Frequently Asked Questions about the Electrical Industry:

Why should I consider a career in the electrical construction industry?

Construction is the largest industry in the country - larger than steel and automobile combined. Just look around you, construction is a part of nearly everything you see, touch and do. Your home, school, mall, grocery store... The Empire State Building, The BankOne Ballpark, Hoover Dam, Sears Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, Windsor Castle, the Capitol building in Washington, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel tower... Construction is huge!

Our industry needs 240,000 craft workers every year to keep up with all the construction projects nationwide. Well trained electricians are needed everywhere--even in your city!

There are lots of options and opportunities. Because our industry is so large it is also very diverse. Here are just a few professions - all within the electrical industry: Apprentice Electrician, Journey Level Electrician, Master Electrician, Foreman/Supervisor, Project Estimator, Project Manager, Electrical Engineer, and
Electrical Contractor Ownership.

The construction industry is constantly developing ways to use technology to produce a better product. Much of our work requires computers, lasers and other technological mechanisms. The American Electrical Training Center will offer the latest technology updates for the industry.

Pride. This is one profession where you can see the results of your efforts. There is an immense feeling of pride knowing that you contributed to the construction of a skyscraper, bridge, highway, hospital, or church.

What kind of people is the construction industry looking for?

Highly-motivated, responsible individuals with a desire to learn and work. People who take their future and career seriously and are looking for challenging work with substantial rewards. People who want to build a successful career that allows them to provide for a family, live in a safe community and enjoy the good things in life.

What kind of salary can I expect as an electrical apprentice or journey-level electrician?

The income potential in the electrical industry is unlimited. Beginning electrical apprentices in Arizona can make between $17,500 and $37,500 during their apprenticeship. Graduate students can earn more. As you advance in your electrical career, the sky is the limit!

What training/education do I need?

You can begin electrical craft training by taking classes through the American Electrical Training Center. All types of courses are offered, including safety, mathematics, "soft-skills",  and leadership skills. The good news is that while you are learning - you can be earning - by working with companies that value your education and career goals. The more training you get, the more marketable you will be, and the more money you will make!

What is the career path in the construction industry?

Once you have entered the construction work force and gotten some experience and additional training you can advance to a Supervisor/Foreman position, and then on to a Management position such as Project Manager or Estimator. Many individuals who begin as Craft people can progress to upper level Management positions, such as Vice President or they can own their own construction company. The sky is the limit for skilled individuals who are motivated and responsible.

Can I work year round?

Yes. Construction is not a seasonal business. In colder climates, systems have been developed to enable construction work to proceed even when the temperature drops and the snow falls. And, remember, the inside of a building has to be built too. The walls have to be framed, dry walled and painted, the electricity and plumbing have to be installed and we can't forget the floors.

Are there travel/relocation opportunities?

There are all kinds of opportunities! Contractors generally have several construction projects going at the same time. As projects are completed, new ones are begun. Many contractors build in several states and many also build in different countries. And if you are not interested in travel, construction can still be your field. When large industrial facilities are built -power plants, water treatment facilities, dams, for example - highly-skilled craft people are needed at the facility to make sure everything continues to run smoothly.

How do I start?

Talk to your parents, teachers and guidance counselors. Register in your school's construction program, and work hard to do well. Ask your school to contact the American Electrical Training Center to set up a pre-apprenticeship program at your school. Get involved in a summer work-study program. If you already have your high school diploma, you can begin training right now! Register for classes today and get a jump-start on learning the electrical trade. The American Electrical Training Center will assist you in finding employment with an electrical contractor in your area.

Can I start training in one electrical area and change to another?

You bet! All students of the American Electrical Training Center start out in Electrical Level E1A. This introductory term gives students an opportunity to learn more about the electrical industry. Students will choose the Residential, Commercial, or Industrial track , beginning the second term. Our programs are structured as to allow students to transfer from one program to the next.

Will I be safe?

You are as safe as you want to be. It's just like everything you do in life. There are lots of safety rules and equipment to keep you safe in construction -- (hard hats, fall protection equipment, steel-toed boots, etc.) But if you ignore the rules and don't use the equipment, you won't be safe. The American Electrical Training Center offers the Electrical Safety Training Program, and reviews safety practices during each training unit.

What opportunities are there for females and minorities?

The same opportunities which exist for everybody. The bottom line is that the construction industry needs motivated, responsible and talented individuals. It doesn't matter what gender or ethnic background you represent.

How many construction business owners started as craft people?

Lots. Estimates are that 30% of apprentices move on to own their own companies. The construction industry presents fantastic business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

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