How to Become a Certified Electrician

This post will describe the general steps that you must take to earn a certification in electrical work. There are standards that apply to all certifications. The post will conclude with examples of how to become a certified electrician in both Michigan and California.

1. Complete Coursework

There are many options available to complete the required school programs to start performing work as an electrical apprentice. Students will be taught the theory and practical knowledge necessary to maintain, repair, remove and replace electrical wiring and equipment. The easiest way to go about accomplishing the coursework (and obtaining an apprenticeship) is to train with IEC.

2. Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships allow people to gain valuable OTJ training and earn a wage to live on. There are professional associations and organizations that offer apprenticeship programs. These programs may last several years and cover safety, electrical maintenance standards and mechanical skills. An apprenticeship is included as part of your training with IEC.

3. Earning a License

Workers accumulate experience during an apprenticeship and then apply these hours and fee payments to acquire a license, typically a journeyman license.

4. Becoming Certified

Continue accumulating documented work experience and then take a certifying exam. With a passing score on the examination and passing performance evaluation, you will be issued your certifying documentation.

Certification requirements vary from state to state. Here are two examples.

Becoming a Certified Electrician in Michigan

1. Accumulate 8,000 hours (or four years) of documented OTJ experience of electrical apprentice work under a Master or Journeyman. You also need 576 hours of classroom training on electrical theory and regulations on electrical safety. Both of these are required to be licensed as a Journeyman.

2. Apply for and pass the Journeyman Examination with at least a 75 percent to earn the Journeyman license.

3. Accumulate 12,000 hours over six years of documented electrical work under a Master Electrician. Afterward, submit the application for the Master Examination and pass it with at least a 75 percent score.

4. Receive the Master License.

Becoming a California-Based Certified Electrician

1. Complete a course of study that is state-approved at a college or trade school located in California, amounting to 750 hours of classes in electrical theory and practice.

2. Gain employment working under a certified as a registered electrical trainee, accumulating 8,000 hours of OTJ experience.

3. Submit your exam and certification application with all required documents.

4. Take and pass the certifying examination with at least a 70 percent score.

5. Receive the C-10 electrical contractor certification card.

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