Becoming an Electrician in Illinois - Ravinia Plumbing
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Becoming an Electrician in Illinois

Becoming an Electrician in Illinois

There are many reasons to become an electrician. They include:

  • Great pay
  • Job security
  • Be your own boss
  • Enjoyable work
  • Be respected
  • Easy career entry

Speaking of easy career entry, how does one become an electrician in Illinois? Not a simple answer, since licensing is handled at the local level, and requirements can vary by county and/or municipality. But here are some general guidelines:

1. Apprenticeship and classroom training

Again, while requirements vary, a general rule is:

  • Four years (8,000 hours) of job experience through an apprenticeship or entry level employment, and
  • 500-800 hours of classroom instruction and lab-based technical training

There are three routes to accomplish this:

  • Enrolling in a technical program and then obtaining entry-level employment with a local employer
  • Participating in an apprenticeship program through a non-union employer
  • Joining the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and getting an apprenticeship through a union contractor. Here are typical requirements for union apprenticeship programs:
    o Be 18 years or older
    o Be a high school graduate or have a GED
    o Pass a general aptitude test
    o Complete an algebra class at the high school level or above
    o Be able to physically perform the job
    o Have transportation

2. Pass a test

Many states require people who have completed an apprenticeship to obtain a license or certificate to become an electrical journeyman. But in Illinois, many counties and cities skip this requirement. Still, you might want to consider taking the City of Chicago’s exam to document proof of your apprenticeship hours. Passing this test earns you Supervising Electrician Certification and will allow you to work for an existing electrical contractor. Requirements:

  • Be 21 years old (which you will be by the time you complete your apprenticeship
  • Have two years of experience as an electrician (which the apprenticeship will provide)
  • Pass the test

3. Become a licensed independent electrical contractor

If you want to strike out on your own, you will need to be licensed in any city or county where you plan on doing business. Here are the requirements for Cook County:

  • Be certified as a supervising electrician in Cook County
  • Complete an application
  • Have a Certificate of General Liability of up to $1 million
  • If you are incorporated, submit a copy of your corporation papers including a list of corporate officers
  • Submit a Child Support Compliance Data Form

Once you receive your license, it will need to be renewed every year.

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Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric
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Lincolnshire, IL 60069
P: (847) 579-5565
F: (847) 831-5694
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