How to Become a Master Electrician
You probably can't tell the difference between electricians just by looking at us, but there are many different types. Like many other professional sectors, members of the electrical field are organized according to their experience-level. For electricians, there’s a hierarchy of apprentice, journeyman, and master. This kind of organizational structure can actually be traced way back to medieval trade guilds! So let’s take a look at this historical scheme and learn exactly what it takes to be a master electrician.
Apprentice. You have to start somewhere. The beginner electrician starts as an apprentice. The apprenticeship process varies for each state but it typically lasts at least 4 years. In Michigan, apprentices are required to complete a certified education program, work for 8,000 hours and 4 years under a Master Electrician, and pass a written exam. You can think of the apprentice as the electrician-in-training who assists the head electrician.
Journeyman. After training is complete, the apprentice progresses to a journeyman. The journeyman can work in live panels and be a job foreman, but they can’t quite yet lead a whole company. In order to progress to the next stage, the journeyman must build an additional 2 years and 4,000 hours of working under a Master Electrician.
Master Electrician. Once the journeyman has completed their hours, they have one more hurdle to jump over: a state exam. If they pass, they can now officially be a Master Electrician! Every electrician contracting business must have at least one Master Electrician employed. There’s also an annual fee they have to pay to renew their Master Electrician.
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