Electricians are professional installation and repair professionals who work on or install electrical systems in homes and businesses. Becoming an electrician takes several years of training and requires someone with the right qualities to get the job done right. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Statistics, electricians made a median annual income of £30,667, as of May 2009.
One of the most essential qualities of an electrician is that he be properly trained and licensed. Most electricians obtain a combination of coursework and hands-on training as part of their initial training. Electricians may pursue postsecondary courses at a community college or technical school in the field of electrical technology. Most of the training they receive, however, comes through a hands-on period of training known as an apprenticeship. These usually last four years and are often a prerequisite to be licensed. Because the apprenticeship is a chance to earn while learning the job, electrician candidates must be good listeners and able to pick up the basic functions of the job quickly.
Working as an electrician can require a certain level of physical fitness, especially when it comes to jobs where long hours are spent installing electrical systems in newly constructed buildings. Aside from this, electricians need to have decent hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. They also need to have a good sense of balance because it may be necessary to perform work in high locations where balance is necessary to avoid injury. Good eyesight is also essential for the proper performance of electrical jobs.
Electricians must also be able to exhibit a number of different mental capabilities in order to perform their jobs well. They need to have good problem-solving skills and be able to recognise when problems exist. They must also have good command of both deductive and inductive reasoning to come up with solutions. Electricians also need to exhibit good judgment and decision-making skills while on the job.
Additional qualities required of electricians include excellent interpersonal communication skills. Electricians sometimes work as part of a crew and must be able to work collaboratively with others. Those who work in supervisory capacities need to be able to delegate responsibility in a manner that does not cause alienation of other workers. They must also be able to communicate with customers to solve potential problems.