Skilled Trades Careers

What is an Electrician and What Do They Do at Work?

DateAugust 4, 2023

Electricians are essential professionals who play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and functionality of our electrical systems. Once you understand how they support our infrastructure, you may be ready to join the workforce.

From installing and repairing electrical systems to troubleshooting and maintaining electrical equipment, electricians are skilled individuals who possess a deep understanding of electricity in modern society. Let's take a closer look into why this career is so important in our daily lives.

What is an electrician?

An electrician is a skilled tradesperson who specializes in working with electrical systems, components, and equipment. They are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical wiring and fixtures in residential homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities.

Electricians work with a wide range of electrical technology, including lighting systems, control systems, and communication systems. They ensure that electrical installations meet safety practices and adhere to electrical codes and regulations.

Getting started in this field requires a combination of technical training and on-the-job apprenticeship programs. If you're interested in pursuing this career path, sign up for the SkillHero app to explore educational and employment opportunities in your area today.

What do electricians do on a day-to-day basis?

Electrical workers' day-to-day tasks include a wide range of responsibilities, but they can be sorted into three main categories: creating electrical systems, maintaining them, and repairing them.


On a typical day, electricians may be involved in installing and wiring in homes, offices, or factories and warehouses. They also handle the installation of specialized tools and equipment such as solar panels or control and communication systems.

Safety practices are a top priority for electricians because of the potential dangers associated with powerful electrical currents. They follow strict codes and regulations to ensure the protection of themselves and others.

SkillHero offers valuable resources and training programs for aspiring electricians, connecting them with educational and employment opportunities.

How much does an electrician make?

When it comes to compensation, electrical work can be quite lucrative. According to our data, apprentices earn an average of $37,440 annually, journeymen earn around $60,240 per year, and masters can earn up to $102,300 or more.

Electrician skillhero app summary

It's important to note that earnings can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and industry specialization.

The SkillHero app connects skilled trade workers with valuable resources and job prospects. Don't miss out on the chance to enhance your skills and earn a competitive salary - sign up for free today!

Is being an electrician stressful?

Electricians often have high-stakes responsibilities due to the complexity and power inherent to electrical systems. The nature of their work requires precision and attention to detail, which can add to the stress levels.

Some electrical work is time-sensitive with projects that must be completed within tight deadlines. This can contribute to the overall stress experienced on the job. Work conditions can also be a stressor, including hazardous environments like construction sites or cramped spaces.

Overall being an electrician will certainly keep your mind and skills sharp, but it’s unlikely to be significantly more stressful than any other career.

Is being an electrician physically demanding?

This career can be physically demanding, with various challenges and requirements that come with the job. One of the physical demands is the need to perform tasks that require climbing ladders and working in confined spaces.

Some electrical workers also need to be proficient at lifting and carrying heavy objects. They may need to transport equipment, tools, or electrical components, which can require significant physical strength and endurance.

These physical demands can make the job physically challenging, especially for anyone not accustomed to rigorous physical activity. Physical stamina is necessary in order to effectively and safely carry out regular daily work.

What skills does an electrician need?

Electricians must have a solid understanding of electrical theory and be knowledgeable about electrical codes and regulations. Some jobs require an electrician’s license or specific types of education, certification, or hands-on training, so be sure to check the qualifications for each job and update your resume accordingly.

Strong attention and effective communication skills enable electricians to accomplish their goals efficiently and safely while helping their clients understand the work. Apprentices, journeymen, and masters all require different skill sets and past experience.

Apprentice electrician definition and skills

An apprentice is an entry-level professional who learns and develops the necessary skills for a career in the electrical industry. They undergo a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction to gain hands-on experience and knowledge of electrical systems.

Apprentices work alongside experienced staff, assisting with tasks such as wiring installations, electrical repairs, and maintenance. They learn how to safely handle electrical components, identify electrical issues, and follow industry regulations and standards.

This role requires basic knowledge of electrical systems and components and the ability to follow instructions accurately and learn on the job. Physical stamina is also important for handling equipment and working in various conditions.

By embracing the apprenticeship model, aspiring electricians can gain the practical skills and theoretical understanding necessary for a successful career in the electrical industry.

Journeyman electrician definition and skills

A journeyman is a licensed professional who has completed a comprehensive training program and apprenticeship in the electrical trade. They possess the skills and knowledge necessary to handle a wide range of electrical tasks with confidence and expertise.

Becoming a journeyman requires a training program that combines classroom instruction and on-the-job education. This structured program ensures the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience.

A journeyman should be proficient in troubleshooting and repairing electrical systems, from residential wiring to complex commercial installations. They are skilled in reading and interpreting blueprints and technical diagrams, allowing them to effectively plan and execute electrical projects.

Master electrician definition and skills

A master is the highest level of expertise in the electrical trade. With years of experience and rigorous training, master electricians possess advanced knowledge of electrical codes, regulations, and safety practices.

In addition to their technical skills, master electricians also have the ability to oversee and manage electrical projects. They take on the responsibility of organizing and coordinating teams to ensure the successful completion of complex installations in commercial and residential buildings.

If you're a skilled trade worker looking for educational and employment opportunities, sign up for the SkillHero app today.

How to become an electrician

Aspiring electricians must begin by obtaining a high school diploma or an alternative qualification such as a GED. From there, you can pursue various routes to gain the necessary skills and qualifications.

Some choose to attend trade school programs that focus specifically on electrical technology, while others opt for apprenticeship programs that combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction.

Regardless of the educational path you choose, it's crucial to gain extensive knowledge of electrical systems, components, and safety practices. Electricians must also have a solid understanding of electrical codes and regulations to ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Education and training

Apprenticeships typically last around four to five years, during which aspiring electricians work under the guidance of experienced professionals. This allows them to gain practical skills and knowledge in real-world settings. Alongside their on-the-job training, apprentices also attend technical training classes to learn about electrical theory, systems, and safety practices.

Upon completing an apprenticeship program, electricians must undergo certification to demonstrate their qualifications. This typically involves passing an examination known as the Interprovincial Exam. Certification is essential for demonstrating proficiency and ensuring compliance with industry standards.

Certifications and licenses

In most states, electricians are required to pass a comprehensive exam and obtain a license to practice. These requirements may vary by state, so it's crucial to understand the specific regulations in their area.

To maintain their licenses, electricians often need to participate in continuing education courses. These courses help them stay up-to-date with the latest electrical codes, safety practices, and technological advancements.

You can get started today

When it comes to the world of electric infrastructure, there are numerous specialized career paths to explore. As you expand your education and work experience, you will likely become specialized in certain types of job sites, projects, or systems.

All types of electrical work contribute to keeping our infrastructure safe, functional, and efficient. If you're interested in starting this exciting career path, check out the SkillHero app.