WHAT DO INDUSTRIAL ELECTRICIANS DO?
You got excited because you thought "The Wire" was a show about electricity. AC/DC may not be your favorite band, but it is your favorite form of power. If this sounds like you, you should look into a job as an industrial electrician.
Industrial electricians install, maintain and repair electrical systems in industrial facilities: factories, businesses and other places that pull more power and have more complex systems than your typical house (Doc Brown's house from Back to the Future aside). They make sure that electrical systems are safe and running efficiently, and may have to repair large electrical equipment, like industrial fans, large motors, or control systems. Industrial electricians are there during construction to install and test new equipment and systems, and come to repair or maintain older, pre-existing systems.
Industrial electricians are highly trained and skilled, and can read blueprints and follow diagrams of circuits and wiring, and use many different hand and diagnostic tools in testing and fixing equipment. They may work independently or as part of a team.
HOW MUCH DO INDUSTRIAL ELECTRICIANS MAKE?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the 2010 median hourly income for electricians was $23.20, or $48,250 a year.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
Electricians start their education through 4-year apprenticeships, completing at least 144 hours of tech training and 2,000 hours of training on-the-job. Licensure is required in most states, but different specifications apply.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Color Vision: Industrial Electricians work with colored wiring and must be able to identify them by sight.
- Troubleshooting: Industrial electricians must be able to find the root cause of issues and think logically about solutions.
- Customer Service: Industrial electricians often work for many different customers, and must be friendly when working on site.
- Critical Thinking: When diagnosing problems, industrial electricians must think critically in their process of repairing the issue.
- Mechanical Skills: Industrial electricians read blueprints and schematics and use an array of tools and diagnostic devices to service and install electrical parts.
THE FUTURE OF INDUSTRIAL ELECTRICIANS
Electrician jobs will grow 23% between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS. As new energy field emerge, and businesses need more and more complex wiring, job growth should continue to grow.