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How to Become an Electrician

If you want to become an electrician, here are the steps to take.

  1. Get your high school diploma or GED. An electrician needs a foundation in math (i.e., one year of algebra), science (i.e., physics) and practical courses (i.e., electronics).
  2. Get formal training. Join an electrician apprenticeship program sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) or Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC). These programs include both classroom courses and on-the-job training, and take about 4 years to complete. Or earn a certificate in a technical vocational school or training academy. If you go this route, you will learn the classroom theory in the vocational school, and will then have to look for an apprenticeship to develop the on-the-job skills.
  3. Get working. Those already with a year or more of training are usually called helpers. Helpers can expect to be assigned to work with one (or more) journeyman electricians on job sites. If starting out as an apprentice however, these will have to be learned on the job (and in the case of electrician apprenticeship training – a classroom) while working under the close supervision of a journeyman electrician.
  4. Get licensed. Although electrician licensing requirements vary from area to area, electricians usually must pass a location-specific examination that tests their knowledge of electrical theory, the National Electrical Code, and local electric and building codes. To learn the specific qualifications, licensing needs and training hours necessary to become an electrician in your region, please click on the link below.