Electricians, according to level of experience and licensing, can be categorized in 3 groups:
- Apprentice Electricians are electrical tradesmen who perform tasks under and are trained by a master electrician. An apprentice electrician will be taking classes and accrue experience in the field for a few years, and then take a qualification exam in order to become a journeyman electrician. Depending on state, Your license can actually be called something else.
- Journeyman are craftsman who are able to perform electrical duties independenly, without the supervision of a master electrician. At this point, most electricians begin to specialize and choose their career paths. Once a journeyman electrician has completed several years of additional practical experience, along with the required yearly training, they can take a qualification exam to become a master electrician.
- Master electricians have reached the highest level of certification for an electrician craft and thus can train and supervise both apprentice and journeyman electricians. Several master electricians eventually start their own businesses or become employed as general contractors. In other words, individuals with such qualification are making really decent income, especially if working in highly populated or rapidly expanding areas.
ELECTRICIAN LEVELS / RANKS
There are number of ways to fulfill certification requirements in various areas, but an apprenticeship is definitely the best option for new applicants. This is the entry position for anyone desiring to become a full fledged electrician. Apprentices (sometimes referred also to as trainees and/or helpers) require professional hands-on training along with a formal education in order to qualify for the certification. The electrician apprenticeship can be combined with the course as well as it can be done separately.
Some aspiring apprentice participate in training while attending trade school and some choose to train after school is completed. There are cases when helpers even do apprenticeships for master Electrician in their local area before enrolling in any vocational program. In the case of an area which demand the completion of the apprenticeship after being licensed, the individual becomes licensed during school and joins the apprenticeship after as on site training.
Applying for an Electrician Apprenticeship Program
When You are ready to enroll in an electrician apprenticeship program, it’s important to seek out programs that are sponsored by national organizations like the the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Many other schools and companies also offer electrician apprenticeships, and You can find out where these are offered by contacting the local union or training center in your area.
Electrical Apprenticeship Qualifications / Requirements
You will need to meet a series of qualifications or requirements in order to be eligible for enrollment in an electrician apprenticeship program, including:
- candidate must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application
- candidate must possess a high school diploma or GED
- candidate must have completed one full year of high school algebra and maintained a minimum of a “C” grade, or the equivalent of one semester of college algebra
- aspiring electrician must be able to physically perform the work of the trade
- as well as must have a valid driver’s license at the time of application submission
Completing Electrician Apprenticeships
Electrician apprenticeship programs usually last between four to five years and require a commitment of at least 8000 hrs. Some states require trainees to attend school for an additional 800 – 1000 hrs on top of the apprenticeship program within their training time frame. It is important to note that many electrician apprenticeships are paid, and the apprentice will continue to earn an attractive salary after their electrician apprenticeship program is complete.
The classroom training component includes a series of courses in mathematics, first aid and work safety practices, electrical code requirements, communications, fire alarm and security systems and crane or elevator operation. The hands-on part of the electrician apprenticeships usually include work by means of electric systems all through diverse procedures such as installation, repair jobs, maintenance, replacements and other associated tasks. Helpers are involved in both commercial and residential work environments. Their responsibilities are not limited to projects however, because there might be situations when help is required during emergencies. Those scenarios require unconventional hours of work at times.
Some of the duties may include measuring and fabricating circuits and wiring systems, installing conduits, testing wiring systems. Further tasks are repairing systems and wiring outlets in industrial settings and facilities like factories. Installations need aptitude, ability to follow instructions and skillful hands. Outlines are typically given to apprentice electricians for installation plans, and they must have knowledge of electric devices beforehand. This knowledge comes from part of the training that isn’t hands-on. And, of course, all apprentices work under the supervision of experienced electricians but may end up receiving manufacturer-specific training at some point in their careers.
The completion of apprenticeship also gives the individual the opportunity to work as a journeyman electrician. But, even after the electrician apprenticeship program is complete, electricians must take continuing education courses that make sure they are up to date on the latest changes in electrical code, and are able to maintain their skills and knowledge.
Journeyman is an electrician rank when a professional has completed advanced electrician training and possesses a certain skill set. Thus, just like a Master Electrician, the journeyman needs to take several advanced courses and complete a number of hands-on training in their field of expertise. Many electricians decide to work towards achieving the journeyman electrician status so that they can enjoy better job opportunities, receive higher remuneration and advance in their careers.
Journeyman electricians work on various electrical systems – this could mean installing new systems,troubleshooting and repairing or replacing old systems, such as lighting systems, mechanical connections, telecommunications, power supplies and security systems in residential and commercial buildings as well as production plants etc.
There are journeyman electricians who work for the city or county. They are the electricians who work on the power we rely on for our daily lives. They are trained to take care of the street lights, stop lights, overhead lines, the power that runs to residences and the power supplying businesses. In case of power outage, they are called out at any time, day or night, to solve the issue.
How Do I Get a Journeyman Electrician License?
Most states require that an electrician must pass a licensing exam in order to get the journeyman electrician license. This exam is definitely not as extensive as the exam for a master electrician license, but still covers a broad range of subjects and requires the student to prove their competence in a particular area.
To prepare for the licensing exam, You will need to complete your training and an apprenticeship in your chosen field. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is just one of many organizations that offer paid training and educational opportunities for those who desire to obtain their journeyman electrician license. You can easily contact your local chapter of the IBEW to find out where paid apprenticeships and training program are available.
The supervision of a Master Electrician is required in nearly all states for completing the journeyman electrician program. You will need to carefully document Your time spent to prove that you have completed sufficient hands-on training in order to get your journeyman electrician license.
Most states require between 6000 to 8000 hours of hands-on training, but some licensing authorities will only credit you for up to 2000 hours per year. You will also need to study the National Electrical Code (NEC) to ensure your work is always compliant with NEC requirements.
It typically takes between three to four years to achieve the credentials for a journeyman electrician, and in states where there is no formal licensing process, the individual must have acquired a certain level of expertise in their field.
Options After License Is Obtained
When the license is received, You have a great chance of finding a fulfilling work. You can finally pinpoint your classification, for instance, an electrician technician can get a job in factories and other businesses repairing machinery and equipment. They usually also conduct maintenance on the wiring. Residential Electricians work in people’s homes installing new devices and correcting existing electrical problems. A journeyman electrician can also work on construction projects to install the new electrical system. When certain state requirements are met, a person can move on to become a master electrician.
Master electricians are experienced, well trained, skilled, and licensed electricians with the capacity and certifications to work on almost any task that encompasses electricity. A master electrician is described to have reached the peak of their profession.
All individuals looking to become a master electricians must make up their mind to work hard and study. For example, according to the requirements set by the State Board of Electrical Examiners, candidates applying for the master’s level have to:
- be at least 21 years of age
- hold a high school diploma or a GED
- have completed work that is compliant with the National Electrical Code
- have a practical hands-on experience
In reality it, however, means that in order to qualify as a master electrician one must have passed the master electrician exam following either at least 5 years of work as a journeyman or completing a degree in Electrical Engineering. As you might guess, such combination of education and experienced prepares the craftsmen to handle almost everything they might encounter while completing a project.
Being a master electrician is a major responsibility – their duties include assessment of projects, supervising that documentation (all necessary permits) is in order and, of course, leading the team of journeyman and apprentices working under his/her supervision. They must as well be able to apply any design and supervise the installation and preparation of lighting fixtures and wiring. Master electricians hold responsibility that all work procedures and protocols (for instance, regarding safety at the work site, usage of tools etc.) are followed.
Upon attaining a master electrician license, the individual can now seek for their electrical contractors license. When the state has approved the individual new contractors license, they are permitted to start and manage their own electrical business. Maybe You also should pursue it?