How to Become an Electrician in PA

Steps to Kickstart Your Electrician Career

Ever thought about lighting up your career path by becoming an electrician? In Pennsylvania, where construction is booming, diving into this skilled trade isn’t just smart; it’s lucrative. You don’t need a college degree to start. But you do need training and experience that can come from attending a reputable trade school or enrolling in an apprenticeship program under a seasoned contractor. Imagine transforming from learning the ropes directly under expert guidance to mastering electrical systems—all within reach. Our electricians in Doylestown, PA and surrounding area all went through the appropriate training and we would love to provide insight for anyone looking to get in the trades.

Exploring the Path to Becoming an Electrician in Pennsylvania

Electricians are essential workers with a huge responsibility that goes beyond keeping the lights on. Diving into the world of electricians in PA is a fantastic first step if you’re eyeing this career.

Construction is one of Pennsylvania’s largest industries, and auxiliary construction trades like electrician are a vital part of the job.

Understanding the Job Description of an Electrician

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical systems in homes, businesses, and factories. They dive into blueprints, spot electrical issues with their trusty gadgets, and always play by the book when it comes to state and local codes.

It’s a hands-on job that requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Electricians work both indoors and outdoors in sometimes cramped or dirty conditions.

Why Choose a Career as an Electrician?

First off, you’re looking at an area that’s not only solid but also on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7% growth for electrician jobs through 2031. That’s nearly 50,000 new jobs nationwide.

The pay is good too. In Pennsylvania, the average annual wage for electricians is $63,140. Experienced master electricians can earn even more.

Plus, you get paid while you train as an apprentice. It’s a great option if you want a reliable career without spending years in school.

Potential Career Paths for Electricians

Electricians can specialize in different areas like residential, commercial, or industrial work. Here are a few potential career paths:

  • Construction: Electricians may work on construction sites, where they install electrical systems in new buildings or renovate existing ones.
  • Maintenance: Some electricians work in maintenance departments for large companies, handling repairs and upgrades.
  • Self-employment: Experienced electricians can start their own businesses and work as independent contractors.

With experience, electricians can also move into roles like project manager, electrical engineer, or instructor in an apprenticeship program.

Educational and Training Requirements for Aspiring Electricians

To become an electrician in Pennsylvania, you do not need a college degree. However, you must receive sufficient training and experience. You can earn this by attending a trade school or community college with an electrician training program and serving as an apprentice underneath a licensed contractor.

A couple of cities with electrician programs in PA include:

  • Philadelphia Trade Schools
  • Pittsburgh Trade Schools

Accredited institutions provide certified coursework and hands-on training with the correct tools and equipment to meet industry standards. Always check to make sure the college or trade school you attend is state-approved.

After graduating, you should receive a certificate in electrical technology.

Enrolling in Electrical Apprenticeship Programs or Trade Schools

Formal education is a great starting point, but most of an electrician’s training happens through an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships combine classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training under a licensed electrician.

Apprenticeship programs are typically run by unions or contractor associations. They can last 4-5 years and include at least 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training each year.

To enter an apprenticeship program, you usually need a high school diploma or equivalent, a passing grade on an aptitude test, and a clean drug test.

Gaining Direct Work Experience in the Electrical Field

During your apprenticeship, you’ll work under the direct supervision of an electrical contractor for 10 years or more.

You’ll start with basic tasks like drilling holes and setting anchors. As you gain experience, you’ll move on to more complex tasks like installing conduits, running wires, and connecting electrical devices.

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to earn while you learn. Plus, the hands-on experience is invaluable for developing the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as an electrician.

The Journey from Apprentice to Journeyman Electrician

Step one in becoming a licensed electrician in PA is to become an apprentice. You must be 18 years or older, have a high school diploma or GED, and have passed at least one year of high school algebra.

Most apprentices also must take an aptitude test involving basic math and reading skills.

Acquiring Technical Experience Required for a Journeyman License

During your apprenticeship, you’ll gain the technical experience required for a journeyman license. This includes learning how to:

  • Read blueprints and technical diagrams
  • Install, maintain and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures
  • Inspect electrical components like circuit breakers and transformers
  • Identify electrical problems using testing devices
  • Follow state and local building regulations based on the National Electric Code

You’ll also learn important safety practices since working with electricity can be dangerous. Apprentices must follow strict safety guidelines to protect themselves and those around them.

Sitting for the Journeyman Exam

After completing your apprenticeship, you can take the journeyman electrician exam. This tests your knowledge of the National Electrical Code, local building and electrical codes, and electrical theory.

Once you pass, you’ll receive your journeyman electrician license. This allows you to work independently on electrical systems without direct supervision.

Obtaining a journeyman license is a significant milestone. It demonstrates your competence and commitment to the trade. Once you snag that journeyman license, doors open up for you to tackle bigger projects and, even better, watch your paycheck grow.

Transitioning from Journeyman to Master Electrician

Once you’ve been working as a journeyman electrician for a few years, you may consider becoming a master electrician. A master electrician is the highest level of electrician certification.

Becoming a master electrician isn’t just about putting in the hours; it’s also about ticking off a few more boxes on your to-do list. These vary by location but often include:

  • Holding a journeyman license for a certain number of years
  • Completing additional classroom training
  • Passing a master electrician exam

Attaining Further Training After Receiving a Journeyman License

While not always required, many journeyman electricians choose to further their education. This can include taking courses on:

  • Electrical code updates
  • New technologies and products
  • Safety practices
  • Business management (for those interested in starting their own business)

Brushing up on your skills with some extra training not only keeps you sharp in the game but also puts you ahead in the race for those top-tier master electrician roles.

Why Consider Becoming a Master Electrician?

Becoming a master electrician comes with several benefits:

  • Higher earning potential. Master electricians typically earn more than journeyman electricians.
  • More job opportunities. Some states require a master electrician to be on staff for certain types of electrical work.
  • Ability to start your own business. In most states, you need a master electrician license to start your own electrical contracting business.
  • Leadership roles. Master electricians often take on supervisory roles, managing journeyman and apprentice electricians on job sites.

Becoming a master electrician can be a rewarding career move for those committed to the electrical trade.

Becoming an Independent Electrical Contractor in Pennsylvania

Many electricians dream of starting their own business. If you’re interested in becoming an independent electrical contractor in Pennsylvania, there are a few key steps you’ll need to follow.

Gaining Necessary Experience

Before you can become an independent contractor, you’ll need to gain the necessary experience. In most cases, this means:

  • Completing an apprenticeship program
  • Obtaining your journeyman electrician license
  • Working as a journeyman electrician for several years

During this time, pay attention to how the business operates. Dive into the nuts and bolts of bidding on jobs, steering your projects to success, and keeping your finances in check. This nugget of wisdom will come in super handy when you decide to launch your own business.

Obtaining an Independent Electrical Contractor License

To work as an independent electrical contractor in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to obtain the proper license. The requirements for this vary by municipality.

In general, you’ll need to:

  • Hold a master electrician license
  • Have a certain amount of experience working as an electrician
  • Pass a business and law exam
  • Show proof of liability and workers’ compensation insurance
  • Pay a licensing fee

An application and requirements can be downloaded from the City of Harrisburg here.

Once you have your license, you can start bidding on jobs and building your business. It’s a lot of work, but it can also be very rewarding to be your own boss and build something of your own.

Jumpstarting a career as an electrician in PA involves hands-on training and learning through apprenticeships, leading to good pay and job stability. No college degree is needed, but getting certified and moving up from apprentice to master electrician opens more opportunities.

Understanding Licensing Requirements for Electricians in Pennsylvania

Learning how to become an electrician in Pennsylvania doesn’t have a clear-cut answer. Since there’s no state-wide license for electricians, each city or county has its own licensing and requirements.

Electricians must abide by the construction industry guidelines and building codes in the area they intend to work. This guide shows details for the licensing process for Allentown, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia as examples, since every city and county differs in its local rules for electricians.

Types of Electrical Licenses in Pennsylvania

To legally perform electrical services in Pennsylvania, you must comply with the state’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act. The state of Pennsylvania does not offer statewide registration, certification, or state licenses for electricians.

Each of the 2,562 municipalities maintains its own license requirements for electricians, plumbers, and HVAC contractors.

Steps to Get an Electrician License in Pennsylvania

If you’re aiming to become an electrician in Pennsylvania, there’s a path laid out for you that involves meeting specific education and legal requirements. These include:

  • Education: You must have a high school diploma or equivalent to pursue a career as an electrician. Some electricians also choose to complete a formal electrical training program from a vocational school or community college.
  • Remember, becoming an electrician requires a combination of education, practical training, and licensing. By following the necessary steps and obtaining the required qualifications, you can embark on a rewarding career as an electrician in Pennsylvania.

Costs and Timeframe for Getting an Electrician License

The cost of electrician license in Pennsylvania varies depending on the city or county. Typically, the fees range from $50 to $200 for the application and exam.

The timeframe for getting licensed also differs based on local requirements. Most apprenticeship programs take 4-5 years to complete, after which you can apply for a journeyman license. Becoming a master electrician usually requires an additional 2-4 years of experience.

Exploring Potential Earnings as a Licensed Electrician in Pennsylvania

Being an electrician isn’t just a job, it’s a solid career path. Electricians have their pick of jobs and make a pretty decent living, too.

There’s also job security—customers will always need skilled trade professionals to install and service electrical systems in their homes and businesses.

Average Salary for Electricians in Pennsylvania

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 711,200 electricians nationwide and 19,390 work in Pennsylvania. The national number is predicted to grow 7% from 2024 to 2031, adding more than 50,000 to the ranks.

That growth rate is expected to be a little higher in Pennsylvania — projected at 10%, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website.

Salary Variations by City

Electrician salaries in Pennsylvania can vary quite a bit depending on which city you work in. For example, in Philadelphia the average annual salary is $61,132, while in Pittsburgh it’s $58,947.

Also, your paycheck can get a boost (or not) from several other things like how long you’ve been in the game, what specific electrical wizardry you’re good at, and if you’re flying solo or are part of a larger crew. Snagging a few extra certifications could really pump up what you make, too.

Key Takeaway: 

Becoming an electrician in PA means navigating local licensing requirements, combining education with practical training, and investing time. It’s a solid career choice that promises job security and good earnings.


Every wire connected brings us closer not just to powering homes but igniting dreams—your dream of becoming an electrician in PA can turn into reality with determination and the right guidance. This isn’t about dodging Hollywood’s grim portrayals of robots taking over jobs; it’s far simpler yet profound than that.

Becoming part of Pennsylvania’s vibrant construction industry means more than joining one of its largest sectors—it signifies embarking on a fulfilling journey towards expertise in a field where demand skyrockets as technology evolves.

The truth is out there—clear as daylight for those willing to see it. And today marks another milestone I share with you as we pave paths not just within electrical circuits but across careers poised for growth amidst automation waves without fear but readiness—for adaptability becomes our greatest tool.”

Our trained electricians in Bucks County are ready to help homeowners and business owners with any electrical needs.