Find an Electrician Trade School Near You

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Through pre-apprenticeship training, an electrician school near you can give you a good start on the path to becoming a licensed journeyman. People who go into the electrical trade can benefit from good wage potential, enhanced career stability, satisfying workplace variety, highly engaging job tasks, and other advantages.

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Electrician Training

Today, one of the most common paths to becoming a licensed electrician involves a combination of formal technical schooling and hands-on apprenticeship training. That's because most states require you to have a certain amount of classroom hours and electrical work experience before you can become officially licensed or certified as an electrician.

How to Become a Journeyman Electrician: A Quick Summary

How to Become a Journeyman Electrician: A Quick Summary

The path to becoming a journeyman electrician can vary a bit from state to state, especially when it comes to licensing requirements. That's why it's important to seek additional information from your state government or electrician schools in your area. That said, here are the most common steps that you'll probably need to take:


  1. Get your high school diploma, GED, or equivalency certification.
  2. Consider completing some pre-apprenticeship electrician training at a trade school.
  3. Find and apply for an electrician apprenticeship.
  4. Register as an electrical apprentice or trainee (if your state requires it).
  5. Complete your paid apprenticeship, which may take four to five years.
  6. Apply for and get your state electrician license, along with any required licenses or certifications in your municipality. This step may require you to pass an exam that tests your knowledge of the National Electric Code, local regulations, and other aspects of the trade.

Benefits of Electrician Trade School

Better chances of landing a suitable apprenticeship: Electrical apprenticeship openings tend to get many applicants, so you need to be more qualified than your competition. Finishing a short electrical technology program at a trade school shows that you have the commitment to stick with your training as well as the ability to hit the ground running as a new apprentice.

A forgiving learning environment: You may feel more comfortable practicing necessary trade skills in a school setting than under the watchful eye of an employer who's paying you to learn. School instructors often provide their students with greater freedom to make mistakes. Plus, many trade schools offer free tutoring if you need extra help learning math or other related subjects.

Greater confidence and credibility: Your trade school electrician training can help you feel self-assured as you begin an apprenticeship. By demonstrating that you already know the basics, your trainer and co-workers may take you more seriously than if you were completely new to the field.

Length of Training

Depending on the program, it generally takes from eight to 24 months to complete pre-apprenticeship training through an electrician school.*

Most Common Length of School*
(range in months)

  • Solar energy
    4-12
  • Wind energy
    5-24
  • HVAC
    6-24
  • Electrical
    8-24

Electrician Program Options

 Many electrician trade schools and technical colleges offer pre-apprenticeship electrical programs that provide a valuable head start. Completing such a program may even count toward a future apprenticeship, allowing you to begin one at a more advanced level. (Some or all of the classroom requirements may be waived.)

Signing up for an online electrician school is also an option for students who want to learn from a distance while preparing for their individual states' occupational requirements.

Certificate and diploma programs tend to be short and career-focused, with the curriculum focused on teaching concepts and hands-on skills directly related to the electrical trade. Most certificate and diploma programs can be completed in under a year.* You might choose this option if your goal is simply to prepare for an apprenticeship as quickly as possible.

Associate degree programs may offer the same type of training but also include some general education courses. They're often designed to take about two years.* This might be a better option if you want extra flexibility for your future. It still provides pre-apprenticeship training in a relatively short amount of time. You may also be able to upgrade your education to a bachelor's degree in the future, which could be useful if you ever want a management position. In some states, you may have a better chance to apply the credits you earn through an associate degree program toward the required classroom hours of your apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships involve working under the supervision of a licensed journeyman or master electrician for up to four or five years (according to the OOH). So, what's better to start with: an electrician trade school or apprenticeship? Although it is possible to head straight into electrician apprenticeship jobs, many students choose to complete a post-secondary program at a technical school first. Here's what else you should know:

  • Many employers and organizations that hire and sponsor apprentices look more favorably upon students who've attended nearby electrician schools.
  • Most apprentices are employees in training and get compensated for their work.
  • The OOH says that apprenticeships generally involve about 2,000 hours of hands-on training per year in addition to classroom instruction.
  • Many electrician apprenticeships are run by state organizations or sponsored by joint training committees, including local union chapters. One of the most common apprenticeship programs is administered through the electrical training ALLIANCE, which is comprised of a partnership between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
  • You can locate potential sponsors near you by using the U.S. Department of Labor's apprenticeship finder.


Typical Electrician Courses

Depending on your school and program, your electrician classes may cover areas such as:

  • Electrical theories
  • Trade math
  • Residential, commercial, and industrial electrical concepts
  • Blueprint reading
  • Local, national, and state regulations
  • Building codes
  • Safety practices
  • Tools and equipment for the electrical trade
  • Low- and high-voltage systems
  • Design, repair, calibration, and modification of electrical components, equipment, and machinery
  • Inspection and troubleshooting of electrical systems
  • Power distribution
  • Grounding and wiring
  • Conduit and wiring protection
  • Electrical panels
  • Load calculations
  • Appliance, lighting, and ceiling fan installation
  • Motors and generators
  • Alarm systems
  • Telecommunications

A crucial area of your training will be related to the National Electrical Code, which is a set of guidelines created and managed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Not only is the National Electrical Code an essential section of licensing examinations, but it will also be an integral part of your working life. All electrical work (whether it's upgrades to existing systems or new installations) is required by law to be inspected and approved by state or municipal electrical inspectors. One of the main things these inspectors need to determine is if the electrical work adheres to the National Electrical Code.

Here are some other essential facts about the National Electrical Code:

  • The NFPA periodically updates it, and new editions are released regularly.
  • It includes guidelines on electrical work for virtually all settings.

Skills You Can Learn

ElectricianElectrician training programs offer the opportunity to develop abilities related to:

  • Reading and interpreting blueprints and technical diagrams
  • Interpreting the National Electrical Code and local regulations
  • Following safety procedures
  • Calculating loads, wiring lengths, and room dimensions
  • Using hand tools, power tools, and special equipment such as:
    • Wire strippers
    • Conduit benders
    • Thermal scanners
    • Voltmeters
    • Ammeters
    • Oscilloscopes
    • Cable testers
  • Installing, inspecting, troubleshooting, and fixing electrical components such as:
    • Wires and cables
    • Switches
    • Outlets
    • Circuit breakers
    • Fuses
    • Distribution boards
    • Motors
  • Pinpointing defects or potential hazards

Licensing & Certification

In most states, after you have successfully completed your training, you must get licensed before you can legally work unsupervised as an electrician. That generally requires passing a licensing exam after proving that you've accumulated enough hours of classroom learning and real-world work experience.

The specific requirements vary by state and municipality. That's why it's best to check with a local organization—such as the state licensing department or state fire marshal division—to determine the exact requirements and fees for your area.

In most cases, a license will only allow you to work within the specific municipality or state you took the examination. However, some interstate reciprocity agreements exist, meaning that depending on where you live, you may be able to use your license in other states.

Some states have multiple levels of electrician licensing requirements (including some below the journeyman level). But in many regions, once you have successfully passed the relevant licensing examination, you will officially become a journeyman electrician. As a journeyman, you may be legally allowed to perform almost all types of electrical work. (Some states restrict journeyman electricians from designing electrical systems.)

Electrician Apprenticeships: What You Can Expect

Being an apprentice electrician is necessary if you want to become a journeyman in this good-paying trade. So it's worth learning how to get an electrician apprenticeship, complete your paid training, and pass your state exam (if required).

That said, a common first step in learning how to become an electrician apprentice is to apply with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)—the national voice of the electrical construction industry, committed to bettering the industry through research, education, advocacy, and standards development. NECA sponsors over 300 joint training apprenticeship programs that can allow electrical apprentices to earn a wage while gaining industry-standard skills and knowledge.

NECA is associated with many regional and local chapters, which offer an electrician apprenticeship curriculum developed by their National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC). After finding your local chapter and researching its offerings, you may have the option of choosing a specialty for your apprenticeship.

No matter which chapter or specialty you choose, your electrician apprenticeship will be a multi-year undertaking, combining theoretical classroom instruction with extensive real-life experience. Most electrical apprenticeship programs include at least 144 classroom hours and an annual minimum of 2,000 hours spent on-the-job.

Keep in mind that, in some states, you may need to register your apprenticeship or apply for an electrician apprentice license before beginning any training on actual job sites.

Initially, your apprentice electrician job description will likely include a lot of helper duties such as holding tools, carrying materials, cleaning work sites, and performing other essential tasks directed by an electrical journeyman or master electrician. But as your training continues, you'll be asked to do things that require more and more skill, all while being supervised. It's just one of the many rewarding aspects of becoming an electrician through this process.

Becoming a Master Electrician

After becoming a licensed journeyman electrician, you may choose to advance your career and pursue the master electrician designation. You will likely need to meet additional requirements before you can take a master electrician examination within your state or municipality.

The requirements tend to differ by state. Most states require that you have several years of experience as a licensed electrician before you can take the certification exam and upgrade to master status. However, some states will accept a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering (or a related field) instead of years of experience.

Once you have successfully passed the examination, you will be legally allowed to perform more advanced work, including the planning and design of electrical systems. You can also take on supervisory or management roles.

As a master electrician, you may also become a private electrical contractor by getting a business license and starting your own company. If you go this route, you might need to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance.

Education & Training FAQs

What are the requirements for training at an electrician school?

Electrician JobsTypically, a high school diploma (or its equivalent) is necessary to begin electrician training. Also, depending on the school and program you're interested in, there may also be entrance testing requirements. It's best to check with individual schools and certifying organizations in your area to determine what prerequisites are needed to enroll in an electrician program and later for certification.

How much do electrician programs cost?

Expenses vary depending on the particular school and level of education you choose. According to the U.S. Department of Education's College Affordability and Transparency data for the 2018-2019 school year, the average electrician school cost (tuition and fees) was $14,632 for programs in the "electrical and power transmission installers" category. Some programs were as little as $299 or just a few thousand dollars, whereas one program was more than $40,000.

Keep in mind that many students qualify for financial aid. Data for 2017-2018 from the same source shows that the average net price for these programs was $15,567. (The net price is the amount a student pays after subtracting financial aid from the total cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies, and other education-related expenses, including room and board if applicable.) The net price ranged from as little as $4,394 to as much as $26,626.

What do apprentice electricians get paid?

According to PayScale, the median wage for electrical apprentices is $15.47 per hour. The top earners make over $20.90 an hour. Generally, as your skills and understanding of the job improve, your wages go up.

Do I need to be good at math to be an electrician?

You do need to learn some math and use it while on the job. However, some people find that, thanks to their training, they can handle doing math in the electrical trade even though they weren't good at math in high school. That's because applying mathematical concepts to practical, real-world situations makes them easier to learn. Plus, many electrician schools offer extra tutoring through instructors or peers. So you can always ask for help if you encounter concepts that are hard to understand.

Electricians primarily use simple arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry, and algebra in their jobs. They need to know basic concepts from those mathematical branches to carry out routine tasks such as:

  • Taking measurements
  • Converting between different units of measurement
  • Calculating precise angles
  • Figuring out the voltage, current, or resistance of an electrical circuit
  • Calculating the amount of power being supplied by an electrical source

How long does it take to graduate from electrician schools?

Certificate programs in electrical technology can be completed in a matter of months. In contrast, diploma or associate degree programs can require up to two years of full-time study.

Will I need to become certified after completing electrician school?

Yes, in all likelihood, you will need to meet local or state licensure requirements. Often, that includes passing an exam to test your knowledge of theory, the National Electrical Code, and local or regional building codes. Contractors may need further certification to work for the public. That can include acquiring the master electrician designation, which can require seven years of experience, or a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or a related discipline.

What physical skills are necessary to become an electrician?

Electrical work is very manual, meaning you'll need good hand-eye coordination to work with tools and machinery in remote locations, such as construction sites. You'll also need strong manual dexterity, physical fitness, and a good sense of balance.

Where can I learn how to become an electrician?

Browse the electrician schools listed below to learn more about entering this skilled trade. Here, you can find out about training programs and request more information from schools that interest you.

Electrician Schools

Lincoln Tech
Lincoln Tech

Lincoln Tech

  • East Windsor
  • New Britain
  • Shelton
  • Marietta (Atlanta)
  • Melrose Park
  • Indianapolis
  • Columbia
  • Mahwah
  • Union
  • Queens
  • Allentown
  • Electrical/Electronics

UEI College
UEI College

UEI College

  • Mesa
  • Bakersfield
  • Chula Vista
  • Huntington Park
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • West Covina
  • Electrician Technician

YTI Career Institute
YTI Career Institute

YTI Career Institute

  • York, Pennsylvania
  • Electrical Technology

Summit College
Summit College

Summit College

  • El Cajon, California
  • San Bernardino, California
  • Santa Ana, California
  • Electrician

Porter and Chester Institute
Porter and Chester Institute

Porter and Chester Institute

  • Hamden
  • New London
  • Rocky Hill
  • Stratford
  • Waterbury
  • Brockton
  • Chicopee
  • Worcester
  • Career Industrial, Commercial and Residential Electrician
  • Electrical Technology

Pennco Tech
Pennco Tech

Pennco Tech

  • Blackwood, New Jersey
  • Bristol, Pennsylvania
  • Electrician

Fortis College
Fortis College

Fortis College

  • Centerville, Ohio
  • Electrical and Electronic Systems Technician

Fortis Institute
Fortis Institute

Fortis Institute

  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Lawrenceville, New Jersey
  • Wayne, New Jersey
  • Forty Fort, Pennsylvania
  • Electrical Systems Technology
  • Electrical Trades
  • Electronic Systems Technician

San Joaquin Valley College
San Joaquin Valley College

San Joaquin Valley College

  • Bakersfield
  • Fresno - Trades Education Center
  • Modesto
  • Ontario
  • Temecula
  • Electrical Technology

Florida Technical College
Florida Technical College

Florida Technical College

  • DeLand
  • Kissimmee
  • Lakeland
  • Orlando
  • Pembroke Pines
  • South Miami
  • Electrical

Southern Technical College
Southern Technical College

Southern Technical College

  • Ft. Myers, Florida
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Port Charlotte, Florida
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Electrical Technology
  • Electrical Trades Technology

The Refrigeration School
The Refrigeration School

The Refrigeration School

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Electrical Applications
  • Electro-Mechanical Technologies

Tulsa Welding School
Tulsa Welding School

Tulsa Welding School

  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Electrical Applications
  • Electro-Mechanical Technologies

Carrington College
Carrington College

Carrington College

  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Electrical Technology

Dorsey College
Dorsey College

Dorsey College

  • Dearborn, Michigan
  • Electrical Technician

Southern Careers Institute
Southern Careers Institute

Southern Careers Institute

  • Brownsville, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Waco, Texas
  • Electrical Technician

HoHoKus School of Trade & Technical Sciences
HoHoKus School of Trade & Technical Sciences

HoHoKus School of Trade & Technical Sciences

  • Paterson, New Jersey
  • Electrician Apprenticeship

Penn Foster Career School
Penn Foster Career School

Penn Foster Career School

  • Online
  • High School Diploma with Electrical Pathway

Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College

Penn Foster College

  • Online
  • Residential Electrician

Ashworth College
Ashworth College

Ashworth College

  • Online
  • Electrician Training

InterCoast
InterCoast

InterCoast

  • Fairfield, California
  • Rancho Cordova, California
  • Riverside, California
  • West Covina, California
  • Electrical Training


Electrician Career Information

The electrical trade offers numerous opportunities for satisfying work, good wages, and specialization. Many electricians also enjoy excellent job security thanks to a steady demand for their critical skills.

Career Snapshot

Career Outlook
8% growth from 2019-2029

Median Salary
Electricians

Job Openings
Average Yearly Openings

Length of Training
Most Common Length

Work Settings

Specializations

Residential work, commercial work, industrial work, maintenance work, signage and highway systems, fire alarm and security systems, power line work, telecommunications, solar energy, wind energy, electrical inspection, aviation technology, automotive technology, marine technology

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • U.S. Department of Education

Earnings

According to the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, the median electrician salary is $56,180. The top 10 percent of earners in this trade make more than $96,580 a year.

Job Openings & Outlook for Electricians

Projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the number of electrician jobs could grow 8 percent between 2019 and 2029. To put that in perspective, the projected employment growth from 2019-2029 for all occupations in the U.S. is 4 percent. And growth for construction trades workers is projected at 3 percent. So the percentage of job openings expected for electricians is more than double that of other similar trades. The BLS categorizes this growth as "much faster than average for all occupations."

Key Benefits

  1. Career stability: Safe access to electricity is vital for most aspects of modern society, making this an essential trade with a fairly reliable demand for skilled workers.
  2. Opportunity for self-employment: About five percent of electricians work for themselves (as contractors), allowing them to choose their own projects and set their own schedules and pay rates.
  3. Sense of pride and fulfillment: You get to perform exciting work with your hands and provide vital services within your community. Without electricians, homes wouldn't have heat and light, hospitals wouldn't have the use of critical, lifesaving equipment, and the countless gadgets that have become part of our daily lives couldn't exist.

What a Professional Electrician Does

 Depending on their particular jobs and areas of focus, electricians can take on several different responsibilities. But for many people in the trade, the day-to-day work often involves tasks such as:

  • Planning the layout and installation of electrical systems with consideration for safety and code compliance
  • Reading blueprints
  • Installing new electrical components (such as wiring, fuses, etc.)
  • Repairing and maintaining existing electrical infrastructure
  • Inspecting existing electrical systems, components, and equipment to safeguard against hazards and ensure code compliance
  • Connecting wires to various components within electrical systems (such as transformers, circuit breakers, etc.)
  • Working with power and hand tools to repair or replace equipment, wiring, and lighting fixtures
  • Assembling, installing, and testing electrical equipment, fixtures, and appliances
  • Using ohmmeters, oscilloscopes, and voltmeters to identify problems and test electrical systems
  • Training and supervising apprentices, electrical helpers, or less experienced electricians
  • Consulting and collaborating with architects, engineers, or specialists in other trades who are working on the same projects

Journeyman Electrician Jobs

Journeyperson electricians have completed all of their training and have obtained licensing or certification as per their state's requirements. Note that every state has different regulations on whether licensing or certification is required and what type and length of education is accepted, so it is important to check the requirements within your state.

Once you have advanced from the apprentice to the journeyperson level, you will likely be qualified to complete most electrical work independently. You can carry out the duties you performed as an apprentice and, in many instances, will not require supervision or approval. Depending on the type of work and the state you're in, you may still need to work under a master electrician.

You may also be able to pursue self-employment opportunities and bid on your own contracts. Again, you will need to check your state's laws and regulations regarding the type of work that a journeyperson is legally allowed to complete on his or her own.

Master Electrician Jobs

Electrician SchoolsA master electrician is essentially the lead electrician. He or she oversees all of the work that is completed by journeypersons and apprentices. Master electricians design plans, create layouts, identify the wiring and connections to be used, and obtain necessary permits. You could be responsible for the following:

  • Performing install, repair, maintenance, test, and inspection services
  • Planning and executing every aspect of electrical projects
  • Establishing and upholding safety measures and quality-control practices
  • Ensuring the profitability of projects
  • Handling customer service and client and contractor relations
  • Reading, interpreting, and executing plans
  • Maintaining all required documentation and paperwork
  • Ensuring that licensing requirements, National Electric Code requirements, and other regulations are being met
  • Training apprentice and journeyperson electricians

Every state has different requirements for becoming a master electrician, but they often include the need to possess a minimum of three to six years of journeyperson experience and to pass a test to become certified. Master electricians can also be required to have an electrical engineering degree or similar education.

Master electrician jobs can be found in the same settings as apprenticeships and journeyperson jobs. Their skills are valued across countless industries, and many master electricians run their own companies. And since they are more experienced and often have a higher education level, master electricians typically secure much higher-paying positions.

Work Settings

Electricians use their skills in a wide variety of environments, both indoors and outdoors. Depending on their specific jobs and qualifications, those settings can include places like:

  • Construction sites
  • Homes
  • Businesses
  • Factories
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Airports
  • Entertainment venues
  • Government buildings
  • Utility sites
  • Oil rigs
  • Repair shops
  • Mining or drilling sites
  • Roadways

Electrician Jobs: What are the Main Categories and Specializations?

Electrician JobsPeople in the electrical trade can pursue many different areas of focus. Some electricians prefer to specialize in installation (such as for new construction or renovations). In contrast, others choose to focus on maintenance and repair. And some electricians decide to branch out into very particular industries that often require additional training, certification, and other qualifications. Here are the four main areas of electrical work, plus some additional electrician specialties worth noting:

1. Residential work: Residential electrician jobs focus solely on the electrical systems within people's homes, including new homes under construction. You could be responsible for installing new electrical systems or troubleshooting, repairing, and servicing existing systems. Specific responsibilities could include:

  • Installing lighting systems
  • Inspecting and repairing circuit breakers
  • Using test equipment like ohmmeters and voltmeters to identify problems
  • Measuring, assembling, and installing electrical conduit
  • Installing electrical fittings and boxes
  • Splicing and terminating cables and wires
  • Installing outlet boxes and conductors
  • Connecting wires to circuit breakers and transformers
  • Installing, programming, and testing fire alarms as well as control, security, communication, and sound systems

2. Commercial work: Commercial electrician jobs tend to focus on the electrical systems within office buildings, restaurants, shopping malls, retail stores, and other commercial spaces. Safety is of utmost importance since they are working in areas that are generally accessible by the public. Timeliness and cost-effectiveness are also essential considerations since, frequently, commercial electricians work for clients with tight operational budgets.

Throughout your career as a commercial electrician, you could spend your time:

  • Working on electrical systems that control the power, light, and heat within a building
  • Installing or repairing the wiring for air conditioning and refrigeration systems
  • Ensuring that current wiring is safe and up-to-code
  • Using electrical test equipment to locate shorts and breaks

3. Industrial work: Industrial electricians have to possess knowledge specific to manufacturing facilities, power plants, and other industrial settings. And they must be confident working with high-voltage and direct-current power systems. Many companies have intensive in-house training programs so that their electricians have the specialized knowledge that is required to work within their facilities.

Depending on the industry, industrial electrician jobs could have you carrying out any of the following tasks:

  • Installing, maintaining, testing, and repairing generators, motors, and other electrical controls and devices
  • Interpreting complex blueprints and drawings
  • Installing, repairing, and servicing reactors, regulators, switchgears, and transformers
  • Performing preventive maintenance on electronic equipment
  • Installing and programming robots
  • Troubleshooting and repairing fire-detection and HVAC systems as well as programmable logic controllers
  • Installing and replacing electrical conduit and raceway systems

Some of the places that you could find industrial electrician jobs include construction companies, mining companies, steel producers, manufacturers, and power companies. And with the growing use of robotics within many manufacturing facilities, electricians with robotics knowledge may have increased access to higher-paying jobs.

4. Maintenance Work: Maintenance electrician jobs focus strictly on working with existing electrical systems in many settings, including residential, commercial, and industrial. They identify problems and replace or repair electrical components as needed. They must identify and fix problems as quickly as possible since it could mean that a family cannot live in their home or a factory cannot operate until the repairs are completed.

Some of the tasks you may carry out within a maintenance electrician job include:

  • Installing new light fixtures
  • Repairing faulty fuse boxes
  • Rewiring an entire house or building
  • Maintaining commercial air conditioning and heating systems
  • Repairing power generators in factory settings
  • Managing the electrical network within a manufacturing facility

Offshore electrical work: Find these positions within the energy sector in areas like offshore oil and gas operations or wind farms. Many positions will require you to have advanced education in electrical engineering and specialized knowledge about the types of equipment used in the field. This could include knowledge of electromechanical, electronic, and programmable equipment as well as hydraulic and pneumatic systems and analog and digital transmitters.

Lineman work: Work for power companies on outdoor high-power transmission and distribution lines and systems. These jobs typically exist with major electric utility companies, and you could find yourself working on overhead and underground power lines as well as other electrical subsystems and components. Electrical safety and fall protection are critical concerns in these positions since you are often working at great heights on high-voltage lines.

Marine technology: Secure a job in which you work on the electrical systems and equipment on boats and ships. You could take care of anything related to installation, maintenance, and emergency repairs. Marine electricians must be aware of the extra precautions needed to conduct electrical repairs with water present. Marine electrician jobs can be found within the military, government agencies, ship and boat builders, ship and boatyards and docks, and maintenance companies.

Signage and highway systems: Help fix, maintain or install traffic lights, pole lighting along streets, airport runway lights, or lighted signs or awnings on buildings or detached structures.

Fire alarm and security systems: Focus on installing or repairing low-voltage systems that help protect buildings and their occupants from blazes, theft, acts of vandalism, or other threats.

Telecommunications: Contribute to the installation and repair of underground or overhead cable, Internet, or phone lines used for transmitting video, data, and voice calls.

Solar energy: Play a vital role in the nation's transition to renewable sources of electricity by gaining skills for installing and maintaining solar photovoltaic panels and related systems.

Wind energy: Help install and maintain massive outdoor turbines that generate clean electrical power from the air's natural movement.

Electrical inspection: Closely examine the wiring and other electrical components in buildings that are being constructed, renovated, or sold to ensure that everything is safe and up to code.

Aviation technology: Play a part in the manufacturing, repair, or refurbishment of aircraft by working on the vital electrical systems in airplanes or helicopters.

Automotive technology: Troubleshoot and fix a wide variety of electrical components and systems used in motor vehicles.

Electrical and light work for filmmaking (gaffer): You could be responsible for designing, setting up, controlling, and maintaining the lighting systems for productions. You would likely oversee all of the other lighting personnel as well.

Electrician FAQs and Answers

What is the average electrician salary?

 According to data collected in May 2019 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage in the United States was estimated at $29.02, or about $60,370 annually.

What is the average apprentice electrician salary?

As an apprentice electrician, salary or wages are usually paid based on an hourly rate. According to PayScale, apprentice electricians make $15.47 an hour, on average. But your wage increases as you gain more skills. Top pay for electrical apprentices can reach over $20/hour.

What's the difference between an electrician and an electrical technician?

These terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the roles are often different:

  • Electricians are mostly involved in maintaining and installing wiring and electrical systems for structures.
  • Electrical technicians are frequently more involved with maintaining and repairing equipment, machines, or devices that use electricity. The term "electrical technician" is also sometimes used for:
    • People who assist electrical engineers with the design, testing, and production of devices powered by electricity
    • Apprentices in the electrical trade who are under the supervision of journeyman electricians
    • Tradespeople who primarily work with low-voltage electrical systems

Is being an electrician dangerous?

The trade does have some inherent risks. Injuries can occur due to falling from ladders or scaffolding or being burned or shocked by electricity. But most professionals can perform their work safely by taking precautions, utilizing their electrician training, and following occupational best practices. While often considered a dangerous job, data from the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) reveals that this trade's occupational fatality rate is only about 0.01 percent.

According to BLS data, the top three causes of workplace fatalities were:

  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments
  • Transportation incidents
  • Falls, trips, and slips

An essential part of making sure you are safe on the job when you're first starting is picking the right company, contractor, or union to affiliate with. Your employer should have very high standards for following protocols and conducting ongoing training to ensure workers' safety. Your apprenticeship allows a generous amount of time to train under the direction and supervision of a licensed journeyman electrician. Both you and the journeyman supervising and teaching you will be responsible for your safety.

Where can I work after graduating from an electrician school?

Electrical contractors employ the majority of qualified workers. Other opportunities exist in industries, such as oil and gas, manufacturing, local government, construction, or power generation and distribution. It's also possible to work independently or start your own business.

What personal qualities can help me succeed in the electrical trade?

Many of the best electricians share these traits:

  • Honesty
  • Friendliness
  • Patience
  • Trustworthiness
  • Adaptability
  • Self-directedness
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to communicate clearly
  • Good vision (with no color-blindness)
  • Physical strength, flexibility, and stamina
  • The ability to think logically
  • Good hand-eye coordination

What are the top-paying industries and regions for electricians?

According to OES program estimates, the industries with the highest average electrician pay (per year):

  • Natural gas distribution: $104,250
  • Promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events: $86,820
  • Land subdivision: $82,630

The same estimates show that electricians earn the highest average wages in these regions:

  • District of Columbia: $79,870
  • New York: $79,480
  • Illinois: $78,790

Is there a demand for people who have completed electrician training?

Yes, consistently. The opportunities are often best for those diversifying their skills to include voice, data, and video wiring. Alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, are also driving demand for qualified workers. Some of the factors generating the need for electricians include:

  • A growing population equals more homes, schools, and businesses that require power.
  • Aging structures will need upgrades to meet current safety regulations.
  • A growing reliance on electronic equipment and appliances means an increasing need for power.

Trade School Is a Valuable Way to Begin

Going to an electrician school near you has several potential advantages. Trade school programs offer dependable and convenient ways to prepare for electrician apprenticeships. And completing your apprenticeship is the first step toward becoming a journeyman electrician, and maybe someday a master electrician. This trade offers plenty of satisfying careers with high wages and good job security, so take your first step now and find the electrician program best suited for you!


* Length of training information is based on a combination of information from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the U.S. Department of Education, and a wide sampling of relevant program lengths from about 30 individual school websites. They are a mix of public, private non-profit, and private for-profit institutions.