Different Types of Electrician Licenses and Their Purpose
Electricians are licensed and specialized tradesman who install and maintain electrical systems. They are responsible for a wide-range of tasks which may include installing lights in buildings or troubleshooting problems due to faulty wiring.
Unlike many other jobs in construction, electricians require extensive training and an apprenticeship before they can get licensed and practice without supervision. The road to becoming an electrician consists of three steps, including:
1. Get Trained: Anyone who wants to become an electrician must first complete an electrician apprenticeship program. These programs include courses in classrooms and hands-on training in the field. They take about four years to complete, and each apprentice needs to typically complete a total of 144 hours of technical electrical training and at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training (for each year of the program).
2. Start Working: After apprentices have completed one year of formal training, they can work with a journeyman electrician under close supervision.
3. Get Licensed: Once the apprentices complete their training programs, they must then pass a location specific exam. If they want to receive a master electrician certification, they must pass another more rigorous exam.
What Types of Electricians are there?
There are many different types of electricians out there, each requiring different types of electrician licenses and training programs. Electricians can be divided into two main categories: residential and commercial. Within these categories are electricians with different certifications who complete various tasks on the job.
Explained below are different jobs one could do as an electrician.
Residential Electrical Installers
These tradesmen are debatably the most common type of electricians. Their work focuses on electrical jobs around the home which could be anything from installing lights to complete wiring of a house.
Commercial Installation Electricians
Installation electricians work on larger projects compared to residential electricians. Their primary job is to install systems such as security, power, and fire protection.
These electricians ensure that large and critical electrical systems are working safely and adequately. Work may involve fixing machinery in factories or maintaining complete utility electronics in buildings.
This job involves the construction and management of electrical control panels such as ones in HVAC equipment.
Highway Systems Electrician
These workers are specifically trained so they can construct and maintain electronics for road systems. They install street and traffic lights and ensure that they meet high government standards.
So What are the Different Types of Electrical Certifications?
To become an apprentice electrician, one must obtain an apprentice electrician license which varies depending on state regulations. In most states, one can apply for a license only with their high school diploma, as there is no formal education required for this certificate. Once the license is obtained, it can be used to apply for an apprentice position to work under a journeyman electrician.
The next level of an electrician is a journeyman. Journeymen work on larger, more complex projects, make more money and can work without supervision.
Each state has different requirements for obtaining a journeyman license. One must have completed course work and an apprenticeship for at least two years. After completing both of these steps and having worked state-specific minimum hours under supervision, one can take the journeyman certification exam. If and apprentice passes the exam, they are given their license.
Master Electrician License
A master electrician is the most qualified level of an electrician. They work on both commercial and residential jobs and supervise journeymen electricians. Master electricians also conceptualize projects and make plans for laborers.
Before attempting to become a master electrician, this person is most likely already a journeyman and has worked under a master electrician for a period. Through working in the field for some years, this person has gained expert knowledge on most types of electrical systems, which is necessary to pass the exam. After this, one must both complete the state approved Master Electrician Certification program and passed the state specific exam to become master certified.