Journeyman Electrician: The Backbone of the Electrical Industry

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What Do Journeyman Electricians Do?

The skills expected from electricians can vary by state, but in general a journeyman electrician should be able to do the wiring on small to mid-sized projects with a minimum of direct supervision, be able to provide on-the-job training for electrical apprentices, troubleshoot basic electrical problems and finally read and follow basic blueprints and electrical drawings. Depending on the state, a Journeyman electrician may not be allowed to supervise more than one apprentice.


The many career options available to Journeyman electricians make it difficult to arrive at an average salary for the occupation. Training, continued education, and experience can also play a large part in how much you might earn as a Journeyman.It’s a pretty safe bet that abundant skills and knowledge can pay off in higher earnings.

The median annual wage for electricians across the country was $48,250 in May 2010 and the top 10 percent of professionals within the field earned more than $80,890 during that time period. The geographical location can also make a big difference. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in May 2011 electricians in New York State had the highest pay with an annual mean wage of $70,680 vs the national average of †$52,910.

How to become an Electrician

Most people start their electrical careers as apprentices and are not considered full-fledged electricians until reaching the Journeyman level where they can work unsupervised and are actually licensed.

The requirements for earning the title can differ by state, but in most states, you have to complete a comprehensive program consisting of field and classroom work that could last as long as four years. Prior to being issued a license, you will have to pass a Journeyman electrician license exam that tests technical knowledge and understanding of the code. The exams are almost always computer administered by companies such as Prometric & PSI and usually require scores between 70%-75% for passing. The Texas Journeyman Exam for example is administered by PSI, has 80 questions, lasts for 4 hours, and requires 75% correct to pass. The exam itself costs $78. †Candidates are responsible for bringing in their own 2011 NEC reference.

There are numerous resources available to prepare for the electrician exams. There are free electrician exam prep guides, free journeyman electrician practice exams online in addition to numerous guides and books printed by various publishers to help an electrician prepare for the exam.

The Continuing Education of a Journeyman Electrician

The state license to work as a electrician usually requires regular renewal. Your state may have a stipulation that a certain number of hours of continuing education be completed prior to the renewal of your journeyman electrician license. The purpose of the continuing education is to ensure you are increasing your professional knowledge and keeping up with the latest electrical code changes and safety concerns.

Source by Javier M Martinez

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