How to Become a Professional Electrician: A Clear Cut Guide in 7 Steps

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Sep 27, 2018

Sep 27, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

So you have the dream of becoming a professional electrician, but you're not sure where to start. Don't worry! The path to a career as an electrician isn't as tedious or difficult as you might think.

Electricians are needed across the country, and the median salary for a professional electrician is over $50,000!

If you're looking for a career path with great perks, a potential for a pay increase, and a large job demand, you've found it! Keep reading to learn how you can become a professional electrician in seven steps!

7 Easy Steps to Become a Professional Electrician

1. Earn a GED or High School Diploma

Before you can earn any electrician certifications, you have to earn your high school diploma or GED. To run electrical wires--with all their potential for harm--you must prove basic education and responsibility.

Electricians use skills like algebra and geometry among other grade school subjects throughout their career.

2. Research the Career Field

There's not just a single type of electrician. The career varies in certain directions you could specialize in. For example, you should research the difference between a residential wireman and a telecommunication technician.

3. Apply to Vocational College or Trade School

An electrician is one of the top eight highest paying trade school jobs out there, and for good reason.

Electrician work isn't something that you naturally know how to do. It must be taught by trained professionals who can thoroughly instruct students about the basics and the dangers.

A vocational college or trade school will give a good primer for your entire career, and you'll need the info to move on to professional work.

4. Look For an Apprenticeship

After you've mastered the classroom and career basics, you'll want to expand your training with a professional apprenticeship. Here, you get a one-on-one experience with an industry expert where you can ask more questions and get direct help.

Look for apprenticeships listed in the Independent Electrical Contractors and The National Contractors Association, among others.

5. Register as an Apprentice with the State

Before you can work on actual job locations, states require apprentices to be registered in their listings. This is a simple process that only requires applicants to fill out some paperwork and pay a small entry fee.

6. Earn a License

After you have earned the necessary experience and know-how as an apprentice, you'll want to work towards a Journeyman License. This is the second stage in becoming a Master Electrician, and it allows you to work independently.

You can research online to understand the expectations of this role and what customers look for (you can read more here about that).

7. Work Towards Master Electrician

To increase your earning potential and job responsibility, you will need to earn the title Master Electrician. They're the ones who oversee projects and create work with clients.

To earn the title, you'll need to sign on with a company or begin independently contracting until you can gain a strong understanding. You'll have to prove to your state through experience and testing that you are qualified for Master Electrician.

Insider Career Advice From a Trusted Source

Becoming a professional electrician takes a little time and dedication, but the rewards and earning potential are well worth it!

Looking for more insider career advice? Check out the other articles and resources from your trusted source the Washington Post.