The electrician job market has seen a massive influx of opportunities in the last few years, and this is only projected to increase in the coming years. America is decreasing its carbon footprint, and businesses and individuals alike are looking for greener ways of using electricity. Electricians are flooded with work, installing new economic wiring systems and solar-energy contraptions.
Right now, new construction projects are springing up all over the United States as the country is becoming more economically stable.
If you are thinking of becoming an electrician’s helper, now is the perfect time to do it. As an electrician’s helper (or apprentice), you will be doing anything and everything that the journeyman electrician requires of you. You will be learning new skills on the job and facing a variety of common problems. Should you apply for a journeyman electrician license later on, the hours you have put in as a helper will benefit you in your application process. Becoming an electrician helper is definitely an important step toward becoming a licensed journeyman electrician.
But where do you start? To help you on your way, here are a few answers to your most pressing questions.
How To Become A Helper For An Electrician Journeyman
First of all, you will need to obtain a high school diploma or General Equivalent. This is absolutely necessary, as you will be required to take an algebra and comprehension test when applying for a formal apprenticeship.
Once you have your diploma, start searching for a position as an electrician helper. As it is a paid position, you are likely to find job openings posted in your local classifieds. You can also ask around to find out if any Master Electricians in your area are taking on helpers.
Keep an eye on the websites of major electrical companies. Every so often, they take on scores of helpers at one time. If you would like to apply for such a position, you will need to have a decent résumé typed out, and you would most likely have to go for an interview.
You can also find out from local unions whether they know of any reputable apprenticeship programs. Oftentimes the unions themselves offer apprenticeships that later lead to jobs.
It is also a very good idea to check whether your local electrician school offers apprenticeships. If you would like to become a fully licensed electrician later on, you will need to complete formal studies anyway, so why not combine the two experiences?
How To Be A Successful Helper
Once you have locked down an apprenticeship/helper position, it is essential that you take it seriously.
Be inquisitive. Ask a lot of questions, as this will be your practical training. Don’t be afraid to make notes and check your theories with your Master Electrician.
Listen carefully. Once you have obtained a license, you will need to stand on your own two feet and handle everything on your own.
Take responsibility. Always be on time and on point. If the company you are working for has a dress code, stick to it. Keep to the safety regulations. If you make a mistake, own up to it and learn from it – this will only benefit you in the long run when you need reference letters from your Master Electrician.
See every task as an opportunity to learn. Relish your time as an apprentice and be sure to learn as much as you possibly can. Your enthusiasm and passion will be recognized and rewarded.
How Much Does An Electrician’s Helper Earn?
This is entirely dependent on the level of the helper (whether he is a first-year, second-year etc.), the base hourly rate of the company you are working for, whether you are working in a specialized field, and in what State you are in.
As your experience as a helper grows, so will your salary. It’s a slow and steady race. Experience pays.
Your salary will often be calculated according to a percentage of the Master Electrician’s hourly rate. You will be earning less than him, but the rate will be fair on all accounts.
If you are working as a general electrician’s helper, you may be earning less than someone who is more specialized. The different fields and sectors vary greatly. Be sure to find a field that you are passionate about first and foremost, though, as this will ensure your happiness as well.
The pay rates of different States vary greatly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest paying State for electricians is Alaska, followed closely by New York. Find out what the Average salary of an electrician helper is for your States, so you can better calculate your potential earnings.
The above mentioned all needs to be taken into account. However, the average hourly rates for first-year helpers across America is reported to be anything between $12.00 to $23.00 per hour.
Becoming an electrician’s helper is the first step toward becoming a certified electrician. Grab the opportunity with both hands!