Electricians don’t only have a job, but access to a career, while working flexible hours.
The career path of an electrician looks like this:
- Independent electrical contractor
If you want to become an electrician in Arizona, you need to obtain a license from the Arizona State Registrar of Contractors.
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To become an electrician, you need both classroom education (900 hours) and hands-on experience (8,000 hours).
This period is called an apprenticeship which can be unionized or not.
Some individuals choose to enroll in a vocational-technical school, though they still need to gain a number of experience on the job, under the supervision of an electrician.
Attending a vocational-technical school or a community college, you have the possibility of earning a diploma or degree that will further open your career path.
This route also provides the best classroom and lab-based technical training available.
Many programs also help students with finding a job.
Some of the topics taught in an electrician training program are:
- Electrical Theory
- Algebra/Electrical Calculations
- Safety Code
- Blueprint Reading
- Motors and Transformers
- OSHA/Safety Awareness
- Overcurrent protection
- Programmable controllers
|Arizona Western College||2020 S. Avenue 8E, Yuma, AZ 85365|
|Chandler||2626 E Pecos Rd, Chandler, AZ 85225|
|Eastern Arizona College||615 N. Stadium Ave., Thatcher, AZ 85552|
|GateWay Community College||108 N. 40th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034|
|Mohave Community College||1971 Jagerson Ave, Kingman, AZ 86409|
|Pima Community College||4905C East Broadway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85709|
|Rio Salado College||2323 W 14th St, Tempe, AZ 85281|
|Tucson College||5151 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85711|
|Yavapai College||1100 E Sheldon St, Prescott, AZ 86301|
In Arizona, those seeking an apprenticeship through a union can contact one of the local chapters found in Phoenix and Tucson.
Non-union apprenticeships are available through:
- Independent Electrical Contractors of Southern Arizona
- Independent Electrical Contractors Association of Arizona
- Arizona Builders Alliance
Regardless of choice, there are some requirements to meet:
- 18 years old
- High school diploma or GED
- Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
- Pass a math and reading skills test
- Copy of a high school transcript
Some candidates might have to take the Tech Math class on-line, through the Electrical Training Alliance to be accepted in the training program.
Apprentices work full time but also receive classroom education to be able to become journeymen.
In many states, those who complete their apprenticeship period pass an exam to become a journeyman.
In most of Arizona, there is no journeyman license to be earned.
Certification as a journeyman is available through the apprenticeship program they completed, though it doesn’t have the same standing as licensing through a state or municipal government agency.
Such a certification is nevertheless useful for those seeking employment and they can gain further specialized experience in areas like:
- Commercial and industrial installation
- Photovoltaics and solar power
- HVAC electric
It’s important to know that all individuals need to accumulate some experience after competing for their training in order to become an independent electrical contractor.
Independent Electrical Contractor
In Arizona, independent electrical contractors can have one of the following licenses:
- Specialty commercial license
- Specialty residential license
- Dual license
Licenses are issued by the State Registrar of Contractors.
The dual license allows the professional to perform electrical work on both residential and commercial properties, and many individuals choose to obtain this one.
The requirements are:
- Earn 4 years of experience
- Pass a two-part exam covering your specific trade and business management
To take the exam, candidates have to register with the application found online.
The form also provides information related to the Business Management exam.
This exam lasts for 3 hours, has 80 questions, and candidates can consult their books.
The topics covered by this exam are:
- Arizona registrar of contractors statutes
- Arizona registrar of contractors rules
- Arizona registrar of contractors workmanship standards
- Business management
- Business mathematics
- Contracts and agreements
- Insurance and bonding
- Safety, record keeping, and reporting
- Labor and tax laws
- Employment regulations
- Financial management
- Environmental laws and regulations
The Commercial Electrical Contractor Exam is another test candidates have to pass.
PSI Exams has more details regarding this exam.
If you passed the exams you can move on to establishing your business with a unique name.
These agencies can help with this aspect:
- Corporations Commission
- Registrar of Contractors
- Office of the Secretary of State
The next step is to fill out an application with the following documents:
- Exam results
- A bond
The bond is based on how much work you expect to do each year and there’s an online chart to help you calculate the correct amount.
Approvals are sent by email.
Your salary will generally be higher if you get the journeyman certification mentioned earlier, and if you specialize in a certain type of electrical work.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
The license must be renewed every two years with an online form.