Can We Call You An Electrician?
In the timeline of human history, electric power and its ability to enhance our lives is just a blip. The generation of electricity has certainly changed in the 140 years since its discovery and continues to evolve. Similarly, electrical training has to change to support the technologies we require and appreciate today.
Training the electrician of tomorrow cannot be left up to the 1970’s template of requiring 1,000 hours doing this task and 1,500 hours doing that task. We have become too specialized. Do not get me wrong, there is still room for the person who wants to pull wire, run conduit and troubleshoot occupancies with power issues. But what about the need to design, build and maintain a system that is 100% off grid? Or follow a trend-setting new type of electrical installation across the country with skills that only can be honed while working on that new technology?
The career path of a person entering the electrical profession today is full of opportunity and potential success. I still believe that an apprenticeship should be a required component of that plan, but should it still contain prerequisites that may not be applicable to the job or technologies that you are working on? It should have opportunities to choose a training path that leads to additional knowledge and specialized skills, while making you valuable to the employer or the client. But you also need to be willing to accept new technologies and be able to flip in the middle of the ride and change to another direction. This will assure your success and secure a place for you in this industry.
At Faith Technologies, we have reimagined what training an electrician looks like. While most apprenticeships are pushing for a four- or five-year program, we have a “learn and earn” program that allows you to advance at your own pace and get paid more for every successfully completed module. We have a team of dedicated instructors and staff committed to the success of the trainee. After that, we focus on helping our learners pass the state exam required to become journeymen. And you can do all this while working and making money as opposed to building debt. We have opportunities in our ICIAN program where we train to specific skill sets for unique client and industry demands. Our ICIAN specialists work in concert with engineers, designers, vendors and customers to deliver goods and services that enhance our lives with the use of electricity in ways we could only imagine not too long ago. Technician, electrician, data-ician, microgrid-ician; you get the picture.
I have recently been working to secure approval for continuing education units (CEUs) for some of our courses and can say that never before has training and continuous improvement been so important to the success of an individual than today. Like many other professions, additional personal investment into focused training and education is needed to stay ahead of the technical curve and remain successful in this ever-changing discovery called electricity.
Never stop learning! Once a person tops out as a journeyman, sometimes they feel as if their education is completed. No, it’s just getting started. Even though you may rarely open another code book, focus on learning and improving yourself to be the best that you can be. Maybe one day you will be called something other than an electrician: how about superintendent or project manager? Or maybe you will be called electrical designer or pre-construction manager, quality controller or ICIAN. We cannot or should not expect a one-size-fits-all approach to training the electrician of today. There has never been an electrician who knows it all. Just look at the code book; we have special articles on wind, solar PV systems, signs, swimming pools, elevators and cranes. Even more recently, the code has expanded to microgrids, low voltage suspended ceiling power and energy storage systems.
Here at Faith Technologies, we may call you something other than an electrician. But whatever you are called, I can guarantee that everyone will call you trained, skilled and ultimately successful.