It wasn’t that long ago that people used to live by candlelight instead of using light bulbs. This difference might be hard to imagine because electricity is an integral part of modern daily lives. People rely on electricity so much, both at home and work, then if it isn’t working properly, their lives come to a halt.
Stop and think about how much you depend on electricity. Without it, you couldn’t stream movies on your smart TVs, charge your cell phones, or even drive a car!
Because you rely so heavily on electricity, it can be a challenge when the power goes out in Gloucester, VA. Fortunately, when that happens, the power company has trained electricians working to ensure the power is restored, and you can return to your daily activities.
What Is an Electrician?
An electrician is a tradesperson who is responsible for designing, installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems. They can service the inside and outside of residential homes, businesses, and factories.
Linespeople work outside to ensure the electricity produced at power plants moves to substations. Wirepeople work inside to install and repair electrical systems that power residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
There is more than one type of electrician, too! Residential electricians install wiring and repair electrical problems within a home. Inside electricians keep the control systems, motors, and electrical equipment inside a business or factory running smoothly.
What Does an Electrician Do on a Daily Basis?
Electricians are responsible for maintaining and installing all electrical systems for homeowners, factories, and businesses. They also work on wiring equipment that allows electricity to flow. Another task they take care of is maintenance and installation of electrical equipment in factories and businesses.
Electricians are responsible for the following tasks:
- Reading blueprints and other technical and wiring diagrams
- Installing lighting systems
- Assembling, installing, testing, and maintaining electrical systems
- Inspecting electrical systems
- Diagnosing and repairing electrical problems
- Digging trenches to lay conduit
- Learning about state and local regulations based on the national electric code
- Ensuring compliance with state and local regulations
After years of working in the Gloucester, VA area as an electrician, one might also train other electricians to work in the industry. An electrician might also perform business management duties in a management position, such as maintaining records or files, preparing reports, or ordering supplies or equipment.
Normally, an electrician will work on maintaining equipment. Their job is to upgrade and fix any existing electrical systems. All electricians, even a 24-hour emergency electrician, must adhere to all local and state building codes and the National Electric Code whenever they are completing a job.
To do this, they begin by reviewing the blueprints. These are a set of technical diagrams that show the location of panel boards, outlets, circuits, and other equipment. The electrician can install or repair any wires connected to the circuit breakers, outlets, transformers, or other system components.
An electrician must know how to use hand tools, such as screwdrivers, knives, pliers, wire strippers, and hacksaws. They must also understand the way power tools like saws and drills work. Special devices like ammeters, voltmeters, and harmonic testers are used to test connections to ensure everything is compatible and safe.
What Can an Electrician Fix?
A skilled electrician in Gloucester, VA, can fix, replace, or repair parts of electric equipment if it breaks. They can quickly make any necessary repairs to minimize the inconveniences breakage can cause. Examples of things they can replace include switches, wires, circuit breakers, and fuses.
When working for a homeowner, an electrician may rewire the home or replace old fuse boxes to accommodate the addition of new appliances. They can install new lighting or other fixtures, like ceiling fans and chandeliers.
What Is the Work Environment Like for an Electrician in Gloucester?
Electricians work in a variety of environments. They may work inside buildings or outdoors on power lines. It could be a wide-open space or in a tiny cramped room. When working outdoors, they may be exposed to inclement weather.
Regardless of where they are, these environments involve live electrical wires. It can be extremely dangerous if the right safety measures aren’t taken. Electricians face a high risk of injury due to electrical shock, cuts, and falls.
Professional electricians must follow a strict safety policy to prevent injuries. Additionally, the job of an electrician can be strenuous and include lifting heavy items, kneeling, standing, or squatting for long periods.
An electrician can work independently but may also be part of a larger team. Most don’t work from a regular office. They operate at a remote site until the job is completed. This work can last for a single day or up to a few months.
The job site may be located far from the electrician’s home, as they can travel approximately 100 miles to complete a job.
What Kind of Schedule Does an Electrician Have?
The job of an electrician is a year-round opportunity. Hours will change based on the type of electrician. A maintenance electrician typically works a business schedule.
This schedule includes 40 hours a week, with no weekends, public holidays, or late nights. However, some electricians are on-call and may work additional hours to help diagnose and repair emergency problems.
An independent contractor may not have a regular work schedule. They may find themselves busy one week, and the next is slow and requires only a few hours. An independent contractor has the most flexibility in their work schedule.
Required Education and Training
Anyone with a high school diploma or its equivalent can become an electrician. Instead of attending a college or university for a degree, an electrician learns through on-the-job training. This training is done through an apprenticeship program that will last between four and five years in many situations.
You must be at least 18 years old with one year of algebra education to be an apprentice. Typically, there is an aptitude test that you must pass as well as a substance abuse screening.
During the apprenticeship, the trainee is required to complete 144 hours of classroom training each year. Here, they learn about blueprints, safety, first aid practices, and electrical code requirements.
Also, they will learn about mathematics and electrical theory. Each apprentice must complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job experience every year.
Another option is to attend a technical school. It will cover basic electrical information, safety, and circuitry. Those who graduate from technical school may receive credit towards an apprenticeship program.
Certifications and Licensing
In most states, an electrician is required to have a valid license. You can find information about your state’s requirements at The National Electrical Contractors Association website. Before earning a license, anyone wishing to be a licensed electrician must pass a written exam to test their knowledge.
Some states require additional certification as a master electrician. To qualify for this certification, you will have to have seven years of experience or more as an electrician or hold a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or a related field.
Electricians often look forward to rewarding careers. People who are suitable for this career path usually like to do activities that include hands-on problem-solving. They may also enjoy working with situations requiring extensive thinking, searching for facts, and figuring out problems.
Asbury Electric, Your Local, Dependable Electricians
If you’re searching the internet for an “electrician near me” in Gloucester, VA, that is trained to perform maintenance on your electrical equipment, contact our team at Asbury Electric. We are a 24-hour emergency electrician service, and we’re happy to find a solution to your emergency electrical problem today.