Electrician FAQs

What are the requirements for licensing examination? Many licensing authorities required that a minimum amount of documented time has been spent working in the trade to be eligible for license examination. It is not uncommon for 6,000 to 8,000 hour minimum time requirements.

What are some examples of documentation to show time spent working as an apprentice or helper for licensing? Examples of documentation include tax information (W-4), pay stubs, or school transcripts if you claim time spent attending a technical school.

What important skills do electricians possess? Electricians must possess many skills to do their jobs successfully. They need to have critical-thinking skills because they perform tests and use the results to diagnose problems as well as customer-services skills to properly address a customer’s needs. Electricians also need trouble-shooting skills because they find, diagnose, and repair problems and some electricians must be able to direct others’ work as well as plan work schedules when working in a managerial role.

What is the level of education required to become an electrician? A high school diploma or GED equivalent is the entry-level education required to be an electrician.

How much do electricians make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of electricians was $48,250 in 2010.

How can electricians get training? Formal training for electricians combines an apprenticeship and classroom work. Electrician apprentices work full time and take about 144 clock hours of classroom courses, per year, for three to five years. Alternatively, some students opt to do the classroom work first by taking courses at a technical school or community college.

How long is an apprenticeship? Apprenticeship programs are provided by local unions and their affiliates, as well as by non-union contractors. Doing an electrical apprenticeship normally takes four years, and this includes 144 hours of class time and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training each year.

Do you need to have a license to be an electrician? Most states require licensure and the requirements vary by state.

How long does it take to become a master electrician? In most states, to be licensed as a master electrician you must have either seven years work experience as a licensed electrician or a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

What is a master electrician? The designation “master” is only given to electricians who can prove extensive job knowledge and are formally tested to have an extensive understanding of the electrical safety code. Only a master electrician can pull the permits with the electrical authority and can only be registered with one electrical contracting company at any one time.

Do I need to submit an application to become a master electrician? Yes, becoming a licensed master electrician requires submitting an application in most locations and states.

Is anything required of electricians after getting licensure? Electricians may be required to take continuing education courses. These courses usually involve instruction related to safety practices, changes to the electrical code, and training from manufacturers in specific products.

What is the job outlook for electricians? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects about 23 percent in growth for electricians between 2010 and 2020, which is higher growth than the average of 14 percent expected among all occupations. This data basically confirms that people will still continue to require the use of electricity in their everyday lives. More importantly, they will need electricians to install, maintain and repair these electrical systems for years to come.

What are some personal requirements needed of electricians? Being an electrician is very much a hands-on career that requires good hand-to-eye coordination and the ability to clearly distinguish the colors used to identify wires (i.e., cannot be colorblind). One should also be in good physical shape when considering a career as an electrician.

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