Your Guide to Becoming An Electrician

An electrician is a person who the state has licensed to work on electrical systems and repairs. In order to become an electrician, you’ll need to complete your training in the field, as well as an apprenticeship. It takes time to get your license as an electrician, so you should consider being dedicated to the area if you want to get your electrician’s license.

The path to becoming an electrician starts right from school, where you can choose subjects that will make your understanding of the field easier. Learn about electrical theory, and pay special attention to maths classes. Basic mathematics, algebra, and trigonometry will be essential to you later, should you want to become an electrician. So if you’ve got your eyes set on the electrician’s license, then you should consider starting as soon as possible.

The road to getting your electrician’s license

Before you can start practicing as an electrician, you’ll need to get licensed first. This license shows that you have the knowledge and skills to do electrical work. Since an electrician’s job can be difficult and even dangerous, from time to time, you’ll need to know what you’re doing. Having a professional license shows that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to work as an electrician.

Graduating high school or having a GED certificate

To begin your journey towards becoming a licensed electrician, you’ll need to graduate school first. You don’t need to have a bachelor’s degree or higher qualifications to work as an electrician. However, some electricians choose to get an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject. This helps them understand the field better and can help them get apprenticeships later on as well.

Join a vocational or a technical school

Vocational and technical schools that train electricians offer courses either at the certificate or the associate degree level. When you attend a technical school, you’ll be able to learn a lot of the skills of the trade that can become important in your career as an electrician.

You will not only be introduced to the subject of electricity but can also get the opportunity to do lab work as well. During lab work, you’ll be able to interact with a lot of the gear you’ll be using later on. These include voltage meters, ammeters, tension gauges, and more. By learning what these instruments are ahead of time and getting acquainted with them, you can acclimatize to your job as an electrician easier.

Get an apprenticeship

Before you can get licensed as an electrician, you’ll first need to complete an apprenticeship under a master electrician. This apprenticeship usually lasts for a period of up to four or five years. This is in addition to the time you spent at a technical or vocational school.

If you did go to such a school, then the good news is that you’ll be able to transfer some of those hours into your classroom hours required for your licensing exam.

Getting an apprenticeship can be competitive, and it’s always helpful to have an advantage. Before you can apply for your licensing exam, you’ll need to complete at least 8000 and up to 10,000 hours on the job. This is in addition to the 576-1000 hours you’ll have to devote to the classroom. For this reason, you can find yourself working as an apprentice for a few years before you can sit for your licensing exam.

Aside from what the master carpenter you’re learning from has to teach you, during this key phase, you’ll be learning several essential skills. These include learning how to read a blueprint, maintaining and ensuring safety during work, electrical theory, and more.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has designated four organizations that can take on the role of sponsors for electrician apprentices. These four bodies include:

  • IEC: Independent Electrical Contractors
  • NECA: National Electrical Contractors Association
  • IBEW: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • ABC: Associated Builders and Contractors

Before being selected as an apprentice, applicants will first need to pass a job interview. They will also have to take a basic aptitude exam, where they will have to showcase that they have the basic knowledge required to pursue work as an electrician. The aptitude exam will include a comprehension test, as well as simple math and algebra questions.

In addition to this, applicants need to meet certain physical requirements as well. This is as working as an electrician can be a physically strenuous task. Applicants may also need to pass a drug test and should also be able to display mechanical aptitude.

Getting licensed

The exact licensing requirements can vary from state to state, so it’s essential to check your state’s local regulations. When you apply to get your license, you’ll need to pass a multiple-choice question exam. This exam usually takes anywhere between three and five hours to complete.

The examiners try to ascertain whether you have the essential knowledge and skillset to be an officially licensed electrician through the test. After you pass your exam, you will receive your license and can finally start working as an electrician.

At this point, your license turns you into a journeyman electrician. After many more years of work and gathering experience, you can reach the level of a master electrician as well. Aside from this, there are several specialty licenses that you can strive for as well.

Since the electrical codes and jurisdictional regulations tend to change from time to time, it’s essential to stay on top of these changes. You’ll also need to renew your license from time to time. The licensing requirements for electricians can change, depending on the state you want to get your license in. Through your test, you’ll need to answer location-specific information, especially related to the field of electricity. You’ll also need to show that you have a solid understanding of electrical theory and that you know what the National Electrical Code is. In addition to this, you’ll also need to be aware of what the local electric and building codes are.

After you successfully gain your license, you’ll be free to work as an electrician in the state you got your license in.


In order to become an electrician, you’ll need to get licensed by the state you want to work in. You’ll need to complete a pre-set number of hours dedicated both to the classroom as well as on the job. You’ll need to work as an apprentice under a master electrician for up to five years before you can give the exam that will get you your license. Even after you have your license, you may still need to renew your license from time to time.

As an electrician, you could be exposed to certain career risks. A client who is unhappy with your work, for example, could choose to sue you. This could result in an expensive lawsuit, where you need to pay the Court costs out of your pocket. Electricians insurance can be a lifesaver during such times. Insurance for electrical contractors can provide you with the financial coverage you need, should you encounter any of the covered career risks. If you want to learn more about electrician liability insurance, then click here.

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