Career Attributes

  • $43,508
  • 666,900
  • 3.1
  • 8.9%
  • Certificate or Associate's degree
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
More Attributes


All electricians earn their position by undergoing three to five years of an apprenticeship program. Due to the sometimes dangerous nature of their work, the electrician's apprenticeship is overseen by a master electrician and directly supervised by a journeyman electrician. Master electricians are those who have already passed through apprentice and journeyman positions and have exhibited a high degree of technical skill in their trade. A journeyman has completed their apprenticeship, but has not yet earned the skills or experience necessary to become a master.

During their apprenticeship, electricians are required to complete instruction in electrical theory and electrical building codes. In most cases apprentices must pay for these classes, though some programs offer trades, exchanging free training for a commitment to work for that company in the future. Electricians are also given practical training on all types of electrical installation and maintenance. Apprentice electricians will work with masters and journeymen to complete projects on residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

Generally, apprentice electricians are paid for their practical work. After around 8000 hours of practical work, 700 hours of classroom instruction, and the passing of any required state and local licensing exams, candidates can move up to journeyman status. After becoming a journeyman, an electrician is allowed to work on most types of electrical systems, but is usually barred from the design of those systems. Restrictions vary by city, state, and country of residence.

Aside from technical certifications, electricians must be able to work with a wide variety of tools and testing equipment. Common tools, like diagonal and needle-nose pliers are just as essential to an electrician's work as more complicated equipment like multimeters and insulation resistance testers. Other tools for which electricians must maintain competency include cable cutters, tube benders, knockout punches and ground fault indicators. Different specialties require different tools. Outside linemen require both manual and electric saws to cut away trees and foliage from their workplace while inside wiremen rarely make use of these tools.

What are Electricians like?


Based on our pool of users, Electricians tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Electricians by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 1875 CareerExplorer users

Are Electricians happy?


Electricians rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 30th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Electrician Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Electricians

The most common degree held by Electricians is Electrical Engineering. 11% of Electricians had a degree in Electrical Engineering before becoming Electricians. That is over 13 times the average across all careers. Business Management And Administration graduates are the second most common among Electricians, representing 9% of Electricians in the CareerExplorer user base, which is 1.4 times the average.

Electrician Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming an Electrician, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Electricians % of population Multiple
Electrical Engineering 11.2% 0.9% 12.8×
Business Management And Administration 9.4% 6.5% 1.4×
Electrical Engineering Technology 7.7% 0.2% 37.0×
Biology 6.6% 3.6% 1.8×
Computer Science 4.9% 3.0% 1.7×
Psychology 3.8% 7.0% 0.5×
Liberal Arts 2.8% 1.9% 1.4×
Criminal Justice 2.8% 1.4% 2.0×
Automotive Repair 2.8% 0.2% 13.5×
Applied Mathematics 2.4% 0.4% 6.9×
Computer Engineering 2.4% 0.6% 4.2×
Power Engineering 2.4% 0.1% 34.3×
Drama 2.1% 1.1% 2.0×
Business 2.1% 2.6% 0.8×
Mechanical Engineering 2.1% 1.7% 1.3×
Engineering Management 2.1% 0.2% 11.3×
English Literature 2.1% 4.9% 0.4×
Philosophy And Religious Studies 2.1% 1.6% 1.3×
History 2.1% 2.3% 0.9×
Finance 1.7% 2.1% 0.8×
Economics 1.7% 4.0% 0.4×
Graphic Design 1.7% 1.4% 1.3×
Fine Arts 1.4% 2.2% 0.6×
Environmental Science 1.4% 1.1% 1.3×
Management Information Systems 1.4% 0.4% 3.3×
Communications 1.4% 3.4% 0.4×
Film Video And Photographic Arts 1.0% 0.7% 1.4×
Accounting 1.0% 1.9% 0.6×
Computer Networking 1.0% 0.3% 3.6×
Mathematics 1.0% 1.9% 0.6×
General Education 1.0% 0.7% 1.6×
General Engineering 1.0% 0.4% 2.6×
Mechanical Engineering Related Technologies 1.0% 0.1% 9.1×
Construction Services 1.0% 0.0% 23.8×
Precision Engineering 1.0% 0.0% 159.3×
Geology 1.0% 0.4% 3.0×
Physics 1.0% 1.0% 1.0×
Social Work 1.0% 0.5% 2.0×
Social Sciences 1.0% 0.5% 2.1×
Interior Design 1.0% 0.5% 2.3×
Game Design 1.0% 0.2% 5.7×

Electrician Education Levels

67% of Electricians have an associate's degree. 18% of Electricians have a high school diploma.

No education 8%
High school diploma 18%
Associate's degree 67%
Bachelor's degree 8%
Master's degree 0%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become an Electrician

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Career Attributes

  • $43,508
  • 666,900
  • 3.1
  • 8.9%
  • Certificate or Associate's degree
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
More Attributes