Electrician Skills: Definition, Examples and How To Improve
Updated June 29, 2023
Electricians perform numerous tasks, from installing and repairing wiring to maintaining electrical systems. To succeed in this role, you need various technical and soft skills. Understanding the skills required by potential employers can help you highlight your relevant qualifications during the application process and demonstrate what makes you the right candidate for the job.
In this article, we provide examples of 50 electrician skills, steps to improve them and tips to highlight them when applying to jobs.
Related: Learn About Being an Electrician
What are electrician skills?
Electrician skills refer to the various abilities that an electrician utilizes to perform their job. These skills represent soft skills, such as communication or problem-solving, and technical skills related to electrical work. Technical skills and knowledge ensure that you conduct the tasks associated with your job effectively and safely. Soft skills also influence how you perform your job and help create a positive experience for your customers and colleagues.
When looking at job postings, pay attention to the skills mentioned by the employer. As you apply for jobs, you should mention those specific skills to demonstrate that you understand the role's expectations and have the relevant skills to perform your tasks effectively. These skills showcase your value to employers, helping you engage their attention and potentially gain interviews or jobs. You can develop your skill set through formal training or personal development opportunities while working.
Related: How To Become an Electrician
50 examples of electrician skills
An electrician often utilizes diverse skills while on the job. These skills and abilities fall under several categories. You can use the following list as guidance for the skills needed to be an electrician and perform successfully:
Technical skills are also known as hard skills. These skills demonstrate that you have the knowledge needed to perform specific electrician tasks. You can often gain these skills through electrician training and apprenticeships. These skills may vary on the role but typically are related to performing electrical installations, repairs and maintenance tasks. As an electrician, you must know relevant safety regulations and electrical codes to complete your job correctly. Some examples of the technical skills required for electricians include:
Installing and maintaining electrical systems, equipment and devices
Using and maintaining hand and power tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers and drills
Repairing wiring systems
Installing electrical conduits, cables, tubing
Testing equipment, instruments and systems
Knowledge of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
Knowledge of National Electric Code and local electric codes
Knowledge of safety standards and procedures
Commercial experience, construction experience or industrial experience
Quality assurance skills
One of your primary responsibilities as an electrician is to diagnose and solve electrical issues for customers. When working independently, you must identify solutions yourself and cannot rely on others for help. Problem-solving skills enable you to assess various situations and use technical knowledge and critical thinking to determine solutions. As part of this process, you need analytical skills to compare different options against one another until you find the most appropriate one. Some examples of the necessary problem-solving skills and abilities for electricians include:
Reading and analyzing blueprints and schematics
Diagnosing electrical system malfunctions and failures
Performing electrical risk assessments
Assessing electrical processes and procedures
Pursuing knowledge and training on evolving practices or technology
Critical thinking skills
Attention to detail
The role of an electrician can be demanding, so employers appreciate candidates with general good health and particular physical abilities. While there are no specific physical requirements, you should have the physical strength to work with and hold heavy objects. Beyond strength, you also need physical abilities such as stamina, agility and good vision and hearing to perform the manual tasks associated with the job. Depending on your role, you may also work in various environments, both indoors and outdoors. Some of the physical skills necessary for electricians include:
Lifting and carrying heavy objects
Standing, bending or crouching for long periods
Performing work from tall heights
Climbing ladders, scaffolding or stairs
Performing electrical work in adverse weather conditions or temperatures
Fitting into and working within tight spaces
Ability to distinguish between different colors for wiring tasks
Good hearing and ability to distinguish different sounds
Ability to drive vehicles
As an electrician, you may conduct some of your work independently, but you also will spend time interacting with others. These interactions may include collaborating with colleagues on projects or working for customers to solve their electrical needs. These interactions may be with colleagues or customers. Interpersonal skills represent how you communicate with other people. When effective, these skills help you build relationships and create positive work environments that make people want to work with you or hire you. Some examples of interpersonal skills and abilities for electricians include:
Collaborating with other electricians or construction team members
Following directions from clients or supervisors
Providing instructions or directions to colleagues or subordinates
Adapting plans to meet clients' needs or changing priorities
Active listening skills
Verbal communication skills
Written communication skills to draft diagrams or project records
Displaying professionalism and tidiness during work
Business management skills
Electricians sometimes go on to run businesses or work as independent contractors. Even when employed by someone else, you may need to perform particular administrative tasks. You must also build organizational skills to manage your work more effectively and efficiently. You may find opportunities to develop such skills while working or through specific training programs. Some examples of the business management skills that aid electricians include:
Developing project plans and budgets
Performing cost estimates
Supervising and leading employees
Keeping written records or documentation regarding projects
Basic math skills
Inventory tracking and management
How to improve electrician skills
Being an electrician requires hard and soft skills, which you can acquire in numerous ways. Developing these skills can support better performance at work and help advance your career. Here are some steps you can take to improve your electrician skills:
1. Participate in continuing education opportunities
You can enroll in electrician courses or programs aimed at specific skills to develop your technical abilities. These activities teach you what you need to know to perform the tasks associated with electrician jobs. If you have already mastered the basic skills, you can seek training opportunities for specialized electrician skills or qualifications. As you continue to build your skill set, it can help you move onto more advanced roles.
Some specialized skills you may learn through these experiences include construction- or maintenance-related electrical work. With those skills, you can learn how to work on electrical systems within construction projects or troubleshoot, repair and upgrade them. You can also seek manufacturer-specific training opportunities, where you will learn how to use specific equipment or work with particular electrical components or appliances. Knowing specific types of equipment can help boost your resume and impress potential employers.
2. Pursue soft skills training opportunities
You typically learn soft skills through performing your job and personal development. However, depending on the soft skills you want to build, you may find training opportunities such as seminars or workshops. For example, you may pursue management or business training to learn how to lead others and oversee electrical or construction projects. If you are interested in managing your own business, these types of training programs can also help you prepare for that responsibility.
3. Utilize on-the-job training
If you are beginning your electrician career, you may consider participating in an apprenticeship program. These programs typically combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training. You can use these opportunities to develop your technical knowledge and gain hands-on experience performing electrical tasks. When learning on the job, you also gain the ability to build your soft skills, such as communication and customer service.
You may also participate in informal on-the-job training opportunities at any career stage. You may identify a colleague or another electrician whose skills you admire. You may ask them to be your mentor, using their extensive experience to provide guidance and advice to support your professional development. Observe how they perform their job and mimic and practice their techniques to help develop your skills. You can also ask this person for feedback on your performance to help identify your strengths and weaknesses.
4. Stay up-to-date on electrical standards
As an electrician, you must be aware of relevant standards for performing electrical work. Study the National Electrical Code to ensure you know how to conduct your tasks safely and effectively. This code receives revisions and changes regularly, so reviewing it often helps ensure that your technical knowledge is up to date. You may need to learn new techniques or methods to adapt to these changes, adding to your skill set. Potential employers may ask about this type of knowledge, so having the ability to discuss recent changes may help impress them.
How to highlight electrician skills
When applying for electrician jobs, always review the job posting carefully. To demonstrate that you are a good fit for the position, you can highlight the employer's sought-after skills in the following ways:
Assess the job description and develop a list of the hard and soft skills sought by the employer that you have. On your resume, create a skills section to list your relevant abilities. This section should describe your skills in a single word or short phrase, allowing the employer to readily and quickly read them. Try to limit yourself to no more than 10 items. You can also incorporate relevant skills throughout the experience section to demonstrate how you used them in prior roles.
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
For cover letters
Your cover letter allows you to expand on the information mentioned in your resume. Choose one or two of your strongest, most relevant skills to showcase. Within your cover letter, describe examples of when you have used those skills in your electrician career thus far. Explain how those skills helped you create positive or quantifiable results. This method can help show hiring managers your potential value as an employee. You can also mention relevant training you are participating in or have completed, displaying your commitment to professional growth.
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
Related: Electrician Resume Samples
For job interviews
During your job interview, the hiring manager will likely ask questions assessing your background and experience as an electrician. You can research typical electrician interview questions to begin developing and practicing responses. These questions may focus on both technical and interpersonal aspects of the job. Try to craft answers incorporating specific instances where you used the skills relevant to the job.
You can also use interviews as opportunities to demonstrate soft skills, such as communication or interpersonal skills. Make sure to answer clearly, concisely and utilize eye contact and positive nonverbal cues to help engage the interviewer. You can also show interest in them by using active listening techniques and asking questions. Utilizing these skills during the interview can help demonstrate what it would be like to work with you.
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