Finding the right electrical contracting firm for your next project can be a difficult task. One of the most important things you need to consider is the electrical staff’s experience and certification. Becoming an electrician isn’t easy. It’s a lot of hard work. Here’s what you need to do to become a licensed electrician in Colorado.
Electricians are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing electrical systems across all industries. An electrician must have a vast knowledge of lighting, wiring, communication lines, control systems, electrical code and safety skills. To acquire this knowledge takes a lot of work. Such professionals are in high demand in the country and Colorado. Many people choose to become electricians because of the valuable skill set, relative job security and pay scale.
To become a licensed electrician in the state of Colorado, you must graduate from a trade school. Here, you’ll learn the basics of electrical theory, mathematics and analytic skills to work with electrical systems in these technical programs. Once you have completed the program, you can apply to work as an electrical apprentice.
There are three types of industry licenses. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Apprentice: An apprentice learns on the job to become a licensed electrician. An apprentice must perform 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and at least 288 hours of supplementary instruction in the form of classroom hours in an accredited program, prior to submitting an application to take the state journeyman exam. It typically takes between 4-5 years to complete an apprenticeship. While on the job, apprentices learn electrical theory, blueprint reading, electrical code and safety practices. They may receive specialized training depending on the job, and licensed journeyman electricians will supervise them. Many technical colleges offer apprenticeship programs, as do many electrical contracting firms.
- Journeyman: After completing an apprenticeship, the next step is to apply to become a journeyman electrician. Applicants must have completed 8,000 hours of electrical work experience, of which 4,000 must be commercial or industrial work. In addition to meeting all of their apprenticeship requirements, they will have to take a licensing exam to become a licensed journeyman electrician. Which you meet this milestone, you’re eligible to work unsupervised, but still under the direction of a master electrician. You won’t be able to obtain work permits on your own but you can work under those of a master electrician.
- Master Electrician: Master electricians are responsible for planning and laying out plans for electrical work and supervising journeyman and apprentices. Master electricians can apply for permits and work for themselves. They must hold an electrical engineering degree or electrical construction degree from a college, university, or accredited trade school. Master electricians must have at least 10,000 hours of experience and be properly licensed.
Most electrical firms have a mixture of apprentices, journeymen and master electricians. They work together to teach and learn from one another while completing their work to code for their clients.
If you are considering hiring an electrical firm, you should make sure that all of the contractors working on site are properly licensed or in the process of obtaining their license if they are apprentices. If you hire contractors, who are not properly licensed, the work they complete may not be up to code or have the correct permits, which may leave you liable. Always choose reputable firms with proper licensing can you can enjoy peace of mind.