Individuals who want to prepare for careers where they repair transformers can enroll in apprenticeships or associate degree programs. After completing this training, they may find work as maintenance electricians.
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Transformer Repair Training
Workers who repair transformers are called maintenance electricians, and as such, transformer repair is often covered within larger electrician training programs. These can be found as 4-year apprenticeship or 2-year associate degree programs, such as an industrial/maintenance electrician apprenticeship, limited maintenance electrician apprenticeship or electrical technology associate degree program.
Apprenticeship Training Details
Apprenticeship programs are a blend of classroom instruction and paid on-the-job instruction. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrician apprentices must complete at least 144 hours of classroom instruction and 2,000 hours of paid, on-the-job instruction over the course of a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship program.
In apprenticeship programs, aspiring electricians work under the supervision of experienced journeymen. They may work in home, businesses, healthcare facilities and industrial plants, among other settings. They complete tasks such as attaching and installing conduits, performing tests on wiring and drawing diagrams of electrical systems. In addition to repairing transformers, they are often involved in the installation and maintenance of other electrical features, including:
- Wire lighting
- Computer systems
Associate Degree Programs
Associate degree programs in electrical technology or occupational studies focus on the theories and principles of electricity and allow students to specialize in areas directly related to transformer repair, such as industrial and commercial wiring. Some general course topics in a 2-year program include:
- Residential, commercial and industrial wiring methods
- Electrical systems
- Alarm systems
- Power generation
- Lighting, motor and energy controls
- Job safety
Some programs also include internships with well-known industry associations, such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Upon graduation, students may receive advanced placement in apprenticeship programs. It may also be possible to directly enter the field after completing one of these programs.
Many states require maintenance electricians, including transformer repairers, to be licensed. Criteria for licensure generally entails proving competency in local, state and national electric codes, building code specifications and electrical theory. Other requirements may apply as well, such as passing a state-sanctioned test; prospective electricians should find out what is needed for work in the state in which they live.
Salary Information and Career Outlook
According to PayScale.com, the median hourly rate for maintenance electricians in March 2017 was $23.19. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that career opportunities for all electricians will grow by 14% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than the national average of 7%. This increase will be due to a high number of homes and businesses needing wiring and the need to maintain older electrical equipment.
Associate degree and apprenticeship programs can provide aspiring maintenance electricians with the academic and practical training in transformer repair, as well as other electricity topics, that they need for success in the field.