In the United States, there are a number of requirements you need to adhere to in order for you to become a certified electrician. This is absolutely necessary in order for authorities to be able to regulate and govern those who deliver this service. It ensures that your clients receive a lawful and safe service, and that the quality of the work will meet the State’s codes.
It is essential for you to be certified in order for you to operate as an electrician in any American State. If you are currently completing an apprenticeship, or studying to become an electrician, you will deem it necessary in future to apply for such a certification. Even if you are still only deciding on whether you would like to become an electrician, it will do you good to know the basics.
What are the steps you need to follow to become an electrician? What type of certification test can you expect, and what are your options? Herewith a few answers to your most pressing questions.
How To Become An Electrician
To become an electrician, you will need to acquire a high school diploma first. A General Equivalent will also do. This is necessary, as you will be tested on algebra and even comprehension sometime throughout the process of becoming an electrician.
Next, you will need to find an apprenticeship. You can apply for an apprentice position at major electrical companies, or with an electrical union. Technical schools sometimes offer apprenticeships along with their courses, which saves a bit of time. An apprenticeship lasts for about four years, during which time you will also be paid an hourly rate for the work you do. The amount you are paid, as well as the duration of the apprenticeship depends on the area you have chosen (i.e. whether you have chosen to specialize or not).
The next step is to enroll in a technical electrician school or college. Choose an institution that caters to the field you have chosen. If you are not sure whether you would like to specialize yet, choose a school that can give you that option later on. There are many schools to choose from, and even a few online options. Make sure that the school you choose is as widely recognized as possible, as it will increase your chances of finding a job, in more than one State.
After you have completed both your apprenticeship and your studies, you will be ready to take your certification test. Find out from your local licensing authority when the next exam is, and take your test as soon as possible.
Electrician Certification Test Questions
The licensing exam of every State is different. You will need to gain as much information about your upcoming test as possible, so you can plan and study accordingly.
Most States use the National Electrical Code (or NEC) handbook as the main source of study. Clarify with the department beforehand whether you will be allowed to take your handbook into the test with you.
It is important to find out what the format of the exam will be. Some exams may require you to write an essay, while others have a layout similar to a monkey puzzle. This is unique to the individual State.
Most commonly, your test questions will focus on the National Electrical Code, as well as the codes and laws that apply to your State. Make sure you get all the info.
While studying for your exam, make sure you take the material to heart, as you will be operating according to these laws and codes once you are certified. This also means that you can be held accountable if you do not adhere to them, so it is essential that you have a firm understanding of the information.
Electrician Certification Online
There are a number of online institutions where you can study to become an electrician, and so also offer you the chance to take your certification test online. It is important to check that the institution is reputable and widely recognized. Make sure that the certification you obtain from them will be accepted in your State. It would be best to speak with your local authorities, as they would be able to tell you which institutions are accepted in the region.
While online studying and testing may be convenient, there are a lot of scammers out there. Protect yourself and ask around first.
After you have obtained your certification, you will be able to legally work as an electrician in your State. You will be responsible for maintaining your license, however. Pay your license fees on time and adhere to the National Electrical Code, as well as your State’s individual codes and laws.
Remember that this process has been designed to help you. Your certification will go a long way when sourcing new clients, and applying for a contractors license of your own.