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Last Updated: Oct 21, 2014

 

 Electricians work in both the construction and maintenance sectors, installing and maintaining the electrical wiring infrastructures that supply light, power, air-conditioning and refrigeration.  They also install, connect, test and maintain electrical systems for a variety of purposes, including climate control, security and communications. In addition, they may install and maintain the electronic controls for machines in business and industry.

Key elements of the job include: reading and following blueprints and wiring schematics, using a variety of tools to install and securing wiring, fixtures or equipment, using test equipment to verify proper installation and operation, and confirming that new or repaired installations meet fire and safety code standards.

Working conditions range from comfortable building interiors to outdoor constructions sites, sometimes in difficult or hard-to-access locations. Electricians must follow strict safety procedures to avoid injury from shock, falls and other hazards.

Experienced electricians can become supervisors and then superintendents. Those with sufficient capital and management skills may start their own contracting businesses, although this may require an electrical contractor’s license. 

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