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How to Become an Electrician in Texas

Electricians can enjoy a competitive salary and expect excellent career growth. While other states have onerous training and education requirements, Texas makes the process of becoming an electrician fairly easy.

How Do You Become an Electrician in the State of Texas?

In general, you can get started in the industry by being hired through an apprenticeship program. Then, you can work as an apprentice until you have gained 8,000 hours of experience. Once you reach this milestone, you can take an exam to become a journeyman electrician.

What Type of Electrician Licenses Can You Get in Texas?

To legally work in the state, you must be licensed as an electrician. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation can help you apply for a new license or renew an old one. Depending on how much experience you have, you may be able to apply for one of the following licenses.

  • Apprentice Electrician: With an apprentice license, you just have to submit the right form and be over the age of 16 years old.
  • Residential Wireman: To become a residential wireman, you must get 4,000 hours of experience under a master electrician. This experience must be documented and signed by your supervisor.
  • Journeyman Electrician: If you want to get a journeyman license, you must complete 8,000 hours of work as an apprentice under a master electrician. Afterward, you need to apply for a journeyman license and take the journeyman certification test. If you pass, you will officially become a journeyman electrician.
  • Master Electrician: To become a master electrician, you must complete 12,000 hours of work under a master electrician. You must also have a journeyman license for at least two years before you apply. Once you meet these requirements, you can apply for your license and take the master test.

Other than these main types of licenses, there are a few other options as well. You can get licensed as an electrical sign apprentice, a journeyman sign electrician, or a master sign electrician. There are also options available if you want to become a journeyman lineman or maintenance electrician.

Is There High Demand for Electricians in Texas?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 739,200 electricians in the United States in 2019. In the next decade, this profession is expected to grow by 8 percent. This means that there will be 82,200 new jobs added every year.

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Texas has a total of 63,750 electricians. In just the area around Dallas and Fort Worth, there are 17,350 electricians. While some of this job growth is due to the creation of new jobs, many companies need to hire employees who can replace retiring electricians.

The future looks bright for electricians in Texas. By 2050, the state is expected to have 47.4 million residents. With this type of growth, more homes and businesses will be necessary.

As a result, Texas will need more electricians than ever before. By starting an apprenticeship in this industry, you can enjoy excellent career growth and earnings in the future.

How Much Do Electricians Make?

In Texas, electricians earn an average wage of $25.11 per hour. The average electrician earns $52,230 per year.

Government electricians earned a median wage of $62,940, and manufacturing electricians earned a median wage of $60,000.

While the bottom 10 percent of workers made less than $33,410 per year, the top 10 percent made more than $96,580.

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In some cases, apprentice electricians earn about half the amount that a master-apprentice earns. Across the country, a typical apprentice earns $16.49 per hour and $34,300 per year.

A journeyman electrician generally earns at least 50 percent more than these amounts. Depending on the city, a master electrician in Texas can earn up to $34.34 per hour.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Electrician in Texas?

You can become an apprentice electrician right away by turning in this online application and paying a $20 fee. If you want to become a journeyman electrician or a master electrician, it will take much longer.

To become a journeyman electrician, you have to complete 8,000 hours of training. If you work 40 hours a week, this will take about four years.

Because you must finish 12,000 hours of training to become a master electrician, it can take up to six years to finish your training.

How to Become an Electrician in Texas

With each progression, there are guidelines you need to follow to become an electrician. The goal of each progression is to give an electrician the safety training and experience they need to perform at a high level, day in and day out.

Get the Experience and Training You Need

To become a residential wireman, you will need 4,000 hours of experience. To become a journeyman electrician you will need 8,000 hours of experience.

This works out to about two or four years of on-the-job training depending on which path you choose. You can gain this experience by going to a trade school or working through a company’s apprenticeship program.

Trade Schools

If you decide to go to a trade school, you should make sure that it has been approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

In general, these courses will last for 48 weeks. They will include classes on commercial wiring, programmable controllers, tech electrical, grounding electrical, arc welding, fiber optic electrical, standard first aid, conduit bending for electrical and other topics.

Through the trade school, you will be partnered with a master electrician or electrical contracting company.

Then, you will get to complete your on-the-job training under their supervision. Through the trade school, you will be able to find an apprenticeship and get enough hours to pursue your residential wireman or journeyman license.

Apprenticeships

Instead of going to a trade school, you can directly apply for an apprenticeship program. The Texas Board of Licensing and Regulation has approved 44 different apprenticeship programs in the state. Click here to review the programs.

You can find apprenticeships through Electrician Training Alliance Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATC), the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC), or the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

Getting Your License

Apprentice Electrician license

After you find an apprenticeship, the next step is to get your apprentice license. You can do this by going online and filling out the online application.

You will need to pay a $20 fee to apply. If you cannot get online, you can print and mail your application to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. As long as you remain an apprentice, you will have to renew your license online each year.

Obtain Your Residential Wireman Electrician or Journeyman Electrician License

When you have finished your apprenticeship, you can become a residential wireman electrician or a journeyman electrician. You will also need to take and pass an exam.

Residential Wireman license

To get your Residential Wireman license, you will need to print out the Residential wireman application form and mail it to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

If your application is accepted, you can pay $64 and take your exam through PSI Exams. The Residential wireman exam has 80 questions with a time limit of 240 minutes.

To pass the exam, you must score 70 percent or higher.

The Residential wireman exam covers:

  • Definitions, Calculations, Theory, and Plans—8 questions
  • Electrical Services, Service Equipment, and Separately Derived Systems—16 questions
  • Electrical Feeders—7 questions
  • Branch Circuit Calculations and Conductors—14 questions
  • Electrical Wiring Methods and Electrical Materials—10 questions
  • Electrical Equipment and Devices—12 questions
  • Motors and Generators—2 questions
  • Electrical Control Devices and Disconnecting Means—2 questions
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions—7 questions
  • Renewable Energy Technologies—2 questions

After getting your residential wireman license, you will have to renew it every 18 months. The state also requires continuing education courses as well.

Journeyman Electrician license

For the journeyman license, you will need to fill out the Journeyman electrician license application. You should include a detailed description of your work experience and mail it to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, you will need to attach a $30 fee as well.

Once the application has been accepted, you need to register for your exam. This exam has 80 scored questions and 5 non-scored items. The exam fee is $78 and takes 240 minutes to complete. It is hosted by PSI Exams.

The Journeyman electrician exam covers:

  • Definitions, Calculations, Theory, and Plans—6 questions
  • Electrical Services, Service Equipment, and Separately Derived Systems—9 questions
  • Electrical Feeders—3 questions
  • Branch Circuit Calculations and Conductors—15 questions
  • Electrical Wiring Methods and Electrical Materials—18 questions
  • Electrical Equipment and Devices—10 questions
  • Motors and Generators—5 questions
  • Electrical Control Devices and Disconnecting Means—3 questions
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment—9 questions
  • Renewable energy technologies—2 questions

Once you get your journeyman license, you will need to renew it every 18 months and pay a $30 fee. In addition, you will be expected to take four courses every 18 months to satisfy the state’s continuing education requirement.

Licensing Requirements of a Master Electrician

Master Electrician License

After you have spent two years working as a journeyman electrician, you are eligible to become a master electrician. You must also finish 12,000 hours of on-the-job training. If you pass the test and meet all of the qualifications, you can further increase your salary by becoming a master electrician.

To get started, you should print out the Master electrician application form and mail it to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation with a $45 fee.

After the state accepts your application, you can pay $78 (per section) to PSI Exams and schedule your master electrician exam. The Master Electrician exam has been reformatted to consist of 2 portions. One is the NEC Knowledge portion (75 questions and 150 mins). The other is the Calculations portion (33 questions and 170 mins).

To pass this exam, you must get a score of at least 70 percent on each section.

The Master Electrician Exam (NEC Knowledge portion) covers:

  • Definitions, Theory, and Plans—7 questions
  • Electrical Services, Service Equipment, and Separately Derived Systems—11 questions
  • Electrical Feeders—7 questions
  • Branch Circuit Calculations and Conductors—11 questions
  • Electrical Wiring Methods and Electrical Materials—7 questions
  • Electrical Equipment and Devices—7 questions
  • Motors and Generators—7 questions
  • Electrical Control Devices and Disconnecting Means—3 questions
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions—7 questions
  • Renewable Energy Technologies—3 questions

The Master Electrician Exam (Calculations portion) covers:

  • Calculations and Theory—2 questions
  • Electrical Services, Service Equipment, and Separately Derived Systems—8 questions
  • Electrical Feeders—3 questions
  • Branch Circuit Calculations and Conductors—4 questions
  • Electrical Wiring Methods and Electrical Materials—2 questions
  • Electrical Equipment and Devices—2 questions
  • Motors and Generators—6 questions
  • Electrical Control Devices and Disconnecting Means—1 question
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions—1 question
  • Renewable Energy Technologies—1 question

Once you have received your license, you will have to renew it every 18 months. The state requires four hours of continuing education each time you renew your license. It costs $45 to renew your license online.

To become an electrical contractor, you must hire a master electrician or possess a master electrician license. You will also need to pay a $110 fee and complete a license application. Like the other licenses, you will need to renew your electrical contractor license online every 18 months.

FSG is always looking for Electricians and other team members to join us in Texas and beyond. Check our opportunities on the FSG Careers page or ask us about FSG Electrical Apprenticeship opportunities in your area by filling out this form.

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