With the costs of higher education continuing to skyrocket on a virtually daily basis, more young professionals everywhere are turning to trade schools to secure a financially prosperous future. It should come as little surprise that more people are turning to careers as electricians, especially since the rise of the digital era has made internet connectivity and a steady supply of power to keep ourselves plugged in at all times more important than ever. Still, becoming an electrician is no small feat.

Here are the steps you should begin to follow if you’re interested in becoming an electrician, and the basics about the profession that you need to know.

It starts with small steps

Like most major career choices, the decision to become an electrician begins with a series of small steps. First, like in all careers, you need to evaluate why you want to become an electrician. If you’re a hands-on worker who likes to get physically involved in whatever job they’re assigned to, then being an electrician may be an alluring career prospect. There are certain requirements that you’ll need to guarantee you’ve completed beforehand, too, of course.

Anyone who wants to be an electrician will need a high school degree, or at the very least an academic accomplishment equivalent to such feat, like a GED. It’s worth taking a deep dive into the certification process of becoming an electrician, as it will help you hone certain skills that you’ll find invaluable later on in your career. You’ll need to have sufficient math skills, for instance, and taking practical courses like an automotive class early on in life is a huge boost towards a career as an electrician, as is mastering electrician software. The earlier you can get started laying the foundation of a career as an electrician, the easier a time you’ll have of securing a lucrative career for yourself in the long-term.

Apprenticeship programs are the next step for any aspiring electrician. For someone who hopes to succeed as an electrician, finding the right apprenticeship program consist of securing one that will give you some hands-on experience but also allow you to keep studying in the traditional sense. Many aspiring electricians get in over their heads during apprenticeships, however, precisely because they didn’t know what to expect. You can avoid this dilemma by reading up on how others survived their time as an electrician apprentice, which will give you some insight into the career field you’re aspiring to be a part of.

If you’re disheartened after reading about the experiences of others, it’s important to remember that every individual has a unique journey, and that the failures and hurdles others face aren’t necessarily going to beset you. Anyone with a commitment to doing challenging work can become an electrician, as long as they take their time and study up on the essentials of the trade.

Understand you’ll make mistakes

Early on in your training as an electrician, you’ll make some mistakes. It’s crucial to understand that this is normal, and indeed a vital part of the learning process. Don’t allow your failures to turn you away from what could be quite a lucrative career path, but instead be sure to learn from past experiences so that you can do better going forward.

Now that you’re ready to confront the challenges ahead of you, it’s imperative to check if your particular area demands certain licensing from electricians. Certain states are stricter than others when it comes to requiring an electrician license, for instance. You should put some time aside to review a state-by-state guide and determine if the area you’re looking to work in will require you to get a particular license, which could consume additional time and money. Many think they can rush into becoming an electrician, and while some certification and training programs can be completed within a year, it’s a simple matter of fact that you’ll need to build up experience over time.

Newcomers who have recently gained certification as electricians may try to pass themselves off as journeyman, but you’ll often need years of experience and will need to meet additional licensing requirements to pass off as such. It’s imperative that you never lie or exaggerate when it comes to your skills or certification as an electrician, as there can be severe consequences to your career for doing so.

As with all matters of education, be sure to inquire if there are any financial resources that could help you on your journey towards becoming an electrician. Loans and grants, for instance, can be lifesavers for those who want to become an electrician but can’t afford to undergo training right now. Above all else, keep working with your hands and hit the books frequently. Being an electrician isn’t easy, but it’s a rewarding and challenging job that’s going to be in demand for the foreseeable future.

Author's Bio: 

Jeremiah Owyang is an internet entrepreneur and public speaker.