Illinois has a strong demand for electricians, fueled somewhat by the need for improvements in the many older houses and buildings located throughout the state. However, those seeking employment in this field will require an Illinois electrical license, and obtaining such a certification will itself require a certain amount of work.
Illinois does not license electricians for employment on a state-wide basis. Licensing is instead handled by local government authorities, with requirements varying throughout the state. The standards are particularly rigid in Chicago, although some smaller communities may not even offer such licensing. The one state-wide licensing requirement is that working electricians be at least 21 years old.
It is important for future electricians to understand the requirements in the areas where they will be seeking employment. This information can usually be obtained from the municipalities themselves. The actual learning of the trade will require training that can be obtained at either a technical school or a community college that offers classes in the field.
Those who complete their initial training can obtain practical experience through an apprenticeship program. Four years of experience as a journeyman is in fact a requirement before one can obtain an Illinois electrical license in some jurisdictions within the state. In addition to receiving hands-on experience, journeymen participating in apprentice programs will be paid and receive benefits. However, some of these programs have their own age, residency and educational requirements.
After completion of the training process, prospective electricians will have to take an examination in the jurisdiction in which they plan to apply their trade. This normally requires a payment, although the amount charged for the examination could be deducted from the actual license fee. Electricians who receive their licenses may also be asked to provide proof that they are insured.
The prospects for employment in Illinois are excellent for those seeking work as electricians. According to the latest government statistics, the state will need nearly 3,000 electricians by 2022, a figure that represents a growth in the industry of more than 10 percent over 2012. Those who work in the field can also look forward to a healthy compensation, with hourly pay for electricians reaching nearly $40 in 2014.