Everything You Need To Know About Becoming An Electrician

Updated on April 22, 2016

So You Want To Become An Electrician...

Are you interested in becoming an electrician?

Great, you've come to the right place! It's never been a better time to become an electrician. In fact the demand for electricians in the US has skyrocketed in recent times, and that's even with all the economic uncertainty that's going on in the world today!

The best thing about becoming an electrician is that you don't have to accumulate tens of thousands of dollars of student debt to earn a good living. In fact, as an apprentice electrician you'll be able to earn while you learn your trade. That means that while your peers are slogging through the tedium of college with no guarantee of a job after they graduate, you'll be earning a decent wage and your electrician training at the same time.

If all of this sounds good to you, then read on for more vital information about how you can become an electrician in the quickest and easiest possible way.

Why You Should Become An Electrician
Why You Should Become An Electrician

Why You Should Become An Electrician

Still not convinced that becoming an electrician is the right career path for you? Here are 3 reasons that might just help to convince you:

1. It's A Very Respected Profession

Let's face it, there are a lot of jobs out there that you would be embarrassed for having, but being an electrician is definitely not one of them. It is a very well-respected profession within the construction trade, and it's actually considered by many to be THE top job within the industry. In fact, most people would understand that it takes no small amount of skill and expert knowledge to work with electricity every single day. That in itself brings you a whole lot of respect for doing what you do as an electrician.

2. It's Not The Hardest Job In The World

I'm not saying that being an electrician is easy at all, but you definitely won't have to push yourself to the limit physically to get the job done. The job is really about using your head as much as your hands, so if you're good at problem solving and have an eye for detail, this would definitely be the perfect job for you. Not to mention that you'll encounter new challenges with each new project that you work on, so it will never get boring either.

3. It's An Opportunity To Start A Business

Everyone knows that you won't get rich working for someone else, so eventually many people decide to strike it out on their own and start their own business. As an electrician, you have a huge advantage because you have a skill that is very much in demand regardless of the economic climate. If you're good at what you do and have a knack for managing your time and resources effectively, then starting a business should be a no-brainer for you once you've accumulated enough experience. That way, you can take on your own apprentices and slowly build up your electrical empire.

How To Become An Electrician
How To Become An Electrician

How To Become An Electrician

So how do you become an electrician? Although there are many excellent vocational courses out there, the best way to become an electrician is still to do an apprenticeship.

As an apprentice electrician, you'll get to go out into the field and experience every aspect of what being an electrician is all about. That's something that no teacher or course can ever teach you. And as I already mentioned, while you'll be paying thousands of dollars for a course, you get paid to learn your craft as an apprentice.

Before you rush out and sign up to your local apprenticeship program though, you should take some time to find out more about the different areas of electrical work and which area you might want to specialize in.

Typically, most electricians will focus on one particular area of expertise, namely commercial work, industrial work or maintenance work. Although all licensed electricians will be able to do residential installation and repair work, specializing is where the big money is so you'll definitely want to build towards that.

Can you see all the numbers?
Can you see all the numbers?

Becoming An An Apprentice Electrician

To become an apprentice electrician, you'll need to be at least 18 years of age and have either a high school diploma or a GED. You should also be in good physical shape, have good hand-eye coordination and very importantly, you cannot be color-blind. After all, electricians work with wires with many different colors that denote the function of the wire, and you'll need to be able to tell these wires apart to do your job effectively. If you haven't tested yourself to see if you're color-blind, I highly recommend going in to get it checked before you apply for an apprenticeship.

If you fulfil all the requirements, great! You're ready to take your first steps towards becoming an electrician. It's important to note that you'll need to join a certified apprenticeship program so that your time as an apprentice will be valid in the eyes of your local certification board. I know it's an obvious thing to say but you'll be surprised at how many people end up doing a non-certified course and end up regretting it. The best place to go to find out more about the apprenticeships available in your area would be your local Joint Training Committee (JTC) or Electrical Contractors Association.

Doing an electrical apprenticeship normally takes four years, and this includes 144 hours of class time and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training each year. In your class time, you'll be learning all about fundamental electrical theory, the National Electrical Code as well as your local rules and regulations. Down the road, you will be tested on these concepts and codes so make sure you pay attention! After you have finished your apprenticeship, you'll have to sit for an exam to become a licensed electrician. In most states this is known as getting your Journeyman License.

How Much Does An Electrician Make
How Much Does An Electrician Make

How Much Does An Electrician Make?

Based on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the average electrician in the United States makes just over $48,000 a year. While that doesn't seem like a lot of money to some people, it's important to remember that that's the average of ALL electricians, including the apprentices, journeymen and master electricians. Obviously an apprentice would earn much less than a journeyman or a master electrician, so that's where the figures don't tell the full story.

By doing a little more digging, I managed to find out that the bottom 10% of earners among those surveyed made just under $28,000 a year, while the top 10% of earners made a whopping $80,000 per annum. That's almost three times more! Obviously, the more experience and credentials you have as an electrician, the more money you'll earn. It's as simple as that.

Of course, these figures don't include the profits made by electricians who own their own business as well. When you factor that into the equation, then becoming an electrician can be very lucrative indeed. The most important thing is to learn your craft well, build up your reputation within the industry and when the time comes, you'll be fully equipped to start your own profitable electrical services business.

Interestingly enough, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that the demand for qualified electricians will explode in the next ten years. In fact, they expect more than 130,000 new electrician jobs to be created before over this time period, which is a staggering 23% increase. Based on their analysis of the growth of various industries and professions, this is significantly higher than average.

This study basically confirms what we already know, which is that regardless of the economic conditions, people will still continue to require the use of electricity in their everyday lives. More importantly, they will need electricians to install, maintain and repair these electrical systems for years to come.

The Final Word On Becoming An Electrician

Of course, whether or not you should become an electrician really boils down to one thing. Is working with electricity and solving the unique challenges involved in the whole process something that you have an interest in? If your answer to that question is yes or even maybe, then I encourage you to find out more about becoming an electrician and electrician apprenticeships. It could be the best decision you've ever made!

Feel free to leave your questions and comments about becoming an electrician here!

Comments And Questions

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    • profile image

      Matthias 12 days ago

      i like it it helped a lot im 12 i need to lurn fast

    • profile image

      Ian 3 months ago

      Thank you for this. I have been looking at this job for some time (about a year). I'm 17, and looking for a carrier, and i feel this article helped me solidify my idea of this being my job.

    • profile image

      Alan 6 months ago

      Thank you Jonoadams!!! I gonna be an Electrician

    • profile image

      Damian 8 months ago

      I want to become an electrician. Do you still go college if you are doing an apprentiship .. i live in england

    • profile image

      David 9 months ago

      I want to become an electrician..........How many can I learn the work?

    • profile image

      corde 17 months ago

      thanks for the information

    • profile image

      @annhill 19 months ago

      very well

    • profile image

      LadySUPREME;) 21 months ago

      @ Thandolwenkosi...I think that you in fact need to pursue this trade because you will go to work happy everyday and if your heart is in it you'll be surprised the strength you have... not to mention you are a female and disabled, you will open new avenues for what people think women are capable of...

    • profile image

      James 22 months ago

      The most essential tool of an electrician is undoubtedly the multimeter. Before you purchase one, I recommend doing some thorough research so you get the right one.


    • profile image

      Thandolwenkosi 23 months ago

      I am a girl of 23 years I wanted to study Electrical Engineering since i was at Primary School.My problem and one thing that is botherig me is that I'm disabled(My Right Hand has incomplete finger only a thumb is avaible and 4 fingers are short).I really want to study electrical but I am afraid of my disabled,Do you think I can do it or it will be challenging for me but I have passion and like it with all my heart.There are many course I can study but I don't even think about anyone of them,all i think about is electrical engineering.Please respond to me i really really need to know this

    • profile image

      Lohia Rarua Junior 2 years ago

      I really want to be an electrician but the thing is i really don't know what tools we'll I need!!..please help I need some help.

    • profile image

      modousowe 2 years ago

      I realy want to be an electrician.let's learn the safety roles of electricity to reduce the problems of it.

    • profile image

      Famulus Indignus 3 years ago

      I worked as an electrician's apprentice for 2 and a half years. In

      modern society, there is a very grotesque miseducation about

      electricity, be it from our elementary schools, high schools, trade

      schools or colleges. For this reason, our society is built not according

      to the needs of an electrician but according to the needs of an

      uneducated populace that requires energy for its everyday needs and


      The electrician is treated as a lap dog for a monopolized industry that

      distributes electricity according to dysfunctional principles, through a

      cage of wires which envelops unsuspecting individuals in dangerous

      electric fields. Electricians are pushed into the most irritable and

      inhumane conditions, which is required, due to the fact that building

      codes are not compliant with the needs of the electrician.

      If you wish to be an electrician, you shall learn to use the word

      "compromise" regularly. Compromise is what is expected of the

      electrician, for he (or in rare cases, she) did not choose this mode of

      electrical distribution. The electrician is expected to comply with an

      ever-changing code, a code which is based on a system of distribution

      that is repugnant to human health and decency. The electrician is

      attempting to earn a living, and for this reason the electrician will

      compromise at every avenue to continue to support himself and his

      family, if he has one.

      There are many kinds of electricians, and if you do achieve some sort of

      high-level electrical education before entering apprenticeship, you can

      move past a few less sought-after electrical career paths. Now, this

      does not make you exempt from what is stated above, but through

      achieving a higher level certificate you may develop a complacency that

      allows you to look beyond some less sought-after positions.

      I do not want to deter anybody from seeking out a career path as an

      electrician, but I want to say that the place of the electrician in

      society is one of contempt and disrespect by peers who are largely

      ignorant of the lack of education about electricity, its distribution

      and use, including other peers in the electrical trade.

      Complacency and compromise are embedded deep into our culture, hence why

      our educational system teaches a facade of electricity, and this dates

      back to the early 1900s, at least. They don't know what they don't know.

      One thing you can know is that there was once a better plan for

      distributing electricity, and that plan was stifled by very wealthy and

      very powerful interests. It is that same wealth and monopolized

      influence that led to the construction of our electrical grid that is in

      use today, leaving the few to produce the energy for the many. Those

      who control the energy control the people, and it will remain this way

      until honest and knowledgeable electricians, engineers and lay people

      begin to stand up for their right to harness energy for themselves. This

      is a lesson to be learned from history.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      great shit mann

    • JonoAdams profile image

      JonoAdams 5 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: You certainly do know a lot of electricians! Glad to know we're well appreciated.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      My dad worked as an electrical engineer, so I grew up with an appreciation for electricians. He even taught me how to do basic wiring and make my own lamps. It's a handy skill, though we leave the big jobs to our neighbor who has an electrician business and understands 1920s houses.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Great Lens and information, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      JobsEtc 5 years ago

      Good information on electricians

    • JonoAdams profile image

      JonoAdams 5 years ago

      @VivianAldana LM: Thanks for stopping by!

    • JonoAdams profile image

      JonoAdams 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you!

    • VivianAldana LM profile image

      VivianAldana LM 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • JonoAdams profile image

      JonoAdams 5 years ago

      @me2udirect: Thanks!

    • me2udirect profile image

      me2udirect 5 years ago

      Nice Lens, Informative and very well laid out ... almost makes me want to become an electrician :)

    • JonoAdams profile image

      JonoAdams 5 years ago

      @sunnymars: Thanks for the compliment!

    • profile image

      sunnymars 5 years ago

      Very informative lens, well done putting it together!