So you want to be an electrician in Pennsylvania? Great choice! This is a fantastic career that offers plenty of opportunities for growth and advancement. It’s also a field that is in high demand, so you’re sure to find plenty of job security. In this guide, we will answer some common questions about becoming an electrician in Pennsylvania, as well as provide some useful tips on how to get started. Let’s get started!
General Requirements to Become an Electrician
No matter which state you live in, you’ll need to meet certain basic requirements before you can start training to become an electrician. In this section, we’ll cover the most common requirements that electricians must meet in order to get their licenses.
Have a high school diploma or GED
Most electricians need a GED or high school diploma to enter the profession. Some states require electricians to be licensed, and this usually requires passing an exam. This shows that the electrician has the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the job safely.
Many electricians choose to get their GED because it allows them to apply for jobs that they may not have been able to without a high school diploma. In order to get your GED, you will need to take and pass a test administered by your state’s Department of Education. The test covers four main subject areas: reading, writing, mathematics, and science. Once you have passed the test, you will receive your GED certificate.
Be at least 18 years old
You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for an electrician apprentice license in Pennsylvania. Some places may allow you to work there if you are 17 years old with a high school diploma or GED, but you will not be able to get your apprentice license until you turn 18.
Pass a high school algebra course
There are a few reasons electricians need to pass high school algebra courses.
First, algebra is the mathematics of equations and variables, which is what electricians use to solve problems. Second, many electrical formulas are based on algebraic equations. Finally, most electrical apprenticeship programs require applicants to have at least a basic understanding of algebra.
Be physically strong
Most electricians need to be physically strong. They need to be able to lift and carry heavy equipment, including ladders, scaffolding, and power tools. They also need to be able to stand for long periods of time. Some electricians work in confined spaces, such as crawl spaces and attics. They may need to crouch, stoop, or kneel for long periods of time. , 
General Responsibilities Electricians Have
As an electrician, you will be responsible for installing and maintaining electrical systems. This can include anything from wiring a new home to repairing a broken outlet. You may also be called upon to inspect buildings to ensure that their electrical systems are up to code.
Besides these day-to-day tasks, electricians also have a few other responsibilities:
Installing and repairing existing electrical systems
As an electrician, you will be responsible for installing and repairing electrical systems. This can include anything from wiring a new home to repairing a broken outlet. You may also be called upon to inspect buildings to ensure that their electrical systems are up to code
Reading blueprints or technical diagrams
One of the most important responsibilities electricians have is being able to read and interpret blueprints or technical diagrams. This step is critical in ensuring that electrical systems are installed correctly the first time.
Performing circuit breaker maintenance
Another responsibility of an electrician is maintaining circuit breakers. This involves regularly testing the breaker to ensure that it trips when there is an overload on the circuit. It is also important to check the wiring and connections to make sure they are secure and free of corrosion.
Repairing and replacing electrical equipment
As an electrician, you will often be called upon to repair or replace electrical equipment. This can include anything from a broken outlet to a faulty light switch. You will need to use a variety of tools to complete these tasks, including wire cutters and voltage testers.
Following National Electrical Code regulations
Benefits of Becoming a Certified Electrician
Becoming an electrician requires completing a technical training program and passing a licensing exam. In the state of Pennsylvania, electricians are required to be licensed by the Department of Labor & Industry. If you decide to perform the electrician activities without a license, not only you will have to pay a fine but also you will face misdemeanor charges.
Electricians must also complete continuing education courses every few years to stay up-to-date on the latest electrical codes and standards. This can add up in additional costs, but there are many benefits to becoming a certified electrician. Let’s discuss them!
You will have a proof of your skills and experience
The most important benefit of having an electrician certification is that you will have proof of your skills and experience. Many employers require applicants to have a minimum of two years on-the-job training or an associate degree in electrical technology from an accredited institution.
With a certification, you will demonstrate your knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC), which is the code used by electricians to ensure safety when performing their work.
You will be able to find a job more easily
Due to the current crisis, many people have lost their jobs and are struggling to find new ones. The good news is that the job market for electricians is still growing, and electricians with certification will have an easier time finding a job.
The reason for this growth is that there will be an increasing demand for electrical work in the construction and maintenance of new buildings, as well as the expansion of existing buildings. With a certification, you will have a better chance of getting hired for these positions.
You will be able to work independently
Another benefit of being a certified electrician is that you will be able to work independently. If you are working for an electrical contractor, you will be able to do your work without the supervision of a journeyman electrician. This means that you will have more responsibility and autonomy in your work.
In addition, if you decide to start your own business, you will be able to do all the work yourself without having to hire other electricians. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
You will earn a higher salary
Electricians with a certification usually earn a higher salary than those without one. In Pennsylvania, the median annual salary for electricians is $61,630, which is a great income to support yourself and your family.
With a certification, you will have the opportunity to earn even more money by working overtime or taking on more responsibilities at your job. If you are looking to make a career change, becoming an electrician is a great option!
You will have protection against liability
As an electrician, you will be working with potentially dangerous equipment and materials. If something goes wrong and someone is injured, you could be held liable for their injuries.
This protection is important because it will allow you to continue working without the worry of being sued. It also shows that you are a responsible worker who takes safety seriously. 
Steps in Electrician Career
Now that you know what electricians do and some of the responsibilities they have, you may be wondering how to become an electrician. There are three main steps you need to take in order to become an electrician: apprentice, journeyman, and master. Each step will give you more responsibility and allow you to learn more about the trade. You’ll also need to attend classes and pass exams to move up in your career. Let’s discuss what they are.
The first step is to become an apprentice electrician. An apprenticeship program will give you the chance to work with experienced electricians and learn the trade. You’ll also attend classes to learn about electrical theory and safety.
An apprentice electrician is someone who is learning the trade of electrical work under the supervision of a licensed electrician. This is the first position you will need to obtain in order to become an electrician. You will be working towards obtaining your journeyman electrician license.
Apprentice electricians can perform a wide variety of tasks, but they are always under the direct supervision of a licensed electrician. They must also take classes to continue their education and training in the trade.
Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, you can become a journeyman electrician. Journeymen electricians have more responsibility than apprentices, but they’re still supervised by a master electrician. Journeymen are qualified to install, maintain, and repair electrical systems in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
On top of the ladder is the master electrician. A master electrician has the most experience and responsibility of all the electricians. They’re qualified to design, install, maintain, and repair electrical systems in any type of building. To become a master electrician, you must first be a journeyman electrician. You’ll also need to have several years of experience and pass a licensing exam.
Master electricians are free to work as independent contractors and can supervise journeymen and apprentices. They can also work for electrical contractors, utility companies, or the government. 
What Do You Need to Become an Apprentice Electrician in Pennsylvania
Now that we covered the steps in an electrician career, let’s discuss what you need to do to become an electrician in Pennsylvania.
Get necessary experience
Just like with any job, electricians need the proper experience in order to get hired. However, how can you get this experience if no one will hire you without one? The best way to gain this experience is to become an apprentice electrician.
Apprenticeship programs typically last four years, and during that time apprentices will learn everything they need to know in order to become a journeyman electrician.
In Pennsylvania, there are two ways to become an apprentice electrician:
- Find an employer who is willing to sponsor you in an apprenticeship program
- Complete a registered apprenticeship program offered by a technical school or trade organization
If you choose the first option, you will need to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you and provide on-the-job training. This option is often the most difficult, as many employers are not willing to take on the responsibility of training an apprentice.
The second option – completing a registered apprenticeship program – is often the best way to become an apprentice electrician. These programs are offered by technical schools and trade organizations, and they combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training.
Before you can enroll in a registered apprenticeship program, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED equivalent
- Pass a basic aptitude test
- Complete an interview with the program sponsor
Another way to get experience is to attend a trade school! This is a great option for those who want to get hands-on training and learn the basics of electricity. Trade schools offer electrician programs that can be completed in as little as six months.
While attending trade school is not a requirement to become an electrician, it can give you the necessary skills and knowledge to start your career. And, if you complete an electrician program at a trade school, you may be able to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you in an apprenticeship program.
The third option you have is working under the direct supervision of a licensed electrician. You will be able to learn the trade and get paid for your work at the same time! However, if you want to pursue your own ways, you will need to have at least 10 years of such experience.
Obtain a journeyman electrician license
Once you have the necessary experience, you will need to obtain a journeyman electrician license. In Pennsylvania, you can do this by passing the Journeyman Electrician Exam.
The Journeyman Electrician Exam is a two-part exam that tests your knowledge of the National Electrical Code and electrical theory. The exam is administered by the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI).
There are plenty of exam providers out there. We recommend that you choose an accredited provider, such as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET).
If you want to increase your chances of passing the Journeyman Electrician Exam, we recommend that you enroll in a prep course. These courses are offered by trade schools and online providers, and they will give you the knowledge and skills you need to pass the exam.
Once you get your results, take them to your local electrician licensing board to get your journeyman electrician license. Keep in mind that you will have to renew your certification every year.
One thing we should note: there’s no statewide licensing for electricians in Pennsylvania. However, many counties and cities have their own licensing requirements. So, if you plan on working in a specific city or county, be sure to check with the local licensing board to see if you need an additional license. This applies not only to journeyman electricians, but also to apprentice and master electricians.
Now that you have your journeyman electrician license, you are one step closer to becoming a master electrician!
Obtain a master electrician license
If you want to become a master electrician, you will need to obtain a master electrician license. In Pennsylvania, you can do this by passing the Master Electrician Exam.
This test is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, and covers a more in-depth range of topics related to electrical work. The exam can last up to four hours, and contains 100 multiple-choice questions.
To be eligible to take the Master Electrician Exam, an electrician must have at least four years of experience working as a journeyman electrician. So don’t jump to this stage if you only just completed your electrician apprenticeship!
Get your electrical contractor license
While with a Master Electrician license you are able to do electrical work on your own, having an electrical contractor license will allow you to run your own business.
In Pennsylvania, the requirements for obtaining an electrical contractor license vary by county. However, in most cases, you will need to have a minimum of two years of experience working as a master electrician before you can apply for a contractor license.
To get your contractor license, you will need to submit an application to your local electrician licensing board. The application will ask for information about your experience, education, and any other relevant qualifications. You may also be required to take and pass a business law exam.
Once you have been approved for your electrical contractor license, you will be able to start your own business and hire other electricians to work for you!
Besides doing what regular electricians do, an electrical contractor also needs to manage and oversee projects. They need to hire and manage electricians working under them, as well as being able to estimate how much a project will cost and submit bids. This can seem like a daunting task, but with the proper training and experience, it can be a very rewarding career. , , 
Are Trade Schools or Unions Worth it?
Some people might find the idea of going to trade school or joining a union off-putting. After all, electrician apprenticeships provide on-the-job training that can be just as effective (if not more so) than what you would learn in a classroom setting.
However, there are some benefits to trade schools and unions that are worth considering. For one, trade schools can give you a more formal education in electrical theory and the National Electrical Code. This can be helpful if you plan on taking the Journeyman or Master Electrician Exam.
Additionally, unions can provide job security and good pay. Union jobs tend to be more stable than non-union jobs, and union workers often earn higher wages than their non-union counterparts.
And some unions can offer apprenticeship programs that combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, an apprenticeship program through a union might be the way to go.
However there’s one major downside of unions compared to apprenticeship programs – the cost. Union membership dues can be expensive, and you may have to pay for your own training. So if you’re on a tight budget, an apprenticeship might be the better option. 
How long does it take to become an electrician in PA?
It typically takes about four years to become an electrician in Pennsylvania. This includes completing a three- or four-year apprenticeship program and passing a journeyman or master exam.
Education in an electrical field can also speed-up the process of becoming an electrician. Some apprenticeship programs may require a high school diploma or equivalent, and some technical schools offer two-year associate degree programs in electrical technology.
What do I need to do electrical work in PA?
You need to have an electrical contractor’s license issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (LnI). The requirements for getting a license are:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have at least four years of experience as a journeyman electrician OR two years of experience as a journeyman electrician and two years of technical schooling in electricity
- Pass an exam administered by L&I
You can find more information about how to become an electrician in Pennsylvania, including links to relevant application forms, on the L&I website. In addition, all your certifications must be up to date and you must have general liability insurance.
Is a high school diploma alone enough to start seeking an electrician career?
No, a high school diploma is not enough to become an electrician. You will need to complete an electrician training program and obtain a license from the state of Pennsylvania. However apprenticeships typically don’t require a university degree, so that may be an option for you.
What is the hourly rate for an electrician in PA?
The average hourly rate for an electrician in Pennsylvania is $27.50. However, wages can range from $21.00 to $36.00 per hour, depending on experience, education, and certifications. The more experience an electrician has, the higher their hourly rate will be. Electricians with more experience can also charge a higher rate for their services.
Education and certifications can also affect an electrician’s hourly rate. Electricians who have completed a four-year apprenticeship program or have a journeyman’s license will typically earn a higher wage than those who do not. Additionally, electricians who are certified by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) may also earn a higher wage.
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Becoming an electrician in Pennsylvania is a process that takes time and effort, but it is definitely possible! As you can see, an electrician must be certified in order to practice in Pennsylvania. If you want to become an electrician, make sure you do your research and follow the necessary steps to get certified.
However, Pennsylvania is a special case that doesn’t have statewide licensing. Each municipality in Pennsylvania has the authority to issue their own licenses for electricians. So, while you may not need a state license to work as an electrician in Pennsylvania, you will still need to obtain a local license from the municipality where you want to work.
Still nothing really changes, first you will need to obtain the required experience, then you will need to pass an electrician exam, and finally you will need to submit your application for a local license (be it Journeyman or Master license). After you have done all of that, you will be able to start working as an electrician in Pennsylvania!
Just remember to take things one step at a time, and to get all the necessary experience and qualifications before moving on to the next stage. Good luck!