Understanding the process of going from an apprentice to a master electrician

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If you aim to be a professional in any line of work it is imperative that you start somewhere on the many rungs of that profession.

The only way to receiving an electrical masters license in particular or even just a journeyman license in general, would be for you to start right at the bottom as an apprentice. It is here that you would pick up the knowledge and experience needed in the trade.

Hence like any profession if you are contemplating becoming a Master Electrician the only way to get there is by first starting as an Apprentice Electrician, because that is where you would have to.

State laws in the United States of America require you to take the appropriate path to being a Master Electrician by beginning at the bottom as an Apprentice Electrician.

After you have acquired the necessary skills and the required experience you may be admitted as a Journeyman Electrician which would take you closer to your dream.

Prior to wearing that mantle of responsibility you may have to undergo some rigorous tests and other aptitudes because we all know that electricity under the wrong hands can be extremely dangerous.

Electricity could maim and kill, and is not limited to not only those who would be working in the profession but could rein in others too, accidentally.

Such incidents have been plenty and this is one reason that the statutory authorities in the respective states are very prudent as to how they would permit individuals to dabble with electricity.

Lets take a look as to how any interested individual could take up the profession of an electrician and then train himself/herself and work towards becoming a professional in the field.


An Apprentice Electrician

To become an Apprentice Electrician you may need to acquire your High School Diploma, GED or an equivalent certification.

You could enroll and complete a state level pre-Apprenticeship Electrician course of study and then join an organization small or big as summer help, if you're only looking to test the waters or an Electrician Apprentice.

Once you have entered the profession you or your employer would need to register you with the relevant authorities as an Apprentice Electrician or as a Trainee Electrician which term could vary from state to state.

An Apprentice Electrician could hope to earn around USD $20,000 to over $43,000 per year. This scale isn’t set in stone and isn’t a guarantee in pay as some apprentices can be lower or higher earners. Check out PayScale.com for an awesome breakdown on income expectations.

Once you’ve accrued your working and school hours as an Apprentice Electrician you could move up the ladder and step onto the next rung and that is to be admitted as a Journeyman Electrician.


A Journeyman Electrician

To be admitted as a Journeyman Electrician you would need to have been trained as an Apprentice electrician for a period between two to four or years depending on the state. 

Each state has its own criteria which need to be met by the individual concerned before he or she could be admitted and registered as a Journeyman Electrician.

To do so they would also need to take a test which again would depend on the requirements of each state before becoming registered as a Journeyman Electrician.

A Journeyman Electrician could earn anything between USD $35,000 to over $80,000 per year and could work on his own, with an apprentice by his side. Again, this varies from state to state and its best to do deeper research for yourself. Once again this scale isn’t set in stone and isn’t a guarantee in pay as some electricians can be lower or higher earners. Check out PayScale.com for an awesome breakdown on income expectations.

It is critical the work is always carried out by a qualified person because if you aren’t qualified you could hurt someone or put someone at serious risk of getting hurt.

A Journeyman Electrician would need in some states to take tests or a code update from time to time to tests their skill levels and also to ensure that they are in line with the current developments in the industry. 

A Master Electrician 

A Master Electrician is the pinnacle for any electrician as he or she would have reached this stage only after completing the required training and gained the essential experience to ensure complete compatibility.

To move up the ladder from being a Journeyman Electrician to a Master Electrician the individual would need to take a test and pass it.

He or she would also need to demonstrate that they have completed the required initial training as an Apprentice Electrician and gained the experience.

Then they would also need to authenticate that they have been a Journeyman Electrician who has learned and worked under a recognized Master Electrician.

Once all criteria are met they would be registered as Master Electricians and could practice with a license which would be awarded to them.

A Master Electrician could hope to earn quite well and what they would realize as income over a period of a year would be difficult to assess as they have different hourly scales in different states.

The hourly wage could also vary from state to state and could begin at around USD 26.90 per hour and going far beyond it.

Armed with a state license which is mandatory Master Electricians would be generally limited to within the state they received their license and reciprocal states.

There is a good demand for all categories of Electricians whether they are an Apprentice, Journeyman Electrician or Master Electrician.  

The steps could be three from the bottom to the top to become a Master Electrician but the path would put aspirants through a very well organized program which would bring only the best out.

The journey to the top could take five years if you're eager or more in some cases and once anyone has gone through the hurdles and acquired the license to practice as a Master Electrician there are openings for the post.

From the experience that they have gained first hand and coming from the bottom and ultimately being armed with the appropriate certification, Master Electricians earn the right to manage journeyman and apprentices.


We hope this helps you in understanding the process of going from being an apprentice or summer help to a journeyman and finally to a master electrician. Of course, these are our thoughts and opinions on a broad question that cant be answered specifically. We recommend you look up the specific requirements and expected income pertaining to you specifically by your state. Income is not guaranteed as its something determined by the employer and the employee, not by us.


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