How to Become an Electrician

How to Become an Electrician in the US

Does your ability to rectify all the electrical errors aspire you to become an electrician? If that makes you all the more curious about how to become an electrician, you are at the right place. To become a licensed electrician, you’ll have to enroll in an apprenticeship program. The majority of candidates do the same. But, there is not much need for certifications. All one needs is the required skill set to get a job as an electrician or own a shop of one’s own.  If to become an electrician seems ordinary to you, try other fields by researching.
For more such career-guides on lesser known fields, read our blog:-

Who are Electricians?

Electricians deal with electrical equipment used in installations, maintenance, and operations of an electrical system. There are two kinds of electricians:-

1). One who takes care of electrical installations and maintenance in homes and buildings

2). Second, are ones who take care of electrical installations and maintenance at outdoor sites. 

Usually, the ones working outside are linemen as the electrical work they deal with has higher currents, which could be dangerous if not handled properly.

What Do Electricians Do

When a person builds a new home or a building, it needs electricity to generate light and to run many electric appliances. So they call an electrician to fix an electrical channel into the walls of the building to run electrical wires through them, which later will be used as plug points to generate electricity for blubs and other electrical equipment.

How to Become an Electrician Apprentice?

Whether you want to know how to become an electrician in California or Texas, you need some skills. Thus, the apprenticeship program is the only way out. These programs are a combination of classroom training and job curriculum. The concerned authority will provide you both theoretical and practical knowledge.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you will learn to master all the skills. You’ll follow the tasks. That you will need if you want to work as a professional electrician. Such programs of becoming an electrician are most of the time sponsored. The main money raisers are joint training committees, vocational schools, or local unions.  Here are some prerequisites to become eligible for an apprenticeship. To get one, you must have:-
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a high school diploma or GED including a year of Algebra
  • Score high on the NJATC or the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) test
  • Have proper identification through legal documents like social security card, birth certificate, etc
  • Be fit to be able to perform the duties necessary for each job
  • Have good dexterity, hand-eye coordination
  • Also, have good vision, and you cannot be color blind due to the coloring of electrical wires.
  • Be drug-free

How to Become An Electrician In a Nutshell 

There will always be a requirement for new aspiring electricians as there will always be job openings in the power industry. The reason being; electricity is the essence of this modern world. Electricity is no longer needed to bring in light into our homes, but it is a priority in modern appliances and equipment in our homes. Hence, without electricity and electricians, there would be glitches in the modern society.

High School Education

If you want to become an electrician, you must prepare yourself to be one from high school as you would need to do well in subjects like math and science. A high school diploma or an equivalent is a must to get into a trade school for electricians or to get into an apprenticeship program with few electrical unions.

Undergrad Education 

If you have opted to train in a vocational school for electricians, there is never a shortage of good schools to offer you the proper education and training to become an electrician. However, it does not mean you blindly choose any school; you must enroll yourself in reputed schools and accredited electrician programs. By opting to seek training, you are allowing yourself to gain knowledge about the fundamental concepts of electricity.

Here is the list of top ten online and offline electrician schools in the U.S.

List of 10 Best Electrician Schools in the U.S.

  1. Michigan State University
  2. Michigan Technological University
  3. Johnson College
  4. The University of Montana
  5. University of Pittsburg, Johnstown
  6. LeTourneau University
  7. Vermont Technical College
  8. Wentworth Institute of technology
  9. Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis
  10. Point Park University

Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship programs teach you how to perform your duties as an electrician effectively in the installation or maintenance of electrical work. After the completion of your electrician program either through college or through a union, you must sit for additional classes on national electrical code and other safety practices. This is to keep you informed of any new changes taking place.

What is the Time Taken to Become an Electrician in the U.S.?

During your apprenticeship with these unions, you would have 144 hours of classroom instructions and gain 2000 hours of hands-on experience under the supervision of a senior electrician. The total time taken to become an electrician is about four years.

In most states, you need a license to begin work as an electrician. So you need to sit and pass the licensure exam for electricians. After you pass your licensure exam, you will become a licensed electrician.

Licensure Exams to Become an Electrician

The naives how to become an electrician will start out doing basic tasks such as setting anchors. This can lead to drawing diagrams, setting up wiring, and so on. On completion of the apprenticeship, you’ll get an opportunity to join a trade group or union. The main unions to join are:-
Joining these trade groups will provide you the experience to work as an electrician.

How Much Do Electricians Earn?

The salary of an electrician depends on the number of years of experience they have. However, the average income across the U.S. for an electrician is in-between $15,000 to $75,000 per year. If an electrician has less than a year’s experience, he/she will draw a salary of $15,000 per year. For one to four years of experience, they will earn in-between $25,000 to $45,000 per year. More than four years but less then ten years of work experience, they will earn $35,000 to $55,000 per year, and ten to nineteen years of work experience will draw anywhere in-between $45,000 to $65,000 per year. Finally, for more than nineteen years, they will earn about $75,000 per year. In the beginning years of their career, they get per hour payment.

At this point, many older electricians are retiring, which has made way for new job prospects for younger electricians. Due to the advancement in technology these days, a lot of more budding electricians seek appointment to work in research areas that study electricity. Job opportunities also depend on how developed an area is as high investment localities, and infrastructure will always need higher electricity installations and maintenance; hence the demand for electricians in such areas are also high.

How to Become a Journeyman Electrician?

To become a journeyman electrician, their experience needed is:-
at least four years of experience within ten years of course completion. Participating in an apprenticeship program can help you meet this rule. A typical apprenticeship program will need 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. The training equals four years’ worth of work experience. The duration might seem long, but it is not. To learn how to become an electrician, one must also attend a night school for three hours each night. That will be a total of 144 hours of school each year.
During classroom discussions, the professors teach electrical theories, calculations, and safety precautions. Also, for the aspirant, the knowledge of electrical codes is imperative. You may even get training in soldering, maintenance, fire alarm systems, and communications. You must be aware that your state will recognize every educational institution.
So, before you enroll in a course, you need to do a bit of research to find out the recognized electrician courses. To be sure that you will be fulfilling your required classroom hours. How Much Does an Electrician Earn? To develop a keen skillset, one has to go to an electrician trade school. Even online, you can find the answer on how to become an electrician.
The estimate that an electrician who is working for a company will earn from $18 to $27 per hour. Yearly they will receive about $46,000. The earning increases, even more, when your skills and credentials grow.  As per the credentials, electrician trade schools pass out is better than non-certified. In general, that will translate into higher wages. So, when you might think you have an answer to the question: how to become an electrician? ; change the question of how to become a better electrician!

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