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Career and Education Opportunities for Electrical Assistants in Charleston, West Virginia

There are many career and education opportunities for electrical assistants in the Charleston, West Virginia area. The national trend for electrical assistants sees this job pool growing by about 24.7% over the next eight years. In general, electrical assistants help electricians by performing duties of lesser skill.

Electrical assistants earn approximately $12 per hour or $26,340 per year on average in West Virginia. Nationally they average about $12 hourly or $26,390 annually. Incomes for electrical assistants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Electrical in West Virginia, and not quite as good as the overall Electrical category nationally.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as an electrical assistant. The most common level of education for electrical assistants is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Charleston 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

Fayette Institute of Technology - Oak Hill, WV

Fayette Institute of Technology, 300 West Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901. Fayette Institute of Technology is a small school located in Oak Hill, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 24 students. Fayette Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in Electrician which graduated six students in 2008.

Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV

Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Electrician which graduated two 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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.