How Long Does It Take to Become an Electrician?

How Long Does It Take to Become an Electrician?

What is an electrician?

An electrician is a skilled trade professional who specializes in installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical systems in buildings and homes. In order to become an electrician, one must undergo several years of training and education, which includes both classroom instruction and hands-on apprenticeship experience.

How long does it take to become an electrician?

The length of time it takes to become an electrician depends on several factors, including the type of education and training you choose, as well as the requirements in your state or country. In general, it can take anywhere from several months to several years to become a fully licensed and certified electrician.


Most aspiring electricians start out as apprentices, which typically involves working under the supervision of a licensed and experienced electrician for a period of several years. Apprenticeships generally involve a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training, and can take anywhere from 2-5 years to complete depending on the program and the state or country where you live. During this time, apprentices learn how to work with electrical systems and equipment, including installing wiring, troubleshooting problems, and maintaining and repairing electrical systems.

Vocational schools and community colleges

Another option for becoming an electrician is to attend a vocational school or community college. These educational programs typically offer a more structured and condensed path to becoming an electrician, with courses that cover the foundational knowledge needed for the profession. Programs can range from a few months to two years, depending on the level of depth and specialization desired.

Bachelor’s degree programs

For those who wish to pursue a more in-depth education in electrical theory and practice, there are also bachelor’s degree programs available in electrical engineering and related fields. These programs typically take four years to complete and offer a more in-depth exploration of electrical theory and principles. However, a bachelor’s degree is not always necessary to become a licensed electrician.

Licensing and certification requirements

No matter what path you take to becoming an electrician, it’s important to note that licensing and certification requirements vary by state and country. In many areas, it’s required to complete a certain number of hours of training and apprenticeship, as well as pass a licensing or certification exam, in order to legally work as an electrician. It’s important to research the specific requirements in your area and ensure that you meet all necessary qualifications before pursuing a career as an electrician.


Becoming an electrician can be a challenging and rewarding career path that requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to ongoing learning and professional development. Whether you choose to start as an apprentice, attend a vocational school or community college, or pursue a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, the path to becoming a licensed electrician can take anywhere from several months to several years. Regardless of the route you choose, it’s important to ensure that you meet all necessary licensing and certification requirements for your area in order to work legally and safely as an electrician.

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Training and Education Requirements

One of the most important aspects of becoming an electrician is fulfilling the necessary training and education requirements. Typically, most states require electricians to have a high school diploma or equivalent and to complete a four-year apprenticeship program. These apprenticeship programs are typically sponsored by unions, trade associations, or contractors and usually consist of both on-the-job training and classroom instruction.

During an apprenticeship, you’ll learn everything from basic electrical theory to wiring techniques, circuitry and safety codes, and regulations. You’ll also receive a hands-on approach with practical experience on job sites with experienced electricians. This apprenticeship training will provide you with a diverse range of practical and theoretical knowledge and will give you the necessary tools for a rewarding career as an electrician.

While a four-year apprenticeship program is common, some electricians may opt to pursue a two-year vocational training program instead. These vocational programs are offered through community or technical colleges and are designed to provide students with a basic understanding of electrical work and principles. However, it’s important to note that a four-year apprenticeship program is the most widely recognized option in the industry and is often preferred by employers.

No matter which route you choose, it’s important to remember that the education and training required to become an electrician is ongoing. Electrical codes and regulations change frequently, and staying up-to-date on the latest practices and techniques is crucial to success in the field. Most electricians continue their education throughout their careers with additional training and certification courses to keep themselves current on the latest developments in the field.

Licensing and Certification

If you’re considering becoming an electrician, one of the first things you’ll need to do is obtain a license and/or certification. Licensing requirements vary by state and locality, but in general, you’ll need to graduate from an accredited electrician training program and complete a certain number of apprenticeship hours before you can apply for your license. You’ll also need to pass an exam that covers the National Electrical Code and electrical theory and practice.

Becoming certified by a professional organization isn’t typically required, but it can give you a competitive edge in the job market. The most well-known organization for certification is the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC). They offer certification for the Inside Wireman, Residential Wireman, and Installer-Technician categories of the electrical trade. To become certified, you’ll need to pass a written exam and demonstrate proficiency in various skills, such as conduit bending and motor controls.

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Overall, obtaining a license and/or certification can take anywhere from several months to a year or more. The length of time will depend on factors such as the requirements in your area, the program you choose, and how quickly you complete your apprenticeship hours. While the process may be lengthy, it’s worth it in the end as it opens up many opportunities for you in the electrical trade.

Career Opportunities and Job Outlook

Becoming an electrician entails a lot of effort and time investment, but the career path is definitely a promising one. Skilled electricians are always in high demand because of the increasing need for electricity in our daily lives. Whether it’s for commercial, residential, or industrial purposes, there will always be a need for electricians.

In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that job opportunities for electricians will grow by 8% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than average compared to other occupations. The increase in job openings is primarily due to the increased need for electrical services in construction, residential, and commercial settings. Additionally, the rise of alternative energy sources such as solar panels has also created new opportunities for electricians. Therefore, a career in electrical installation, repair and maintenance is a wise choice because there will always be a demand for these services.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for electricians was $56,180 in May 2019. The salary for electricians varies depending on location, level of experience, and the industry in which they work. Electricians working for the government generally earn higher salaries than those in the private sector. The higher wages are attributed to the rigorous training programs and stringent regulations in place for the government’s electricians.

Electricians also have the possibility of branching out into an own business once they become a journeyman or master electrician. Running your own business can be a lucrative option, but it also comes with added responsibilities, including managing employees, accounting, marketing, and other aspects of running a business.

Finally, a career in electrical work is known for its various specialties creating diversified career opportunities. Electricians can choose to specialize in areas such as residential, commercial, industrial, solar, low voltage, and instrument technicians. The specialized areas mentioned here require additional training and certifications which in turn opens up new job opportunities. The versatility and flexibility of this career ensure that individuals can follow their interests and specialize in their areas of preference.

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Ultimately, becoming an electrician offers a dynamic and rewarding career path. With the increasing demand for electrical services, the expected growth in job openings, the competitive salaries, and the opportunities for growth and specialization, becoming an electrician is a smart decision.

How Long Does It Take To Be An Electrician?

Aspiring electricians must go through a rigorous training and apprenticeship program before becoming licensed professionals. The length of time it takes to complete the necessary coursework and hands-on training can vary depending on a number of factors. Here’s what you need to know about becoming an electrician.

High School Education

The first step in becoming an electrician is obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent. This typically means completing a four-year high school program or obtaining a General Education Development (GED) diploma. It is also recommended that prospective electricians take classes in subjects such as math, science, and mechanical drawing, which can provide a solid foundation for an electrical career.

Trade School or Apprenticeship

After completing high school, aspiring electricians have two options for pursuing their chosen career path. The first option is to attend a trade school or vocational program that focuses solely on electrical work. These programs typically take one to two years to complete and may include both classroom instruction and hands-on training.

The second option is to enter into an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships provide a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction and typically last four to five years. During this time, apprentices work alongside experienced electricians, learning the trade and building the skills they will need to succeed in the field.


Once the necessary coursework and training have been completed, aspiring electricians must pass a licensing exam in order to legally work as professionals. The licensing process typically involves a series of written and practical exams that assess the electrician’s knowledge and skills. Depending on the state in which the electrician will be working, other requirements may include completing continuing education courses and passing periodic exams to maintain licensure.


In conclusion, becoming an electrician requires a significant investment of time and effort, but for those who are willing to put in the work, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling career path. Whether you choose to attend a trade school or enter into an apprenticeship, you will need to commit yourself to several years of rigorous coursework and training before you can become licensed. However, the skills you will acquire along the way will prepare you for a long and successful career as an electrician.

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