Finding success as an electrician is not always easy, as there can be a lot of competition in this field and it’s therefore important to try and stand out from the crowd.
The best way to do this is to develop and nurture the skills which will give you the advantage in all sorts of professional scenarios, so let’s go through just a few of the key assets every successful electrician should have.
Trade-specific training and qualifications
It should go without saying, but it helps a lot to not only bring lots of hands-on experience to the table, but also to pursue the qualifications that will demonstrate to prospective employers and clients that you are able to fulfill your role to a high standard.
Studying for programs like the 18th edition course, and finding out which qualifications and accreditations are applicable in the region you want to work in, will give you a solid foundation on which to build your career as an electrician.
You can also use this as a means of specializing in a particular aspect of the job, whether that might be wiring, electrical safety, or anything in between.
Working as a team
While it’s true that electricians can often tackle jobs on their own, there are also lots of scenarios in which you will need to collaborate with colleagues and pull your weight as part of a team.
Early in your career, this means being able to take instruction from project managers, and later on, it may involve taking on managerial responsibilities yourself.
All of this requires excellent communication skills, not just with others who share the same trade as you, but also with team members who may have a very different specialism under their belt, whether that might be plumbing, carpentry, or anything else.
Communication is about more than just being able to express yourself clearly; you need to build your listening skills as well. When working on construction sites, this is all the more important because safety is a concern.
Likewise, if you are able to communicate well with the people you work alongside, you will also do a better job of engaging with clients. A friendly demeanor and a lack of condescension can go a long way in terms of winning over the people who are paying for a particular project.
Electricians rarely find that everything goes smoothly in the course of completing their duties, so when a problem rears its head, you need the mindset that will let you overcome it.
Problem-solving in a construction context is not just about working out the simplest solution and following it; you also need to ensure that what you are proposing is both safe and cost-conscious, because it is the client’s money that is on the line here, after all.
Good problem-solving skills can be developed through the aforementioned training and qualification process, since it is rare that you will be the first person to come across a particular conundrum, and good courses will cover common complexities electricians might encounter.
Your problem-solving can additionally be improved by working alongside experienced electricians, and fulfilling an apprenticeship is useful in this context.
Embracing physical fitness and fine motor skills
Electricians need to develop an intriguing combination of all-around fitness to help with the physical exertion that is part and parcel of the job, along with the fine motor skills that are needed to deal with the more precise aspects of what they do.
Dexterous control of your digits, as well as a good degree of coordination, will be key to your success and efficiency in this role. Video games have helped people in other professions improve their dexterity, so this isn’t a bad habit to stick with if you are already into gaming.
Another point to make is that there are some conditions that will almost certainly prevent you from becoming an electrician in the first place. For example, if you are color blind, then this is an insurmountable problem because electrical wiring is invariably designed with color coding in mind.
Performing basic calculations
The physical aspect of being a successful electrician might be at the forefront of your thoughts, but you’ll also need a grasp of a few mathematical skills to do your best in this profession.
You don’t need anything more than a high school level of understanding for carrying out calculations, but it is definitely worth brushing up on this if you are a bit rusty. From measuring wiring runs to working out voltages and so forth, some basic yet essential sums will need to be performed swiftly throughout a typical project, and the quicker you can handle this, the better.
Life as an electrician is not the same as working a 9 to 5 job every day. Sometimes you will have very busy periods, when you are working on a major project and might need to commit more time to it, or when a customer calls you out to deal with an electrical emergency.
Other times, you could find that there is less demand and you will need to be prepared for fallow periods, or gaps in your schedule.
While there is always a good amount of work for electricians, being adaptable and flexible in how your time is taken up will leave you more able to take the jobs that do crop up.
The more patient and understanding you are, the less the potential stresses of the job of an electrician will get to you.
Staying calm in a crisis, taking each problem as an opportunity to prove yourself, and avoiding the temptation to lose your temper if disaster strikes, will stand you in good stead for a long and happy career as an electrician.
Most of all, remember that you can continue to work on existing skills and develop new skills going forward, and by doing so you will grow both as an electrician and as a person.