Much has been written lately about the need for skilled tradespeople in professions like plumbing, HVAC, and carpentry. There is also a need for skilled electricians, with the expectation that demand will grow by 8% in the next few years. Read on for more information about how to become an electrician in Illinois.
The Benefits of Becoming an Electrician
- Great pay. In Illinois, electricians make between $25 to $35 per hour based on skill and experience. In addition, you will receive great benefits such as health insurance, 401(k) plan, time off for vacation, etc.
- Low cost of entry. You don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars (not to mention hundreds of thousands of dollars) to become an electrician. Education programs are very affordable.
- Employment security. As mentioned above, there is a need for electricians. And given the skill set required, chances are your abilities will always be needed.
- Be your own boss. Once you receive an electrical contractor license, you can be self-employed if you wish. You set your own hours.
- Immediate gratification. Unlike some jobs where you accomplish a task and then wait to see the results, you get to see the results immediately.
- Not boring. Every day you could be faced with a different challenge.
- Respect. People recognize that being an electrician requires skill and knowledge. With that recognition comes respect and appreciation.
Becoming an Electrician – Apprenticeship Programs
In Illinois, becoming an electrician requires a state license, and that license is obtained at the local level. Requirements vary by county but generally include four years (about 8,000 hours) of experience or job experience through an apprenticeship or trainee position, as well as 500 or more hours of classroom instruction and technical training. There are two general ways to accomplish this.
- Through a school’s technical program
- Participating in an apprenticeship program. General requirements for an apprenticeship program include:
○ Be at least 18 years of age
○ Physical ability to perform the work
○ Being able to provide your own transportation
○ Passing a general aptitude exam
○ Having a high school diploma or GED
○ Completing an algebra class either in high school or post-high school
Upon completion, you could become licensed as a journeyman electrician. These professionals repair wires and install electrical control systems, and also supervise apprentice electricians.
The next step after that is to become an electrical contractor that can repair, inspect, and install complete electrical systems. Different counties have different rules. These will be discussed in Part 2.
Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric is Looking for Electricians
If you are an electrician looking for an outstanding opportunity, Ravinia Plumbing wants to talk with you. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable electrical companies in Chicagoland. Click here for more information.