How Long Does it Take to Become an Electrician (On Average)

How long does it take to become an electrician? If you're pursuing a skilled trade, it's critical to understand the criteria and associated costs. To qualify as an electrician, you must complete rigorous on-the-job training, complete an apprenticeship, and obtain a license. If you're asking "How long does an electrical apprenticeship last?" or "How much training does an electrician require?" then understanding each phase can assist you in efficiently navigating your professional path.

how long does it take to become an electrician

What does an electrician do?

Electricians operate in a variety of contexts, including residential, commercial, and industrial, installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical equipment. Typically, they are in charge of electricity, lighting, and communication systems.

Typical tasks include the following:

  • Including the installation of new wire systems and the maintenance of existing networks.
  • Using voltmeters and ammeters to diagnose electrical system faults.
  • Circuit breakers and other electrical components inspection and maintenance.
  • Repairing or replacing wiring and electrical fixtures with hand and power tools.
  • Adhering to the National Electrical Code's safety and standards criteria.

While most electricians work solo, some operate in teams or collaborate with others. As an experienced electrician, you can have the opportunity to supervise apprentices. You can work closely with engineers or other professionals when installing or repairing wiring systems.

On average, how long does it take to become an electrician?

On average, four to five years are required to become an electrician. Numerous prospective electricians receive all of their training through apprenticeship programs. However, the length of time required to become an electrician varies according to the path taken and the objectives sought.

If you're wondering, "How long is electrician school?" It's critical to understand the following elements that can impact the duration of your apprenticeship:

  • You can be eligible for a shorter apprenticeship if you have prior military or construction experience.
  • A suitable associate degree or experience from a technical school, which can qualify you for credit toward your apprenticeship.
  • An approved electrical contractor training program that qualifies you to work as an assistant and enables you to complete your apprenticeship sooner.

How to become an electrician

The following are the six steps to becoming an electrician:

Get a high school diploma

You must acquire a high school diploma or pass the GED exam before you can begin training or begin an apprenticeship. By completing this schooling prerequisite, you will demonstrate that you possess the essential fundamental math, science, thinking, and communication abilities for this job.

Get work experience

Consider working in the field prior to applying for an apprenticeship or trade school. As a helper, you can aid electricians with manual labor, collect tools, and gain direct knowledge in this professional route. While working as an assistant is not required, it might help you exhibit your ability and secure an apprenticeship with your preferred business.

Find classroom education

Years of schooling are not required to become an electrician. You must, however, complete a minimum number of classroom hours, often about 100. Through classroom studies, you can study the fundamentals of the field, such as how to read blueprints, memorize electrical code requirements, and grasp safety procedures.

While many apprenticeship programs incorporate classroom education, this component of the process might be completed in another manner. Some prospective electricians enroll in technical school, which combines classroom instruction with hands-on practice. Although technical school is not free, it might help you qualify for an apprenticeship more quickly.

Complete your apprenticeship

Then, through a professional organization, apply for an electrical apprenticeship.

Among the standard possibilities are the following:

  • Electrical Workers' International Brotherhood (IBEW).
  • Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC).
  • The Association of General Contractors (AGC).

Each of the three associations requires applicants to pass an admission examination and conduct at least one interview. All electrician apprenticeships are compensated, which means you will earn money throughout this period.

How long it takes to complete electrician training is determined on the criteria you've previously met and the credits you've earned. To become a general electrician, you must complete 8,000 hours, and the majority of full-time apprentices earn 2,000 hours each year. If you are currently employed full-time, you must complete a four-year program. If you work part-time, it is possible that your apprenticeship will take significantly longer.

Related: How much do electricians make

how long does it take to become an electrician

Pass the journeyman exam

When most individuals inquire about how long it takes to become an electrician, they are primarily interested in learning how long it takes to become a journeyman. When you get the title of journeyman electrician, you'll have finished all necessary training and will be able to work independently. To work as a journeyman, you must finish an apprenticeship and pass a state-mandated examination. The test includes subjects such as wiring techniques, electrical theory, and electrical safety.

After passing the examination, you are termed a licensed electrician. Finally, if you're wondering how long it takes to obtain an electrician license, count on spending four years as a journeyman.

Related: How to become an electrician

Renew your license periodically

As is the case with many other trade licenses, electrician licenses are only valid for a limited period of time. To maintain your certification, you must renew it on a regular basis, generally every three years. In many situations, you must earn continuing education credits in order to renew. confirm the criteria with your state's electrical contractor licensing board.

Requirements to become an electrician

To work as an electrician, you must meet the following requirements:

  • A high school diploma or a GED is required.
  • Around 100 hours of classroom study and training.
  • 8,000 hours of work experience in an IBEW, IEC, or ABC apprenticeship.
  • After finishing an apprenticeship, you can sit for the journeyman test.
  • License as an electrician, which is typically valid for three years and must be renewed.

Additionally, you can attend technical school or work as an electrician's assistant. While these pathways can assist you in absorbing additional knowledge or gaining valuable experience, they should be considered in addition to rather than in substitute of the criteria for this vocation.

Common questions

Questions from job seekers pursuing their electrical career and apprenticeship program.

What's it like to go through a vocational school?

Electrical technology is a three- to five-month curriculum that prepares students for entry-level positions as new construction/maintenance electricians. YTI Career Institute: Students get instruction in construction site safety, OSHA regulations, and the National Electrical Code during the nine-month curriculum. Altierus Career College's nine-month electrical technician program prepares students for careers as electrical construction technicians or industrial electrical technicians. Both jobs require training, which adds time to your program.

How do I become a master electrician?

After four years of experience as a certified journeyman, you can apply for the master electrician licensure test.

How long do electrician apprenticeship programs take to complete?

Apprenticeship programs for electricians last four years and include 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training per year.

how long does it take to become an electrician

Favorite Resources

Our favorite resources are included below.

Job interview resources

Resume and cover letter resources

Job search resources

free interview question and answer full guide

Interview Question and Answer Guide (PDF)

Download our full interview preparation guide. Complete with common interview questions and example answers. Free download. No email required.

Download PDF
author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Fact checked: Our small and dedicated team rigorously evaluates every article, guide, and reference to ensure the information is accurate and factual. Learn more.


Help us by spreading the word