Electrical training is generally a combination of classroom and hands-on training, often under the auspices of labour union apprenticeship programs that last for several years. While there are some basic classes for do-it-yourselfers that are short and sweet, most electrical training does not happen overnight. It’s one of the most responsible trades, and can be fraught with safety problems if you don’t have the right training. In order to undertake the schooling you must be committed to the program and to pursuing the career of electrician.
Electrical apprenticeship training is physically tough as well as mentally rigorous. You must be able to do extensive climbing on scaffolding and ladders, pulling of wiring and ropes, crawling around floors and rafters and under crawlspaces, crouching, and working in quarters that are confined and cramped.
To complete electrical training satisfactorily you’ll need to be able to lift up to 50 pounds frequently. Your ability to follow very detailed instructions must be top notch. You cannot be colour blind, as wiring is generally keyed by colour. You may be working outdoors extensively so the ability to withstand the elements for long periods is a requirement as well.
Satisfactory completion of apprentice electrical training is no dead end. In fact, the only limitations on your electrical career are your ambition and your imagination. Of course, your ability is a factor as well, but completion of a satisfactory five year apprenticeship speaks well to that.
Apprentices can continue their work as journey level electricians. They can continue their education and gain further hands-on experience and progress to foreperson, superintendent or even a self-employed contractor. Many current electrical and construction contractors in their own successful businesses began their electrical training as apprentices.
One of the areas of electrical work, and one that the electrical training focuses on extensively is that of installation and maintenance of such automatic controls as electronic circuitry for industry.
Apprentices, once graduated, can go on to government work, either with their local municipality, their county, state or the U.S. government. They can also take on some supervisory and administrative roles with their own labour union. Study, experience, and continued electrical training are the makings of union leadership. Labour-management relations might be a specialization for those who immerse themselves in electrical training and show themselves to have skills in communication and diplomacy.
Being selected for labour union electrical training is not easy. The unions are selective about who they choose. Candidates must be of good character and most demonstrate an aptitude for electrical work, the motivation to complete the training and go on to a successful electrical career and they demonstrate that they have the personality to work well with others, take direction, and relate well with customers. All electrical training candidates who pass the preliminary application process must then be interviewed by union representatives and electrical employees. If they don’t have an impressive school record, can’t show that they have math and science aptitude and haven’t been able to prove their reliability they will not be chosen for the apprentice electrical training program.