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​On The Job: Electricians In The United States Of America

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Almost all homes and businesses have an electrical system that power their lights, appliances and equipment and it is an electrician’s duty to do the installing and maintaining of all electrical circuits and wiring in these respective buildings.

Electricians work for various companies and carry out a number of tasks. The job requires working in all conditions at any time since the electrical systems may need maintenance at erratic times in different areas. A lot of physical work is needed but a good knowledge and attention to detail are also critical in this occupation.

In 2012, there are about 583,500 electricians in the United States of America. Sixty one percent of which were hired in electrical contractors and other industries in wiring installation contractors while nine percent are self-employed. Almost all electricians work full time but self-employed electricians have a more flexible schedule.

Becoming an electrician

Most electricians begin through apprenticeship while some attend technical schools. Technical schools offer programs related to basic electrical information, circuitry, and safety practices. Graduates receive credit toward apprenticeship.

To enter an apprenticeship program, trainees must be at least 18 years of age. A high school diploma or any equivalent to it is required. Completion of one year of algebra is also needed as well as a qualifying score on an aptitude test. They must also undergo and pass a substance abuse screening. Candidates may apply through unions like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Apprenticeship programs usually last from four to five years. Every year, apprentices must complete at least 600 hours of technical training. Classroom training includes blueprint reading, electrical code requirements, electrical theory, mathematics, and safety and first-aid practices. There are also specialized training which include communications, elevators, fire alarm systems, and soldering. Apprentices also receive on-the-job training with the supervision of experienced electricians.

After completion of their training, electricians may be required to take continuing education courses related to changes to the electrical code, safety practices, and training from manufacturers in specific products. Those who complete the apprenticeship programs may be accepted to become journeymen and do construction and maintenance projects and can work for construction firms, service providers, or utility companies.

Understanding the different types of electricians

Electricians have different expertise and specialization. They can be residential, commercial, journeyman, or master electricians.

Licence Requirements

Most states in the USA require licensed electricians. The major purpose of which is to protect the health and safety of the general public from illegal and immoral actions. It is also the legal way of defining a profession.

Requirements vary by state. Training electricians are required to take an exam which would cover general knowledge, theories, and the National Electrical Code. NEC provides practical information on how to avoid electrical hazards and is considered as the foundation for electrical safety. The difference in testing in different states is in state-related questions and local rules and regulations. Some states require an exam on Business and Law for the contractor’s license as well.

Electricians must provide proof of work experience and pay a fee to claim their license. The classification of licenses is categorized by type of electrical work or by level of experience such as journeyman and master electrician. There is a required number of continuing education hours every year and a given examination every period to maintain an electrician’s license. All licenses also are to be renewed on a given date by the State. Automatic termination of license may be given due to failure of renewal.

Electricians must also acquire a professional certification. This can certify an electrician’s knowledge and skills which may improve their employment and opportunities. All certifications require a qualifying score on a written examination and a performance evaluation.

The National Electricals Contractors Association website provide a summary of the licensing requirements of each state while listed below are contact information of Building Departments given by the Code Electrical website:

Alabama

State of Alabama Electrical Contractor's Board
2777 Zelda Road
Montgomery, AL 36106
(334) 420-7232

http://www.aecb.state.al.us/

Alaska

Dept. of Commerce & Economic Development
Division of Occupational Licensing
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
(907) 465-8443

Arizona

The State Of Arizona
Registrar Of Contractors
1700 West Washington Street, Suite 105
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 542-1525

http://www.azroc.gov/

Arkansas

State of Arkansas Department of Labor
10421 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 682-4531

http://www.labor.ar.gov/aboutUs/Pages/contactUs.aspx

California

Department of Consumer Affairs
Contractors State Licensing Board
9821 Business Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95827
(800) 321-2752

http://www.cslb.ca.gov/

Colorado

The State of Colorado
Colorado State Electrical Board
1560 Broadway, Suite 1350
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 894-2300

https://www.colorado.gov/dora/boards_programs

Connecticut

TheState of Connecticut
Department of Consumer Protection
Occupational Licensing Division
165 Capitol Ave
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 713-6135

http://www.ct.gov/dcp/site/default.asp

Delaware

Division of Professional Regulation
Cannon Building Suite 203
861 Silver Lake Blvd.
Dover, DE 19904
(302) 744-4500

http://www.dpr.delaware.gov/boards/electrician/newlicense.shtml

Florida

Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Electrical Contractors' Licensing Board
1940 N. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
(850) 487-1395

Georgia

Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board
Division of Electrical Contractors
237 Coliseum Dr.
Macon, GA 31217
(478) 207-2440

http://sos.ga.gov/plb/construct

Hawaii

TheState of Hawaii
Professional and Vocational Licensing
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
(808) 586-3000

http://cca.hawaii.gov/

Idaho

Division of Building Safety
Electrical Bureau
1090 E. Watertower St.
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 334-3950

http://dbs.idaho.gov/

Illinois

Department of Professional Regulation
320 West Washington St.
Springfield, IL 62786
(217) 785-0800

https://www.idfpr.com/Renewals/defaultSSL.asp

Indiana

City of Indianapolis
Licensing Division
1200 Madison Avenue, Suite 100
Indianapolis IN 46225
(317) 327-4316

http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DCE/Licenses/ContractorLicenses/Pages/electrical.aspx

Iowa

State Fire Marshal's Office
Electrical Examining Board
215 E. 7th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 725-6147

http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/electrician/licensing/licensing.shtml

Kansas

Division of Facilities Management
1000 S.W. Jackson Suite 500
Topeka, KS 66612
(785) 296-3011

http://admin.ks.gov/offices/ofpm

Kentucky

Electrical Licensing
101 Sea Hero Road, Suite 100
Frankfurt, KY 40601
(502) 573-2002

http://dhbc.ky.gov/bce/ei/el/Pages/default.aspx

Louisiana

State Licensing Board for Contractors
2525 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(225) 765-2301

http://www.lslbc.state.la.us/

Maine

Office of Licensing and Registration
35 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
(207) 624-8457

http://www.state.me.us/pfr/professionallicensing/professions/electricians/index.htm

Maryland

Department of Licensing & Regulation
500 N. Calvert Street, Room 302
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 230-6270

http://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/elec/

Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Division of Registration
1000 Washington Street, Suite 710
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 727-9931

http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/el/

Michigan

Licensing Division
P.O. Box 30018
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 241-9320

http://www.michigan.gov/statelicensesearch/0,1607,7-180-24786_24811---,00.html

Minnesota

State Board of Electricity
443 Lafayette Road N
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 284-5026

Mississippi

State Board of Contractors
2679 Crane Ridge Drive, Suite C
Jackson, MS 39216
(601) 354-6161

http://www.msboc.us/

Missouri

Codes Administration Department
P.O. Box 1335
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(573) 751-0293

http://www.pr.mo.gov/counselors.asp

Montana

Montana State Electrical Board
301 South Park, Room 430
Helena, MT 59620
(406) 841-2329

http://bsd.dli.mt.gov/license/bsd_boards/ele_board/board_page.asp

Nebraska

State Electrical Division
800 South 13th Street, Suite 100
P.O. Box 95066
Lincoln, NE 68509-5066
(402) 471-3550

http://www.electrical.state.ne.us/

Nevada

State Contractors Board
2310 Corporate Circle, Suite 200
Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 486-1100

http://www.nvcontractorsboard.com/

New Hampshire

Electrical Safety & Licensing
Division of Fire Safety
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305
(603) 223-4289

http://www.nh.gov/jtboard/electricians.htm

New Jersey

State of New Jersey
State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors
P.O. Box 45006
Newark, NJ 07101
(973) 504-6410

http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/electric/

New Mexico

The State of New Mexico
Construction Industries Division
2550 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 476-4500

http://www.rld.state.nm.us/

New York

NYS Department of State
Licensing Services
P.O. Box 22001
Albany, NY 12201
(518) 474-4429

http://www.dos.ny.gov/lcns/licensing.html

North Carolina

State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors
P.O. Box 18727
Raleigh, NC 27619
(919) 733-9042

http://www.ncbeec.org/

North Dakota

North Dakota State Electrical Board
1929 N. Washington Street, Suite A-1
Bismarck, ND 58507
(701) 328-9522

https://www.ndseb.com/

Ohio

Ohio Construction Industry Examining Board
P.O. Box 4009
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
(614) 752-7127

http://www.com.ohio.gov/dico/FileNotFound.aspx

Oklahoma

Construction Industry Board
Electrical Division
2401 N.W. 23rd St. Suite 2F
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
(405) 521-6550

http://www.ok.gov/cib/

Oregon

Construction Contractors Board
700 Summer St N.E. Suite 300
Salem, OR 97309
(503) 378-4621

http://www.ccb.state.or.us/search/

Pennsylvania

Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs
P.O. Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105
(717) 787-8503

http://www.dos.pa.gov/
Rhode Island

State of Rhode Island Contractor's Licensing Board
1 Capitol Hill, 2nd Floor
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-1268

http://www.crb.ri.gov/

South Carolina

State of South Carolina
Licensing Board for Contractors
P.O. Box 11329
Columbia, SC 29211
(803) 896-4686

http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/Contractors/

South Dakota

South Dakota State Electrical Commission
308 S. Pierre Street
Pierre, SD 57501
(605) 773-3573

http://dlr.sd.gov/bdcomm/electric/default.aspx

Tennessee

State Of Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 741-8307

Texas

Department of Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 12157
Austin, TX 78711
(512) 463-6599

http://www.tdlr.texas.gov/electricians/elecforms.htm

Utah

Division Of Occupational &Professional Licensing
160 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 530-6628

http://www.dopl.utah.gov/

Vermont

State Of Vermont
Department of Labor and Industry
Attn: State Electricians Licensing Board
1311 U.S. Route 302 Berlin Suite 600
Barre, VT 05641-2351
(802) 479-7564

http://firesafety.vermont.gov/professions/electrical

Virginia

Commonwealth of Virginia
Dept. of Professional & Occupational Regulation
9960 Mayland Dr.
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 367-8511

http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/

Washington

Department of Labor and Industries
P.O. Box 44000
Olympia, WA 98504-4000
(360) 902-5269

West Virginia

Regulatory and Licensing Division
1207 Quarrier Street, 2nd Floor
Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 558-2191

Wisconsin

Department of Safety and Professional Services
P.O. Box 8935
Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-2112

http://dsps.wi.gov/Home

Wyoming

Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety
Herschler Building 1 West
Cheyenne, WY 82002
(307) 777-7288

http://wsfm.wyo.gov/

Electrician by the numbers

According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employment for electricians in the year 2012 was at 583,500. It was also reported that the number of opportunities for electricians is expected to grow 20% from 2012 until 2022 as the demand continues to get higher. The projected number of employees in 2022 would be 698,200. This increase in demand, however, will be compensated by the closing of older facilities.

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