How to Become a Licensed Electrician in Alabama: License Requirements and Guide

Every profession requires some form of learning and training. The electrical career is no different. Before a person can become an electrician anywhere around the world, there is a need to receive adequate training.

In Alabama, there is a lot of opportunities available to budding electricians. There is a constant expansion of the state, and with this comes the need for skilled electricians that are able to give the best wiring services.

With the construction of a new building comes the need for electrical works. Who else is capable of making such fixing than qualified electricians? People can only do few electrical fixings themselves. Professionals do the majority of these.

Currently, over 8,000 electricians are employed in the state of Alabama, and with the look of things, there is still going to be a significant rise in that number. According to the Alabama Department of Labor, there would be a growth in the number of electrician jobs in the state by 12.9% all through 2024. This means that deciding to become an electrician in the state of Alabama is definitely a great decision. Not only would you get a reasonably stable job, but you would also be able to rise to the top of your career as long as you put in your best.

It is a sure thing that you will have many questions if you are looking to start a career as an electrician in Alabama. After all, it is unfamiliar ground for you.

This article will serve as an essential guide for anyone looking to start a career as an electrician in Alabama. You will find answers to your questions, and all your doubts will be cleared.

Below are the steps you will have to take on your journey to becoming an electrician in Alabama:

Step 1 – Acquire the Hours of Hands-On Experience that Would Qualify You for the Position of a Journeyman

Before you can become a professional electrician, one of the things you will have to do is work as an apprentice for about four to five years in order to acquire the hands-on experience required to earn a journeyman license. Some of the things you would have to do include working for licensed electrical contractors in the state of Alabama in different capacities, receiving training on the job, and at the same time, meeting up with the required technical training hours in the classroom. As an apprentice, it is expected that you would be paid lesser than what a typical journeyman would earn but not to worry, your pay will undoubtedly be increased as your work hours and level of experience increase.

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Becoming a journeyman electrician in Alabama presents you with two options. You could choose to start with a technical school and move from there to an entry-level job or apprenticeship.  The other option is to go through an apprenticeship program directly.

Either one you decide to choose does not really matter. What matters is meeting up with the requirements of each.

In a technical school, you would have to acquire 6,000 hours years of field experience, which is equivalent to 3 years.

On the other hand, an apprenticeship requires you to acquire at least 8,000 hours of fieldwork experience, which is equivalent to four years and 576 hours of classroom education. You could go through a union or non-union.

If you decide to go through a union, you can always get one through your local Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC). They offer help to those seeking union apprenticeships by looking for unions willing to take on apprentices. An advantage of a union apprenticeship Union membership would be sponsorship from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

However, before  you can even apply for a union apprenticeship, you will have to meet specific primary requirements:

  • You must be eighteen years at least.
  • You must have completed your High school education.
  • You must have obtained qualifying grades in a high school algebra class
  • You must have acquired your driver’s license and also own a reliable means of transportation.
  • You must have taken and passed an aptitude test on general knowledge.
  • You must show up for an interview that would determine your fate.
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If you decide to go for a non-union apprenticeship, you would be tasked with finding an employer that does not mind taking on an apprentice. Below are some organizations that can quicken your search for non-union apprenticeship in Alabama:

Step 2 – Sit for the Examination that Will Qualify You as a Journeyman Electrician

With a journeyman electrician license, you will be recognized as a journeyman electrician and given the full pay deserving of a journeyman electrician. You would also be able to work without being supervised by another journeyman electrician, or electrical contractor.

One of the things that would qualify you for this license is proof that you indeed completed the 8,000 hours of work or an equivalent combination of classroom-based instruction and field experience required of an electrical apprentice. This proof has to be presented through a Work Affidavit filled signed by your employer.

Some of the questions you would encounter in your journeyman examination include questions bordering on low voltage, electrical power, safety information, conductors and cables, lighting, overcurrent protection, illuminated signs, and fire detection.

Once you pass the exam, be sure to receive your journeyman electrician license.

Step 3 – Go a Step further by Becoming an Independent Electrical Contractor

You do not have to stop at being a journeyman. You can go a step further and become an Independent Electrical Contractor. However, without an Independent Electrical Contractor License from the Electrical Contractors Board, running your own business would be impossible.

One of the things that would qualify you for this license is 8,000 hours of work experience. This does not include the hours spent on maintenance works. Another is managerial experience or skill that you must have acquired over the years.

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Some Of the topics that would be covered during the examination include motors, low voltage, electrical power,s safety information, Labour laws, tax laws, contracts, licensing law, project management, and risk management.

License Renewal in Alabama

 The Journeyman License: In Alabama, the journeyman license is expected to be renewed every year. However, there is no need for continuing education credits.

Independent Electrical Contractor License: In Alabama, the Independent Electrical License is expected to be renewed every year, just like the journeyman license. However, unlike the journeyman license, you are to complete the continuing education requirements.

License Reciprocity in Alabama

The state of Alabama has electrical reciprocity with the following states: Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Final Words

Indeed, the process of becoming an electrician in Alabama seems quite difficult; however, it is not impossible. It only requires lots of hard work and determination. The question you need to ask yourself is: How much do I desire to become an electrician? Your answer will determine if you would keep at it even when challenges arise.

References

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