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What Is A Journeyman Electrician?

A journeyman electrician has more experience than the apprentice, but not as much freedom to work unsupervised as the master electrician. It is the goal of many new electricians to become a journeyman electrician; it’s a necessary step on the way to master electrician.

Becoming A Journeyman Electrician

A typical prerequisite to becoming a licensed journeyman is approximately four years working as an apprentice under a master electrician, after your initial career training. There will be a classroom portion of this that will include around 600 hours of learning about electrical theory, electrical codes, and more. Additionally, you will need 8,000 hours of hands-on training during the apprenticeship.

However, don't let that discourage you: Hours begin accumulating automatically as you work your first job as a registered electrician apprentice after electrical training

After the four-year electrician apprenticeship has been completed, the tests have been passed, and all the certifications have been received, you're now a journeyman electrician.

Journeyman electrician licensing varies by state, so it’s important to check exactly what is required of you by going to your state’s website. Most states issue a licensing exam, which must be passed with a certain grade level. The journeyman exam is not as difficult as the one a master electrician must take, but it still covers a broad range of topics to check your proficiency and knowledge.

Journeyman Electrician Job Description

Once you’ve completed all the requirements and are now a journeyman electrician, you have the experience to work somewhat independently! While a journeyman still has to follow the master electrician’s instructions, you do so without direct supervision.

  • You’ll work with wires, outlets, and fixtures in every type of building from residential to industrial.
  • You can also do service work unsupervised as well as work with breakers and non-functioning lights.
  • Journeyman electricians can read blueprints and give estimates.
  • You will have the skills to troubleshoot problems with wiring and equipment and install control circuits.

Journeymen electricians are also permitted to work alongside contractors and tradesmen when working on a site. A journeyman electrician is not able to acquire permits. That still falls within the master electrician’s realm of work.

Journeyman Electrician Salary

The average journeymen electrician salary varies depending on different factors such as the state you are employed in and whether you are working on residential, commercial, or industrial buildings—or even outside lines or offshore equipment. But, the average annual salary for electricians was $60,370 in May 2019 (bls.gov).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have numbers specific to journeymen for the job outlook, but the projection for hiring of electricians as a whole is expected to grow 10% between now and 2028, which is double the average rate for all  job industries. This means you’ll be entering a stable field with plenty of job opportunities.

Training For Your Electrical Career

Becoming an electrician is a great career choice, whether you stay a journeyman or go on to reach master status. You can grow in the profession and choose new areas of work, meaning you won’t become bored. You even have a good chance to become self-employed, if that is interesting to you. Find a local electrical school now—you could be career-ready as an electrician apprentice in as few as 10 months!


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