How to Become an Electrician in Alaska
If you have good math and problem solving skills then a career as an electrician is perhaps the best for you. Although the career is very rewarding and beneficial, in order to become an electrician you must go through a lengthy process. Once you finally have interest in the field, you must find out what the job actually requires and this can be done by researching online or talking to people who are already in the field. If it sparks interest then, you must look at the requirements of becoming an electrician which are very simple and are as follows.
You must meet the minimum education requirements. To become an electrician you must at least get a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Other requirements include having a drug free background, valid driver’s license and social security card and you must also bring your own tools at the beginning of your apprenticeship.
Finding an Apprenticeship
Next you must find an apprenticeship or an electrician training school. The apprenticeship period ranges from 4 to 9 years depending on the program and is sometimes combined with the minimum education requirement. The best way to get an apprenticeship is by contacting electricians near your area or by contacting institutes such as the Alaska Apprenticeship Training Coordinators Association (AATCA) or the Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship & Training Trust so that you can get the best opportunities to refine your skills. You can also join a technical school or take courses online from accredited colleges. This period is important as it helps you become familiar with the tools and materials used in everyday jobs by electricians and as you progress you work on more complex tasks which is also very important.
Most states including Alaska require that you have a license in order to work as an electrician. After you are done with your apprenticeship you must pass the licensing test and meet the other requirements. In Alaska you have two options, either get journeyman electrician license or get the Alaska Electrical Contractor License. The Mechanical Inspection office in Anchorage, Fairbanks, or Juneau are responsible for conducting the exams and should be contacted if you have any questions regarding the exams or the licenses. You also need to provide your own tools when you start an apprenticeship; we have put together a list of great starter tool sets.
The Journeyman License: You must go through the study material thoroughly and practice as much as you can and once you are finally confident you should submit an application to give the exam. You must also have at least 8000 hours (or 4 years) of job experience; part of this can be 1000 hours of classroom training or power lineman experience. The application fee is $50 and the license fee is $200. The license must be renewed biennially and this costs $200. The test is 4 hours long and a minimum score of 70 percent is required to pass it.
Alaska has reciprocal agreements for Electrical Journeyman with:
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
Alaska Electrical Contractor License: In order to get this license you must register with the Department of Community & Economic Development and must also be employed by a licensed electrical administrator. You must submit an application for this license and then pass an exam to qualify for it. The application fee is $50 and the license fee is $350 which is also the fees for its biennial renewal. You can get more information here.
Once you get either of the two licenses, you will be able to work without a lot of direct supervision and you can start focusing on specializing in any particular area. You can then take the exam for becoming a Master Electrician which is the top position for an electrician’s career. A master electrician can start their own setups and employ Apprentice electricians and journeymen. They can also become consultants and have a huge income, as well as responsibility as far as their jobs are concerned. It takes a lot of hard work, determination and knowledge to reach this post but it is worth it!