The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.
Sample of reported job titles:
Control Electrician, Electrician, Industrial Electrician, Inside Wireman, Maintenance Electrician, Mechanical Trades Specialist, Wireman
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Plan layout and installation of electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures, based on job specifications and local codes.
- Connect wires to circuit breakers, transformers, or other components.
- Test electrical systems or continuity of circuits in electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures, using testing devices, such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, or oscilloscopes, to ensure compatibility and safety of system.
- Use a variety of tools or equipment, such as power construction equipment, measuring devices, power tools, and testing equipment, such as oscilloscopes, ammeters, or test lamps.
- Inspect electrical systems, equipment, or components to identify hazards, defects, or the need for adjustment or repair, and to ensure compliance with codes.
- Prepare sketches or follow blueprints to determine the location of wiring or equipment and to ensure conformance to building and safety codes.
- Diagnose malfunctioning systems, apparatus, or components, using test equipment and hand tools to locate the cause of a breakdown and correct the problem.
- Work from ladders, scaffolds, or roofs to install, maintain, or repair electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures.
- Advise management on whether continued operation of equipment could be hazardous.
- Maintain current electrician’s license or identification card to meet governmental regulations.
- Place conduit, pipes, or tubing, inside designated partitions, walls, or other concealed areas, and pull insulated wires or cables through the conduit to complete circuits between boxes.
- Direct or train workers to install, maintain, or repair electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures.
- Repair or replace wiring, equipment, or fixtures, using hand tools or power tools.
- Install ground leads and connect power cables to equipment, such as motors.
- Assemble, install, test, or maintain electrical or electronic wiring, equipment, appliances, apparatus, or fixtures, using hand tools or power tools.
- Perform business management duties, such as maintaining records or files, preparing reports, or ordering supplies or equipment.
- Fasten small metal or plastic boxes to walls to house electrical switches or outlets.
- Construct or fabricate parts, using hand tools, according to specifications.
- Perform physically demanding tasks, such as digging trenches to lay conduit or moving or lifting heavy objects.
- Provide assistance during emergencies by operating floodlights or generators, placing flares, or driving needed vehicles.
- Provide preliminary sketches or cost estimates for materials or services.
- Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Installation — Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without ‘giving out’ or fatiguing.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Detailed Work Activities
- Plan layout of construction, installation, or repairs.
- Install electrical components, equipment, or systems.
- Test electrical equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning.
- Inspect electrical or electronic systems for defects.
- Create construction or installation diagrams.
- Repair electrical equipment.
- Communicate with other construction or extraction personnel to discuss project details.
- Thread wire or cable through ducts or conduits.
- Update job related knowledge or skills.
- Direct construction or extraction personnel.
- Train construction or extraction personnel.
- Assist skilled construction or extraction personnel.
- Order construction or extraction materials or equipment.
- Prepare operational reports.
- Estimate construction project costs.
- Fabricate parts or components.
- Dig holes or trenches.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 81% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 74% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 90% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 66% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 71% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 48% responded “Very important.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 55% responded “High responsibility.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 46% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 54% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 49% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 51% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 45% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 52% responded “Very important results.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 44% responded “High responsibility.”
- Exposed to High Places — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 34% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 46% responded “More than half the time.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 58% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 40% responded “More than half the time.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 31% responded “Every day.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles — 31% responded “About half the time.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 29% responded “More than half the time.”
- Electronic Mail — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 75% responded “40 hours.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 28% responded “Fairly important.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 32% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Outdoors, Under Cover — 56% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 47% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Deal With External Customers — 31% responded “Fairly important.”
- Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 51% responded “Less than half the time.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to|
Interest code: RIC
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- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$27.36 hourly, $56,900 annual|
|Employment (2019)||739,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||
Much faster than average (8% or higher)
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||82,200|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data
and 2019-2029 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
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