The Skills Successful Electricians Need

See also: Self-Motivation

Electricians are responsible for many tasks, from routine maintenance and installations to fixing older systems. There are also some specialised duties they are responsible for, such as testing electrical systems, troubleshooting devices, calibrating electrical equipment, and reading blueprints. Because they do so much, electricians need some special skills to remain in-demand in a sector that is becoming increasingly competitive and technical.

If you are thinking about becoming an electrician, here are some essential skills you need.

Problem-solving Skills

One of the most common duties of an electrician is diagnosing and fixing electrical issues. Electricians are responsible for getting to the root of these issues and finding working solutions. Because of this, they need high-level problem-solving skills.

Even though electricians are taught how to identify common issues and how they can solve them, how they apply this knowledge is what differentiates successful electricians from those who are not. Successful electricians are able to come up with working solutions regardless of the issues they encounter, including edge cases that were never covered in college or university.

Technical Abilities

Electricians must be able to think technically. This requires critical thinking and strong maths and algebra skills. Electricians must be able to take systems apart and then put them back together, something that calls for solid technical skills. Trusting your technical skills and having confidence around electrical systems is essential if you want to become a successful electrician.

Successful electricians must also know how to safely use power tools, how to install different electrical parts such as cables, switching devices, tubing, and conduits, as well as plan a whole electrical system.


Electricians rarely work by themselves. They work with other people such as plumbers, carpenters, and other tradespeople. If you work for business electricity suppliers, you will need to also learn how to work with other electricians and people who outrank you such as supervisors and project managers.

After you gain some experience, you might also have a team working under you. If you already know how to work with a team, it will be very easy to keep things going smoothly.

The most important skills and qualities you need in this regard include patience, good communication skills, friendliness, patience, and being a team player.

Business Knowledge

Many electricians prefer to start their own businesses after they gain some experience. If you want to start a business, you need essential business skills. These include skills such as accounting skills, ability to hire the right people, customer service, and time management.

Time management is a particularly important skill to have because electricians must be able to respond to customers fast and complete their jobs on time. Electricians who run electricity supply businesses must also be able to estimate how much labor and time it will take to complete a job. Successful electricians also have a reputation for completing tasks in a reasonable amount of time and this is what makes them so valuable.

The ability to listen to customers, understand what they need, provide a solution and complete jobs to the best of your ability are all ways to provide good customer service. Many people appreciate good customer service and they are likely to become repeat customers if they are treated well.


Electricians often work in shifts but in some specific cases, they may need to put in more hours or be able to work on their days off to deal with some unplanned electrical issues. Successful electricians understand they need to be flexible enough to deal with these issues as they come up rather than working a precise 9-5 shift.

Communication Skills

Electricians must be good communicators. They have to be able to listen, ask the right questions, and then communicate with their teammates to chart out a course of action. Good communication skills are also essential because electricians are often dealing with people who do not have a working knowledge of electrical systems. They must be able to understand what their customers are saying even if they do not say it in precise technical jargon.

If you run your own business or are responsible for a team, you will be required to train new apprentices regularly. To ensure this is a successful endeavour, you must be able to instruct them in precise and clear terms, so they understand what needs to be done.

Motor Skills, Good Vision and Physical Fitness

All three of these are qualities rather than skills but they are still applicable if you want to be a successful electrician. Electricians need to be precise; a simple mistake might lead to loss of life or property. Because of this, they must have proper motor skills to ensure that no matter how much they move around, they are still able to complete their job precisely.

Good vision can be viewed in several ways. The first one is hand-eye coordination. As with manual dexterity, this is an important skill to have as it can help electricians work with all objects and tools.

The second is how good your eyesight is. While it is perfectly fine if you wear glasses, you should not be color blind. Electrical wires and systems are color-coded and the ability to distinguish between all these different colors could save your life!

Being an electrician requires a certain level of physical fitness. Even if you do not have to have an athlete's body, you must be able to climb up and down stairs, ladders, and other structures multiple times a day, stand for long periods, lift heavy objects and crouch or bend multiple times a day.

Commitment to Safety

Electricians should be aware they work in high-risk situations. Therefore, they should be committed to keeping the spaces they work in as safe as possible for both themselves and their teammates. To do this, they should know about specific electrical safety regulations. They should also know how to analyze a situation to see if it is safe or not and if not, they should find ways to make it safe so they can get to work.

Going Above and Beyond

Businesses looking to save money can find business electricity suppliers who offer competitive tariffs. As an electrician, you can help them save money in other ways, such as by advising on suitable upgrades like switching to LED lighting.

If you want to become an electrician, you will need some specific skills and qualities. Even though personal qualities cannot be taught, everything else you need to become a successful electrician will be taught at college or university.

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Develop the skills you need to get that job.

This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.

About the Author

James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.