Understanding Electrician’s Salaries

Becoming and electrician is an appealing trade for those seeking a prosperous technical career. Trade careers are taught at trade schools, or at on-the-job programs, and are the more feasible option for those who find it difficult returning to collage or a four year university. Electricians are part of vast field of trade workers that can earn, and demand, wages according to the task or job they are hired to do. Salaries of electricians vary according to state and license possessed. The following are different types of electricians, licenses required to work, and the varying wages each degree has the potential to earn.


Specialty electricians trained in specific applications such as helicopter or airline electrical maintenance, motor vehicle maintenance, or computer electricians earn knowledge from a trade school, but can also be trained on-the-job to their specified type of job, but considering most electrician jobs are union cover, these jobs must always be supervised but licensed electricians. Salaries of these electricians vary according to which state one is employed in, yet are approximately between $28,000/yr to $45,000/yr.

During these years one could earn apprentice electrician experience. Apprentice electricians are students who work under the guidance of a trained and licensed electrician such as, lighting installation, mechanical connections, power supplies, and communications, yet only under the supervision of a licensed electrician. Some apprenticeships may involve shadowing an electrician, yet all require taking courses at an accredited school without shadowing. Some programs, however, require both. Wages and salary vary during this time and also depend on state, but can range from $35,000/yr to $45,000.

During apprentice electrician years, one could earn experience and wages in efforts to be licensed as a journeyman electrician. A certified journeyman can work unsupervised on any electrical job, such as installing and repairing wiring and conduit, installing fixtures and equipment, running power lines for municipalities, and installing control wiring for a building’s mechanical system; and can train others seeking a certification. A certified journeyman electrician’s salary can earn from $40,000/yr to $50,000/yr.

After three to five years of journeyman electrician work experience, one could apply to take the master electrician’s exam in their state. A master electrician performs varying work from installing complex circuitry and wiring to overseeing entire building electrical projects. Master electricians can also focus specific areas in business such as installing computer-based media systems or advanced audio systems for high-end homes. Being the top electrician’s license, master electrician can even often pull construction permits, work on blueprints, and mentor the apprentice and journeyman electricians. For this, master electricians earn the highest pay in the electrician’s field, with average salaries varying from state to state, and ranging from $50,000 to $60,000.

Another type is mechanical electricians, which always must be supervised by a master electrician and specialize in machinery repairs and maintenance, and can earn salaries from $28,000/yr to $35,000.

Electrical work is tough, and electricians work for many years and earn many different licenses in order to build on their level of work, expertise, and salary, making electrician training a lucrative prospect for those looking for fulfilling careers.

Helpful Tips for the Journeyman Electrician

Learning a well-sought after trade in an appealing technical career is a prosperous goal. Careers such as mechanics, woodworkers, construction workers, and computer and electrical engineers can all be taught at trade schools without the requirement of a college degree. Electricians, more than most trades, are finding steadier work in many different markets and fields. Becoming a journeyman electrician is a great first step to a fulfilling career, and does not require the completion of years in a university.


A journeyman electrician can do lighting installation, mechanical connections, power supplies, communications, and security systems, only under the supervision of a master electrician. They may even perform electrical work on houses, commercial structures, or may even work on power lines. A journeyman electrician has the ability to seek work without endorsement at any place with an opening.

How to Become a Journeyman Electrician

Journeymen electricians begin with an apprenticeship program. During the apprentice program, the person is required to work during the day and attend apprenticeship training at night for four years, then becoming eligible to take the Journeymen Electrical Exam, which is based on the National Electric Code.

What to Expect on Journeyman Electrical Exam

Training for the exam is normally offered at a technical school, or through an IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) apprentice training program. Once the training and work experience is completed, the electrical exam must be completed to become licensed. Things to expect on the exam are:

  • National Electrical Code
  • state laws and rules
  • basic level of electrical theory knowledge
  • a good understanding of the principle of electricity
  • Advisable to be familiar with general copyrighted electrical publications
  • general math
  • electrical theory computation

What to Expect as a Journeyman Electrician

After certification, a person can work unsupervised on any electrical job, such as installing and repairing wiring and conduit, installing fixtures and equipment, running power lines for municipalities, wiring fire alarm systems , and installing control wiring for a building’s mechanical system. Once certifies, a person may also train others seeking a certification. A journeyman electrician is NOT permitted, however, to design work for electrical systems.

Base Salary of Journeyman Electrician

As in most fields, pay and salary vary from task to task, and job to job. To consider pay, the person will have to research the demand of electricians in their area, which highly affects wages. Also, most electrician jobs are unionized, which provide consistent work and wages for certified electricians. The following are some wages generally available to journeyman electricians.

Alaska:  $51,300 per year.

California:  $49,900 per year.

Florida:  $44,200 per year.

Hawaii:  $48,700 per year.

Illinois:  $47,600 per year.

Kansas:  $44,000 per year.

Maine:  $42,800 per year.

New York:  $52,200 per year.

North Dakota:  $40,800 per year.

Texas:  $45,000 per year.

Virginia:  $43,800 per year.

A journeyman electrician can be a rewarding career for those interested in being involved in the cutting edge of technological advancement, and is also a great step to establish work experience for those who might also be seeking a master electrician’s certification.