Within the construction industry is a continued need for highly qualified specialists in many areas, including carpentry, plumbing, and electricity. All are well-paying fields, but in particular the trade of master electrician can give a person a good standard of living and considerable career flexibility. The path to earning the title of master electrician is somewhat long and requires many hours of trade school or college coursework but is very well-marked with the apprenticeship experience required. Of course, as with any profession, the level of education and practical experience needed depends upon the state or territory within which you wish to learn such a valuable trade.
High school courses rich in math and science are a must if you wish to do well in your path to master electrician certification. These courses will give you a great background in which to be able to successfully complete trade school or junior college courses in physics (electricity) as well as safety and industrial maintenance. Most states require some up-front training in a trade school or college before beginning your on-the-job training as an electrician. Checking with your particular state or territory is necessary in order to assess the exact requirements for certification.
In addition to any classroom work, you will be required in most cases to fulfill at least two years of apprenticeship work with a licensed master electrician. It is during this time that you begin to learn this profession fully and gain a proper understanding of the responsibilities involved. The International Brotherhood of Electricians supports all apprenticeship activities, including helping potential apprentices find qualified master electricians with whom to learn. You should expect any master electrician you work with to be highly knowledgeable as well as very demanding as to what he or she expects from you. Be prepared both physically and mentally for a challenging two year period as you complete your apprenticeship.
After a total of four years between trade school and apprenticeship training, you should be prepared to take the licensing exam for journeyman electrician. If you pass this exam, you will be certified as a competent journeyman electrician. However, in many states, a journeyman electrician must still work under the direction of a master electrician. It will take on average another three to four years to gain enough experience before applying for the license of master journeyman electrician, or more simply, a master electrician.
In the United States, most licensed master electricians can expect between $40,000 and $70,000 per year as an average wage. Though pay is currently lower on average than over the past few years, this is expected to improve as the economy recovers and homebuilding rebounds. Also, some master electricians decide to open their own electrical business or consulting firm and can expect in many cases to out-earn the average expectation in most states. With such a certification, you are only limited by your willingness to work on both residential and commercial sites.