Electrician Requirements and Qualifications

Electricians are responsible for maintaining, troubleshooting and managing different types of electrical systems. Electrician qualifications and requirements include compliance with the National Electrical Code and the completion of an apprenticeship program. Every employer will list electrician requirements and qualifications in their job description, and some of the training will be completed on the job. Electrician requirements include a working knowledge of electrical theories and systems, performing simple math functions, and also knowing how to work with different wire systems and fiber optic systems.

What Are Typical Electrician Qualifications?

When you are considering a career as an electrician, take some time to learn about the typical electrician qualifications and requirements for jobs in your state. Every state's board sets various level s of education requirements and training requirements, and you will need to fulfill these requirements in order to get your license. Only licensed electricians are permitted to perform electrical work for the public, and must take a certain number of continuing education courses to maintain their license throughout their careers.

The typical electrician requirements include:

  • Having a high school diploma or GED
  • Being at least 18 years old (or 21 years old, depending on the state)
  • Complete a diploma, degree or certificate program in the field
  • Having a high level of mental and physical aptitude
  • Taking specialized courses in residential and commercial wiring practices and having a strong working knowledge of national electrical codes and safety measures
  • Completing an approved apprenticeship program to gain work experience

Basic Electrician Requirements

Basic electrician requirements vary slightly from state to state, and all electricians must have some work experience through an approved apprenticeship program. The electrician apprenticeship program typically lasts four to five years and gives students a chance to work under the supervision of a master electrician or journeyman electrician. This is the most important part of any electrician's educational career because it allows them to work on real projects including home remodeling, switch lighting, rewiring electrical systems, or working on an assembly line.

Most apprenticeships do provide a salary for the student, and can help with job placement after the completion of the training program. The average electrician apprenticeship lasts about 2,000 hours and also consists of about 144 classroom hours. Electrician requirements for completing this part of the training program include passing a licensing exam for their jurisdiction - which can be by the state, county or even the city - and then training in all phases of electrical construction and installation. Once they have fulfilled their basic electrician requirements, the electrician is considered to be a tradesman and can specialize in a particular area. Some electricians choose to work in the commercial sector, while others prefer to work on residential projects.

All electrician training programs provide information on career options and basic electrician qualifications for different jobs. Electricians who successfully complete their training program and fulfill all electrician requirements can move forward to obtain advanced training as a master electrician or take courses in a particular specialization so that they have unique skills and knowledge to offer throughout their career.