Two Things You Should Do Before Starting Electrician Trade School To Maximize Your Success

Posted on: 18 October 2016

If you are considering attending electrician school to learn this lucrative, interesting, and much-admired trade, then you have made a great career choice. However, before you begin training, you should understand what it will take to be successful in your training and move on to the ultimate goal, your journeyman electrician's license. Two of these elements include picking your apprenticeship carefully and being competent to handle the required math that will be tossed around in class and in on-the-job situations. Below are hints about these elements that can make your education the best possible experience:

Choose the right apprenticeship

Becoming a licensed electrician is more than attending formal classes, though that is obviously a critical part of the education process. The education of brand-new electrician candidates also includes an important hands-on training component that also will provide an income for you. The apprenticeship portion of electrician trade school is where you will spend the bulk of your hours as you move forward in your training. While apprenticing, you will be provided an opportunity to apply classroom skills to the job site and also learn from more experienced electricians at the same time.

This means that whenever you are seeking an apprenticeship opportunity, you should always maximize the experience. Don't seek apprenticeships solely based on an hourly pay rate; instead, look at the entire package offered to you. Look for apprenticeships where you will be challenged to grow in your knowledge, yet supported and mentored by those who are able to teach you in an encouraging manner. Ask lots of questions whenever the time comes to select an apprenticeship, and be sure of your choice before you begin employment. You will be glad you did your homework first and didn't settle for less-than-the-best experience.

Develop your math skills

When you start an apprenticeship and begin attending electrician trade school, you won't be expected to have any special knowledge of the trade. You can feel confident that you will be led step-by-step when you enter the classroom. However, one thing you can do before you start is to be sure your math skills are adequate for the task at hand. Knowing how to use applied math is important, as electricity operates according to predictable principles that can be expressed in mathematical terms.

That is why you should prepare yourself for training by strengthening any weak areas. Here are a few topics in math that you should understand well:

  • Decimals - A missed decimal place can mean the difference between getting a job right and catastrophe. That is why understanding how to know where to put a decimal after manipulating numbers via multiplication and division is important.

  • Fractions - In the United States, fractions are used extensively for measuring and for sizing a variety of objects. Be sure you know how to add and subtract fractions as well as how to divide them in half.

  • Area and volume - A number of formulas are used in calculating area of flat spaces and the volume of three-dimensional spaces, depending on the shape of those spaces. Commit these formulas to memory, and you will be able to work more quickly without having to pause to look them up.

  • Basic trigonometry - Simple trigonometry will help you calculate various working angles and other similar functions. You don't need to be an expert in trigonometry, but the more you know, the better you will be able to perform these types of calculations.

  • Algebra - Basic algebra can help in more ways than you might think. For example, if you are trying to calculate an unknown dimension but know other related dimensions, algebra can be used to find those "hidden" values.

  • Conducting measurements - The proper use of measuring tapes, rules, calipers, micrometers, and other instruments is important to electrician work. Keep in mind the adage "garbage in, garbage out" applies to this concept as much as to any other scenario, as you won't be able to perform a good, safe job if your measurements are out of whack.

For more information on how to obtain your electrician's certification, contact a school like the HVAC Technical Institute.