In this installment of our, “How to Become Licensed” series we’re going to look at what you need to do to become a licensed electrician. With the industry on the rise and a shortage of specialists the timing couldn’t be better if you’re considering a career in the industry or if you’re just looking to further you education. Listed below are a few steps that we believe may help you on your journey to become a licensed electrician.
Step 1 – Graduate from High School
This step applies to pretty much any path whether you want to go to college or become a general contractor or electrician. Earning a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) is an essential asset for you if you’re considering this career path as most electrician trade schools and apprenticeship programs will require at least a high school diploma. Be sure to do well in school, get your degree and proceed to step 2.
Step 2 – Research, Research, Research
Understanding the industry you’re going into before dive in can be vital. You’d never prepare for a long voyage across the ocean without a life vest. The going can get tough and when it does it’s nice having some prior knowledge to help you navigate (knowledge that’s especially useful in such a diverse field). There are four different kinds of electricians: outside lineman, inside wireman, telecommunications electricians and residential electricians. Each career path will offer different challenges and benefits so be sure to do some research and find the one you think might interest you the most before you proceed to step 3.
Step 3 – Go to Trade (or Vocational) School/Enter Apprentice Program
You’re almost there, just two more steps to go. At trade school you’ll learn about electrical theory, circuitry, mathematics, wiring and motor skills among other essential skills. Without such courses your chances of passing the licensing exam or getting an apprenticeship are substantially lower than if you had gone to vocational school. Some programs even tie in the apprenticeship with your degree, which will streamline the process, help you get your degree quicker and save you some money.
If you can’t find a program that ties the apprenticeship in you’ll have to apply to one after you graduate from trade school. Apprenticeships typically last between two and five years. After those five years you’ll earn the title of Journeyman Electrician.
Step 4 – Take the Test
To pass the test you’re going to need all of the knowledge you gained during your time in vocational school and from your apprenticeship but that’s not all you’ll need. You’re also going to need to know the National Electrical Code (NEC) and you’re going to need to know your states requirements for electricians before they can take the test. If you can follow the steps mentioned above (and if you know the NEC) then you’re well on your way to becoming a licensed electrician and carving out a career in what is becoming a booming field.
If you have any further questions please contact us at 1-800-649-9094 or fill out one of our forms. We look forward to hearing from you!