Like other skilled trades workers, electricians must learn the proper hands-on techniques and industry guidelines to perform their jobs correctly and safely. Since electrician duties can be hazardous and physically demanding, applicants must meet the age and education requirements for the job.
How Old Do You Need to Be to Become an Electrician?
Some independent contractors hire 17-year-old electrician apprentices and teach them the skills they need to eventually do the job independently. However, electric companies, construction crews, and government contractors in most states require electricians and apprentices to be at least 18 years of age.
What Do Electricians Do?
Whether they work independently or as part of a larger construction team, electricians are responsible for installing, repairing, and replacing electrical systems in homes and businesses. During their workdays, these professionals might perform tasks like:
- Inspecting electrical systems and generators
- Repairing damaged outlets and power lines
- Wiring new buildings
- Installing light fixtures in homes and offices
- Restoring power to buildings after outages
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an Electrician?
Again, electrical work is a skilled trade, meaning it requires specialized training, knowledge, and abilities. To become an electrician, you must learn how to:
- Read blueprints
- Use construction mathematics
- Follow state and OSHA guidelines while on the job
- Understand electrical systems and wiring techniques
You can learn these skills by enrolling in a trade school program or completing a state-approved apprenticeship. Some states and municipalities require you to do both.
Some states also require you to take a certification exam before you can become an electrician. If you pass, you can receive a government-approved license and qualify for either local or statewide electrician jobs.
Even if your state doesn’t have an official license requirement, electrician licenses are among the top well-paying certifications for job seekers. Completing an educational program and getting certified is a smart way to improve your chances of getting the electrician job and salary you want.
How Long Does Electrician Training Take?
It usually takes between four and five years to become an electrician in most states. Schooling is often nine months to one year long, while the other three to four years involve hands-on apprenticeship training under a licensed electrician.
Electrician Training At Any Age
Even if your state requires you to be 18 or older before becoming an electrician, you might be able to learn the basic skills of the trade in a high school shop class. Underage hopefuls can also try to find an apprenticeship role with a state-approved local contractor.