If you enjoy working with your hands and are interested in a career that allows you to help people, consider becoming an electrician. Electricians install, repair and maintain electrical systems for homes and businesses.
To become an electrician, you need to attend a technical school or community college. You also need to pass an electrical licensing exam.
Education and Training Requirements
Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing electrical power, communications, lighting and control systems in residential, commercial and industrial buildings. They need physical endurance and strong problem-solving skills to complete a wide range of jobs.
To become an electrician in Illinois, you need a high school diploma or GED certificate and a willingness to work hard to gain experience in the trade. Most apprenticeship programs involve a combination of on-the-job training, classroom instruction and mentorship from master electricians.
The requirements vary by county, but in general, you need about four years of electrical trade experience to obtain initial certification. This includes between 500 and 800 hours of classroom training and technical-based job experience.
Once you have the required experience, you can take an exam to obtain your initial certification as a journeyman electrician. This license allows you to supervise other apprentices and apply for an electrical contractor license.
Licensing requirements for electricians in Illinois vary by municipality, but generally they require four years of electrical trade experience. This can be obtained through an apprenticeship program under a master electrician or by working for an electrical contractor on jobs.
During your apprenticeship you will be paid for your work and receive health benefits. You will also learn about the National Electrical Code, which covers safety standards for electricians.
After completing your apprenticeship you will need to pass an exam to become a journeyman or electrical contractor. Fees for these exams are typically around $100 and can vary from city to city.
Some cities, including Chicago, require applicants to obtain a supervising electrician license prior to becoming an electrical contractor. This license is a certificate that will allow you to work under an existing electrical contractor and provide documentation of your work experience. This certificate is valid for one to four years and must be renewed each year.
Unlike most other states, Illinois does not have a statewide electrical licensing board. Rather, municipalities maintain separate licensing and examination requirements.
Many cities and counties require that you complete a training program through an apprenticeship before they issue you a license. This is a good way to build your experience and earn money while you learn.
In most counties, you’ll need about 8,000 hours of apprentice work experience before you can sit for the journeyman electrician license exam. This includes 144 hours of classroom training from a technical college and 2,000 hours of on-the-job experience.
There are a number of different training options available for those interested in becoming an electrician in Chicago IL. These include apprenticeships, on-the-job training and career diploma programs. These programs can be completed in as little as 6-12 months, and can help you obtain the necessary training to become a certified electrician.
Electricians enjoy a variety of employment opportunities throughout their careers. Some work as maintenance electricians, while others have the option of working as an independent electrical contractor or consultant.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of electrician jobs will grow faster than the average occupation for the next decade, with 85,900 new positions expected to be created between 2014 and 2024.
Rather than pursuing a degree, electricians usually receive their training through an apprenticeship program that lasts four or five years. These programs involve 144 hours of technical training each year and 2,000 hours of practical on-the-job experience.
The skills and abilities needed for an electrician career include critical thinking, logical problem-solving, and customer service. Additionally, physical endurance is an important requirement. Some duties may require an electrician to stand or kneel for extended periods of time, which can take a toll on their bodies.