Magic, Lights and Action – Being an Electrician

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The job of an electrician can be quite interesting and involved, for example the Eiffel Tower requires a skilled set of electricians to keep it lit. Did you know there are exactly 20,000 sparkling strobe lights on the Eiffel Tower which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Over 225 million people have visited the tower since it was created to climb the steps of the tower or To simply bask in its romantic glow of those 20,000 sparkling lights at night.

In 1902 electricity struck the tower and damaged all of those lights, momentarily rendering the Eiffel tower into darkness. It makes you appreciate the wonder of all of those lights when you can see it today, fully engulfed in the aura of 20,000 fireflies or are they just lights? For the romantic soul it can be hard to distinguish between the two sometimes.

If you’re a visitor to the Eiffel Tower you probably don’t fully realize the amount of work and effort it takes to keep those lights lit for 225 million visitors. The tower has a secret life all its own hidden behind its steel A line figure. It takes 500 workers to keep the 119 year old tower open and safe for visitors including the slew of electricians who keep her lit up.

It isn’t a simple matter for one of the 360 spot lights or one of the 20,000 spot lights to be changed either and the electrician in charge of this task must actually scale the tower like a mountaineer to do so. It can take an hour just to change one of the bulbs. Luckily for the person who has to make this dangerous climb to keep the tower lit, the bulbs generally last about ten years.

Most of the time the job title of an electrician doesn’t conjure up thoughts of dangerous climbs with a light bulb to keep the romance of a world wonder alive and indeed most of the time you will find a person who is employed as an electrician will have both of their feet planted firmly on the ground. Over here in America, the most an electrician can hope to climb in the line of duty will likely be a telephone pole to repair a downed power line or street lamp to repair a defective light since we are a little short on historic towers and all.

These are generally skilled professionals who train- on the ground- to repair and install wiring, motors, transformers and generators, and light appliances in accordance with electrical codes and standards. This is a job that requires both on the job training as well as classroom time to become skilled in.

The average salary starts at $19,727 a year with no experience but can climb to as much as $90,000 a year for someone with twenty plus years on the job. And of course if you are willing to climb an old tower with a single light bulb, the pay scale may be even higher, but there probably isn’t a lot of turnover for this job, at least not at one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

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