Alaska’s economy is mainly focused on mining, fishing, and tourism. As such, electricians play quite an important auxiliary role. While the number of electricians in the state is few compared to that of other states, they play a vital role in keeping various commercial, residential, government, and tourist properties up and running.
If you want to be part of the state’s electrician workforce, you need to start as an apprentice then work your way up to become a journeyman or residential electrician. You can obtain the appropriate certification from the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Meanwhile, if you want to start your own business, you need to apply for an electrical contractor license and obtain it from the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.
Become an electrician apprentice in Alaska
To become an apprentice, you have to enroll in a local union’s apprenticeship program then fulfill the requirements. In most cases, local unions will gather resources and offer apprenticeship programs via Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees.
The main JATC in Alaska is the Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship & Training Trust which is the result of a collaboration by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1547 and the Alaska Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association.
The Apprenticeship Program
The electrical apprenticeship program in Alaska requires you to complete at least 1,400 hours of training in the classroom and 4,000 hours of hands-on experience. To start your apprenticeship, you should comply with the following:
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You should have a copy of your high school transcripts
- You should get a passing score in an online math course, Algebra 1, or the Work Keys Placement Test
- You should obtain your GED, high school diploma, or college degree
- You must have a valid driver’s license along with a copy of your driving record
As soon as you can comply with the requirements, you should then complete your application form then send it to the AJEATT. Along with your application, you should also sign up as an apprentice with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Don’t forget to renew your registration every two years until you complete your apprenticeship training.
Once you start your apprenticeship, you will have to work full-time under an electrical contractor’s supervision and spend time in the classroom to study electrical science and theory. The topics often include AC/DC currents, blueprint reading, algebraic equation manipulation for electric circuits, electric code standards, electrical theory, first aid, motors and transformers, OSHA regulations, and safety.
Your apprenticeship training is completed once you have fulfilled the 4,000-hours hands-on training and 1,400-hours classroom training requirements in a 4-year period. Once your training is completed, you can also obtain a journeyman or residential electrician license.
Become a journeyman in Alaska
With a journeyman certificate, you can render electrician services on both commercial and residential buildings. Meanwhile, a residential certificate is only limited to residential projects.
To obtain your residential electrician certificate, you should have at least 4,000 hours of hands-on experience along with 500 hours of classroom education. To start, simply fill out this application form then wait for your application to be approved before you proceed to the examination. You may then schedule for an examination upon approval.
You need to get a passing score in the examination if you want to get your license. Once you do, make sure you renew it every two years. As a residential electrician, you’re no longer required to pursue continuing education.
Meanwhile, if you want to obtain a journeyman license, you should have at least 8,000 hours of hands-on experience. It can also be broken down into the following:
- 6,000 hours of experience in commercial and/or industrial properties
- A maximum of 2,000 hours of experience in residential buildings
- If you have 1,000 hours of classroom training, it will also count as part of your requirement
You need to fill out this form and wait until your application is approved before you can proceed to the examination. You will then get your license once you successfully pass the exam. Compared to a residential license, you should pursue a continuing education as a journeyman.
As a requirement, you should complete 16 hours of continuing education within two years before your license renewal period. Also, 8 hours of your continuing education should come from a comprehensive review of the National Electric Code.
Become a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Alaska
There are two main components if you want to become an independent electrical contractor. One is to hire an electrical administrator or become one. The other is to obtain your Business License in the state.
If you want to become an electrical administrator, you should follow what’s specified in this form. Basically, you need to choose from one of the many categories:
- Controls and Control Wiring
- Residential Wiring
- Inside Communications
- Outside Communications
- Unlimited Line Work Outside
- Unlimited Commercial Wiring
Afterward, you should fill out the application and submit the following documents:
- Transcripts of records from your trade school or college
- A resume that describes your experience for the category you selected
- References from individuals who can confirm your experience
You will then have to pass the examination which is proctored by PSI Exams. Once you have your license, you should then renew it every two years and fulfill the continuing education requirements. There are several accredited continuing educations you can find on the internet.
After becoming an electrical administrator, you should then become an Alaska Business. Here’s how you can do it:
- Register your business to get an Alaska entity number along with the corresponding form
- Apply for a business license. You can find additional instructions here.
- Renew your license every two years
Upon successfully following these steps, you may then work as an electrical contractor in Alaska.