Becoming an electrician is a career path that has multiple stages. To become a master electrician, you must first complete an apprenticeship program and pass the necessary exams to become an official electrician. After gaining experience as an officer, you can then apply to become a master electrician. This is the highest level of certification and allows you to work on more complex projects and supervise other electricians.
The first step to becoming an electrician is to apply for and enroll in an apprentice program. Union programs, such as those offered through the Electrical Training Alliance, and non-union programs are available in most locations. As an apprentice, you will be provided with everything you need to meet the license requirements, including class hours and on-the-job training. You can also expect to earn a salary while you train.
After completing an internship, you can apply to become an official licensed electrician. As an officer, you'll be able to work independently and earn more money, but there are some restrictions that vary by state. For example, you won't be able to run a job site, train apprentices, or obtain permits for electrical work. As an officer, you may choose to receive additional supervised training in a specialty area, such as industrial electrical work.
Most states require you to pass an exam to become an official electrician. Once you have worked as an officer for a period of time, normally two years, you can apply to become a licensed master electrician. At this level, you'll be able to lead jobs, manage teams of electricians and train apprentices. To become a master electrician, you must pass certain exams as dictated by the state in which you are obtaining the license.Not all electricians become a contractor, but it's an option you can choose after having a few years of experience.
States regulate the licensing of contractors and generally require that you be or hire a master electrician and that you have a certain level of insurance. Electrical contractors are small business owners who hire other electricians to perform work in residential environments, commercial buildings or industrial plants.As an industrial electrician, you'll work in power plants, manufacturing facilities, chemical plants and other types of industrial buildings. To focus on industrial work, you'll need to gain work experience with a licensed industrial electrician either during your apprenticeship or as an officer.The three main levels of electricians are apprentice, officer and master electrician. A person begins this career as an apprentice and works to become a master electrician.
Master Electrician is the highest level of electrical certification with requirements that vary from state to state. In the United States, electrician's licenses are issued at the state level and all states recognize all three types of certifications.