What Is a Master Electrician? And How to Become One

What Is a Master Electrician?

Master electricians are the most experienced and skillful specialists in the field.

This title shows that you’ve spent lots of years working as a residential electrician and improved your skills so you can get a license as a master electrician.

It is a big achievement that can increase your salary and position in the field significantly.

These specialists are experienced enough to perform various difficult and important duties such as installation, repair, and maintenance of different systems.

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Also, they are responsible for the supervision of apprentices and journeymen electricians.

Moreover, master electricians are able to plan and organize various complex projects related to electrics and some equipment.

Master Electrician license shows that have excellent skills and knowledge of such aspects as safety, building codes, wiring, and project management.

Master Electricians’ Duties and Responsibilities

Master electricians have enough experience to perform such duties as overseeing wire systems installation, designing the routing of circuits, and acquiring permits.

Of course, journeyman electricians can work independantly however they cannot obtain permits and supervise others.

At the same time, master electricians can not only pull permits and supervise others but perform a variety of management tasks as team leaders.

It is the most important difference between journeyman electricians and master electricians.

The list of other job duties includes such options as:

  • Determining the cause of control and power system failures and taking the necessary corrective action;
  • Monitoring and evaluating work productivity;
  • Monitoring any changes in the National Electric Code and identifying training requirements for subordinates;
  • Monitoring and evaluating equipment operation and energy efficiency;
  • Monitoring all processes and procedures to anticipate future needs;
  • Overseeing other vendors and contractors and serving as their technical point of contact;
  • Planning and coordinating work with other trades to ensure seamless installations and minimal disruptions for all parties concerned;
  • Supervising subordinate employees – includes coaching, counseling, training, and evaluating;
  • Supervising and consulting on complex installations and repair projects;
  • Supervising, consulting on, and troubleshooting complex electrical equipment issues.

To be able to perform various supervision tasks, master electricians should have a certain set of skills.

It includes some excellent understanding of such issues as:

  • Applicable county, state, and national electrical, NFPA, and safety codes;
  • Electrical controls and motors;
  • Interpreting diagrams, schematics, blueprints, and manuals;
  • Safety regulations and procedures;
  • Standard practices, tools, and equipment of the electrical trade.

Becoming a Master Electrician: Training and Exam Requirements

To be able to become a journeyman electrician, apprentices should complete 500-1000 hours of classroom training and obtain 8000-10 000 hours of working experience.

After completing these requirements and passing an exam, you can obtain your journeyman licensing.

As soon as you obtained your license you can start working your way towards master electrician license.

To obtain it, you need to get 4000 hours of experience.

In some states, you may also be required to pass an exam to get your license.

For example, in Texas, you need to work as a journeyman electrician for 2 years so you can take the Texas Master Electrician exam in order to get the license.

During this exam, you need to show your proficiency in design, installation, construction, repair, and alteration of various electrical systems and related equipment.

Also, you need to be able to show your excellent understanding of applicable codes and regulations.

Moreover, each candidate should prove their supervision skills.

Of course, there are states that have not so strict requirements.

For example, in Virginia, you need to have a year of working experience as a journeyman to become a master electrician.

You need to know that some states have different levels of master electricians and each of them requires a certain amount of experience.

For example, Michigan has two titles for master electricians:

  • Electrician Master Licensed – E (experienced);
  • Electrician Master Licensed – A (advanced).

Both of them are licensed and can perform a variety of tasks.

However, only the Electrician Master Licensed – A can be team leaders and supervise other lower-level electricians.

They can also provide instructions, training, and reviewing job performance.

To become the Electrician Master Licensed – A, you need 1 year of working experience as an Electrician Master Licensed – E.

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