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Career and Education Opportunities for Electrical Assistants in Columbia, South Carolina

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for electrical assistants in the Columbia, South Carolina area. There are currently 3,160 working electrical assistants in South Carolina; this should grow 7% to about 3,370 working electrical assistants in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for electrical assistants are expected to grow by about 24.7%. Electrical assistants generally help electricians by performing duties of lesser skill.

Electrical assistants earn approximately $11 hourly or $23,510 yearly on average in South Carolina. Nationally they average about $12 hourly or $26,390 annually. Earnings for electrical assistants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Electrical in South Carolina and not quite as good as general Electrical category earnings nationally.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as an electrical assistant. Electrical assistants usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be an electrical assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Electrical Assistant

In general, electrical assistants help electricians by performing duties of lesser skill. They also duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Electrical assistants drill holes and pull or push wiring through openings, using hand and power tools. They also measure and bend wire and conduit, using measuring instruments and hand tools. Equally important, electrical assistants have to maintain tools and equipment and keep parts and supplies in order. They are often called upon to transport tools and supplies to work sites by hand or by truck. They are expected to examine electrical units for loose connections and broken insulation, and tighten connections using hand tools. Finally, electrical assistants dig trenches or holes for placement of conduit or supports.

Every day, electrical assistants are expected to be able to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done. They need to move quickly in order to hold onto or control objects and devices. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for electrical assistants to construct controllers and panels, using power drills, drill presses, taps, saws and punches. They are often called upon to string transmission lines or cables through ducts or conduits, under the ground or to towers. They also strip insulation from wire ends, using wire stripping pliers, and attach wires to terminals for subsequent soldering. They are sometimes expected to erect electrical system components and barricades, and rig scaffolds, hoists, and shoring. Somewhat less frequently, electrical assistants are also expected to clean work areas and wash parts.

They also have to be able to operate cutting torches and welding equipment, while working with conduit and metal components to construct devices associated with electrical functions and dig trenches or holes for placement of conduit or supports. And finally, they sometimes have to trim trees and clear undergrowth along right-of-way.

Like many other jobs, electrical assistants must be thorough and dependable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Electrician. Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electrical Assistant Training

Midlands Technical College - West Columbia, SC

Midlands Technical College, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176. Midlands Technical College is a large college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,157 students. Midlands Technical College has a less than one year program in Electrician which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

CompTIA PDI Certification: Servicing and supporting devices and technologies associated with the printing and document imaging industry requires extensive training to ensure qualified, able technicians.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.