Electrician training is hands-on work, but it also requires some academic and book knowledge. To prepare for your electrician education, it’s a great idea to get a head start on learning the important terms electricians need to use on the job. This list will get you started with 25 important electrical terms. The number of jobs for electricians is growing every day and getting into this line of work is a smart move. All you need to get on the path to becoming a professional electrician is the right education. As you get ready to start an electrician training program, you’re probably eager to learn your new trade right now. If you haven’t started your program yet, you can get started by learning some of the more common technical terms that electricians use regularly. By learning some of these terms now, you’ll make a good impression on your instructors and let them know you are serious about electrical trade school. Getting a head start may also erase some of the anxiety you may feel over starting something new. Being prepared now means you will be ready to go on day one of classes. Basic Electrical Circuit Terms Starting with the basics, electrician training means you will be learning all about electric circuits. A circuit is a path that a current of electrons flows through. Here are some of the related terms you’ll want to know. Alternating Current (AC). This is a type of current that reverses direction with a regular pattern, usually several times per second. Direct Current (DC). A direct current is a current that only flows in one direction through a circuit. You won’t work much with DC current in electrical trade schools, as most modern circuits are AC. A fuse is a device that is used to interrupt the current in a circuit for reasons of safety. When the current in the circuit gets too high, a strip of wire in the fuse melts and breaks the circuit. The fuse has to be replaced to get current going through the circuit again. Also referred to the Earth, the ground is a reference point. Voltage is measured with respect to the ground. The term also refers to the return path that electric current takes. When a circuit is grounded it protects people from dangerous levels of current and voltage. In electrician training, you will work with many loads. A load is anything that uses up electrical energy. Lights, motors, and transformers are just a few examples. A circuit that has become overloaded is dangerous. Overload refers to the use of equipment in a circuit that exceeds its capacity and creates more current than the circuit can handle safely. Eventually, an overload will lead to overheating and damage to the circuit and components. Parallel Circuit. In a parallel circuit, current can flow through multiple, parallel paths. Full voltage goes to each load connected in the circuit. Series Circuit. In a series circuit, there is only one path for electrical current. With loads connected in series, the amount of voltage through each one is different. Short Circuit. A short circuit is a fault in a circuit that causes current to take a different path. This sometimes causes damage, but certainly wastes energy and is usually caused by poor insulation of the circuit. Electrician Training Tools When you start your classes in trade school, electrician tools will be important for hands-on learning. It helps to know what some of these are before the first day, so you won’t feel lost. An ammeter is a tool that measures the amount of current in a circuit. With a traditional ammeter, current is measured by placing the ammeter in series in a circuit, which necessarily interrupts the circuit. A clamp-on style ammeter can be used without disrupting the circuit. A conductor is anything that will allow electrical current to flow through it. Metals are materials that conduct well and are considered conductors, which is why circuits are made of metal wires. Aluminum and copper are most commonly used. Digital Multimeter. Your most useful tool in electrician training will be the all-purpose multimeter. This is a tool that can do it all: measure current, capacitance, resistance, voltage, frequency, and temperature. A generator changes mechanical energy into electrical energy. They come in many different forms, but basically generators run nearly all power grids by providing the electrical energy we all use. An insulator is the opposite of a conductor. It resists the flow of current. In electrical work it is used to protect circuits, to keep the current contained within the circuit, and to protect people from electric shocks. This is a device made of a coil of conductive metal wire. When current is sent through the coil it becomes magnetic. Electrical Units and Measurements Electrician training comes with math and calculations, but they are mostly simple. It becomes especially easy to understand the math behind electrical work and circuits when you understand the measurements and units. Current and Amperes. Current is the flow of electrons through a circuit and the amount of current in a circuit is measured in units of amperes, or amps for short. This is why the tool for measuring current is called an ammeter. Capacitance and Farads. A capacitor is something you will use often in electrical trade school. It is a circuit element that holds electrical charge and capacitance is a measurement of how much charge it can hold. This is measured in units called farads. Power and Watts. Another measurement you will learn about in electrician training is power. Electrical power is a measurement how fast electrical energy can be transferred through a circuit. The basic unit for measuring power is the watt, but kilowatt is used more often. Resistance and Ohms. Different materials resist electrical current to varying degrees and resistance is a measurement of that. Insulators have higher resistances than conductors. An ohm is the basic unit of measurement for resistance. Voltage and Volts. […]
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If you’re tired of your dead end job, of working hard and barely earning enough to scrape by, and if you dream of having a career that is more interesting than just punching the clock every day, electrician trade school could be your next step. Electricians work in a variety of settings, from small businesses servicing residential homes to large companies installing electrical systems for commercial buildings and everything in between. They make good money, work reasonable hours, and are presented with interesting challenges every day on the job. If you have been debating whether or not to go for a career change, here are just a few of the top reasons you can expect your life to only get better once you decide to enroll in Florida Technical College’s Electrical Diploma Program. You Will Earn More as an Electrician If you work hard at a full time job, but still struggle to get the bills paid, your life becomes all about money and work. Your whole life begins to revolve around money, trying to earn more, and worrying about what will happen when you run short of cash. You don’t have to live that way anymore, and the answer is to learn a skilled trade. With training you can expect to land a better paying career as an electrician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the median salary for an electrician is $51,880 or $24.94 per hour. Imagine earning that much or even more as you gain experience and work your way up to higher positions. Life gets easier as your earnings go up. You Won’t Have to Spend Years in Electrician Trade School Some careers require a lot of education, and some people spend four or more years earning a degree with no real career options. To pass FTC’s diploma program you need just nine months and you’ll graduate knowing you are ready to be hired quickly. Becoming an electrician doesn’t require a lot of schooling because much of the learning happens on the job. Once you have your diploma and land a position, you’ll keep on learning through apprenticeship and hands-on training. Finally Get the Relief that Comes with Job Security Having job security is not something everyone enjoys, but once you get it, you’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Job security means you can relax and enjoy the rest of your life without worrying about being laid off. If you have a family this is especially important. Knowing you will always be able to provide is a great feeling. Electricians will always be in demand because all buildings need electrical systems. New buildings need installation and older buildings need fixes and updates. Electricians are needed to install alarm systems and telecommunication networks, and to maintain or inspect electrical systems. Enjoy Your Job Every Day If you’ve been working a mindless job, you will enjoy learning new skills in electrician trade school and having a career that challenges you every day. Electrical work is a skilled trade that presents new learning opportunities each day on the job. You can expect to problem solve and troubleshoot at work instead of just going through the motions. As an electrician you will also find that you get a variety of settings in which to work. One day you may be installing a brand new system in a new building, while the next you might be making a repair in an apartment. Some days you may work closely with other electricians, while on other days you work independently. No day is ever exactly the same as the last. Never Have a Boss again, Become an Entrepreneur Once you finish electrician trade school, you will see that you have a lot of options when it comes to where and how you work. You can work for a company of any size, or you can even choose to strike out on your own. If you have always wanted to be your own boss, you can start your own electrical business and get the freedom and challenge of working for yourself. Being an entrepreneur and small business owner isn’t easy, but if you’re interested in the challenge it can be really rewarding. Successfully starting and running a business takes hard work, dedication, and determination. The reward is answering only to yourself and knowing that it is up to you to succeed or to fail. You Can Start Right Now As long as you finished high school, you can get started today on your future as an electrician. You don’t have to accumulate any amount of college credits or prerequisites, just enroll today and start learning. Electrician trade school is your next step. To learn more about what FTC has to offer, contact the school for information about the Electrical Diploma Program and to find out more about how you can get a better life as an electrician.