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What Is a Journeyman Electrician?

A journeyman electrician has more experience and authority than apprentices do. Still, they do not experience as much freedom to work unsupervised as master electricians. However, journeyman status is the necessary step toward becoming a master electrician. Alternatively, if one chooses to remain a journeyman electrician, he or she can still make a great living. Read further to learn more about journeyman electricians.

Becoming a Journeyman Electrician

A typical prerequisite to becoming a licensed journeyman is approximately four years of working as an apprentice under a master electrician after your initial career training.

A portion of an apprenticeship will be spent in a classroom including 600 hours of learning electrical theory, electrical codes, and more. You will also need 8,000 hours of hands-on training during your apprenticeship. Don't let that large number discourage you, however. Hours automatically accumulate once you begin your first job registered as an apprentice after electrical training, and they add up quickly.

You will attain journeyman status after your four-year apprenticeship has been completed, tests have been passed, and your certifications have been received. Journeyman electrician licensing varies by state, so be sure to visit your state's website when checking specific requirements. 

Most states also issue a licensing exam, which must meet a certain grade level to be considered passing. The journeyman exam covers a broad range of topics to assess your proficiency and knowledge, but is not quite as in depth as an exam for a master electrician.

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 must still follow the instructions of a master electrician, he or she can 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.
  • You will interpret blueprints and give estimates.
  • You will understand how to troubleshoot problems with wiring and equipment, and install control circuits.

Journeymen electricians are also permitted to work alongside contractors and tradesmen when onsite. A journeyman electrician, however, is not able to acquire permits. Only a master electrician may do so. 

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 on offshore equipment. With that being said, the average annual salary for electricians was $67,810 in 2023 (bls.gov).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that demand for electricians will increase 6 percent by 2032. This is about as fast as the national average estimated for all jobs nationwide — meaning that the job market for electricians appears to be promising.

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 specializations, or you can pursue self-employment routes if you choose. There are many possibilities that will help you make the best career decision possible.

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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