Electrician Schools in Montana (Top Programs)

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Electrician Schools in Montana

In Montana, the demand for electricians is growing.

Those who want to become electricians, need to first train and then pass an exam to obtain the license from the Montana State Electrical Board.

Training

The training can be completed in either one of the following ways:

  • An apprenticeship program of 8,000 or 4,000 hours field apprenticeship and at least 500 hours of classroom education
  • Earning an Associates’ degree in electrical engineering, followed by the 8,000 or 4,000 hours of on-the-job experience
  • Combination of an apprenticeship or training program with a minimum of 20,000 hours of electrical maintenance experience, with a minimum of 8,000 or 4,000 hours of practical experience

The 8000 or 4000 hours must be completed based on the type of license pursued: journeyman or residential electrician.

No matter the chosen path, future electricians will learn about:

  • Electrical Theory
  • Structured wiring systems
  • National Electrical Code (NEC)
  • Conduit bending
  • Blueprint reading
  • OSHA safety
  • Industrial motor controls
  • Fiber optics
  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)

Apprenticeship Programs

A direct apprenticeship is the most common way of becoming an electrician.

There are 2 options:

  • Through a union with the help of the Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC)
  • Through merit shops

To enroll in a union apprenticeship, candidates must:

  • Be 18 years of age
  • A valid Montana driver’s license
  • A certified copy of the birth certificate
  • A certified copy of the Social Security card
  • Transcripts of the high school diploma or GED
  • Be a Montana resident
  • Pass the electrical trade aptitude test
  • Apply for union membership

The requirements to enroll in the non-union apprenticeship programs are similar but don’t require union membership.

Trade Schools

Enrolling in a trade school or community college is another good way of entering the electrical field.

This route is better for those seeking a career path and usually, the programs last for 2 years.

Some schools offer ob placement, though the students can also search their own entry-level positions.

School NameAddress
Flathead Valley Community College777 Grandview Dr, Kalispell, MT 59901
Fort Peck Community College605 Indian Street, Poplar, MT 59255
Montana Code School1121 E Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59802
Montana Electrical JATC2616 Bozeman Ave, Helena, MT 59601
Montana Tech1300 W Park St, Butte, MT 59701

Journeyman Electrician or Residential Electrician

In Montana, you can get licensed as a journeyman electrician or as a residential electrician.

Journeyman License

Requirements:

  • Fill out the application
  • Complete the training
  • A copy of the Apprenticeship Completion Certificate
  • Pay the application fee to the Board – $240
  • Pay the examination fee to PSI Services – $70
  • Score 75% on the journeyman electrician exam

The training is:

  • The electrical apprenticeship program through a union or non-union
  • Accumulating at least 8,000 hours of practical working experience while performing a variety of electrical tasks on equipment for light, heat, and power

Candidates can also accumulate 20,000 hours doing electrical maintenance, but 8,000 hours must be practical experience.

Those accepted will be allowed to register for the exam and may even be issued a temporary journeyman work permit if they pay the additional fee of $50.

During the exam, candidates can consult their books, and they have 3 hours to answer 60 questions that cover:

  • National Electrical Code (NEC)
  • Ohm’s law
  • Layout and practical installation of electrical circuits

Residential Electrician License

The general requirements are the same as for the journeyman license.

Specific requirements:

  • Complete the apprenticeship program through a union or trade organization
  • Accumulate a minimum of 4,000 hours of practical working experience while performing a variety of electrical tasks on equipment for light, heat, and power

Those accepted will be allowed to register for the exam and may even be issued a temporary journeyman work permit if they pay the additional fee of $50.

This exam is open-book, and candidates have 2.5 hours to answer 50 questions that cover the same topics as the journeyman exam.

Master Electrician

The requirements are:

  • Fill out the application
  • Complete the training
  • Pay the application fee to the Board – $240
  • Pay the examination fee to PSI Services – $80
  • Copies of college transcripts for those with an electrical degree
  • A completed Master Experience Verification Affidavit – for those applying by experience criteria
  • Score 75% on the exam

Specific requirements relater to education OR the experience:

  • Education – a degree in electrical engineering and 2,000 hours of practical experience
  • Experience – a minimum of 8,000 hours as a journeyman, with 20% to 50% of experience hours being in residential work

Those who qualify will be allowed to register for the master electrician exam.

The exam is open-book and 80 questions must be solved in 4 hours.

The topics include:

  • National Electrical Code (NEC) 2014
  • Cost estimating
  • Procurement and material handling
  • Printreading
  • The layout of electrical circuits
  • Electrical theory

Electrical Contractor

In Montana, there are 2 types of electrical contractors:

  • Limited – residential constructions of single structures containing under 5 units
  • Unlimited – permitted to perform both residential and commercial electrical work.

Regardless of the type of license, they need to hire an electrician who will supervise all electrical work performed by the electrical contractor.

The license of this electrician will determine which type of electrical contractor license the candidate will obtain.

Limited Electrical Contractor

Requirements:

  • Fill out the application
  • Pay the application fee – $300
  • Worker’s compensation coverage
  • Unemployment insurance coverage

A limited electrical contractor will employ a full-time journeyman electrician as the supervising full-time electrician.

Unlimited Electrical Contractor

The requirements for this license are the same as for the limited contractor.

The difference is that an unlimited electrical contractor will employ a master electrician as the supervising full-time electrician.

Salary

The experience and possible degree of an electrician will bring a higher salary.

Annual Salary Range:
$33K
$44K
$55K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Billings$46,583
Missoula$40,202
Great Falls$42,172
Bozeman$40,202
Butte$40,202
Helena$40,932
Kalispell$43,169
Havre$41,443
Anaconda$40,202
Miles City$45,853

Maintaining the License

The journeyman, residential electrician, and master electrician licenses must be renewed every 2 years.

The renewal fee is $200 and individuals are also required to complete at least 16 hours of continuing education during each renewal cycle.

Eight hours must cover the updates to the electrical code.

The license of an electrical contractor must be renewed every 2 years and the fee is $300.

USA Electrician Schools by State


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