How to Become an Electrician

Electricians work with tools, read blueprints, and troubleshoot problems. A career as an electrician may be a good fit for people with strong problem-solving skills and the desire to do hands-on work.


Becoming an electrician typically requires a high school diploma and a 4- to 5-year apprenticeship. However, trade schools can also offer the appropriate basic classes. Call Us Today for more details.

Electrical wiring is the network of wires that distributes electricity to switches, outlets and other devices. It also ensures that the flow of current is regulated to prevent short circuits and other hazards. The system is crucial to any modern home, and it requires professional installation to ensure safety.

There are many types of electrical wires, each designed for different uses and environments. Generally, they consist of a conductor part made of copper and wrapped in a non-conductive sheath. The sheath may be made of different materials, but it is always insulated. There are also many code requirements for electrical wiring, based on local laws and regulations.

Some examples include:

Ideally, all electrical wiring is installed by professionals. This will help to prevent fires and other hazards. In addition, the installers will follow any applicable codes and standards. These include the National Electrical Code (NEC), which sets minimum acceptable standards for most areas in the United States. There are also local ordinances, which tend to be more stringent than the national code and must be followed by anyone who works with electricity. In some places, the code requirements are so strict that only a licensed electrician can perform household wiring. In others, the work is inspected by a city or state inspector at several stages before permission is given to energize the wiring. This helps to avoid problems such as electric shocks or fires. The code requirements may also specify the type of cable or conduit used. For example, Romex cable is often used in homes, while NM or armored cable is preferred in commercial buildings. Other factors, such as the distance between devices and the type of construction, may also dictate the types of wires that are used.


Grounding is an essential component of electrical wiring. It creates a low-resistance path for electricity to flow to the ground, protecting people and equipment from fires and injuries. It’s also used to protect against lightning strikes and electrical noise, helping ensure that circuits are properly tripped and shut down in case of a malfunction.

During a short circuit, electrical current wants to find the shortest and easiest path to the ground. This could be through a person’s body or through an object that is conductive. Without grounding, this current could cause serious injury or even death. Grounding prevents this by connecting the non-current carrying part of an electrical system to the ground through a wire.

A licensed electrician will be able to tell you if your home has proper grounding, and they can install a grounding rod if needed. The rod is typically an 8-foot long copper wire that’s driven into the soil outside your home, usually at least a foot away from any buried pipes or cables.

If you don’t have a grounding wire in your home, you should get one installed as soon as possible. Ungrounded outlets are extremely dangerous, increasing the risk of electrical shock and putting your family at risk of injury. To prevent this from happening, trust the experienced electricians at Mister Sparky to assess your home’s safety and install any necessary grounding. Call to schedule an appointment today!


Loads are the primary force that acts upon a structure or structural element. They are defined by the design code structural engineers follow, such as Eurocode and ASCE. Loads are divided into two categories: dead and live loads. Both are important to understand, as they impact the safety and longevity of structures.

Dead loads are the permanent load on a building, such as the weight of the walls, roof, beams and columns. These are typically calculated using volume contributions and multiplied by unit weights. This is a process that takes time and requires a lot of attention to detail.

A more common way of calculating the electrical load is to add up the wattage of all general lighting circuits and plug-in outlet circuits, then multiply this number by 0.4. Next, compare this number to the total wattage of your air conditioner and add the larger of these numbers to the total. This will give you a good estimate of how many amps your home uses at maximum power.

Live loads, also known as imposed loads, are temporary and can change over time. For example, a building may have a high occupant load during business hours, but this will drop off at night and on weekends. Additionally, the intensity of these loads will change over time as well. For example, a crowd of people at a concert will likely be much greater than the average crowd of people.

Understanding your electrical load is crucial for homeowners as it can help them control their energy usage and reduce demand charges on their electric bills. For example, if you’re considering a solar system, understanding your electrical load will allow you to choose the right size of solar panels for your house.


An ammeter is a tool that is used to measure the current of electricity flowing through a circuit. It can be connected directly to a circuit, but it is usually better to use a shunt resistor, which creates a small voltage across the shunt that allows the meter to read the actual current without affecting other elements in the circuit. When using an ammeter, it is important to follow all safety precautions when connecting it.

Electricians rely on ammeter tools to ensure the accuracy and reliability of their work. These devices can detect a wide range of electrical signals and are essential for troubleshooting and repairs. For example, they can determine whether a wire is carrying an electrical current or not by measuring the resistance of the wire or conducting a continuity test. They can also check the insulation of a cable by connecting it to a voltage tester or ground-fault interrupter (GFCI) tester.

To set up an ammeter, you need to make a break in the circuit at either the negative terminal or power input. Next, you need to connect the ammeter leads to the broken circuit. For example, you might attach the black lead to the negative side of the circuit and the red lead to the positive side.

Another type of ammeter is a current clamp, which combines the functions of an ammeter and a voltage tester. These devices have insulated plier-like jaws that close around a wire or conductor, allowing them to measure current and voltage without having to disconnect the wire. Some of these devices have multiple sensor coils within the jaws, which allow them to access dual conductors in a single cable.


The multimeter gets overlooked in the shadow of power tools like drills and sanders, but it can be just as useful. Whether you’re determining an outlet voltage, testing continuity or checking large capacitors for leakage, a multimeter can be your best friend. These devices combine the capabilities of a standard ohmmeter (for measuring resistance), ammeter (for measuring amps) and voltmeter (for measuring volts). They also usually have a number of advanced options that allow them to perform specialized tasks.

Most modern multimeters have two wired probes, colored red and black, that plug into the meter’s ports. The probes have a metal tip on one end and a banana type connector on the other that connects to the meter. The black probe plugs into the meter’s COM port, while the red probe plugs into the meter’s terminal labeled Volts (V) or Ohms (the omega symbol).

Using a multimeter is very simple. First, place the black probe against a power source that you want to test for voltage. Next, set the meter to the proper voltage reading by turning the selection knob to the right value. Each setting represents a different maximum voltage that the meter can read. For example, if you’re testing a 1.5V battery, use the 2V setting on the dial.

Some multimeters are autoranging, which makes them much easier to use. However, if you’re using an older, manual-ranging model, make sure you set it to the proper range before connecting it to a power source. Never touch the meter to any live circuit without ensuring it’s in the correct mode, and never test for current (amps) on a circuit that is not designed for it—this can damage the meter.