Alaska’s economy focuses on fishing, mining, and tourism, and electricians have an important yet auxiliary role.
Electricians generally go through 3 stages throughout their careers:
- Journeyman or residential electrician
- Independent electrical contractor
Journeymen need a license from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the contractors need a license from the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.
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Most apprentices in Alaska enroll in training programs through local unions, though this option means joining the union.
The apprenticeship period includes 1,400 hours of classroom-based instruction and 4,000 hours of hands-on experience.
500 hours of classroom education can be included in a total of 4,000 hours of experience accumulated on the job.
The best way to start an apprenticeship is by joining a union and then contacting a local Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATCs), which in this state is known as the Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship & Training Trust (AJEATT).
To enroll in an apprenticeship through the AJEATT, you need to:
- Be 18 years old
- Have a valid Alaska driver’s license
- A copy of your driving record
- Have a high school diploma, GED or college degree
- An official copy of high school transcripts
- Pass the Algebra 1 class, an online math course, or the Work Keys Placement Test
The placement test is organized by the State of Alaska Job Center.
Those who meet the qualifications, can file an application and then register with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development through a different application.
The apprenticeship registration has to be renewed every year until this period is over.
Classroom instruction will cover topics such as:
- Electrical Theory
- Blueprint Reading
- Algebra Equation Manipulation for Electric Circuits
- AC/DC Currents
- Motors and Transformers
- First Aid/Safety/OSHA Regulations
- Electric Code Standards
|Alaska Technical Center||834 4th Street Kotzebue, AK 99752|
|AVTEC — Alaska’s Institute of Technology||1251 Muldoon Road Anchorage, Alaska 99504|
|AVTEC — Alaska’s Institute of Technology||809 2nd Avenue Seward, Alaska 99664|
|Ilisagvik College||100 Stevenson Street PO Box 749 Barrow, Alaska 99723|
|University of Alaska||11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801|
Journeyman or Residential Electrician
All individuals who complete their apprenticeships can apply for a journeyman license.
Only those who are accepted can schedule an exam, after which they’ll receive their license, assuming they passed.
There are 2 licenses that can be earned:
Journeymen electricians can work on both residential and commercial properties.
The residential certificate limits the professional to work only on residential properties.
For a journeyman certificate, the candidate has to accumulate a total of 8,000 hours of work experience.
These hours have to break down like this:
- 6,000 of those hours must be in commercial or industrial properties.
- No more than 2,000 hours of experience can be in residential properties.
- 1,000 classroom hours can count towards your total.
Once the requirement is met, candidates can fill out the application and wait for the reply.
Only those who get approved can schedule the exam after they receive more information about it.
Licenses are issued to those passing the test.
Becoming an Independent Electrical Contractor
Journeymen have the possibility of becoming independent electrical contractors, and this allows them:
- To hire or become electrical administrators
- Obtain an Alaska Business License.
To become an electrical administrator, you need to follow the instructions and specify which type of administrator you want to be:
- Unlimited Commercial Wiring
- Residential Wiring
- Controls and Control Wiring
- Inside Communications
- Outside Communications
- Unlimited Line Work Outside
You’ll then need to download and complete the application with these documents:
- Resume with the experience for your chosen category
- References from 3 people, verifying your experience
- Official school transcripts
Candidates will then have to pass the matching exam, administered by PSI Exams, with more information found on their website.
Once the steps are completed and the electrical administrator license was earned, or someone was hired, the individual has to become an Alaska Business.
These are the steps:
- Register the business to receive an Alaska entity number
- Apply for a business license
Depending on your experience and your location, your salary might be lower or higher than the average shown below.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
The journeyman license has to be renewed every two years after completing 16 hours of continuing education.
Half of those hours have to focus on a comprehensive review of the National Electric Code.
Those who work as a residential journeyman electrician do not have to continue their education in order to renew their licenses.
The electrical administrator license also needs to be renewed every 2 years, after completing the continuing education requirement.
The business license is renewed every 2 years as well, though individuals can choose how often they want to renew it upon getting this license.