What It Takes To Become a Residential Electrician

Interested in becoming a residential electrician? As an electrician residential in specialization, you would be responsible for fixing electrical systems in homes, replacing wirings and fuse boxes, and doing electrical maintenance. Working as an electrician for homes is a good fallback in case working in other areas of expertise doesn’t work out for you.

Becoming A Residential Electrician

First, you must possess a high school diploma and have taken school subjects such as mechanical drawing and geometry. In case you haven’t graduated from high school, you can get a general equivalency diploma instead.

After this, you can study under training programs from community colleges or electrician trade schools. You can also take online electrician classes if you don’t live near a training center, or if you prefer to study at home and at your own pace. Once you have completed your training, you can start as an apprentice. Typically, apprenticeship programs consist of 144 hours inside the classroom plus 2,000 hours of field work, lasting for up to 4 years. Your apprenticeship is important because it will help you prepare for your license exam. To become a journeyman, you need to acquire a license and present a resume listing your skills and experiences.

Skills Of A Residential Electrician

As a field of expertise, residential electronics requires the apprentice to be skillful and knowledgeable in the basics of their profession. To become a residential electrician, you need to have mechanical aptitude in order to work things out using different tools. This is the most basic skill an aspiring electrician must possess.

In addition to that, you must also have a penchant for mathematical analysis and problem-solving. Electricians work with numbers including electrical diagrams, and this is why the license exams include a section on physics and mathematics. Problem-solving is something you need to be accustomed to if you’re going to be doing service and repair.

Other important requirements include the knowledge of state electrical codes and first aid. Knowledge of electrical codes is included in licensure exams and is required of a licensed electrician. First aid, meanwhile, is also a must because accidents can possibly occur while working with electrical equipment.

Residential Electrician Job Description

As a residential electrician, you may either work for a company or as a freelancer. Residential electrician jobs typically require you to visit homes for installation and repairs. Other electrician jobs such as those industrial or commercial in nature would require you to perform your tasks in larger and busier buildings.

Job responsibilities would include both working indoors and outdoors and may be physically demanding. You may have to be called on in the middle of the night or during weekends to fix electrical malfunctions. Your duties are to install electrical equipment, repair broken switches and wirings, and upgrade electrical systems to keep the electricity running.

Residential Electrician Salary

The average salary for residential electricians is approximately $34,000, but this can differ depending on your experience, as well as other factors such as company, benefits, and location of work. The lowest hourly salary earned by residential electricians is around $13, while higher wages exceed $38 per hour.

Applying For An Electrician School

If you want to become an electrician, you need to figure out first which electrician school can help you get ready for an apprenticeship. This is an important step and a pre-requisite in getting your electrician license. Fortunately, there are plenty of schools that offer Electrician courses and programs that you can choose from.

Becoming An Apprentice

An electrician trade school or a community college offering a pre-apprenticeship program technically lasts for about 6 to 12 months. After taking the pre-apprenticeship course, you will have to find someone who can sponsor your four-year apprenticeship. Once you have completed this step, you can go on and become a licensed electrician.


Before applying, you need to determine which area of expertise you would like to specialize in. Are you interested in home security systems, or are you more into communications? You also need to figure out what skills are needed for that area of study to determine which would be best for you. The field is very broad and there are several specializations under it. This is why some schools specialize in just one type of work; for example, a school for electrician specializing in industrial electronics, or a training program for those who want to become commercial electricians.

Pre-Apprenticeship In Community Colleges

If you live in Los Angeles, you can apply at community colleges such as the Los Angeles Trade Tech or at the Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC). The LA Trade Tech offers electrician classes under their Electronics Technology department and can help you land a job in different fields such as Information Technology and Electronic Communications. You can also apply at LASC, where they offer their Electronics course under their Business Department.

For those who live in Houston, you can apply for the Industrial Electricity program at Houston Community College. Their courses include electrical theory, electrical safety, electronic applications, and other requisites that can help you gain skills in industrial electricity.

Online Electrician School

In addition to community colleges and electrician trade schools, you can also take the classes you need online. If you prefer to stay at home or if you don’t live near electrician trade schools, the good news is that you can also find an electrician school online. There are basic degree programs all over the Web that can train you just as well as offline programs. The hands-on training required for electrician students may have to be done at a training center, but apart from that, the courses can be taken online.

Career Opportunities For An Electrician

After undergoing the necessary four-year training and certification needed, you can acquire your license after taking state examination and start working as an electrician.

  • Commercial electricians deal with large work responsibilities and are mostly found in hospitals, factories, schools, and shopping centers. Your duties would include installation, repair, and maintenance, as well as interpreting commercial blueprints.
  • Industrial electricians, from the name itself, spend time in an industrial environment such as factories and chemical plants. You will work with machinery and run electronic tests, install switches and outlets, oil motors, and replace damaged components.
  • Residential electricians may either work for a company or freelance, and their task is usually to visit homes for inspections, to repair appliances, and to install or replace the faulty wiring.

How To Make More Money As An Electrician Contractor

With electricity, if you make mistakes and blunders people get hurt and killed. No electrician union can or should protect you if that is the result of your errors. I know that this offends some of you but that is a reality of what you are dealing with here.

The jobs that an electrician contractor consults on are highly complex. He or she has the experience and man hours plus training that is needed to make the job goes successfully. One day if you apply yourself you can become the general contractor to. But it is about learning these “little” lessons now so that will prepare you amply for your next step up the ladder in this lucrative career.

Since these jobs are very hazardous and carry a significant degree of risk from electrical shocks, abrasions from wires and metal, items falling from above you and landing on your head etc. The training you receive from an electrician school will prepare you for the foundation elements of the profession.

It is up to you and you alone to possess the basic aptitude, fitness, and balance needed in order to make it in this profession. This may entail doing a daily exercise of which everyone should do anyway.

To become a great electrician is what you want right? Exactly. What is required is not out of the ordinary. Having a good hand to eye dexterity, the ability to think things through from multiple directions to solve problems is a must. Proper health and fitness again are essential because you’ll be placing your body in strange and contorted postures just to “get at” some electrical problems. Now, these items are not part of becoming a licensed electrician but you’ll find that they are essential to your success.

The future prospects for becoming an electrician contractor are getting brighter everyday…the baby boomers are beginning to retire at a quick pace. This opens the door for others like you who will have completed the requisite electrician school training and is now prepared to enter the workforce.

Just to seal off the deal, Electrician contractors pull in more than $50,000 per year. some that own their own businesses earn three times that as take-home pay. You should really consider this your long-term goal. Another reason why is that your body after going through years of wear and tear won’t want to endure those cold or hot job sites and getting hot and sweaty. Working as a contractor or a general means you won’t be doing the physical work typically. But instead, you’ll be telling others to do it.