Electricians

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Electricians

Electricians


Education

What’s Needed:

  • Unlike many other types of workers electricians obtain the bulk of their education and training through exhaustive apprenticeships.
  • To help get a more rapid start in this profession some get started by attending a technical school and completing a certificate program related to basic electrical topics. Graduates typically receive some credit towards their apprenticeship.
  • Electrician apprenticeships last for four years and require participants to log at least 2000 hours of on-the-job training. They must also log at least 144 "training" hours. This off-site training typically introduces and reinforces complex concepts or techniques related to the trade.
  • Aspiring electricians receive monetary compensation throughout their apprenticeships.

What you study:

Aspiring electricians should study the following subjects and techniques:

  • State and local building codes
  • Workplace safety
  • Basic electrodynamics
  • Circuitry
  • Wiring and switching techniques
  • Algebra and geometry

What courses you’ll take

Below are examples of courses that you might take as a student studying to become an electrician.

Course Studies Purpose
Introduction to Electrical Circuits Basic physics of electrical current; components used in electrical circuits including cables capacitors power sources switches and sensors; symbols and conventions used in electrical diagrams; meters and other tools used in electrical work; proper safety procedures; diagnosing and repairing common problems in circuits. Introduce foundational concepts of electrical systems.
Electrical Wiring Core concepts and standards of the National Electric Code (NEC) including rules for voltage markings and signage proper wiring connections and placement of potentially dangerous components; panelboards (components that divide the electrical system into subsidiary circuits) and switchgears (sets of disconnect switches such as fuses and circuit breakers); electrical bonding and grounding (wiring the system in a way that minimizes risk of electric shock). Familiarize students with standards and regulations of electrical work.
Electric Machines and Motors Types of motors including alternating current (AC) direct current (DC) three-phase (motors used in high-power applications like electrical grids); series circuits (circuits in which the components are connected along a single path) and parallel circuits (circuits in which the same voltage reaches all components); functions of control switches and power supplies. Enable students to assess and repair electrical issues with motors.
Electrical Work in Construction Residential and commercial electrical rules of the NEC; the Uniform Building Code (UBC); common city and county ordinances related to electrical work in construction; Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations for safety on construction sites; wiring in drywall concrete and other construction materials; electrical blueprints; roles of electricians in overall construction workflow. Ready students to perform safe and professional electrical work on a construction site.


Video Overview

A quick look at what electricians do in their work. Created for the US Dept. of Labor.


Certifications and Licensing

Electricians who wish to make themselves more attractive to certain employers may obtain specialized certifications from the NJATC. These might include an instrumentation certification solar electricity certification and various special-craft certifications. Although these do not function as employment prerequisites they may help boost a job applicant’s profile.

However most states do require electricians to obtain local licenses in order to practice their craft in a legal manner. In addition most electricians join their local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers chapter. In most areas these two credentials are a prerequisite for finding employment. However some self-employed electricians may not need to join the IBEW.


Job Flexibility

Full-time versus part-time:

Electricians generally work full-time during regular business hours. Given the demanding nature and abundance of their work few electricians are able to work part-time. In fact some may find themselves working more than 50 hours a week in order to meet a pressing construction deadline. Those who work on major construction projects or conduct emergency electrical repairs after storms and blowouts may have to work irregular hours including overnight shifts. On the other hand self-employed electricians largely set their own working hours. However those who wish to build a reputation for responsiveness may need to be on call at all times.

Work location:

Due to the hands-on nature of the industry electricians cannot work off-site or from home. They must be willing to travel within a specific geographic area and work in a variety of potentially dangerous environments. These might include old renovated or under-construction buildings. Those who conduct emergency repairs may be asked to work outdoors in poor weather conditions.


Recommended Websites

The following websites contain useful information for those who wish to become electricians.

  • National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee — The NJATC is a national organization that partners directly with local apprenticeship groups to train and certify aspiring electricians in accordance with the standards set by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Its site contains information about finding apprenticeships certification classes and state-specific electrician licenses.
  • California Apprenticeship Coordinators Association — The California Apprenticeship Coordinators Association contains career-related information like salary ranges job duties and job growth forecasts. Although it caters to residents of California the information on its site should be useful to aspiring electricians across the country.
  • U.S. Department of Labor — The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out a detailed fact sheet for aspiring electricians. It contains useful information about work responsibilities job flexibility salary ranges and the industry’s job outlook. This site is a great place to start learning more about becoming an electrician.
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is a labor advocacy group that provides a wide range of resources for its electrician members. These include political advocacy certification and training information and a full-service jobs board.


Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column — for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

State City / Region Typical Salary Salary Range Job Count % of All Jobs
AK Anchorage $78180 $43K – $94K 1120 0.65%
AK Fairbanks $74950 $51K – $109K 280 0.79%
AL Anniston – Oxford $39960 $31K – $62K 170 0.39%
AL Auburn – Opelika $35070 $27K – $46K 190 0.40%
AL Birmingham – Hoover $40920 $28K – $55K 2930 0.60%
AL Decatur $40160 $30K – $57K 250 0.48%
AL Dothan $33310 $26K – $43K 280 0.51%
AL Florence – Muscle Shoals $35130 $27K – $57K 340 0.65%
AL Gadsden $49960 $26K – $58K 150 0.44%
AL Huntsville $41540 $30K – $68K 860 0.42%
AL Mobile $44260 $29K – $58K 1650 0.98%
AL Montgomery $38360 $30K – $46K 450 0.29%
AL Tuscaloosa $49550 $27K – $61K 600 0.67%
AR Fayetteville – Springdale – Rogers $40860 $28K – $53K 700 0.35%
AR Fort Smith $39000 $24K – $53K 320 0.29%
AR Hot Springs $35060 $27K – $47K 200 0.56%
AR Jonesboro $37070 $28K – $47K 130 0.26%
AR Little Rock – North Little Rock – Conway $40880 $27K – $56K 1300 0.39%
AR Pine Bluff $50800 $30K – $72K 200 0.59%
AZ Flagstaff $42080 $32K – $58K 130 0.23%
AZ Lake Havasu City $ Kingman $42400 $31K – $57K 150 0.34%
AZ Phoenix – Mesa – Glendale $39410 $28K – $59K 8270 0.48%
AZ Prescott $46840 $32K – $60K 130 0.25%
AZ Tucson $39090 $25K – $56K 1050 0.30%
AZ Yuma $40050 $28K – $64K 140 0.25%
CA Bakersfield – Delano $62770 $37K – $80K 1170 0.43%
CA Chico $49070 $33K – $69K 150 0.23%
CA El Centro $58200 $41K – $110K 180 0.35%
CA Fresno $51470 $32K – $76K 850 0.27%
CA Hanford – Corcoran $58210 $46K – $76K 80 0.20%
CA Los Angeles – Long Beach – Glendale (Metro Area) $65430 $36K – $91K 9810 0.25%
CA Madera – Chowchilla $53950 $39K – $87K 80 0.21%
CA Merced $49490 $33K – $73K 120 0.20%
CA Modesto $55940 $36K – $78K 640 0.42%
CA Napa $66260 $49K – $93K 140 0.22%
CA Oakland – Fremont – Hayward (Metro Area) $78640 $49K – $108K 3010 0.31%
CA Oxnard – Thousand Oaks – Ventura $61790 $41K – $74K 900 0.31%
CA Redding $61530 $42K – $90K 180 0.32%
CA Riverside – San Bernardino – Ontario $55860 $33K – $92K 3370 0.29%
CA Sacramento – Arden – Arcade – Roseville $57430 $38K – $90K 2390 0.29%
CA Salinas $57960 $30K – $85K 270 0.17%
CA San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos $52700 $36K – $87K 4600 0.36%
CA San Francisco – San Mateo – Redwood City (Metro Area) $76840 $49K – $124K 1920 0.19%
CA San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara $66580 $33K – $118K 3710 0.41%
CA San Luis Obispo – Paso Robles $66590 $49K – $88K 570 0.56%
CA Santa Ana – Anaheim – Irvine (Metro Area) $58650 $39K – $88K 4400 0.31%
CA Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Goleta $55830 $35K – $90K 340 0.20%
CA Santa Cruz – Watsonville $59610 $47K – $85K 180 0.22%
CA Santa Rosa – Petaluma $63200 $24K – $94K 510 0.30%
CA Stockton $58570 $40K – $88K 670 0.34%
CA Vallejo – Fairfield $65310 $35K – $121K 500 0.41%
CA Visalia – Porterville $48920 $30K – $64K 360 0.27%
CA Yuba City $54310 $34K – $82K 60 0.17%
CO Boulder $41600 $32K – $66K 520 0.33%
CO Colorado Springs $45130 $31K – $71K 1280 0.53%
CO Denver – Aurora – Broomfield $50910 $29K – $74K 6640 0.54%
CO Fort Collins – Loveland $44910 $22K – $77K 600 0.45%
CO Grand Junction $44850 $24K – $60K 370 0.64%
CO Greeley $45660 $27K – $64K 620 0.78%
CO Pueblo $49290 $32K – $72K 250 0.47%
CT Bridgeport – Stamford – Norwalk $57670 $38K – $84K 1030 0.25%
CT Danbury $55030 $36K – $72K 350 0.52%
CT Hartford – West Hartford – East Hartford $55330 $33K – $84K 2240 0.40%
CT New Haven $58960 $41K – $108K 630 0.23%
CT Norwich – New London $55900 $33K – $86K 490 0.38%
CT Waterbury $51340 $37K – $59K 270 0.43%
DC Washington – Arlington – Alexandria (Metro Area) $54310 $33K – $86K 9190 0.39%
DE Dover $49370 $27K – $71K 200 0.35%
DE Wilmington (Metro Area) $57980 $35K – $87K 1290 0.40%
FL Cape Coral – Fort Myers $32110 $24K – $47K 1060 0.52%
FL Crestview – Fort Walton Beach – Destin $47570 $33K – $63K 220 0.31%
FL Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach $39480 $29K – $58K 610 0.40%
FL Fort Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield Beach (Metro Area) $38130 $24K – $58K 2920 0.41%
FL Gainesville $37430 $29K – $58K 370 0.31%
FL Jacksonville $39170 $28K – $57K 2940 0.51%
FL Lakeland – Winter Haven $36790 $28K – $55K 1160 0.61%
FL Miami – Miami Beach – Kendall (Metro Area) $38420 $26K – $62K 2820 0.28%
FL Naples – Marco Island $36740 $27K – $48K 450 0.39%
FL North Port – Bradenton – Sarasota $38970 $24K – $69K 940 0.39%
FL Ocala $34830 $26K – $48K 290 0.33%
FL Orlando – Kissimmee – Sanford $36330 $27K – $55K 3430 0.34%
FL Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville $36560 $24K – $71K 820 0.43%
FL Palm Coast $25720 $21K – $34K 60 0.33%
FL Panama City – Lynn Haven – Panama City Beach $37300 $23K – $47K 270 0.39%
FL Pensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent $40270 $25K – $60K 620 0.41%
FL Port St. Lucie $38470 $25K – $57K 590 0.48%
FL Punta Gorda $35030 $31K – $46K 150 0.38%
FL Sebastian – Vero Beach $38210 $27K – $57K 220 0.48%
FL Tallahassee $34750 $24K – $47K 340 0.21%
FL Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater $37000 $25K – $53K 4410 0.39%
FL West Palm Beach – Boca Raton – Boynton Beach (Metro Area) $41240 $27K – $59K 1880 0.37%
GA Albany $40240 $27K – $58K 230 0.38%
GA Athens – Clarke County $39010 $21K – $48K 110 0.15%
GA Atlanta – Sandy Springs – Marietta $44160 $29K – $71K 9720 0.43%
GA Augusta – Richmond County $40990 $25K – $58K 900 0.45%
GA Brunswick $36980 $31K – $56K 80 0.21%
GA Columbus $36620 $27K – $54K 350 0.32%
GA Dalton $43540 $31K – $58K$23K – $58K 180 0.26%
GA Hinesville – Fort Stewart $45130 $34K – $58K 80 0.49%
GA Macon $42290 $25K – $58K 390 0.42%
GA Rome $45900 $32K – $74K 80 0.23%
GA Savannah $44550 $28K – $71K 580 0.39%
GA Valdosta $34320 $26K – $46K 390 0.78%
GA Warner Robins $50210 $33K – $66K 100 0.18%
HI Honolulu $69620 $48K – $94K 1780 0.41%
IA Ames $42710 $29K – $61K 330 0.83%
IA Cedar Rapids $62330 $35K – $74K 970 0.70%
IA Davenport – Moline – Rock Island $63790 $45K – $75K 780 0.44%
IA Des Moines – West Des Moines $41750 $31K – $68K 1600 0.49%
IA Dubuque $48830 $28K – $68K 440 0.78%
IA Iowa City $47100 $29K – $72K 310 0.37%
IA Sioux City $43460 $28K – $58K 230 0.33%
IA Waterloo – Cedar Falls $48040 $32K – $59K 360 0.41%
ID Boise City – Nampa $44130 $27K – $60K 900 0.34%
ID Coeur d’Alene ID $42830 $23K – $57K 230 0.44%
ID Idaho Falls $53110 $39K – $60K 310 0.64%
ID Lewiston N/A N/A – N/A 160 0.67%
ID Pocatello $48660 $28K – $58K 250 0.76%
IL Bloomington – Normal $69210 $47K – $90K N/A N/A
IL Champaign – Urbana $68280 $38K – $92K 370 0.40%
IL Chicago – Joliet – Naperville (Metro Area) $78810 $48K – $94K 15500 0.43%
IL Danville $46500 $33K – $61K 110 0.40%
IL Decatur $59140 $34K – $74K 400 0.81%
IL Kankakee – Bradley $46310 $29K – $88K 190 0.47%
IL Lake County – Kenosha County (Metro Area) $56470 $35K – $84K 990 0.27%
IL Peoria $60760 $36K – $80K 1030 0.57%
IL Rockford $78030 $40K – $92K 290 0.21%
IL Springfield $65800 $31K – $77K 390 0.37%
IN Anderson $46050 $32K – $71K 50 0.14%
IN Bloomington $54010 $33K – $71K 160 0.21%
IN Columbus $44710 $37K – $58K 250 0.54%
IN Elkhart – Goshen $43540 $32K – $70K 440 0.40%
IN Evansville $62810 $35K – $74K 1000 0.59%
IN Fort Wayne $50800 $29K – $77K 1030 0.52%
IN Gary (Metro Area) $64790 $40K – $92K 2570 0.97%
IN Indianapolis – Carmel $60480 $34K – $77K 3730 0.42%
IN Kokomo N/A N/A – N/A 510 1.29%
IN Lafayette $53210 $25K – $73K 370 0.43%
IN Michigan City – La Porte $50420 $27K – $78K N/A N/A
IN Muncie $42740 $28K – $68K 90 0.20%
IN South Bend – Mishawaka $50320 $33K – $73K 690 0.55%
IN Terre Haute $61630 $40K – $75K 360 0.55%
KS Lawrence $43670 $32K – $57K 150 0.33%
KS Manhattan $47140 $32K – $88K 150 0.29%
KS Topeka $49020 $34K – $59K 430 0.41%
KS Wichita $48800 $32K – $67K 1330 0.47%
KY Bowling Green $39750 $24K – $65K 200 0.34%
KY Elizabethtown $43050 $32K – $64K 150 0.33%
KY Lexington – Fayette $42160 $31K – $58K 820 0.33%
KY Louisville – Jefferson County $47250 $31K – $71K 2480 0.41%
KY Owensboro $42690 $28K – $69K 230 0.47%
LA Alexandria $42310 $31K – $65K 270 0.43%
LA Baton Rouge $45530 $32K – $62K 2350 0.65%
LA Houma – Bayou Cane – Thibodaux $44130 $33K – $71K 630 0.68%
LA Lafayette $44280 $32K – $61K 650 0.43%
LA Lake Charles $42620 $31K – $59K 610 0.70%
LA Monroe $43830 $33K – $62K 420 0.57%
LA New Orleans – Metairie – Kenner $45050 $33K – $68K 2530 0.49%
LA Shreveport – Bossier City $46240 $28K – $70K 850 0.49%
MA Barnstable Town $55000 $32K – $74K 240 0.25%
MA Boston – Cambridge – Quincy (Metro Area) $63770 $37K – $94K 5920 0.35%
MA Brockton – Bridgewater – Easton (Metro Area) $53920 $41K – $73K 310 0.36%
MA Framingham (Metro Area) $58280 $32K – $96K 1130 0.72%
MA Haverhill – North Andover – Amesbury (Metro Area) $50650 $31K – $78K 420 0.54%
MA Lawrence – Methuen – Salem (Metro Area) $52240 $30K – $61K 120 0.20%
MA Leominster – Fitchburg – Gardner $55210 $28K – $83K 90 0.18%
MA Lowell – Billerica – Chelmsford (Metro Area) $54540 $37K – $79K 1120 0.96%
MA New Bedford $51550 $36K – $64K 140 0.22%
MA Peabody (Metro Area) $58700 $35K – $79K 250 0.25%
MA Pittsfield $51800 $33K – $67K 170 0.51%
MA Springfield $56540 $33K – $74K 950 0.33%
MA Taunton – Norton – Raynham (Metro Area) $56250 $42K – $72K 180 0.41%
MA Worcester $63220 $37K – $113K 1040 0.43%
MD Baltimore – Towson $48910 $30K – $76K 5230 0.42%
MD Bethesda – Rockville – Frederick (Metro Area) $55520 $35K – $83K 2130 0.38%
MD Cumberland $34410 $22K – $61K 110 0.30%
MD Hagerstown – Martinsburg $41960 $32K – $59K 490 0.49%
MD Salisbury $45210 $28K – $59K 200 0.39%
ME Bangor $43250 $30K – $63K 260 0.40%
ME Lewiston – Auburn $33890 $22K – $54K 150 0.31%
ME Portland – South Portland – Biddeford $42940 $23K – $61K 580 0.30%
MI Ann Arbor $68200 $45K – $89K 580 0.30%
MI Battle Creek $51120 $30K – $72K 170 0.33%
MI Bay City $43690 $33K – $56K 140 0.42%
MI Detroit – Livonia – Dearborn (Metro Area) $66130 $44K – $90K 3130 0.45%
MI Grand Rapids – Wyoming $45930 $31K – $68K 1970 0.51%
MI Holland – Grand Haven $44370 $32K – $60K 430 0.42%
MI Jackson $48440 $29K – $69K 90 0.18%
MI Kalamazoo – Portage $45630 $30K – $68K 500 0.39%
MI Lansing – East Lansing $59680 $38K – $73K 840 0.43%
MI Monroe $50290 $36K – $71K 170 0.46%
MI Muskegon – Norton Shores $57660 $35K – $74K 240 0.41%
MI Niles – Benton Harbor $49860 $23K – $69K 240 0.42%
MI Saginaw – Saginaw Township North $51560 $33K – $71K 300 0.36%
MI Warren – Troy – Farmington Hills (Metro Area) $62720 $30K – $83K 5180 0.48%
MN Duluth $66770 $43K – $75K 800 0.65%
MN Mankato – North Mankato $64110 $43K – $74K 170 0.36%
MN Minneapolis – St. Paul – Bloomington $67340 $47K – $87K 5680 0.32%
MN Rochester $55670 $35K – $72K 220 0.22%
MN St. Cloud $53050 $39K – $69K 520 0.54%
MO Cape Girardeau – Jackson $43040 $29K – $78K 120 0.28%
MO Columbia $46430 $29K – $73K 170 0.19%
MO Jefferson City $40520 $25K – $70K 350 0.50%
MO Joplin $51270 $31K – $64K 320 0.42%
MO Kansas City $57620 $29K – $78K 3520 0.36%
MO Springfield $40270 $27K – $57K 630 0.34%
MO St. Joseph $57040 $33K – $72K 320 0.63%
MO St. Louis $65780 $42K – $86K 5400 0.42%
MS Gulfport – Biloxi $42810 $28K – $59K 660 0.64%
MS Hattiesburg $39920 $23K – $56K 240 0.43%
MS Jackson $41580 $27K – $57K 820 0.33%
MT Billings $55380 $38K – $73K 280 0.34%
MT Great Falls $50660 $30K – $60K 130 0.36%
MT Missoula $56360 $29K – $71K 230 0.41%
NC Asheville $34260 $25K – $46K 640 0.38%
NC Burlington $37020 $26K – $60K 160 0.29%
NC Charlotte – Gastonia – Rock Hill $38000 $25K – $55K 2420 0.28%
NC Durham – Chapel Hill $41080 $29K – $58K 920 0.34%
NC<

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