Amongst the different potential careers someone can consider, becoming an electrician is a very promising option. Electricians are an in-demand trade and very rarely out of work given how critical their skill set is to the functioning of modern society. The electrical trade is considered a recession-proof job because even in times of economic downturn, people still need power and still need electrical items fixed around their homes.
In this article, we explore a variety of different electrician career paths, specifically that of a journeyman electrician.
Stages Of an Electrical Career
In the electrical trade, like many other traits, there are different stages to a career. The three main stages are that of the Apprentice, the journeyman, and then the master. This is true in most jurisdictions when it comes to the stages of an electrician career. When trying to become an electrician in Charlotte, NC, you must first complete an apprenticeship before then doing some work as a journeyman electrician where you supervise other apprentices and do lower complexity work yourself before being able to be considered a fully-fledged electrical contractor.
How Is A Journeyman Different From an Apprentice Electrician?
Though the details do vary between different legal jurisdictions in general, an apprentice is the lowest and least skilled type of tradesman of their profession and a journeyman is typically somebody who has completed the initial apprenticeship and is then in charge of other apprentices.
How Is A Journeyman Different From an Electrical Contractor?
A qualified electrical contractor can quote and complete jobs on their own without the need for any senior supervision or assistance whereas a journeyman electrician cannot operate with the same level of independence and still needs oversight by a master electrician or electrical contractor. A journeyman is able to independently complete many tasks pertaining to an electrical job and building site, but cannot quote for or complete jobs as a qualified electrical contractor until they have met those specific requirements.
Who Grants Journeyman Electrical Licenses?
In Charlotte, the journeyman electrical licenses are typically discharged by local government boards and establishments whereas fully qualified electrical contractors are managed by the state. If you want to apply for a journeyman electrical license then research and reach out to your local government licensee and find out the very specific requirements. There will typically be a range of experience and educational requirements listed that you will need to prove you have completed before they will grant your journeyman license.
Can Journeyman Electrician supervise other electricians?
Yes, journeyman electricians can supervise other electricians as long as they are of a lower level of experience and seniority. It is quite common to find journeyman electricians supervising other apprentice electricians but you will not find a journeyman electrician supervising a fully qualified electrical contractor or master electrician. Typically, a job site will have an electrical contractor who is overseeing the work and they will manage a small group of journeyman electricians who will then manage multiple apprentice electricians.
What Are the specific requirements of journeyman electrician programs?
Given that journeyman electrician licensing is managed by local jurisdictions it does vary between different regions. In general, the requirements typically consist of a number of certified hours of on-the-job experience under the supervision of a journeyman or master electrician, or electrical contractor. As well you will need to prove completion of the relevant trade school educational component. In many cases, they will also ask you to sit a journeyman electrical exam as well, of which you need to get a certain score in order to pass and be able to obtain your journeyman electrical license.
The easiest way to think about the requirements for a journeyman electrician is to think of it as the next stage in your career following your apprenticeship. During your apprenticeship, you will learning on the job to complete the relevant experience you need, and you’ll also be completing a trade school at the same time. So once you have completed the requirements of a standard apprenticeship, you will be well placed to then apply for your journeyman’s license, assuming you are able to recall the relevant knowledge in the exam and provide the required verified proof of the supervised trade hours.
Is it worth the hassle to become a journeyman electrician?
Yes, it is definitely worth it to complete the relevant steps to get yourself qualified as a journeyman electrician. If you can find yourself an electrical apprenticeship and complete that successfully, then it is not much of a step to them qualify as a journeyman electrician. Completing the relevant certified hours and getting the relevant certification as a general electrician will open up many other doors in your electrical career, including that of an electrical contractor or master electrician. Average career earnings for those who obtain the master electrician status are significantly higher than those who do not, so it is worth pursuing this career path if you are able to.