Becoming a Licensed Electrician

How would you like to become an electrician? Do you like working with your hands? Do you like building things? Are you a shade tree mechanic? Did you use you fathers tools and like working with your own? How about your attention to detail? If some or all of these catch your interest, this may be the field for you. I would like to pass my experience on to you, and give you a little insight from my own experiences. Emergency electrician Melbourne will quickly diagnose and fix any electrical problem with minimal disruption.

At 26 years of age it became apparent a career was needed in which I could “climb a ladder”. A job offer was made, and in snapping it up, a life’s journey started. I am now a licensed electrician in Tacoma, WA.

Your first years will be full of achievements and disappointments. These are just small parts of time, and you must continue focusing on the big picture.


It takes many hours (years) of work history to achieve your goals, but don’t worry, your perseverance will be rewarded. The Licenses are the most important part of your career. Having these will provide you the legality to work, own your business, and supervise others starting their own careers. This is a highly regulated field of endeavor, this of course, protects the field’s future. Each and every state has their own rules, you should become familiar with them.

Don’t just walk into a job and think things will just happen, I mean REALLY UNDERSTAND YOUR STATE’S requirements. You don’t want to lose the documentation of your hours worked or not meet your continuing education obligations. The following is a HINT on what I just said:

State of Washington

4000 hours of documented hours as an apprentice electrician. Working and supervised under a Residential Journeyman(02) or better. This type of journeyman can supervise two trainees on the job. By the way, this is somewhat over two years on a full-time job.

At this time you can take your test and get your own Residential Journeyman license (we call this license an 02). At that time with a little knowledge you can make $12-$18 dollars an hour. What you make in money is in direct proportion to your knowledge about the N.E.C. (National Electrical Code). It will be up to you to do EXTRA studies and research and “get a feel” for the book and how it is organized. Don’t ever take verbatim what someone else tells you. Look it up for yourself, or at least try. Remember, a person who succeeds also has a huge stack of failures behind them. Just keep your nose in the book, and things will come together.

4000 hours of documented hours as an apprentice electrician. Working and supervised under a Commercial Journeyman(01) or better. This type of Journeyman can supervise two trainees on the job. This is an additional two plus years on a full-time job without overtime.

Yes, you will hold two licenses at this time. One is your apprenticeship card the other your Residential card (02). But to document those commercial hours you have to hold that apprenticeship card. Now when you get your commercial(01) card, and again, with a little knowledge (this should be building quite nicely now) you can make $18-$28 dollars an hour. Now there can be a vast increase in that due to the Davis Bacon Act. YES!!!. If you work on a prevailing wage job (usually a Federal funded job) you can make over $45.00 dollars an hour. There are many details here with this wage and I will explain in another article. You’ll know by that time, at least a small understanding. That is why you need to continue to study and learn the many facets this career can provide you.

After you have DOCUMENTED the commercial hours you can apply for the test, pay some money, and take it. Upon passing this test, your commercial card(01) is issued. You don’t have to carry an apprenticeship card anymore. Your residential card also becomes useless. You can do any work you see fit for an Electrical Contractor working under his license. We will talk about the reason you have to work for an Electrical Contractor, and not just perform work on your own in another article.

Now, about that “Hint” that was mentioned earlier. How does all this information pertain? The state of Hawaii has differing rules pertaining to licenses. Hawaii has “apprentices”, “residential journeyman”, “commercial journeyman”, and “industrial journeyman”. That state requires 10,000 hours of apprenticeship. So my point here is you need to look at the BIG picture. Where are you going in life?


Maybe Hawaii’s not for you, but what if it was? Maybe New York sounds fun. Or you want to hunt and fish in Montana. The best thing about this career you can live where you want too. Another interesting fact is this. If you work for six months in Canada (residing there) you can become a Canadian citizen. That means you have DUAL citizenship. You can get your medical services in Canada!!!!! Or medications!!!!! That does not mean much to a young man, but wait until you in your 50’s, 60’s or older. There are building booms all over the world, and as an licensed electrician you can go anywhere, I mean anywhere.

If you have any questions you can email me.

As a licensed master electrician in Tacoma, WA with over twenty years of experience it is my privilege to impart my experiences and knowledge to someone who may find this field of endeavor exciting. I surely do.

Scott R.

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