The electrical contracting industry offers a variety of benefits, including financial rewards, flexibility and independence. To succeed, contractors need to develop a plan for starting their own business, obtain necessary licenses and permits, secure financing, invest in quality tools equipment and prioritize customer service.
Effective communication is another key skill for electrical contractors, who must communicate effectively to convey instructions to other team members. They also use attention to detail when planning complex projects like wiring a building.
Electrical contractors need to be licensed, and requirements vary by state. Obtaining a license requires significant work experience as an electrician, including some combination of time spent working as a journeyman and attending educational classes that provide relevant skills and knowledge.
Once you’ve obtained your electrical contractor license, you may start looking for customers. How you find clients depends on your area of expertise and industry, but often involves advertising services or gaining customer referrals.
You also need to understand the specific safety requirements and construction codes associated with your field of work. Taking an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) class is a great way to ensure that you’re familiar with workplace hazards. You can take an online OSHA course or attend a live classroom setting.
Having experience in a variety of market sectors will enable professional electricians to identify the most suitable solutions for each project, saving time and money. It will also equip them with the insight and courage to recommend alternative approaches when necessary.
Strong interpersonal skills can help electricians to manage their teams and communicate effectively with their clients. This can be important for the success of a project, as well as for keeping costs under control and meeting deadlines.
Hiring managers will look for evidence of these skills on an Electrical Contractor resume, so include examples of times you have negotiated prices or contracts. You could also mention your ability to motivate and guide employees through difficult situations. This will make you stand out from other applicants.
Most states require electrical contractors to obtain a license. If a firm does not have a license, it may be unable to pull permits or operate in other states. Typically, licenses are based on state requirements and include experience and training requirements, a trade exam and a background check.
Some states do not have state-wide licensing, and instead allow municipalities to handle the requirements. In these cases, the municipality will have specific details on its requirements.
Often, these requirements include testing on topics such as the National Electrical Code and general job safety protocols. In addition, there may be a specific specialty area, such as solar electric systems, that requires specialized certifications and training. Those who pass the exams receive a certificate and can then work in this area.
In addition to training and experience, some states require a license or certification in order for an electrician to perform certain types of work. These requirements vary from state to state, but usually include a certain number of hours of classroom education and on-the-job training.
Some states like Alaska require a journeyman license in order to do any electrical work, and this requires 8,000 hours of apprentice work, 1,000 hours of classroom training and passing an exam. In other states, such as South Carolina, there are two master license levels; mechanical and residential, each requiring four years of work as a licensed journeyman and passing a licensing exam.
Most licenses and certificates expire, so an electrician needs to take a renewal exam or complete continuing education courses to maintain their credentials. Many of these exams are associated with specific post-secondary education programs, and the certificate is only awarded upon successful completion of the program.
Electrical contractors work in a wide variety of settings and conditions. They may spend much of their time outdoors in construction areas or inside confined spaces where they must maneuver heavy equipment.
Electrical contractor training prepares students for an exciting career that offers professional growth opportunities, a high wage and flexibility. IEC’s 8,000-hour electrician apprenticeship program pairs on-the-job training with classroom instruction from America’s top professional instructors to provide an immersive experience in a field that is in constant demand.
Electrical contractors must possess critical thinking skills to solve complex electrical wiring and installation challenges. They also need to be precise in their work and use communication skills to explain technical information to others. They often work with multiple people and must be able to schedule workers effectively.