Modern human civilization is boundlessly dependent on electrical appliances — a power outage actually throws us back at least a hundred years. None of us wants to give up the usual level of comfort guaranteed by electrical appliances, and if an ordinary owner can still repair a socket and a switch on his own, and at best, some kind of household appliance, then complex equipment still requires the intervention of a highly qualified professional, if still, the pitfalls cannot be avoided. An electrician is exactly the specialist whose area of responsibility includes the repair and adjustment of electrical networks of any level of complexity.
An electrician is an extremely broad concept, by no means limited to the primitive repair of sockets and switches. Nowadays, the relevance of the profession is increasing. Qualified specialists are needed everywhere, and their work is well paid. The duties of a modern specialist include absolutely any service, one way or another connected with an electrician, that is, he deals not only with wiring, but in general with any electrical equipment.
The history of the profession has over a hundred years, although theoretically it can be increased to two hundred years — to the time when physicists in laboratories were just starting experiments with electricity and could be considered the first electricians. At that time, the properties of energy were little known, and the experiments themselves were fraught with injuries, and even death, because historically it turned out that the specialty is dangerous and is considered the most suitable for men.
Over time, electric lighting and an electric tram were introduced — the enterprises operating them were among the first to need an electrician as a full-time employee. With the spread of indoor electric lighting, household appliances and industrial equipment that used electricity, the number of vacancies only increased.
Like any other profession, being an electrician comes with its own set of pros and cons. If you are just thinking about choosing a profession, it is worth considering the advantages and disadvantages of such work in order to form an adequate idea of what you will have to do in advance.
Let’s start with the good — we list the reasons why being an electrician is profitable:
- the profession remains one of the most relevant — humanity is still very dependent on electrical appliances, and in the near future there are no mass technologies that can replace a living electrician;
- you can always help yourself and your loved ones — the profession is very useful at home, and you can solve any emergency situation on your own, without waiting for the arrival of third-party specialists;
- the work of an electrician, as a rule, consists in observation and prompt response, therefore you can work at several enterprises at once, maintaining electrical equipment in good condition;
- if necessary, you can earn additional income by helping your neighbors in small ways or by providing electrician services under a freelance scheme.
It is equally important to be aware of all the shortcomings of the profession in advance so that they do not become unpleasant surprises. So, here’s what can push you away from becoming an electrician:
- household equipment uses a relatively safe voltage of 220 volts, but serviced equipment shows much more impressive performance, so the work of an electrician is still dangerous;
- communications requiring repair can be located at a considerable height, and this is always a certain risk of falling and discomfort for a person who is afraid of heights;
- considering the profession of an electrician as a profitable and well-paid one, you need to understand that income greatly depends on the complexity of the work performed and even the region where you work: you can work with complex modern equipment at a technological plant, earning very decently, but you can also be an electrician at school, earning pennies.
According to the classifier of professions, an electrician is not a profession, but rather a group of related professions, one way or another related to the operation and maintenance of electrical equipment. Professional standard involves a number of different narrow specialties, among which we will consider only a few of the most popular:
- electricians — are engaged in laying electrical networks, from large-scale highways to house lines, work as part of emergency or construction teams;
- operating personnel — in a sense, «theorists» from the world of electricity, who do not so much lay or repair highways as monitor their normal and correct operation, select the optimal operating modes in a particular period of time;
- electronics engineers — have more to do not with wiring, but with electronic circuits, repair complex equipment that is most easily described as computers;
- auditors – Estimators of electricity consumption and energy consumption, engaged in the optimization of costs and losses for more efficient use of electrical networks.
When applying for a job, a vacancy can be described in even more detail, because it is clear that electricians can be technicians at a power plant, maintain car electrical systems, work on a railway, or solder broken household appliances.
A master generalist in this industry is quite rare, and in order to get a job, it is better to know one area in detail than to understand everything, but little by little.
For obvious reasons, the exact list of duties depends heavily on the place of work, but at the same time, there are groups — categories that allow an electrician to obtain permission to perform tasks of a certain level of complexity or danger. In other words, the boss does not have the right to require the employee to perform those duties that are not provided for by his category. Strictly speaking, this classification affects even people who do not have any specialized education, they are assigned the first category, which allows them to use electrical equipment and provide first aid. The highest — 6th category — makes its owner a universal specialist, able to cope with a task of any level of complexity.
If we talk about the duties of electricians and representatives of related professions in general, we must be prepared to perform the following work:
- laying an electrical cable;
- connect equipment to the power supply;
- calculate the required cable size;
- plan the wiring diagram in the premises;
- prophylactically inspect the entrusted electrical equipment and wiring in order to early identify and eliminate any shortcomings;
- repair electrical networks upon request;
- install sockets and insulators;
- perform commissioning before connecting devices;
- train junior staff in the rules of safe behavior with electrical appliances;
- constantly learn and improve your own knowledge.
The job description in detail may differ not only from enterprise to enterprise, but also depending on what category a particular electrician has. Nevertheless, in general, the provisions will be approximately the same, which allows you to evaluate them in advance, making your own conclusions about what is allowed for the employee:
- act to eliminate violations and inconsistencies associated with wiring and electrical equipment, ideally working proactively;
- rely on social guarantees established by law;
- rely on the assistance of other team members in the implementation of the rights and obligations of an electrician;
- require the provision of specific conditions necessary for the comfortable and safe performance of official duties;
- access documentation related to wiring and the use of electrical equipment;
- improve the level of their own professional training;
- report to the management about the detected shortcomings and violations in the operation of electrical appliances and wiring, offer their own vision of solving the problem;
- familiarize yourself with the job description, your own rights and obligations, as well as the criteria for evaluating your own work.
Timely and adequate performance of the duties stipulated by the job description is an important point. But the work of an electrician is also difficult in the sense that he is directly responsible for emergencies that may result in losses for the employer, injury or even death for employees.
As in the case of rights, the exact area of responsibility may depend on the specifics of the place of work and the position held, but in general, you will have to answer in the following situations:
- failure to fulfill their direct official duties within the prescribed period, including refusal to use the rights granted by the job description, if this entailed any undesirable consequences;
- ignoring safety regulations, fire protection, internal regulations, and so on;
- communication of the trade secret of your enterprise to any third parties who do not have authorized access to such information;
- non-compliance with the provisions of internal regulatory documents, as well as their implementation in an insufficient or improper form;
- any offense provided for by the current legislation, in the course of labor activity, with the punishment provided for by law;
- damage to the employer due to negligence or malicious intent;
- excessive or unauthorized use of the rights granted by the job description, including for personal gain.
An electrician is a person on whose shoulders a significant amount of responsibility is assigned, since the well-being of the enterprise and the safety of other employees depend on his timely professional actions. For such an employee, sufficient qualifications are extremely important, therefore the first and most important requirement for an electrician is to understand his main field of activity without the help of auxiliary books and cheat sheetsbe able to quickly assess the situation and take immediate corrective action. In other words, a good electrician must know the device, specifications and principles of operation of the equipment with which he will work.
Certain skills and knowledge in mathematics, physics, and drawing will also not interfere. Of the specialized knowledge, the ability to determine types of damage by eye or with the help of a special tool, understanding the causes of their occurrence, and the ability to repair all kinds of breakdowns are valuable.
Special attention is paid to the personal qualities of a person, because not everyone is a priori capable of being a good electrician. At a minimum, you need to be a very responsible and attentive person, because an electrician has no right to make mistakes in work or abandon a task that is not completed. Sometimes the elimination of a breakdown involves a huge amount of applied forces, while it is impossible to postpone the repair — therefore, physical endurance will be appropriate. When working in potentially dangerous conditions, it is worth having a good reaction and a certain amount of accuracy.
The desire to become an electrician as a professional rarely appears without a pre-laid base — a person interested in this matter is somehow interested in the topic on his own, receives certain knowledge from his father or acquaintances, practices at home in repairing sockets and switches, as well as other household appliances.
Today, the Internet allows you to get a lot of information about electrical engineering and wiring, and a persistent self-taught person, supplementing all this with good literature and training videos, is really able to reach a certain level. Let’s put it this way: thanks to this approach, you can learn to do without called masters at home and even earn money by helping neighbors and acquaintances, but it is unlikely that you will be able to get a permanent and official job — the employer will still want to see documentary evidence of the received specialty.
Even if you have completed some “young electrician” courses, this does not allow you to consider yourself a professional.
If you decide to study thoroughly in order to get a profession and the right to work, you should consider one of the three options for educational institutions.
- School or college. Having entered here, you are unlikely to be able to count on amazing vacancies and impressive salaries in the future — it would be more correct to say that “workhorses” are being trained here who are engaged in performing mechanical tasks of the same type according to worked out, not invented by them schemes. The advantage of such training is that anyone can enter, and it will take only 1-3 years to receive a diploma.
- Technical College. This is already an order of magnitude higher level than the one that is received at the school. The theory in this case is not limited to the minimum basics, and although you will not be an engineer, most of the good vacancies will be available for selection, which means that you can earn decent money. It is also relatively easy to enter here, but it will take 3-4 years to get a diploma.
- Higher educational institutions. Higher education is given in order for a trained specialist to work more with his head than with his hands, respectively, the positions will be even more responsible and a bit like managerial ones, and the salary, of course, will also increase. You will have to spend 4-5 years on training, and of all this time, not much will be spent on practice, but a huge theoretical base will be laid. It will be possible to enter only after the 11th grade or graduation from a technical school or college. As it should be in universities, you will have to take the Unified State Examination, and the exact sciences — computer science and mathematics will be considered specialized.
The huge need of society for electricians leads to the fact that you can get the appropriate education in any more or less large city — a settlement does not even have to be a regional center for this. The profession of an electrician is also chosen by many people because it allows them not to travel far from home during their student years.
Place of work
The uniqueness and profitability of the profession of an electrician lies in the fact that almost any more or less large enterprise needs it, and it can also work on a freelance basis. This should not be surprising — there are very few people in the world who do not encounter electricity at all or take full responsibility for the correct operation and timely repair of all electrical equipment and wiring located in their area of responsibility.
In fact, you can knock on the door of any company and ask if they need an electrician, and most likely the answer will be yes.
To further emphasize what has been said, consider a few examples of potential jobs for an electrician, specially selected so that they are as diverse as possible.
- in the management company. One of the most predictable options, which allows serving ordinary citizens in their homes, as well as repairing main communications that ensure the operation of elevators and street lamps, light in entrances, and so on. The job is largely about responding to emergency calls, even in the middle of the night, but allows you to get a job within walking distance of your home address.
- In a sanatorium. This place of work resembles the one described above, only the clients are vacationers — people who have paid money for a comfortable stay at the recreation center and do not want to endure discomfort even in a force majeure situation. Accordingly, a faster response is required, due to which the area of responsibility is smaller, and wages, as a rule, on the contrary, are slightly higher. If the sanitarium is also located in the wilderness, you may be the only person on whom it depends on whether there is light.
- At the construction site. In this case, the main task will not be repair, but the primary laying of communications, when it is possible to clearly plan one’s duties and work according to a pre-planned schedule. A huge minus is the dubious comfort of the construction site with its dust and noise.
How much does he get?
Calling any one specific figure, it is almost impossible to guess with the salary of an electrician — the salary range is too diverse. Predictably, in rural areas and without northern allowances, an employee with a minimum qualification, whose duties include only replacing sockets and switches, will receive mere pennies — perhaps even less than 20 thousand rubles. An employee of a large enterprise in Moscow, in the North, or anywhere else will look fundamentally different if this is a strategic industry, and the electrician himself is not an ordinary one, but is responsible for the operation of complex equipment. The salary of such an employee can approach 100 thousand rubles.
The average salary in the industry, again, varies greatly depending on the region and the specific job description, but in general it can be described as 30-40 thousand rubles per month.