Electrician Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming an Electrician or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become an Electrician, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Electrician job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

How To Become an Electrician

Electricians are responsible for modifying, inspecting, installing, repairing, and testing electrical systems and components. They typically work as contractors at construction sites, homes, and businesses. Here are five steps on how to become an electrician.
Contents

1

Get your high school diploma.

The first step in becoming an electrician is to get your high school diploma or GED. This job heavily relies on specific skills, but a basic education will be used daily. You can take special courses in high school, such as English, physics, shop, and algebra, which will be helpful as you continue your learning.

What type of degree should you pursue to become an Electrician?

39% of people working as an Electrician earned a Associate's Degree

What skills do you need to be an Electrician?

  • Highschool Diploma
  • Test Equipment
  • Requests
  • Strong WORK Ethic
  • Professionalism
  • Programmable Logic
  • Views
  • PLC
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as an Electrician in the United States.

2

Attend a trade or vocational school.

While a trade or vocational school isn't always necessary to become an electrician, it is recommended as an effective way to teach you valuable skills and training. It will also teach you what you need to know to complete your certification. Formal education can typically be used to account for experience hours for your journeyman license. Some schools even offer a journeyman program, which provides 4,000 hours of on-the-job experience.

3

Register and complete an apprenticeship.

Whether you choose to attend a trade school or not, you'll need to complete an internship to become an electrician. There are several options for this, including:

  • Apply through trade school. They typically offer both apprenticeship and job placement opportunities.
  • Seek out the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees, or the JATC, that are located in almost every major US city. They will place you with a union employer who hosts technical training. Participating in a union apprenticeship will require you to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
  • Opt for a non-union apprenticeship. Two primary non-union electrical contractors offer placement for apprenticeships. These are the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc, or the Independent Electrical Contractors.

You'll probably be tested on reading comprehension and your mathematics skills when you apply for an apprenticeship, as well as being asked to complete an interview, take a drug test, and meet specific physical requirements. Depending on your state, you'll be required to register as an apprentice before being allowed on job sites.

4

Get certified or licensed.

After meeting your state's requirements for the apprenticeship program, you'll be required to take an exam to become licensed or certified. You'll learn how to:

  • Use testing and inspecting devices to test for electrical issues.
  • Decipher diagrams and blueprints for electric plans.
  • Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring as well as electricity distribution equipment.
  • Ensure that all of your work complies with local, state, and national regulations.

Requirements for licensing and certification vary by state, city, or county, so it's essential to research what qualifications are needed in your area. If you do have to get a license, you'll also be required to take an electrical exam and have an understanding of the National Electric Code, electrical concepts, safety protocols, and building codes. Proof of a completed apprenticeship is also required.

5

Apply for jobs.

Once you've gotten your license or certification, you're ready to begin working as an electrician. Depending on which state you're in, whether union or non-union, you may have to apply for each electrician job differently. It's essential to have an up-to-date resume that highlights any special skills you have, your experience, and other relevant information.

Seniority Levels

L2

Electrician

8+Years of Experience
$65,458 /yrTotal Pay
Learn More
3% advanced to

L3

Senior Electrician

2 - 4Years of Experience
$88,537 /yrTotal Pay
Learn More

L4

Electrician IV

No Years of Experience Reports
$68,990 /yrTotal Pay
Learn More

Total Pay Trajectory

Electrician Career Path

$120K
$103K
$85K
$68K
$50K
L2
L4
L7
Seniority Levels

Related Careers in the Skilled Labor & Manufacturing Industry

Interested in other Skilled Labor & Manufacturing careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Electrician skills. Discover some of the most common Electrician career transitions, along with skills overlap.