A career as a journeyman electrician will enable you to work in a wide variety of settings and environments. You can avoid job burn out thanks to the diversity this career offers.
This is also one of the more stable occupations and demand for services from electricians is expected to continue to grow over the next decade.
What is a journeyman electrician and how does it differ from an electrician apprentice and master electrician?
A journeyman is what an apprentice becomes once he/she has successfully completed training and becomes licensed by passing a test.
A journeyman continues to gain on the job experience as he/she completes the daily tasks and in time is eligible to sit for the master electrician test.
A electrician journeyman is often asked with providing direct supervision to new apprentices when they join the company.
He/she is also expected to be skilled in all forms of electrical design, installation, and maintenance. A journeyman works on residential homes, commercial buildings, and in industrial settings. This person has more skill and knowledge than an apprentice but has not yet reached master status.
It takes four years of study to become a electrician journeyman. This study is a combination of on the job training and classroom learning. The classes have to be from a qualified instructor but they do not have to be official college classes.
However, some schools do offer college credit for classes taken during an apprenticeship although the number accrued is not enough to earn a degree. The credits can always be applied to a degree later if you decide to become an electrical contractor or master electrician and want to further your career.
Even though training only lasts four years, as an electrician journeyman, you should expect to participate in lifelong learning as it relates to your career. Electrical codes change often and you want to stay on top of your game so your career is successful.
When your apprenticeship is complete, you can take the required test for your state in order to obtain your license and move up from an electrician apprentice to a electrician journeyman.
Not everyone passes the test on the first try and it is recommended to take a refresher course right before the test so current codes are fresh in your mind. Once you pass the test and are officially a journeyman electrician, your career begins in earnest. Your salary will reflect your new position and you will be given more responsibility and exciting jobs to work on.
You may be content to stay a journeyman electrician throughout your career or for only a short time before moving up again. The next step is to become an electrical contractor or a master electrician so you will have even more responsibility and increased pay. Regulations vary by state but you might be able to test for a Master Electrician job in as little as one year.