If you are serious about finding out how to become an electrician, it's essential that you devote some time to educate yourself about the standard electrician qualifications and requirements for your state. Only licensed electricians are allowed to carry out electrical services for the public in many states.


The educational and training standards are set independently by each state but include compliance with the National Electrical Code as well as completion of your respective apprenticeship program. In order to get your license, you will need to fulfill these requirements.


Typical electrician requirements include:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • 18 years old (or 21 years old, depending on the state)
  • Complete a diploma, degree or certificate program in the field
  • Having a high level of mental and physical aptitude
  • Taking specialized courses in residential and commercial wiring practices and having a strong working knowledge of national electrical codes and safety measures
  • Completing an approved apprenticeship program to gain work experience

Basic electrician requirements differ somewhat from state to state, but all electricians will need to have some work experience through an approved apprenticeship program. The electrician apprenticeship program generally takes four to five years. The average lasts about 2000 hours and includes about 144 hours of classroom time as well.


Most apprenticeships do provide a salary for the apprentice. The main benefit of the program, however, is that it provides participants the opportunity to work under the guidance of a master electrician or journeyman electrician. This is essentially the most important element of any electrician's educational career. This on the job training affords them the opportunity to get valuable experience while working on real projects.


In order to complete this part of the program, the student must past a licensing exam for their jurisdiction showing proficiency in all areas of electrical construction and installation. Once they have fulfilled their basic electrician requirements, the electrician is considered to be a tradesman and can specialize in a particular area. Some electricians choose to work in the commercial sector, some industrial, while others prefer to work on residential projects.