Is Becoming An Electrician A Good Career Choice For You?

The world is always going to need electricians to install new wiring in homes and businesses and to make repairs to existing electric systems. It's a hands-on career, and it is one that many find rewarding. However, like all careers, being an electrician is not for everyone. Is it the right career choice for you? Ask yourself these questions to gain a better understanding of whether or not pursuing a career as an electrician is the right move.

Are you good at collaborating with other people?

Even though you may be the only electrician on the job, working as an electrician requires a great deal of collaboration with others. You'll need to work with the construction team when installing wiring in new homes. You may need to work with HVAC contractors and plumbers when making updates to current homes' electrical systems. If you struggle to collaborate with others, pursuing a career as an electrician may be more of a struggle for you than for someone who enjoys social interaction. 

Can you manage your own work?

Even though you'll be working with others, once you are fully licensed and trained, you'll often be the only person doing your specific work. So, you need to be able to work without having someone else looking over your shoulder and telling you what to do. Good electricians are skilled in time management, and they're good at problem-solving on their own when they run into an unexpected issue. There will not always be someone to turn to for an answer—you'll have to find the answer for yourself.

Do you mind the idea of continuing education?

Once you earn your journeyman electrician certification, the schooling is not over. You'll need to then work as an apprentice for a few years before taking another exam to earn your master electrician certification. Then, in most states, you'll have to satisfy continuing education requirements in order to keep your certification. For example, electricians in Washington need to complete 24 credits of continuing education courses every three years to keep their licenses.

School will not occupy every second of your spare time when you're an electrician, but it will be an ever-present obligation. If this bothers you, then you may want to look for a career that does not require as much continuing education.

Do you enjoy working with your hands?

Many people enjoy working with their hands in small doses, but as an electrician, the vast majority of your job will be working with your hands. If this excites you, then perhaps this is the perfect career choice. On the other hand, if you can picture yourself growing tired of manual labor after a few days of back-to-back jobs, you may want to reconsider your career path.

How do you feel about math?

As an electrician, you won't be running numbers all day as you would if you were an accountant or an actuary. However, you will have to do math on a regular basis. You'll need to calculate the length of wire needed for certain projects, the amperage running through a circuit, and so forth. You don't have to be a calculus whiz, but you will have a hard time making it through electrician certification classes and through your daily work if you do not have basic math skills or hate performing calculations. 

If you're still not sure whether pursuing a career as an electrician is right for you, talk to a school that offers certification classes. They can give you a clear idea of what to expect during training and later on when you enter the workforce as an electrician. For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like