For one who works as an electrician, it soon becomes apparent that electrical work is not a self-contained discipline or study. When installing the electrical system of a house, for instance, your work would necessarily involve some familiarity with construction, plumbing, the operation of various electrical appliances and devices, and fire safety measures, among others. The demand for commercial and industrial electricians also require a broader familiarity with things outside of the field of study of electricians. These may include production lines, air conditioning and heating systems, sustainable power supply and distribution to different areas of a large building or factory, a familiarity with specialized equipment that may be utilized in manufacturing and processing plants, etc.
So it seems pretty obvious that an electrician, to be an effective electrician, needs to be more eclectic in his approach to things. This is especially true because the installation and maintenance of electrical systems and electrical wiring usually work on a foundation of construction, buildings, and other forms of infrastructure that have been designed by anybody else. So basically, the electrician’s job is to make sure that electrical power moves efficiently and safely from the point of origin to the point of consumption. It is to make sure that electricity moves through wires that cross large geographical areas and through the smallest spaces in between the walls of rooms in a multistory building, eventually making its way to productive utilization. This end result is to provide power to various electrical household items like light bulbs, heaters, air conditioners, television sets, phones, etc. Throughout this entire process, an electrician works across different disciplines, gaining cooperation with other specialists, and ultimately rolling up his sleeves to get right down to the nitty-gritty of close electrical work.
Of course, oftentimes, the electrician is left with no recourse but to do most of the work himself. This is especially true when it involves maneuvering electrical cables across different areas. An electrician is expected to at least have a working familiarity with construction, with sufficient hands-on experience to know what should and should not be done from a construction point of view, integrating it closely with what he knows should and should not be done from an electrician’s point of view. And the same can certainly be said for other disciplines, such as roofing, household construction and repair, plumbing, air conditioning and heating technicians, telecommunications specialists, and yes, sometimes even historical preservation societies.
A great electrician is one adept at navigating a great number of fields, while also demonstrating expertise in his own field of practice, or when it comes to electrical systems and installations. He also needs the versatility to deal with the different demands of his work. An electrician may need to climb to rooftops or electrical poles, deal with frayed or damaged wiring in the smallest confined spaces, and diagnose whether the problem is with the wiring or cable, the power source, or the electrical equipment itself, etc. But even the best electrician knows that he needs to stay on top of his game if he wants to stay competitive, and it is always a great idea to keep expanding his knowledge base to other forms of discipline if he wants to be able to deliver even more thorough and competent service.
Below are various courses, degrees and other fields of study that a licensed electrician might wish to explore if he wishes to improve his services in the field:
First Aid and Emergency Services
Working with the inherently dangerous electricity and electrical systems, it is always a good idea for electricians to have some basic first-hand knowledge when it comes to emergency medical or health treatments and first aids. This is especially true for linemen who may work along isolated stretches of road or areas where access to immediate medical services is not so easy.
But of course, this is a necessary skill that any person should be familiar with because one never knows when an accident might occur. The necessity becomes even more necessary for electricians whose daily routine involves working with electricity, which is dangerous in and of itself and is made even more so by inattention, error, lack of proper maintenance, or even the introduction of water from whatever source.
Continuing Education for Electricians
These other fields of study aside, the electrician must not forget that there are developments and advancements in his own field, too, and which he needs to stay on top of if he wants to remain competitive. This might include education regarding any changes or amendments to building codes and standards, electrical codes, alternative or renewable energy systems, and additional training regarding new developments, new technology and new devices and equipment that are intended for electrical use.
To round things off, the most effective electrician is one who can manage to bring together the following qualities:
- Critical thinking and analytical skills
- Mathematics and algebra
- Time management
- People and leadership skills
- Administrative abilities
As can be seen from the above, being an effective electrician is much more than just knowing about electrical systems and electrical processes. One also needs to be able to bring all the crucial skills and training that he has amassed over the years to his work.