Howto Become an Electrician in Texas
To become an electrician the state of Texas requires licensing and there are different types of licences available; if you want to learn about some of the different types of licenses please go here. Below are three different electrical specialties that apprentices can begin their career in. Remember these are not the only specialties but just a small sampling of the different types of electrical work that an electrician can do.
Starting from the most basic level and moving up to the most advanced:
- Electrical Sign Apprentice
- Electrical Sign Contractor
- Journeyman Sign Electrician
- Master Sign Electrician
- Residential Appliance Installer Contractor
- Commercial Appliance Installer
- Electrical Contractor
Traditional Electrician Specialty:
- Apprentice Electrician
- Maintenance Electrician
- Residential Wireman
- Journeyman Electrician
- Master Electrician
The applicants will have to determine what career path they want to progress downward. Again do not forget that these are not the only options available.
Three of these licenses apply to electricians who are just beginning their careers. Electrical Sign Apprentice is provided to trainees who are 18 years old and are training under a master electrician. The Electrical Apprentice License is for applicants that are 16 years and above who also train under a master electrician. The Residential Appliance Installer license (great if you want to start work earlier in life) is for trainees who have successfully passed the Residential Appliance Installer exam, and the minimum age requirement is only 16.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is in charge of all the licenses to ensure public safety, consumer protections and also to provide a fair and efficient regulatory environment.
The minimum requirements to be an electrician not only in Texas but also almost every other state are a high school diploma or a GED. The applicants should also be in good physical health, drug free, and not be arachnophobic (afraid of spiders) or uncomfortable with small enclosed spaces. They also need to have an aptitude for mathematics to be successful both in the classroom and on the job.
The intending electricians will need to be accepted into an appropriate and qualified apprenticeship program or try out at the electrician’s union programs which is a combined effort between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee. The third option to becoming an electrician is to get an apprenticeship through the state sponsored programs which can take different forms. They could be created with the support of NJATC or Associated Builders and Contractors. The programs can sometimes be funded by employment initiatives too although this is not nearly as common. You will also need to supply your own tools for your apprenticeship.
There are various Electrician guilds all over the state of Texas listed on the Internet that the applicants can access to apply to for apprenticeships. Some of these are MTH Services, Willow Construction, Sheperd Builders, and Saunders and Ford. The apprenticeship is a combination of paid hands-on training and classroom teachings once a week. The apprenticeship can last up to 5 years with an accumulation of 4,000 hours of practice. The trainees should be careful to take classes in their prospective specialty because commercial, industrial and residential electrical jobs and required skill differ. Having a broad exposure though to many of the different fields especially early in the apprenticeship/training period will not only help you decide where you want to specialize but also increase you value to prospective employers.
The apprentice will be required to apply for licensing after the apprenticeship, some of the licenses do not require testing. Some licenses require taking classes continuously yearly before the licenses are renewed. To get a Journeyman license requires 8,000 hours of practicals under the supervision of a master electrician and the licensing requires an exam. To become a master electrician requires a lot of experience on the job, about 12,000 hours of supervised electrical work, and also to be a journeyman electrician for at least 2 years. Texas Electrician licenses are acceptable in the following states: