Since my father was 16, he knew he wanted to be an electrician. My whole life I have watched him have plenty of long nights and early mornings, but without a doubt, he was able to provide for his family and felt satisfaction after completing a project. There are many benefits to training and working as an electrician – electricians will always be in demand, the remuneration can be lucrative, it offers a comparatively stable career and education in electrical systems and electrical services can be stimulating; however, working with electricity carries a level of risk and danger. Because of this, it is vital that electricians know how to safely work with electricity and have appropriate training.
How does a person become an electrician in Virginia?
Step 1: Enroll in an Electrical Trade School or Apprenticeship Program and Gain the Experience Required to Become a Journeyman
There are many courses that offer training for electricians. Despite the range of courses that are available, candidates should look into the courses available and ensure that the one that they choose will provide them with a comprehensive level of training and the skills, knowledge, and experience required to work with electricity and carry out electrical services. It is even possible to access electrician training courses on the internet but these may be limited in terms of content. I would recommend enrolling in an Electrical Trade School or Apprenticeship Program to gain the experience and requirements to become a Journeyman.
At a minimum, you will need four years of on-the-job training and 240 hours of classroom instruction in order to earn your journeyman electrician license in Virginia.
To gain the required hours, you may enroll in a vocational or trade school program through Virginia Community Colleges or technical schools.
To apply, you’ll need the following qualifications:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Possess a high school diploma or GED
- Have taken basic mathematics and science courses
These programs will involve studying the following topics: Electrical Basics and Tools, Electrical Panels, Conduit Work, Grounding and Wiring, Wiring Protection Devices, Electrical Boxes, Receptacles, and Switches, Wiring a Residence, Installing Lighting, Ceiling Fans, and Appliances, Commercial Wiring & Installation, Circuits & Systems
After earning a certificate, you will begin acquiring the experience necessary to qualify for a journeyman license. In many cases, your trade school program will include an internship that will allow you to make the transition to full-time employment as a technician or trainee.
Step 2. Apply for Your Journeyman License in Virginia
In order to earn your journeyman license, you will need one of the following:
- Four years of on-the-job training and 240 hours of classroom instruction
- Five years of on-the-job training and 160 hours of classroom instruction
- Six years of on-the-job training and 80 hours of classroom instruction
- Seven or more years of on-the-job training and 40 hours of classroom instruction
In addition, if you did not complete an apprenticeship, but have an associate’s degree in electrical technology and two years of on-the-job experience, you are eligible to apply for a journeyman license.
- Fill out the application and mail it to the DPOR
- Pass the journeyman electrical exam
- To pass this exam you’ll need to pass with at least a 49% on the 70 item, 210-minute test.
Your license will expire every two years, and you can renew it online. You’ll need to submit proof of completion of three continuing education hours and a $90 renewal fee. Each renewal period, you’ll be required to complete three hours of state-approved continuing education courses.
To become licensed as a master electrician,
Step 3. Apply for Licensing as a Master Electrician in Virginia
In order to be eligible to apply you need at least 10 years of practical experience in electrical work or you’ll need at least a year of documented experience as a journeyman electrician.
You’ll need to apply through the DPOR by mailing a completed application. Once your application is accepted, you may apply for the master electrician exam, which is 90 items to be completed in 270 minutes, and you will need a score of at least 63 to pass.
Your master electrician’s license will expire every two years, and you can renew it online through the DPOR. You’ll need to complete three board-approved continuing education hours each two-year renewal cycle.
We hope that this has been useful information and you’ll be on your way to get your license.
We hope to do business with you soon!