How to Become an Electrician

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions need a certificate degree from a technical or trade school. Some states may require electricians to be licensed as well. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a earning a masters certificate can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Start your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited technical schools below that offer programs to help get you started as a electrician.

How Much Do Electricians Make? 

  • Electricians: $49,840 (national median salary)
  • Electrical Installers and Repairers: $51,220 (national median salary)

(To see salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:

Specialization Options:
Installation, repair, housing, and commercial buildings

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Electricians and Electrical Installers and Repaires pages)

Discover the Best Places to Become an Electrician

The state of Texas leads the nation in employment for electricians, with 47,400 currently working statewide, and earning an annual mean wage of $44,110. California is second in employment, where 46,020 electricians occupy positions within the state, and earn an average yearly salary of $63,650.

Electricians work wherever electrical help is needed, which, these days, is almost everywhere. While you may be based in a central office, you will spend most of your day on the field working both indoors and outdoors. Locations may include:

  • Residential homes
  • Schools
  • Stores
  • Hospitals
  • Office buildings
  • Factories
  • Part of a trade contracting team
  • Self-employed/business owner

Employment and Salary Information by State for Electricians

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Electrical Work. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Electricians

Why You Should Become an Electricians

Every modern building includes an electrical system, including power, communications, lighting and system controls. These electrical systems require installation, construction and maintenance.

Because electricity takes such a central role in modern life, a career as an electrician is a stable and growing profession, enabling you to work anywhere and in a variety of different specialties. Duties of an electrician include, but are not limited to: reading blueprints and diagrams, installing and maintaining lighting systems, identifying and solving electrical problems, following state and local building codes, and training new workers to install, maintain and repair wiring and equipment. As an electrician, you will learn a range of skills and apply them to challenging tasks on an ongoing basis.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become an Electrician

  • Direct Current Fundamentals
  • Alternating Current Fundamentals
  • Trade Mathematics
  • Blueprint Reading
  • National Electric Codes
  • Electric Motor Systems
  • Industrial Electronics
  • Advanced Electrical Theory

Degrees for Electricians Careers

Learning the field of electrical work requires intense training, and most electricians go through a rigorous apprenticeship program before working on their own. But prior to obtaining an apprenticeship, it’s smart to receive a trade school certification. A certification is short (usually 6-12 months) and gives you an overview of the necessary electrical knowledge required to get started in the field.

Residential/Commercial Electrician Certificate
Some colleges offer short certificate programs that include mostly in-class and online education, while others offer two or four year programs whose curriculum also includes on-field training and internships. In addition to a general and hands on knowledge of the electrical field, most schools will also teach you secondary skills that will complement your electrical career, such as mathematics, computer classes, basic science and communication skills.