Get An Electrical Apprenticeship With These 4 Steps

Before you can become a journeyperson, you typically have to complete a four or five-year electrical apprenticeship.

Your apprenticeship will give you on-the-job, paid training, and likely a long-term job as well. Here are some ways you can prepare to start your career as an electrician.

1. Finish High School or Your GED

Before you can enroll in any special training or tech schools, you have to complete high school or get a general equivalency diploma. There are exceptions, but since you’re competing against others for jobs in the industry, it’s best to cover all of your bases.

2. Choose a Specialty and Start Your Schooling

What kind of electrician are you going to be? You could be an inside or outside lineperson, residential installer, or residential wireperson — depending on your specialty, there is different coursework that you will need to complete.

Each year of your multi-year apprenticeship will contain some amount of coursework and theory, combined with job experience. To give you a rough idea of how much of each, the average apprenticeship has at least 144 classroom hours and over 2000 hours on-the-job.

In some States, you need an electrician apprenticeship license in order to work. Expect to spend your first year or two doing menial tasks (carrying things, fetching tools, cleaning up) but as time progresses, you’ll be given more responsibility.

3. Apply for an Apprenticeship, Get Paid to Learn

As mentioned, much of your training will be done on-the-job, and you’ll be paid. Now what you need is a company willing to hire you and help you complete the required work hours.

Apprentice electricians typically earn 40-50% of the wage of a ticketed journeyperson. The average salary of an electrician in the US is $28/hr, with salaries up to and above $120,000, so apprentices can expect to earn ~$14, or $28,000 per year. When you compare that to the cost of a college or university education, you can see why the trades are an attractive career choice.

electrical apprenticeship

4. Pass the Exam in Your State to Complete Your Electrical Apprenticeship

Licensing requirement vary state-to-state, but most require you to complete a licensing examination. Once you’ve passed that, you’re a ticketed journeyperson, and can start earning full wages as an electrician. Here’s a guide to help you ace the exam.

The final step in becoming an electrician is to find a job. In many cases, an apprentice can continue working with the company that paid them during their apprenticeship. Depending on your goals, you may choose to apply for other electrician jobs using your new credentials as a journeyperson.

Want to start now? Here’s a list of programs and schools in the US that might be able to help.

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