The construction sector, which is one of Pennsylvania’s largest industries, has become a vital aspect of the state’s economy. Pennsylvania was a significant steel and coal producer in the twentieth century, propelling the railroad system ahead. However, steel demand has been declining in recent years, while demand for auxiliary construction trades, such as electricians, has been continuously increasing in response to the state’s population increase and commercial growth.
According to the Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information & Analysis, the number of electrician employment opportunities in the state will increase by 13.8 percent during the next ten years, up to 2024. Given that Pennsylvania currently has over 20,000 electricians, this represents significant expansion.
In Pennsylvania, there is no state licensing board for electricians; thus, you must obtain your license from the city where you intend to operate.
To become a certified electrician, you must first finish an electrical apprenticeship, which will qualify you for journeyman status. You can receive a license to employ a team and bid tasks as an independent electrical contractor after working for a few years under your journeyman license.
The procedures for Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Allentown will be covered in this article. Despite the fact that the criteria for each of these cities are comparable to those in other cities across the state, you must fulfill all local requirements for the municipal licensing jurisdiction in which you work. Check with your local government to verify what their criteria are.
Do you want to become an electrician? It would be best if you considered getting insurance for electricians in Pennsylvania. Learn more here.
To become a certified electrician in Pennsylvania, you will need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Join an electrical apprenticeship program, go to trade school, or get hands-on experience in the field
Electrician licensing in Pennsylvania is administered by municipal or county licensing boards, each of which has its own set of standards for certification and, in some cases, several categories of licenses for different sorts of specialized electrical work.
In most of Pennsylvania’s licensing jurisdictions, there are three frequently approved paths to being licensed:
Obtain a mix of three to five years of on-the-job experience and 750 to 900 hours of classroom study through an apprenticeship program, depending on the jurisdiction’s requirements.
Graduate with a certificate in electrical technology from a community college or trade school and gain two years of on-the-job experience in the area.
Work under the direct supervision of a professional electrician for at least ten years.
Pennsylvania Apprenticeship Programs
Pennsylvania offers a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities, both union-sponsored and merit shop-based.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) have collaborated with one another to form local Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATC) to promote union-affiliated apprenticeships with local unionised electrical contracting businesses.These apprenticeship programs, which include field training and classroom study, are administered by local IBEW branches in collaboration with the JATC. To be eligible for one of these apprenticeships, you must be a member of a labor union. There are 14 JATCs in the state that provide union apprenticeships.
Alternatively, one of two industry trade organizations, the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) or the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), conduct official non-union apprenticeship programs (ABC). These organizations help apprentices find work with local, allied merit shop contractors by facilitating formal apprenticeship programs that include the required classroom instruction.
Basic admission criteria are likely to be identical whether you’re seeking a union or non-union apprenticeship:
- The minimum age requirement is 18 years old.
- You will need GED or a high school diploma
- You will need one year of mathematics in high school with a passing grade
- Pass a broad aptitude exam that assesses your math and reading abilities.
In order to join a merit shop apprenticeship, the individual must apply for positions directly with participating contractors. After candidates have been accepted, union apprenticeships will allocate them to employment.
Program for Electrical Trade School
In many Pennsylvania jurisdictions, another alternative is to enroll in an electrical program at a community college or trade school and get an associate’s in applied science degree or a certificate in electrical technology.
You may expect to learn about the following topics and more in an electrical degree at a technical school:
- Basic Applied Electrical Math Non-linear Circuit Analysis DC Electronics / AC Electronics
- PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) are programmable logic controllers
- Blueprint Reading of the National Electric Code for Electric Motor Control
Some programs lead to a formal apprenticeship, while others provide opportunities for internships that might lead to an apprenticeship with a local electrical contracting firm.
In certain jurisdictions, a journeyman’s license can be obtained simply by amassing enough on-the-job experience and passing an ICC or Thomson Prometric test. This path normally necessitates a significant amount of experience, such as ten years of work under the supervision of a presently licensed electrician.
Although no formal classroom preparation is required, the practical knowledge gained from working in the field for so long can be sufficient preparation for the journeyman exam.
Apprenticeships are often advertised on employment boards maintained by your local licensing body.
Step 2: Obtain a Journeyman Electrician’s License
Because professional electricians in Pennsylvania are not subject to statewide laws or licensing requirements, working as a journeyman electrician after completing your apprenticeship will look different in each community. Allentown, the most conventional of the three cities featured in this guide, offers a journeyman electrician license after four years of experience.
A journeyman electrician license is not available in most other Pennsylvania cities. However, before hiring you as a full-time journeyman electrician, most electrical firms would need you to have completed an apprenticeship. Often, proof of finishing your apprenticeship is sufficient to demonstrate professional experience.
Allentown’s journeyman qualifications are quite similar to journeyman requirements around the country. Even if your jurisdiction does not need a journeyman license, these qualifications are significant signs of a knowledgeable and professional electrician, and they are well worth pursuing. Check with your local government to see if there are any criteria for working as a journeyman electrician.
Journeyman electrician licenses are issued by the Allentown Building Standards and Safety Department to electricians working in the city. You must satisfy the following criteria to work as a journeyman electrician in Allentown:
- Four years of experience in the field
- You need to be aged at least 21 years old
- GED or high school diploma
- A completed application
- Passing score on the journeyman test
You must complete an application with the City of Allentown in order to take the exam. They will review your application and, if you meet the requirements, provide you with information on how to schedule your journeyman electrician exam.
This test bulletin contains information on how to schedule the exam. The test lasts four hours and includes 80 multiple-choice questions. It is also an open-book test. During the exam, you can refer to the 2008 National Electric Code. To pass the exam, you must obtain a 70% score.
If you pass the exam, you will receive a note from the testing center informing you of your success. You can get your journeyman electrician license by taking that letter to the Allentown government office with a valid driver’s license.
You will need to renew this license every year. You can do so by contacting the Allentown government offices.
The Allentown Building Standards and Safety Department accepts journeyman licenses granted by the cities of Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Kutztown, Reading, Scranton, and the state of Connecticut, and will enable these license holders to apply for a local journeyman license through reciprocity.
Journeyman electrician licenses are not available in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia; only electrical contractor licenses are available. When seeking work as a journeyman electrician, make sure you have a copy of your apprenticeship completion certificate or other documents demonstrating your expertise.
Step 3: Obtain an independent electrical contractor license in your city
You can apply for a license to work as an independent electrical contractor after working for a few years with a local electrical contractor or possessing a journeyman license. Each city, like journeyman licenses, has its own set of standards. Check with your local government to see what restrictions they have in place for electrical contractors and master electricians.
Master electrician licenses are issued by the Allentown Building Standards and Safety Department to electricians who operate in the city. Though the master electrician license needs the same four years of experience as a journeyman license, the master electrician test is more extensive, and the license has no restrictions, enabling the bearer to draw permits and operate in any building or structure in the city.
You must satisfy the following criteria to work as a master electrician in Allentown:
- Four years of experience in the field
- A minimum age of 21 is required.
- GED or high school diploma
- A completed application form.
- The master electrician test must be passed with a passing score.
You must complete an application from the City of Allentown in order to take the exam. They will review your application and, if you meet the requirements, they will provide you with information on how to schedule the master electrician exam.
This test bulletin contains information on how to schedule the exam. The test is an open book exam, and it lasts around five hours. It consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. During the exam, you can refer to the 2008 National Electric Code. To pass the exam, you must obtain a 70% score.
If you pass the exam, you will receive a note from the testing center informing you of your success. With that letter and a valid driver’s license, you may obtain your master electrician license at the Allentown government office.
Every year, the license must be renewed, which may be done by contacting the Allentown government offices.
There are no insurance or licensing requirements for master electricians in Allentown.
Electrical contractor licenses are issued by the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections in Pittsburgh.
You must satisfy the following qualifications to obtain an electrical contractor license in Pittsburgh:
- Obtaining a passing score on the electrical contractor test
- 18 years of age and up
- Photo identification is required.
- Experience in one of the following areas is required.
- Two years of experience and a certificate of completion from a recognized school
- Ten years of experience with a valid license in another state or municipality
- Ten years of experience working for a Pittsburgh electrical contractor that is currently licensed
- A minimum of $300,000 in general liability insurance is required.
- For city taxes, proof of registration is required.
Exam scheduling guidelines may be found in this Pittsburgh exam bulletin. The test is an open book exam that lasts around five hours. It consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. During the test, you can refer to the 2008 National Electric Code and any version of Ugly’s Electrical Reference. To pass the exam, you must
After passing the exam, you must complete this application and submit it to the relevant department. You only need to pay the initial license cost after your application has been approved.
You must renew your license every year after receiving it in Pittsburgh. Renewing your license necessitates the same application and submission of all supporting documentation.
To obtain an electrical contractor license from the Philadelphia Business Services Department, you must satisfy the following criteria:
- Electrician with four years of experience
- $500,000 in general liability, worker’s compensation, and car insurance
- Tax clearance forms submitted to the Department of Revenue.
- Three passport-sized color pictures of yourself
- A completed application form
Obtaining a passing score on the electrical contractor test
Exam scheduling guidelines may be found in this Philadelphia exam bulletin. The test is an open book exam that lasts around five hours. It includes 100 multiple-choice questions. During the exam, you can refer to the 2008 National Electric Code. To pass the exam, you must obtain a 70% score.
You may pay for and pick up your license from the Business Services Department if you pass the exam.