Many people emerge from college or a training program highly educated and eager to tackle the challenges of their new career. However, the skills they learn in school don’t always equate to the practical skills acquired during the first few years on the job. Good thing for the rookies there’s OJT – on-the-job training. Electricians don’t require special training to install fire alarm systems, but they do need hands-on practice, guided by someone with experience.
Practicing Fire Alarm Installation and Fishing
Apprentice electricians will likely learn the history of fire alarm systems, as well as some basic wiring methods and installation techniques, in school. Their courses don’t necessarily go into great depth on the subject of fire alarm system installations. They still need to learn how fire alarm circuits work in the real world, and why it makes sense to fish wires down from floor to floor. These are the practical pieces of information they’ll need to successfully install fire alarm systems. Typically, these systems are designed ahead of time, so electricians in the field don’t have to think about how many devices they can put on one circuit. They have a set of plans to follow. The most important part of the on-the-job training, then, is learning the ins and outs of installation and fishing. Mastering this allows electricians to install systems with minimal disruption to homeowners and property managers.
The Electrician’s Learning Curve
The way a structure is put together largely determines how an electrician “fishes” wire through it. And since buildings are not all framed the same way, new electricians need to get their bearings in a variety of different settings. After three or four jobs, they start to understand how to install the wiring based on how the structure is built. Electricians come to the job with the general skills and knowledge they need to install fire alarm systems. They just need that on-the-job training and practice to fill in the details. And while learning, they are always guided and supervised by trained, experienced, senior electricians who have done it a thousand times before.