How to Become an


The complete career guide to be an Electrician: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $55,590
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 13.7%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Good Entry Level Salary
    Career Attribute

Electricians are responsible for the installation and repair of electrical wiring and control systems. They may perform repairs for individual homeowners experiencing electrical issues, or they may install complete electrical systems in commercial or residential buildings for building contractors.

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What is an Electrician?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in electrician roles:

  • Identify and repair electrical wiring and control issues
  • Install electrical wiring and control systems according to blueprints
  • Adhere to government oversight regulations and maintain valid electrician license
  • Serve as trainee for aspiring electricians in apprenticeship programs

A Day in the Life

Electricians generally work in one of two roles: either they install electrical wiring and control systems in new buildings while they’re being constructed, or they identify and repair electrical problems. Of the two roles, installing electrical systems in new buildings is often less complicated because the job is completed before buildings are finalized with drywall and other finishing elements that make the role of the repair technician more difficult. Electricians for new buildings install systems according to blueprints.

The role of the repair electrician can be more difficult because wiring may be covered by drywall and other elements of a finished home that obscure identification of issues and repair. These electricians use specialized diagnosis tools to identify issues that need to be repaired. At times, electrical issues can be repaired by replacing controls. At other times, entire wiring systems need to be replaced.

While working as an electrician can be dangerous, fewer electrical accidents happen among electricians than in the general population because electricians are specially trained to safely handle the components of electricity. Electricians may work for an electrician company or as independent contractors, though many also work for construction companies that build new structures. Electricians may work alone or as part of a team, depending on the size of the job that needs to be completed.

Typical Work Schedule

Most electricians work during normal business hours: dayshift, Monday through Friday. However, overtime may be required to meet deadlines for large installation projects, and some independent electricians opt to work evening or weekend hours to cater to the schedules of clients.

Projected Job Growth

The rise in popularity of alternative power solutions—such as solar or wind energy—and increasing needs for additional wiring in homes and businesses are creating an increased demand for electricians.

Electrician Specializations

  • Commercial electricians install and repair large-scale electrical systems and controls in commercial buildings and other large structures.
  • Residential electricians install and repair electrical systems and controls in residential homes and buildings.
  • Lineman electricians install power lines and other major electrical transmittal systems that deliver power to residences and businesses from a power company.

Typical Employers

Electricians may work for construction companies that build new homes and structures, for electrician companies, or for power companies. Additionally, many electricians work as independent contractors and manage their own businesses.

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How To Become an Electrician

A high school diploma is the only formal educational requirement for becoming an electrician. The process of becoming an electrician is apprenticeship. An electrician apprenticeship is a 4- or 5-year training program that includes nearly 150 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid job training as an electrician’s assistant under a trained electrician. Apprenticeships may be available through specific electricians or companies, and opportunities may also be available through electrician unions.

Conversely, some individuals choose to pursue electrician certifications through community or technical colleges. While an apprenticeship is still a requirement even with a formal certificate, the in-school training is usually applied against the number of training hours required, reducing the amount of training needed for an apprenticeship. Many schools have partnerships with groups of electricians for placing students that complete certification programs into apprenticeships after graduation.

In addition to completing an apprenticeship, electricians must also be licensed to work in their state or location. Requirements vary by state, but most states and localities require electricians to pass an exam that tests knowledge of national, state, and local regulations, and ensures apprentices are aware of safe standards for installing and working with electrical wiring and other components. Electricians who work in multiple states or locations must be licensed in each state or locality where work is performed.

Electrician Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Electrician salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Electrician's can make an average annual salary of $55,590, or $27 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $38,990 or $19 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #316 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Electricians

  • 0.2%   Doctorate
  • 0.8%   Masters
  • 6.6%   Bachelors
  • 14.3%   Associates
  • 33%   College
  • 37.3%   High School
  • 7.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Electrician job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 85,900 jobs for a total of 714,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 13.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #120 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Electricians

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Electrical contractors and other wiring installation contractors 394,000 75,000 75%
Self-employed workers 55,800 2,700 3%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 14,700 800 1%

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