States require that a person passes the licensing exam before he can work as an apprentice or electrician. The exams test his knowledge of the electrical codes, and the processes needed in residential and commercial settings. Licenses vary, depending on the state. More often than not, they include a journeyman’s license, residential electrician, maintenance electrician, and master electrician licenses.
If you are planning on becoming an electrician, ensure that you check the state’s requirements for every license, so you process your application smoothly.
Steps in Applying for an Electrician License
- Finish the training in electrical repair and maintenance in a trade or vocational school. You can also accomplish an apprenticeship program with a licensed electrician. Majority of the states require that you either finish the training or apprenticeship before you can take the exams.
- The apprenticeship program usually takes four years to finish because you need to attend classes and hands-on training. It requires at least 2,000 hours of training per year and 144 hours of classroom instruction. But, you may start working after completing one year of the program. Usually, you work under close supervision by a journeyman electrician.
- Check with your state’s regulation and licensing office for its requirements in applying for a license. Ask for an application form. You need to complete it and pay the testing fees.
- Prepare for the exams by reading the National Electrical Code. You can take the practice tests provided by the state’s licensing office, if available. Some websites also offer practice tests for a fee.
- Take the exam at the scheduled time and place. Submit the required documents like testing confirmation letter and ID.
Kinds of Electricians
Residential Electrical Installers
These are the most common kind of electricians. They work on electrical jobs around the house. Tasks can vary from simple installation of lights to complete electrical wiring around the home.
Commercial Installation Electricians
These electricians focus on the installation of fire, power, and security protections.
Electricians who work on maintenance issues ensure that electrical systems work properly and safely. They fix machinery in factories or maintain the utility electronics in structures like buildings.
These people are electricians who establish and manage electrical control panels like the HVAC equipment.
Highway Systems Electrician
A highway systems electrician has special training in the construction and maintenance of road system electronics. He is responsible for the installation of traffic and street lights.
Kinds of Electrical Certifications
Majority of the states require a high school diploma to become an apprentice. After obtaining the license, you can apply for apprentice work under the supervision of a journeyman electrician.
You become a journeyman electrician after completing formal classes and apprenticeship for two years. Some states require that you complete the required working hours under supervision.
You can become a master electrician after obtaining your journeyman license and working with a master electrician for a fixed period. Then, you need to pass the state license exam for master electricians.