Electrician Wages

How Much Do Local Electricians Make Working for Someone Else?

Although some electricians learn their skills in technical schools, many learn their skills through on-the-job training. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, apprenticeship may involve more than 140 hours of instruction in various topics including electrical theory, codes and blueprints. In addition, most states require electricians to fulfill licensing requirements. Electricians receive decent compensation mainly because of the rigors of their wok and the level of training involved. On average, electricians who work for other people earn more than $50,000 per year.

Average Wages

The average salary of a full time electrician as of May 2011 was $52,910 annually per year, notes the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is equivalent to an hourly wage of $25.44. This statistic is only for electricians working as employees and not self employed contractors. More than 90 percent of electricians in the U.S. work for someone else.

Range of Wages

There are wide variations in pay for electricians because of various factors. Highest earning electricians have an average annual income of $30,390 or an hourly wage of $14.61. To boost income, many electricians work overtime.

Advancing from Journeyman to Master Electrician

One of the first steps in earning the distinction of master electrician is becoming a journeyman. To become a journeyman, you are required to have a two-year degree or certificate in a related electrical course. Journeyman is considered the main licensing qualification for master electrician. You may also become a journeyman by acquiring four years of experience working under a master electrician. In addition, a journeyman must pass a licensing exam.

Job Description

Unlike journeyman electricians, master electrician are certified to supervise other electricians, own private electrical businesses, and work as licensed electrical contractors. The main roles of journeyman electricians include designing electrical plans, installing wires and lighting fixtures, and maintaining electrical appliances. Journeyman electricians also interpret blueprints and electrical diagrams.

Education Requirements

Earning a college degree provides a firm foundation for becoming a journeyman electrician and eventually, master electrician. Aspiring electricians may choose to complete diploma or associate degrees in related fields. Some of the courses that you may have to cover include wiring, electrical codes, electrical heat and safety, and blueprint reading. Many colleges that provide electrical-related courses link graduates with employers interested in recruiting candidates seeking apprenticeships. You can apply to be licensed as a journeyman electrician once you finish three years of supervised on-the-job experience.

If you want to become a master electrician, you will have to work a year as a journeyman electrician before applying for a licensing exam. Master electrician licenses must be renewed every two years and continuing education is part of the requirement for remaining licensed. However, state requirements for master electrician certification vary.

Years of Experience

Becoming a master requires several years of experience. In addition, master electricians who own private businesses need to establish reputations and referrals to attract new customers and keep their businesses afloat.

The job market for master electricians is expected to grow in the next couple of years mainly due to growth in alternative fuels industry.


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