Electrician FAQs

A high school diploma or GED equivalent is the entry-level education required to be an electrician.

Apprenticeship programs are provided by trade schools, contractors, state programs and industry organizations. These programs last between three to five years and vary by state. To find an apprenticeship program, click here. Apprenticeships are a combination of classroom work and on-the-job training.
Most states require licensure and the requirements vary by state. To learn more about the requirements in your state, click here.

Job responsibilities of a journeyman electrician include: installing wiring and electrical components, repairing and replacing old wiring and fixtures, reading blueprints and planning electrical installations or updates.

In addition to many of the responsibilities listed above, master electricians serve in a supervisory role. To earn the licensure of master electrician, additional training and education is needed. On average, it takes between two to five years to achieve such certification. This will vary by state. Job responsibilities of a master electrician include: meeting with other contractors to determine the scope of details of projects, coordinate projects with suppliers and permit offices and schedule work assignments among journeyman and apprentice electricians.

Like many highly skilled professionals, residential electricians can choose to focus on a specific area in their field. You’ll always benefit from your solid foundation of knowledge, but you can concentrate on a certain area of the industry to shape your career. Here are a few of the options open to residential electricians.

Residential Service and Replacement:
Service electricians are the industry’s troubleshooters and problem-solvers. Service electricians work in existing homes. When something’s not working, they’re called in to trace the problem back to the source, which involves working around the décor and lifestyle of the homeowners. Service electricians work in their community each day and are trusted to keep homes, and the homeowners, safe and healthy.

New Construction:
Unlike service electricians—who mainly work in existing homes—new construction electricians install new electrical wiring and components from top to bottom before construction is complete.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of electricians was $56,180 in 2019.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects about 10% in growth for electricians between 2018 and 2028, which is higher growth than the average expected among all occupations

Being a residential electrician is very much a hands-on career that requires good hand-to-eye coordination and the ability to clearly distinguish the colors used to identify wires (i.e., cannot be colorblind). You should also be in good physical shape when considering a career as an electrician.

Electricians need to have critical-thinking skills because they perform tests and use the results to diagnose problems as well as customer-services skills to properly address a customer’s needs. Electricians also need trouble-shooting skills because they find, diagnose, and repair problems.