If you have completed your first apprenticeship program to become an electrician and are interested in advancing in your career, you may want to get your master electrician license. Master electrician requirements vary only slightly from state to state, and you will need to meet certain eligibility criteria and also take a special exam. Learning how to become a master electrician early in your career can help you choose the right type of training program and apprenticeship, and get the most out of your educational experience. Here's what you need to know about becoming a master electrician.
Getting a Master Electrician License
In order to get a master electrician license, you will need to take some advanced electrician courses and apply for and pass for the appropriate exam. Master electricians have acquired a certain number of years of experience and may have a special skill set in a particular field or specialization. You must have a valid electrician certificate to perform electrical work in your state, and this process may include:
- Acquiring a required amount of experience to qualify as a general journeyman electrician or a specialty electrician
- Taking a required number of classroom instruction courses
- Applying for and passing the appropriate exam
Journeyman or specialty electricians need to take 24 to 30+ hours of approved Continuing Education courses in order to maintain their certificate throughout their careers, and would become ineligible to sit for the master electrician's exam if their license has expired. You will need to review your state's codes to determine exactly what is needed to get a master electrician license.
Requirements to Become a Master Electrician
The master electrician requirements vary from state to state and it's important to remember that some states don't even have any license requirements. However, most do require that the individual holds a general electrician license and the master electrician requirements are set by the State Board of Electrical Examiners.
The master electrician requirements typically include the following:
- Must be over 21 years old
- Must hold a high school diploma or a GED
- Must have completed work that is compliant with the National Electrical Code
- Must have practical hands-on experience
The practical hands-on experience to become a master electrician may be satisfied in several ways.
How to Become a Master Electrician
If you've been wondering how to become a master electrician, take some time to review your state’s requirements for licensing and certification, and review the practical hands-on experience requirements. In most cases, you can satisfy the hands-on experience requirement in the following ways:
- Completing a 4-year apprenticeship program approved by a Federal agency and a Federally certified State agency, and having at least one year of practical hands-on experience
- Satisfying the requirements of a qualified journeyman electrician and completing at least one year of practical hands-on experience
- Earning a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and completing at least two years of practical hands-on experience
- Working in the field of electrical contracting for at least five years preceding the date of application
When you receive confirmation from your state's board that you are eligible to sit for the master electrician licensing exam, you may need to take a refresher course so that you can pass the first time. When you pass, you will receive the master license certification credential.