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Sunday, September 18, 2011


With today's hard economy, jobs are scarce. It is important to make yourself more appealing to employers.  One way to do this is to learn more skills. Knowing how to bend conduit proficiently, pulling wire properly, terminating neatly, or trimming out professionally is not enough. This is where versatility comes in. Learning new skills will improve your stock with employers.

Low voltage work may seem intimidating but it follows the same principles as electrical work. Ohm's law still applies. You may have to purchase some specialty tools and study a little more, but the rewards are worth it. Fire alarm systems, security systems, control systems, voice/data, CCTV, and energy management systems are a viable source of revenue in a down economy.

Customers are looking for ways to save money and cutting their electric bill can be very effective. Lighting retrofits reduce energy consumption and when coupled with proper control systems savings can double or triple. Learning how to install these systems will help you stand out from the crowd. HVAC systems are a large percentage of energy consumption for any facility. Installing new control systems on existing equipment will trim these costs. Utilizing VFDs, electronic temperature sensors, or upgrading to a completely new control system reaps great rewards for customers, while providing a profitable revenue stream for employers. Learning these systems is just another feather in your cap.

How many times have you been on a project that required a few phone lines and your company has subcontracted this work out? Pulling and terminating phone and data lines is not as difficult as many electricians perceive it. Learning to install racks, patch panels, etc. will cut the amount of work that needs to be subcontracted, making your company more profitable.

Being an electrician shouldn't be just a job, it should be a career. Continually learning new skills and techniques will keep you ahead of the pack and will also help you maintain a positive interest in your career. Anything you can do to improve the bottom line makes you more valuable to your employer. Remember, if your company doesn't make a profit, it won't survive, then you'll be out looking for another job.