How to Become an Electrician - Apprentice, Journeyman [2020]

Being an electrician is a promising profession. If you want to know how to become an electrician, start with this in-depth writeup that can provide you key insights into becoming a journeyman electrician, master electrician, residential wireman, residential electrician, industrial electrician, independent electrical contractor, and commercial electrician.

Electricians provide a vital role in residential homes and commercial buildings. They are skilled trade professionals that can help to handle and assess issues with electrical power, control systems, lighting, and more.

Electricians aim to keep our communities and households safe. They may be called to prevent or respond to dangerous electrical scenarios that others aren’t equipped or trained to be handling. Electrical workers may be “on-call” for these types of emergencies. Versus an electrician helper, which may be working with residential homes to install lighting during working hours.

All electricians must follow electrical code and have familiarity with electrical theory while practicing their electrical work. These electrical workers may be hired by handyman services, commercial builders and construction managers, or other construction professionals. An electrical license is normally required by each state in order to start as an electrician or electrical contractor. This is achieved by attending high school courses and completing the National Electrical Code exams.

Electrical training is normally finished in approximately four years in a trade school or technical school. It may require up to 144 hours of classroom training, lessons, reading, and educational material. And may require up to 2,000 hours of on-the-job training with a master electrician or experienced electrician. During this time you are considered to be in the electrical program, learning the skills required to perform the job duties. This may include providing assistance with electrical systems, working with electrical wiring, and electrical equipment. Once completed, you will have been awarded your certificate program and be able to start your electrician career.

Alternatively, having an employer provides you an apprenticeship program can be a better route, as it is more economical for you to start your career.

The qualifications to attend this technical school normally include having a high school diploma and some previous experience or technical training.

What is a Journeyman Electrician?

Many electricians seek to become journeymen. To become a journeyman, it will require about five to seven years of apprenticeship. The benefits of becoming a licensed journeyman electrician include the ability to work without supervision, the ability to complete a wide variety of jobs (commercial, industrial, residential), and opens more opportunities for future jobs.

Every journeyman must work with a master electrician as an electrical apprentice or be a licensed electrician (meaning to have completed their electrician training) in order to qualify.

Electrician School

Attending a local university or community college is sufficient in order to be able to complete your electrician program. In this field of study, they will show you basic wiring, electrical theory, electrical code, electrical technology, electrical safety, and other key parts of the job. The average cost of completing this program is around $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the school. Or you may decide to receive your electrician license by completing an apprenticeship program, which is often paid for by the employer.

Electrician Apprentice

To become an electrician apprentice, you may need to work with the employer who is looking to invest in your future and ask for an electrician apprenticeship opportunity. There may be small fees associated with the program that you’re taking to become a qualified electrician. This could include classroom work and on-the-job training. In essence, your employer is paying your tuition for your electrical degree. As an apprentice, you will still learn everything that your electrical program would teach you.

On the Job

The electrician job can be very challenging but yet. Some of the work that you may practice in the electrical trade would include:

  • Install, maintain, and oversee electrical repair and wiring.
  • Read technical diagrams and blueprints.
  • Perform electrical maintenance.
  • roubleshoot electrical problems.

These are just some of the tasks that may be performed as you enter into the electrical industry, depending on the type of electrical work you decide to pursue. The average salary for an electrician can vary. But based on the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, you should earn anywhere from $43,000 per year to $110,000 per year.

When ready to start applying to jobs, your best place to look is the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) website. Their construction job boards can assist in the job hunt process.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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