What’s the Difference Between a Licensed Electrician and a Certified Electrician?

Electricians are trained professionals who work with electrical systems and panels. Although specialty certificates are not required, all working electricians must have a license in their individual states. Having gained the appropriate certifications, electricians can work with specialist electrical equipment or procedures and follow a more specialized professional path. This article examines the opportunities available to licensed electricians and the advantages of earning certifications.

What does a qualified electrician do?

An electrician who holds a license works with electrical components such as electrical panels, wires, and commercial systems. To work in their particular state, licensed electricians must pass licensing courses and tests that have been approved by the state. Licensed electricians can carry out a range of specialized tasks, some of which are as follows:

  • Industrial electricians work with commercial and industrial machinery. In order to improve the production process’s energy efficiency and safety, they also design, maintain, and repair the electrical components on industrial machines and lay cables. They may be required to collaborate with a production manager as part of their duties.
  • Commercial electricians: These professionals perform electrical work in offices, retail establishments, and other commercial environments. They install lines, fix electrical panels and parts, and give commercial clients advice on safe electrical maintenance procedures.
  • Residential electricians install wires, fix electrical systems, and upgrade electrical panels in residential buildings. They might come to your house for routine maintenance or in case of an electrical emergency.
  • Electric panel builders: Electrical panel builders provide effective and secure electrical panels for business, residential, and industrial purposes. They solely work with electrical panels.

What does a licensed electrician do?

A certified electrician is an electrician with a state license who pursues further certifications to work in particular organizations or industries.

There are various advantages to becoming a certified electrician, including:

  • Certified electricians benefit from a wider range of employment prospects: Certifications enable electricians to focus on in-demand abilities, which may open up new employment opportunities across different industries.
  • Higher earnings potential: Depending on their expertise and particular skills, certified electricians may receive a higher amount of pay.
  • Flexibility: Depending on their profession and area of expertise, certified electricians can work as subcontractors, contractors, or for private businesses, giving you more freedom to create your own work schedule.
  • More experience: Compared to their contemporaries, electricians with credentials may have more experience in a variety of fields.

How to get an electrician’s license

The fundamental procedures to become a licensed electrician will typically vary from state to state; however, the general steps involve the following:

  1. Complete an accredited post-secondary curriculum

Licensed electricians need to complete an education as part of a state-sponsored or approved post-secondary school. The typical program spans 18-24 months. These courses help future electricians get ready for the state exam and the apprenticeship. Students learn the fundamentals of electrical grids, wiring, and management in a post-secondary electrician degree. The risks connected with live electrical lines, as well as how to install and troubleshoot basic electrical components will be taught to students.

  1. Acquire a state license

To acquire a state license, electricians must complete a post-secondary electrician program and pass a state license exam. Examining basic electrical systems, safety, potential risks, and complicated systems like electrical grids are all part of the curriculum.

The prospective electrician receives a state license after passing the state exam, enabling him or her to look for an apprenticeship or start working as an electrical contractor.

  1. Become a master’s assistant

To obtain practical experience and learn the specifics of the work, a certified electrician can pursue an apprenticeship under a master electrician. This can take two to five years to complete, and there is typically a cost for apprenticeships. The trainee receives training and guidance from the master electrician in regard to the specifics of the profession, safety regulations, and any other information that advances the apprentice’s career as a certified electrician.

According to state regulations, an apprentice becomes a journeyman electrician after completing a predetermined amount of training hours. Between 4,000 and 8,000 hours are amassed by apprentice electricians. After that, they can work toward becoming a master electrician by accruing further experience—usually between 8,000 and 12,000 hours altogether.

  1. Research your insurance requirements

All electricians should consider getting insurance in placeto provide a layer of protection for you and your business. To learn more about electricians insurance, click here.

Although not required, obtaining extra certificates can boost an electrician’s pay and work prospects. Here are some actions to do to become certified:

  1. Decide what industry you wish to work in

Cable splicing, running wires, and other specific skills are needed in several sectors. Choosing the business or sector in which you want to work is the first step in becoming a certified electrician because it can influence the qualifications you choose. As an illustration, you may choose to build solar or electrical panels or operate as a panel repairman. Despite the fact that these occupations are in the same field, they each require a different qualification. By investigating employment responsibilities and income information related to that specialty or niche, you can carefully consider where you want to apply your skills.

  1. Select a certification path

There are numerous groups that provide certificates for electricians, including the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA.

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) offers certificates for persons looking to work as inspectors or as specialists in fields like green energy. You can obtain certificates from traditional colleges that provide stand-alone certificate programs, which don’t require you to be otherwise enrolled as a student.

  1. Acquire practical experience

You can use your new skills to enter the field after earning a certification. If you already have a job as a licensed electrician, you can inquire about any openings or tasks that would make use of your recent education. Having a job history that attests to your ability to use your certification knowledge will make it easier for you to apply for new positions as you gain experience.