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

Becoming an electrician anywhere in the world requires some work and processes. All these vary in different parts of the world.

In Alaska, there are not many electricians because the majority are focused on mining, tourism, and fishing. Nevertheless, electricians are recognized as very important workers in Alaska because of their role in ensuring that residential, governmental, commercial, and tourist properties are kept running.

Irrespective of the prestige accorded other professions in Alaska, an electrician’s job can never be ignored. Those buildings that house the so-called prestigious professionals cannot continue to run without the help of electricians.

People interested in pursuing an electrical career in Alaska have to start as an apprentice. They can then become an Independent Electrical Contractor, which is the highest electrical position in Alaska.

Below are the essential steps in your journey to becoming an electrician in Alaska:

Step 1 – Begin as an Apprentice to Acquire the Required 4,000 Hours of Experience to Become a Journeyman.

In Alaska, beginning your career as an electrical apprentice requires enrolling as an apprentice in your local union’s apprenticeship training program and ensuring that the required classroom hours are met. With your local union, you can get trained through Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATCs) because local unions are particular about pooling resources together.

This apprenticeship will involve you getting a minimum of 4,000 hours of hands-on experience and classroom-based training of about 1,400 hours.

It is really a great idea to enroll in a union apprenticeship program near you. If you are lucky enough to get a Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC) locally, you would be getting all the classroom training you need as well as all the work experience. In Alaska, the Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship & Training Trust (AJEATT) is a joint effort between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1547 and the Alaska chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

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Still, before you can be considered by the Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees, you will have to meet the following requirements:

  • You must have attained the age of eighteen.
  • You must have not just a valid Alaska driver’s license; you must also be able to present a copy of your driving record.
  • You must have completed your high school diploma
  • You must be able to present a copy of your transcripts from your high school.
  • You must have passed at least one of the following classes: Online Math Course, Algebra 1 class, Work Keys Placement Test.

As long as you meet these qualifications, you’re a step closer to becoming a journeyman.

You will have to register as an apprentice with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development in Alaska, and your application will be subjected to renewal every year until the end of your apprenticeship.

If you get enrolled, your apprenticeship will be in two phases: You would have to work full time with an electrical contractor, you would also receive classroom-based instruction on electrical science.

There is, however, another option if you decide not to go through the union electrical apprenticeship in Alaska. You can opt for the apprenticeships offered by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). With ABC of Alaska, you can obtain all the training you would need from a master electrician and, at the same time, work and earn some money. Not just that,  you get to be considered to qualify for higher levels of pay, learn about the latest technologies and building codes and be as mobile as possible on the job.

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Step 2 – Sit for the Examination that Would Qualify You as a Journeyman or Residential Electrician.

Even after all the hands-on experience and classroom-based education you receive as an apprentice, you cannot become a journeyman or residential electrician until you pass the examination that will qualify you as one.

In Alaska, with a journeyman certificate, you are licensed to work on both residential and commercial properties. However, a residential certificate in Alaska only permits you to work on residential properties.

So, you can decide on becoming a journeyman or residential electrician after you’ve weighed your options and decided on which is best for you.

Before you can be given a residential certificate, you must have work experience of about 4,000 hours and about 500 classroom hours. You will get the license as soon as you pass the examination.

On the other hand, getting a journeyman certificate requires work experience of about 8,000 hours. These hours must cover about 6,000 hours of work experience on commercial or industrial properties, about 2,000 hours of work on residential properties, and classroom-based education of about 1,000 hours. As soon as you pass this examination, you would be given your license as well.

Step 3 – Take a Step Further and Become an Independent Electrical Contractor

In Alaska, the process of becoming an Independent electrical contractor involves two essential parts. You could decide to become an electrical administrator or obtain an Alaska Business License.

If you decide to become an electrical administrator, you will have to decide on a category and submit the following documents:

  • A resume showing in detail the experience you’ve garnered over the years in your selected category.
  • A document with three referees that can confirm your acclaimed experience.
  • Transcripts from the school you finished from.
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Once you are done with this and have earned your electrical administrator license, the next thing would be to obtain an Alaska Business License. Getting it would require certain procedures, including getting your business registered and receiving a unique Alaska entity number.

As long as you do all these, you become qualified to work as an independent electrical contractor in Alaska.

License Renewal in Alaska

Every electrical license you obtain in Alaska requires renewal in order to retain its function.

Residential Electrician License: This license has to be renewed every two years.

Journeyman Electrician License: This license has to be renewed every two years. Other than this, you would also have to complete 16 hours of continuing education.

Electrical Administrator License: This license has to be renewed every two years. It also requires you to complete some hours of continuing education.

 Business License: This license requires renewal every one or two years. You can actually choose how often you would like to get it renewed the first time you receive the license.

License Reciprocity in Alaska

In Alaska, there are reciprocal agreements for Electrical Journeyman with the following states: Texas,  New Hampshire, Arkansas, South Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

The state of Utah used to be one of the states with reciprocal agreements with Alaska but not anymore.

Final Words

Although the journey to becoming an electrician seems quite difficult, it is very achievable.  You only need to put in a lot of hard work and determination.

Thankfully, there is enough room to accommodate many electricians in Alaska as the number of electricians presently in the state is low.

The electrical career will continue to grow, and you sure do not want to be left out. This presents an option for a stable and well-paying job for you.


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