If you enjoy troubleshooting and like to diagnose a variety of potential problems, a career as an electrician may be a good fit for your strengths. Electricians are responsible for ensuring that electricity makes it from point A to point B; they may install new electrical systems, repair old systems, or maintain existing systems. Here's what you need to know about becoming an electrician.

Your Education Should Consist of Classroom Time and On-the-Job Training

To acquire the skills necessary to become an electrician, a fair amount of on-the-job training is necessary. However, before you begin the on-the-job portion of your education, you should spend some time in a classroom to get the knowledge required to become an electrician.

Apply for pre-apprenticeship electrician programs at reputable trade schools. Though these electrician trade programs may not be officially required to become an electrician in some states, they have numerous benefits. You'll learn practical knowledge that can help you in your quest to become an electrician, and completion of the program can help you stand out when it's time to apply for your apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs can be selective, and you want to put your best foot forward during the application process.

Your apprenticeship program utilizes on-the-job training under an experienced electrician to give you the skills you need to become a successful electrician. Part of the application program for an electrician apprenticeship program involves taking an aptitude test to check your mathematical and reading abilities.

If you're not up-to-par in these areas, this can interfere with your ability to get accepted to the program. Many electrician trade programs include a few courses that cover the necessary mathematical and reading skills necessary to pass the test. Once accepted, you'll spend four to five years completing the apprenticeship program.

You May Need a License to Practice as an Electrician

You'll need to check if the area you plan on working in requires electricians to be licensed. Whether or not you need a license can vary from state to state or even town to town, so make sure you do your research so that you meet all of the requirements. The specific requirements for your electrician's license will also differ.

However, most states or towns require that you be able to pass an examination that proves you have the knowledge necessary to safely work as an electrician. There's also typically a specific number of on-the-job training hours that you must complete in order to qualify for the license; typically, your apprenticeship program will assist you with completing this requirement. 

Your state or town may also require a stated number of classroom hours; an electrician trade program is an excellent option to make sure you can satisfy this demand. Explore the electrician trade school options near you to get started.