During a career change decision process, it is important to consider your personality traits and existing skill base. Before opting for a career in the electrical trade, you should consider whats makes a good electrician and evaluate whether this fits with you.
Of course, technical skill is the most essential aspect of the job, but this can be acquired through the right training. To help you figure out whether electrical work is the right career path for you, we’ve outlined some of the other key traits that make a successful electrician.
Hard skills for the electrical trade
As we’ve noted, technical skill is a vital part of working as an electrician, but there are also a number of other hard skills that will equip you to excel at the job. Here, we’ll focus on just two hard skills that are required to succeed in the electrical trade: mathematics and problem-solving skills.
Mathematics, physics, and algebra
Whether it’s taking measurements or calculating power and voltages, mathematics is key to nearly everything an electrician does. Whilst many jobs require a basic understanding of maths, physics, and algebra, electricians need a greater understanding of these subjects. For example, it’s important to master Ohm’s Law, which every electrician needs to work out current, voltage, and resistance.
Arguably one of the most important skills an electrician must possess is problem-solving. A typical working day for an electrician often consists of diagnosing and repairing electrical issues from anywhere between blown fuses to re-wiring a whole house. Furthermore, whilst on call, you will be solely responsible for responding to issues and, more often than not, will involve thinking outside-the-box.
Soft skills needed by electricians
For the most part, the work carried out by electricians takes place in social environments. Particularly if you work as a domestic electrician, you’ll need to be good at working with others, managing your time, communicating effectively, and maintaining great client relationships through an honest and patient approach.
Working with others
Whilst working on the job, electricians will need to work with a whole range of people such as homeowners, project managers and estimators. Whether it’s keeping customers up to date with project developments or working alongside other contractors, effective people skills are essential in their role. Making customers feel comfortable and reassured, especially during a time of crisis, is a great ability to have.
Whilst nearly every job requires you to have some understanding of time management, this becomes even more relevant for an electrician – especially when working as a larger part of a team. Often, employers will need accurate estimates for things such as labour and cost, therefore an electricians ability to predict both of these whilst sticking to a strict schedule is a must-have skill.
Communication skills are very important as a certified electrician. Whether you’re an experienced electrician, leading a team of younger members or just starting off in your career – communication is key. On the job, you will be expected to understand the importance of providing excellent customer service, manage interactions with businesses and organisations, and relay any unexpected roadblocks upon fixing them.
Simply put, honesty means communicating the challenges being faced and then working to resolve those challenges. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to electrical issues. Each client is different and has different needs. As an electrician, it is vital to always remain honest about what’s going on and keep the client up to date.
Patience is a key element of success in the workplace. In some situations, the reality of the electrical issues you’re called out to fix could be worse than the description you were given. Equally, you may meet people who are difficult to work with or for. Remaining calm and professional will help you think through problems logically and ease any worry from clients.
Hopefully this blog has helped you to understand what makes a good electrician and work out if it’s right for you. For more information on what electricians get up to and why you might want to get into the trade, take a look at our previous post.