualities and want to start in the electrical industry. Now What??
Here in Western Australia you will have to undertake an apprenticeship in Electrotechnology Electrician, Electrotechnology – Systems Electrician or Engineering – Electrical/Electronic Trade. Entry requirements may vary, however, employers generally ask that you have completed Year 10 and some may prefer Year 12.
Training to be an electrician requires learning on the job (supervised and coached by a qualified electrician) and in a training school or at TAFE. The apprenticeship usually lasts 4 years.