What Do Electricians Study? 5 Key Areas for All Electrical Technicians to Master

A career in electrical work can be financially rewarding and intellectually stimulating. Electricians are crucial to society, ensuring that people have access to safe and reliable electrical systems.

However, to be a successful electrician, you must master specific skills, from understanding electrical circuits and systems to troubleshooting and repairing. This will make you more competent in your field and enhance your problem-solving abilities.

To help aspiring individuals navigate the path to success, this article explores six critical areas for all electrical technicians to master.

1. Electrical Codes and Standards

Electrical technicians must understand electrical codes to ensure compliance with industry best practices and safety regulations. First, they must master the National Electrical Code (NEC), which offers guidelines for electrical installations. These codes specify wiring methods, electrical panels, grounding, and more requirements.

In addition to NEC, electricians must be familiar with other significant standards and regulations. This includes the local building codes, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, and environmental regulations. 

Studying electrical codes and standards involves learning about the different sections, articles, and requirements and interpreting them correctly.

2. Electrical Circuits and Components

A thorough understanding of electrical circuits is compulsory for electricians to diagnose and troubleshoot electrical problems, complete installations, and design systems efficiently. You can find this knowledge in basic circuit principles, including Ohm’s Law, Kirchhoff’s Laws, and the properties of series and parallel circuits.

Additionally, electricians must be knowledgeable about various types of key electrical components, such as capacitors, resistors, relays, and switches. Understanding how these elements work and interact is vital in repairing systems. 

Learning to read and interpret electrical diagrams and schematics is also essential, providing visual representations of circuits and connections. This skill is particularly vital when working with complex electrical components. 

3. Electrical Safety

Electricians work with potentially dangerous electrical currents and equipment. Therefore, proper training and study in electrical safety procedures is necessary to help prevent accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.

Fundamentals of electrical safety is a compulsory unit that teaches aspiring electricians several things, including the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE), arc flash protection, and lockout/tagout procedures. Additionally, students learn about the hazards associated with electrical shock, electrical burns, and electrical fires.

Electricians must also be trained in emergency response procedures and first aid to handle critical situations carefully.

4. Electrical Systems Installation and Maintenance

Electricians specialize in installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems. That makes studying techniques and best practices involved in these processes vital.

Electrical systems installation involves learning about proper wiring methods, conduit installation, grounding techniques, and electrical panel installation. Aspiring technicians must also be proficient in reading blueprints and following electrical diagrams to ensure accurate and efficient installations.

Besides installations, electricians must be competent in the principles of electrical system maintenance. They should be able to identify signs of wear, degradation, or malfunction in electrical equipment and take appropriate actions to prevent failures or hazards.

5. Communication and Documentation

Effective communication and documentation skills are indispensable for electricians. They must communicate with clients, team members, and other professionals to understand project requirements, provide updates, and coordinate tasks.

Having top communication skills enables electricians to seamlessly convey technical information to individuals with varying levels of electrical knowledge. It also makes it convenient for technicians to explain complex concepts clearly and concisely, ensuring that everyone involved in a project understands the scope and requirements.

Lastly, electrical technicians must learn to create and maintain detailed documentation, including work orders, equipment specifications, and inspection reports. Accurate documentation is vital for compliance and future reference.

How to Get Certified as an Electrician

Certification is crucial in building credibility and advancing your career in electrical work. While the requirements for electrician certification may vary, all states necessitate these technicians to have a combination of education, practical experience, and passing an examination.

Generally, aspiring technicians must complete a formal electrical apprenticeship program, which features classroom instruction with hands-on training. After completing the required apprenticeship hours, individuals can apply for the certification exam. 

Successful completion of the exam demonstrates the candidate’s knowledge and competence in the field, leading to the award of an electrician certification.


Working as an electrician is satisfying as you earn a good salary and pride yourself in illuminating other people’s lives. However, to achieve your goal, you must acquire knowledge in the above areas and be proficient in what you do. Don’t forget the power of certification, as it establishes you as a credible technician among clients and hiring companies.