It’s not enough to possess good technical skills to be a successful electrician. They are important but there are other attributes that you can bring to the job that are just as important to your future success.
No matter what phase of your electrician journey you’re in, from apprenticeship to master electrician, there are common traits among those who are successful. Here is our guide to how to be the best electrician.
Valuable traits/habits that help you to be a great electrician
Let’s start with the basics. These are things that don’t require a lot of effort but make a big difference:
Be punctual and manage your time wisely
Always show up for work and be on time. Customers and co-workers alike will always notice whether or not you are present at your job site at the designated start time. If you are always late, it will give them the impression that you are unreliable and not dedicated to the project.
While we’re on the subject of time, you’ll need to learn how to manage it so that projects are completed in a timely manner and on budget. Before and during your project, you’ll often be asked how long it will take. Use your past experiences to provide a realistic estimate and consider any possible setbacks.
Create a schedule and stick to it.
Take pride in your appearance
How you physically present yourself while on the job is easy to do and leaves a lasting impression on those around you. Sure, electricians don’t dress like people at an office, but it’s still very important to be well groomed and wear clean, unwrinkled clothes. It shows that you are a professional and that you have pride in yourself and your work. Always remember that you are a representative of your organization, and your appearance is the first impression that your customers will have of it.
Always have a positive attitude
Try to be uplifting and optimistic even during stressful times. Your attitude affects others around you, in good ways and bad. A positive attitude can be infectious, and people tend to be attracted to those that possess it. On the flip side, a negative attitude will bring down others around you and they will not enjoy working in that kind of environment.
Take responsibility for your mistakes
Don’t always look to blame others when things go wrong. If you are responsible for a mistake, own up to it. This will demonstrate humility and most people will see it as a sign of respect rather than a weakness.
The remaining items on our list will require much more effort on your part but they are the kinds of habits that will prove especially useful throughout your career as an electrician
Effectively communicating with your coworkers and customers will help to build strong relationships
The reputation of an electrician and his/her company are bound together. Anybody in the company who sees, speaks with, emails, or works with a customer is a part of the customer experience. Because of this, it is vital to develop strong communication skills. They include verbal skills, writing skills, and reading comprehension.
Verbal and writing skills will come in handy when you need to explain ideas and issues to the customer in a way that they will understand. You will also need to use these skills to effectively manage customer expectations. On the flip side, you will also need to be a good listener in order to understand your customer’s needs.
Reading comprehension is required because you will regularly be reading and interpreting rules and standards. Being able to understand a drawing or properly read instructions will allow you to make smart, safe, and accurate decisions.
Finally, effective communication skills will help you to build strong relationships with everyone involved in your projects. This includes customers, co-workers, suppliers, managers, and other contractors. Strong working relationships are a major key to your success.
Always be learning
Electricians need to possess the qualifications and experience necessary to be able to do their jobs. This begins with your initial training and apprenticeship, but your expectation should be that learning about your job as an electrician will always be ongoing. Here are some tips:
Learn how to troubleshoot electrical problems quickly and effectively. This will come with experience but there will always be new and unexpected challenges to work through.
You will always need to stay up to date on standards, codes, technology, safety, etc. These things are continuously changing.
Be open to learning new ways of doing your job. Understand that there might be better alternatives.
Embrace learning and commit to it for a lifetime. Working towards your apprentice, journeyman, or master electrician licenses is a big part of your journey. There are also more industry-specific trade certifications that you can get.
The bottom line is that the more you continue to learn, the larger the impact that it will have on your business, skills, and customer service.
Pay attention to your online presence
It’s impossible to overstate how important it is to have an online presence. These days, almost everyone searches for services on the internet. If you don’t have a website for your electrical contractor business, you need to get one. If you are an electrician but not a business owner, you still need to have an online presence so that you can network with others in your industry. Here are a few basic tips:
Create and maintain a website. It’s not enough to have a website and then do nothing with it. It needs to be optimized for search engines and constantly updated with content.
Create and maintain social media profiles. These allow you to interact with customers and colleagues. These include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Get listed in business directories. These include Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and Google My Business. Make sure that your contact information is up to date.
For more tips and information on how to boost your online presence, see our blog article on SEO best practices for electrical contractors.
Other Great Resources to Read
Complete Guide to Electrician Salaries
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About the Author
Neil Peterson is Chief Operating Officer at LED Lighting Supply. He has been active in the LED industry for over 10 years and is responsible for product planning and management as well as revenue and operations at LED Lighting Supply. Much of Neil’s time is focused on customer engagement for large commercial and industrial lighting requirements. When not working, he enjoys family time, camping, fishing, and sports..