Is Working as an Electrician Hard on the Body?
BECOMING A TRADESPERSON MEANS THAT YOUR DAY-TO-DAY WORK WILL BE PHYSICAL. BUT SOME TRADES ARE MORE INTENSIVE THAN OTHERS. AS AN ELECTRICIAN, YOU WON'T ENDURE NEARLY THE SAME PHYSCIAL DEMAND COMPARED TO OTHER TRADE JOBS!
November 3, 2020
If you have been considering a career as an electrician, you may have wondered what kind of physical toll it might take on your body. As with plumbers, ironworkers, and bricklayers (just to name a few!), electricians are tradespeople who are on their feet for much of the workday.
For some people, it can be daunting to take on a physical job, even at the very real prospect of a steady income and growing job opportunities that the electrical field—and many other trade careers—have to offer.
As an electrician, you won’t be subjected to nearly the same physical toll as people in other trades.
All trades require some amount of bending, crouching, lifting, pulling, and climbing. How much of a strain your day-to-day work is really comes down to your job duties.
We have discussed what an electrician does to give you an idea of what the work entails. Here is a summary of what electricians are responsible for:
- Lifting sections of conduit
- Pulling cable
- Installing electrical infrastructure
- Replacing wires and other electrical infrastructure
- Reading blueprints
In order to do the above, electricians are required to stand, bend, or kneel for prolonged periods based on the task at hand. In general, there is some variability as to what you can expect when you show up for work. Some days are more strenuous than others.
When comparing this type of work with, for example, a general construction tradesperson, it becomes clear that electricians are subject to much less physical stress.
Those working in construction often work in confined spaces, do repetitive tasks, work around and with hazardous material, operate multi-ton machinery, and can even experience excess vibration to the hands and arms working with specialized tools. While working in general construction is a great way to pick up a variety of skills, long-term work in this type of field is really hard on the body, especially compared to work as an electrician.
In many ways, a career in the electrical field is also more preferable than an office job (when it comes to your body, at least), as sitting for long periods can lead to a variety of health problems.
Working as an electrician means there is a risk of electric shock, but proper training and caution can help prevent this.
An electric shock is a serious injury that electricians are faced with, given they work with wires on a daily basis . Complications of an electric shock include burns, dizziness, muscle pain, loss of consciousness, and in serious cases, it can even lead to death. However, do note that most of the work electricians do are with wires that are not hot.
However, taking proper safety precautions can protect against these kinds of injuries. In fact, jobsite safety is a key part of the required education for becoming an electrician.
In California, you are required to take at least 720 hours worth of training (or complete 8,000 hours of on the job training) before you can even take the state certification exam and become a licensed electrician. Electrical training courses take a very in-depth approach to on-the-job safety, making it clear how best to avoid shocks and other job hazards. Safety is a major part of the electrical trainee curriculum, ensuring all electricians know how to work safely to protect themselves and others around them.
While working with wires and electrical components does present a shock risk, the chances of injury are minimized with training and experience.
People often switch their career from a more labor intensive trade to become an electrician.
At I-TAP, we speak from experience in saying that a growing number of individuals have decided to pursue an electrical career after having worked another trade. One of the big reasons people decide to switch their trade career to electrician is because it is considered one of the less physically demanding jobs. Relative to more labor intensive jobs, you can work into retirement age as an electrician without slowing down due to the physical requirements of the job.
And if those in more physically demanding trades decide not to switch jobs to become an electrician or work in a related field, many look to move into managerial positions in which they oversee a crew while working mostly in the office. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of the best ways to become a construction manager is to first have experience working in the field—people that work in trades which take a toll on the body don’t work very long before looking for something a bit less demanding.
Electricians are not subjected to the harsh demands that some trades jobs require. While some people are very capable of doing these demanding jobs, after a few years it can be difficult to maintain the same level of productivity. This really isn’t the case for electricians who can work comfortably for decades without the work taking much of a physical toll on the body.
Do you want to become an electrician? Go to I-TAP! Enroll in our 26 week training course and learn everything you need to know to become a certified electrician and work a long, fulfilling career. Contact us to find out more information!
Ready to learn a skilled trade and work on some of the most exciting commercial construction projects in California and beyond?
I-TAP is an electrical apprenticeship program that helps you find your passion, grow your skills, and place you in the perfect electrician job.