The skills needed to be an electrician can vary depending on whether or not you choose to focus on commercial, residential, or even underwater work. However, there are a handful of core skills that you need before you can consider an area of focus in the field.
Perfect Color Vision
Wires are colored based on their type, size, function, and a variety of other standards. Being color blind is more common than you may think, but it means you may need to look into another profession if you have trouble differentiating between wire colors.
Some people have issues with hand dexterity, and electricians need very steady hands. Assembly and disassembly of different mechanisms should come naturally to you. You will be installing, replacing, and repairing all types of electrical components on a consistent basis.
A Mind of Steel
You might be working up high in dangerous conditions, or positioned in cramped spaces for a long period of time. There may be an unexpected storm that rolls in right when you've dismantled your wiring and equipment and were getting ready to rebuild. More often than not, being an electrician will involve being adaptable in difficult circumstances. Electricians also need to work well under pressure when the situation calls for it.
You'll be asked to base your work off of blueprints. A lot of practice goes into interpreting blueprints, and you will be required to understand your diagrams thoroughly. Leaving an error unchecked may result in a lengthy and expensive repair after a significant amount of time has passed. Strong blueprint reading skills can not only lessen the need for repairs, but can enhance your reputation as well.
You not only need to think on your feet, but also identify solutions as quickly as possible. If you're a good problem solver, your reputation will likely reflect it. Being able to work your way through difficulties, specifically without guidance, will speak volumes about your expertise throughout your career.
You'll need social skills in both commercial and residential work, but especially if you become a residential electrician. Homeowners are generally much more concerned about what you're doing and how you're doing it than commercial landlords are. You must be able to address questions and conversations with homeowners and business personnel alike.
Start Your Training Here
If you passed the checklist, congratulations! You’re one step closer to a great career. Now, find an electrician school near you, and get started on your training. Your classes will help you decide the direction you want to take (commercial or residential). Whichever it is, if you possess most of, or all of these skills, you will likely be well equipped to handle any difficulties as they arise.