A career as an electrician can be quite lucrative. There will always be a need for competent, skilled professional electricians, both in residential work and commercial fields. Requirements can vary from one area to another, but there are some basics to getting licensed.
Find an electrical company that offers an apprenticeship program. Most electricians got their start in electrical education on the job. Many companies offer on-the-job training and also provide educational allowances for classroom instruction.
Prepare to spend about four years in training if you plan to get an electrician's license through an apprenticeship program. You must work full time and go to a school in the evening for classroom instruction. Most programs require one or two nights per week.
Work hard and pay close attention to your supervisor during the work day. You must gain experience actually doing what you are learning in the textbooks. This will help you when you go to take the electrician's exam to get a license.
Get an electrician's license by completing all classroom instruction and passing all of your classroom exams. You must successfully complete the school curriculum in electrician training before you can apply to take the licensing exam.
Apply to take the electrician's licensing exam. You must register and pay an exam fee. Once you pass the licensing exam, you must pay a licensing fee as part of the license application process. These fees can vary from state to state.
Check with the county or state in which you live if you already have training as an electrician. Some areas will allow you to go to a testing center and take the electrician's licensing exam even if you have not gone through an apprenticeship program. If you pass the test with at least a 75 percent score, you can get an electrician's license.
2016 Salary Information for Electricians
Electricians earned a median annual salary of $52,720 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, electricians earned a 25th percentile salary of $39,570, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $69,670, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 666,900 people were employed in the U.S. as electricians.