How to Become an Electrician in Arizona
The career progression of an electrician is fairly simple. The first level is Apprentice Electrician, the next is a Journeyman Electrician and the highest level is that of Master Electricians. In order to start working on this career path you must have a high school diploma or its equivalent as this is the minimum education requirement for an individual to become an electrician. 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. Next, you must enroll in an electrician training school or get an apprenticeship. Many individuals get enrolled in training schools or take classes online to get credit as part of their apprenticeship, this helps them gain all the important theoretical knowledge related to their field.
How to obtain an apprenticeship
There are a number of electrician training schools in Arizona; a comprehensive list is available here. If you are interested in taking such courses, make sure you will be given credit for them before you enroll. There are a number of apprenticeship programs in Arizona for you to choose from, this is important as what you learn during this period forms the foundation of your career as an electrician and there are many different types/specialties that you can specialize in when becoming an electrician. The best way to get apprenticeships is to contact organizations such as The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) or any local bodies who can get you the best apprenticeships in the area.
If you want to work as an electrician in Arizona you must get a license after you finish your apprenticeship. There are three electrician license options in Arizona; the Residential electrician, the Commercial electrician and Electrical. There is no state wide Journeyman license in Arizona and the above-mentioned licenses are contractor licenses.
The Arizona Residential Electrician License (C-11): If you have this license you can install and repair electrical systems. In order to apply for this license you must have at least 4 years of experience (as a journeyman or higher), participated in at least 7 new projects and 8 maintenance projects and 4 years of W-2’s.
You must then form a business entity, in order to do so you need to make a company name and get it approved by the Registrar of Contractors (ROC) and also with the Arizona Corporation Commission (for Corporations and LLC’s) or the Secretary of State (for Partnerships) depending on the type of the business entity you want to own. You must then get a tax number and an employer identification number from the IRS and acquire the appropriate bonds. To get detailed explanations you can go here and here. You must also pass two exams, one related to Business Management and the other related to Trade to apply for the license so you must prepare thoroughly for them. The license costs around $770 plus bond and the biennial renewal costs $540. Realize however that you can also go to work for an already established company if you do not want to form your own company.
Arizona Commercial Electrician License (L-11): This license gives you the right to install and repair electrical systems. The details regarding this license are the same as that for the Residential Electrician license as stated above and detailed information can be found here. As then name implies your focus with this license is going to be commercial installation and repair centers in office buildings and condo complexes. The license costs $645 plus bond costs and must be renewed biennially for a cost of $490.
Arizona Electrical (K-11) License: The process for getting this license is the same as that of the other two and has the same requirements as given here. The license costs $1,265 plus bond cost and must be renewed bi-annually for a cost of $1030.
Finally, in order to reach the highest level in an electrician’s career, that of master electrician, you must start specializing in a particular area once you get your license and once you are qualified, aply for the master electrician exam. A master electrician has to approve of electrical plans for buildings and supervise his or her subordinates during installation. The Master Electrician is a highly paid job and it takes a lot of hard work, determination and knowledge to reach this level.