Different Types of Electrical Licenses


Different Types of Electrician Licenses

While many people think that there is only one type or electrician or at most a commercial or residential electrician the truth is that there are many different specializations that electricians can pursue enabling them to put their skills to use in a wide variety of work environments from a nuclear submarine to the Monorail at Disney World. Do not forget that all types of electricians first have to go through an apprenticeship period.

Master Electrician: A Master Electrician has gone through some type of schooling possibly obtained a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering, apprenticeship with proven 12,000 hours of on the job training’s under the supervision of a master electrician, has also taken exams to become a journeyman and practiced with the license for at least two years. This type of electrician has gained a lot of knowledge and experience over the years. It takes between four and eight years to become a master electrician. It requires a passing score on the master electrician exam to get the license. They often train apprentices on the lower level specialties. They supervise electricians and laborers, they equally work on both industrial and commercial jobs.

Auto Electrician: This is a professional who is well trained and works on the electrical parts of automobiles. They diagnose and fix all electrical problems in a vehicle. A high school diploma is needed to enroll in a trade or tech school to get either a certificate in a year or an associate in two years. An internship is required in addition to the trade school for practical skills. The certification is given by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

Electrical Contractor: An electrical contractor is a business person or company that employs electricians. They perform an array of specialized construction tasks designing, installing and maintaining electric systems. They can fix problems in homes, cars, businesses, and construction sites. They are usually licensed master electricians and hold both license and insurance to operate safely. So a master electrician qualifies to be an electric contractor which is the business category of the electrical profession.

Commercial and Residential: These two certifications are identical in the job specificity. They both require approved apprenticeships of about four years before certification. An exam is taken to become a journeyman after apprenticeship. Once certified, they can work on many types of electrical jobs without supervision at both residential and commercial properties. The commercial electrician training involves security systems, lighting installation, mechanical connections, communications and more. In residential, they are able to install, maintain, and repair electric systems and components in and around living areas.

Journeyman Lineman: This is an individual license. This type of electricians are employed by electrical companies. It requires 7,000 hours hands on training in an apprenticeship program or a three and a half year experience as a journeyman lineman for electric utility or electric cooperative, and a passing score on the journeyman lineman exam. The basic requirement to get an apprenticeship is a high school diploma. The other option allows the prospective electrician to start as a ground man at a local electric company with four different levels of apprenticeship to go through before becoming a journeyman lineman. The fourth level training involves the use of cherry pickers to reach primary lines for the purpose of repairs.

All of these different types of electrical jobs basically rest on two licenses; either a journeyman’s license that is looked upon in the trade as a working license where the holder can work without supervision but cannot own a business or hire other electricians to work for him or her. Then the master’s license where one can own a business, train apprentices and hire electricians. These two licenses require exams that are based on the National Electrical Code with a few states making amendments to the code.

If your ready to get started check out our guide for your state here.

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