So You Want My Trade: Electrician


Hey, readers! Have you ever heard of The Art of Manliness? Well, on their website they have a really cool series of articles called So You Want My Trade. Since we know a lot of our readers are aspiring electricians, we thought we’d share the “So You Want My Trade: Electrician” article with all of you. Here’s the link:


It’s ok if you don’t have the time to read it all the way through; we’ve summed it up for you here:


Meet Matt, The Electrician

  • Matt Day is a 35-year-old electrician. He is married with two kids, he lives in Indiana and he has been working as an electrician for a little over 16 years. He began his career as an electrician at 19 working on the construction side, but he became a railroad electrician about 5 years ago.


Why Did Matt Want To Become An Electrician?

  • Originally Matt actually wanted to be an architect, but once he learned some of basics of electrical work he was hooked. He loves the technical nature and excitement involved in his job, he also enjoys getting to work outside and in a variety of locations. One of his favorite parts of being an electrician is getting to work with his hands, which he says “makes you feel strong, independent, and manly.”


What Have Matt’s Different Electrical Jobs Been Like?

  • Construction: Matt explains that there are three sectors in construction:
    • Commercial
    • Residential
    • Industrial
  • The primary difference between these three sectors is the scale of the job. He says that with most construction electrical jobs, no matter the scale, electricians follow a layout provided by an architect or engineer. However, the electricians often need make alterations and modifications to the plans because blueprints very rarely accurately reflect reality. He adds that since there has been a push towards green energy in recent years more and more electricians who work in construction need to know how to work with photovoltaic and wind systems.
  • Railroads: Matt explains that the same basic skill set is required when working as a railroad electrician as when working as an electrician in construction, but that the focus is a slightly different. When working on railroads, the emphasis is more on maintenance and less on construction. Another difference is that he travels much further when working on the railroad.


What is an average day like for an electrician?

  • Matt tells us that when it comes to construction, deadlines are strict and things move at a pretty fast pace. This is because many construction jobs are bid on, so the more quickly you complete your work the more the contractor gets paid.
  • Working as a railroad electrician is a bit slower paced, but that the expectations are similar: “There will always be conduit, wiring and other equipment to install and fix.”


What Is The Best Part Of His Career As An Electrician?

  • Matt says that his favorite part of his job as an electrician is that he gets to do something different every day--he gets to travel to various locations and explore different aspects of the trade each day. He says, “I’m not an assembly line or office person, never have been. I have nothing against that career path, I just love the freedom that comes with working with the trades. While others are wondering ‘what’s it like outside,’ I know what it’s like because I’m in it.”


Matt’s Parting Advice:


  • “Being an electrician is an excellent career choice and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Whether it’s the young man just out of high school, or the not so young man wanting to make a career change. Being an electrician, just as any other skilled trade, is a skill you have for life.”



Matt is obviously an advocate of the electrician trade, and here at NCE we are are, too! Over the years we have successfully helped hundreds of people in the Sacramento area begin rewarding careers as electricians. And we can do the same for you! Our Electrical Technician program here in Rancho Cordova can be completed in as little as 10.5 months. We also provide job placement services so you can jump right into your new career once you complete the program.


Learn more about our electrical program and our career services by calling NCE today!


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