An electrician is a professional who works with electrical systems to install, operate, repair, and maintain them. Wiring, circuit boards, and electronics are all part of these systems. Due to the three to five year training period required for an electrician to be successful, this profession is extremely varied and can pay very well in some parts of the world. Every day in communities with electricity, consumers interact with the work of electricians, and many people have a preferred electrician for electrical repairs around their homes and businesses.
Depending on regional nomenclature, some people like to distinguish between an electrician and a lineman. An electrician is responsible for the internal wiring of homes and other buildings, whereas a lineman is responsible for the outside electrical lines and power generation facilities. Being a lineman can be extremely dangerous due to the much higher currents involved in this work, especially when linemen are dispatched to respond to downed power lines and other emergencies that can arise during inclement weather.
When constructing a structure, an electrician is an important member of the construction team. If built-in heating and cooling systems are being installed, an electrician will also install vents and piping for these systems. When the house is finished, the electrician installs electrical sockets so that electrical equipment can be plugged in and light bulbs can be installed. Equipment that draws a lot of power, such as stoves and heaters, may require specialized circuits.
Electricians are also capable of installing complex electrical equipment and are knowledgeable about the operation of electronics as well as the various tools of their trade, such as breaker boxes and voltage meters. Professional electricians also provide maintenance and repair services, which include everything from troubleshooting malfunctioning electric stoves to replacing outdated wiring. Many electricians work as independent contractors, transporting their tools in vans or trucks and traveling to job sites as needed.
Anyone interested in becoming an electrician should consider attending trade school or completing a professional apprenticeship. He or she will learn how to safely handle electricity and how to install electrical components during the apprenticeship. A mentor may also offer training in dealing with various other professional trades in the capacity of an electrician, as well as familiarization with current local codes. A journeyman electrician can pursue professional certification or licensing after completing training, if required in his or her region.