Most electricians start as apprentices and earn the rank of journeyman electrician after completing four years of training. At that point, they're usually competent enough in blueprint reading, mathematics, electrical codes, safety and first-aid to apply for state licenses. As a journeyman electrician, your primary responsibilities will be installing electric wiring in homes and buildings. You can expect to earn a first-year journeyman electrician salary averaging above $40,000 annually.
Journeyman Electrician Salary and Qualifications
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the median annual salary for journeyman electricians was $54,110. At the median, half of the workers earned more and half made less. The 10 percent paid the least made less than $32,180. The 10 percent with the best pay got more than $92,690.
The minimum education requirement for this job is a high school diploma. To become a journeyman electrician, you must complete a four-year apprenticeship, which then qualifies you as a journey worker or journeyman electrician. During your apprenticeship training, you must complete 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid job training, according to the BLS. Other important qualifications are physical strength and stamina, color vision, and critical thinking, management, customer service and troubleshooting skills.
Wages by Region
In 2018, average annual wages for first-year journeymen electricians varied the most in the South, according to Simply Hired. For example, electricians earned the highest incomes, reaching up to 102,000, in Washington, D.C., but only $41,000, in Mississippi. Those in the West made the most in California and least in Idaho, at $62,000 and $51,000 per year, respectively. If you worked as a journeyman electrician in a Northeastern state such as Maine or Massachusetts, you earned $57,000 and $67,000, respectively. In the Midwest, your income could range from $64,000 in Iowa to $69,000 in Missouri.
Apprenticeships are sponsored by trade unions and electrical contractors. Consequently, an apprentice electrician salary' is usually 30 to 50 percent of the union electrician salary, reports the BLS. They then get raises as they become journey workers, and earn additional pay raises the longer they work in the industry. Those who start their own businesses likely have the greatest potential to earn more money. You may also earn more in certain industries as a first-year journeyman electrician. The highest median annual pay amount, $60,590, went to those working for government agencies, based on 2017 BLS data. Electricians also earned relatively high annual wages, $58,490, working for manufacturing companies. Employment firms paid the lowest industry wages with a median amount of $47,520.
The BLS projects a 9 percent increase in jobs for electricians, including first-year journeymen, from 2016 to 2026, which is about the same as the percent growth rate for all occupations. Homes and businesses in the 21st century require more wiring, which may increase job opportunities for you. Homes and businesses which use solar or wind power require the services of electricians for installation. Electricians will be required to link alternative energy sources to homes, businesses and power grids.