Skilled Trades Careers

How to Become an Electrician in America 2023

DateJuly 10, 2023

If you’re looking for a career that combines hands-on work with technical knowledge, then becoming an electrician might be for you. Electric workers are constantly in demand and provide essential services in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.

This profession offers a stable income and multiple career paths, including becoming a high-ranking employee or starting your own electrical contracting business.

As long as society relies on electricity, electricians will be in high demand and well compensated for their work. This means a competitive salary and almost unparalleled job security.

While the field is attractive, it does require extensive training and hard work to achieve success. If you don't mind those things and you're detail-oriented then this career might be ideal.

What do electricians do?

Electricians are responsible for installing and maintaining electrical systems wherever they're needed, including residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. Their duties involve reading technical diagrams and following local and state building regulations to ensure the proper installation of electrical wiring and equipment.

In addition to installation, they also diagnose and repair electrical issues, such as faulty wiring or malfunctioning equipment. Examples of tasks that electricians perform daily include replacing old equipment, installing lighting systems, upgrading electrical systems in buildings, and ensuring that electrical systems are operating efficiently.

To properly identify electrical issues, professionals use testing devices such as voltmeters and ohmmeters. They interpret the results of these tests to determine the cause of the problem and make necessary repairs.

In this field you must stay up to date with the latest electrical codes and regulations to maintain safety standards and ensure proper functionality. By following these standards, you can prevent electrical hazards and ensure the reliability and longevity of electrical systems.

How much money do electricians make?

Electricians in the US earn an annual average salary of $37,440 on the low end at the apprentice level, $60,240 at the journeyman level, and $102,300 at the master level.

Electrician skillhero app summary

Electrician apprenticeships usually start at roughly half of a fully qualified electrician's wage, but wages increase as apprentices acquire skills and experience.

The cost of becoming an electrician includes pre-apprenticeship training fees, with courses at trade schools and community colleges costing around $1,000 to $15,000. However, there are ways to reduce the costs, such as seeking grants, scholarships, or financial aid.

Some employers also offer to pay for some or all of the training fees in exchange for a commitment to work for the company after completing the apprenticeship. The electrical industry provides a lucrative career path, with competitive wages and varying regional opportunities.

By pursuing an apprenticeship and reducing training costs, aspiring electricians can position themselves for a fulfilling and financially rewarding career.

How to become an electrician in the USA

This career includes mandatory training programs and obtaining various licenses and certifications. You can start by enrolling in a pre-apprenticeship program at a local trade school or community college.

Next, look for apprenticeship opportunities with an electrical contractor or local union. Apprenticeships last 3-5 years, during which apprentices receive on-the-job training and classroom instruction to develop the skills needed for the job.

In order to become an accredited journeyman, you must pass a journeyman-level exam and apply for a license. To obtain a mastery license, you must have 5 years of experience as a journeyman electrician.

What is the best type of electrician to become?

There are several types of interesting electrical specializations to consider. Residential and commercial are the two main categories, and there are a variety of sub-category specializations in each.

Residential electricians primarily work on electrical systems in homes, while commercial professionals work on electrical systems in business and industrial buildings.

7 simple steps to becoming an electrician

With a combination of education, training, and experience, you can become a licensed electrician and join a rewarding and challenging career.

1. Get a High School Diploma or Equivalent

High school education is the foundation for professional electric workers. A high school diploma is a minimum requirement for becoming an electrician, and it is essential to have at least a strong foundation in mathematics, science, and technical courses.

2. Consider Trade School

Trade schools are an excellent option for people who prefer hands-on training and can't commit to a full-time educational program. These programs teach everything from electrical theory to electrical wiring to technical diagrams.

3. Participate in an Apprenticeship Program

Enrolling in an apprenticeship program is the most common way to get on-the-job training and start developing your electrician resume. These programs provide on-the-job training, which means you'll be paid for your work while learning from experienced electricians.

4. Meet Licensing Requirements

Electrical professionals are required by law to obtain a license. Licensing requirements vary, but typically, you need to pass a written examination, have a specific number of classroom hours, and gain hours of practical experience.

5. Gain Job Experience

Whether you decide to enroll in an apprenticeship program or a technical school, you need to gain job experience. This experience can help you develop your skills and expertise and increase your chances of success in the job market.

6. Consider Getting a Journeyman License

A journeyman license is the next step in your career. It indicates that you have a mastery of the knowledge and skills needed to work independently and without supervision.

7. Consider Getting a Master-Level License

A master electrician license represents the highest level of expertise in the field. It enables you to work on any electrical system and supervise other electricians.

Adding new skills and certifications

This is a skilled, technical career in which you never stop learning. Adding new skills and certifications to your repertoire is key to advancing as an employee or entrepreneur. Seeking out new courses, certifications, and work experiences will help keep you up to date on the latest developments in electrical technologies.

It's essential to keep track of the hours of experience and classroom hours required for specific licenses and certifications. Many jurisdictions require a certain amount of continuing education before renewing your license, so staying on top of these requirements will save you time and money in the long run.

Continuously seeking out opportunities to learn and advance your career will show your dedication and commitment to the electrical trade. Don't be afraid to invest in yourself, it will pay off in the long run.

The importance of electricians in the workforce

Without our electrical workforce, modern infrastructure would stumble and collapse. Our travel, education, communication and manufacturing are all highly dependent on electricity.

It's a challenging job in which you must stay up to date with the most current building codes based on the National Electrical Code to ensure compliance with safety standards. The upside is that your skills will always be needed in every part of any developed nation.