O*Net reported a 3% growth of electrician jobs in West Virginia, equivalent to 380 job openings yearly from 2020 to 2030.
With such a good job outlook, you’ll be assured a place in the electrical industry.
So if you’re interested, here’s how to become an electrician in West Virginia.
- Potential Salary
- How to Become an Electrician in West Virginia
- How to Become an Independent Electrical Contractor in West Virginia
- Electrical Training Programs and Schools in West Virginia
West Virginia electricians have the following salary information as of May 2021 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Annually – $59,590
- Hourly – $28.65
|Percentile||Average Annual Wage|
Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Electricians in West Virginia
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
How to Become an Electrician in West Virginia
The WV Office of the State Fire Marshal, Regulatory and Licensing Division oversees the licensing regulations for the following electricians:
- Journeyman electrician
- Master electrician
- Specialty electrician
- Electric sign
- Low voltage
- Single-family dwelling
Note: Effective June 16, 2021, apprentice/helper electricians will no longer need to apply for a license to perform electrical work.
To qualify, you must meet these requirements:
- Successfully pass the required exam
- At least 1 year (2,00 hours) of above ground structural wiring experience; OR,
- Completed a US Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program; OR,
- Completed at least 1,080 hours of WV Department of Education-approved vocational course
- At least 2 years (4,000 hours) of above ground structural wiring experience
- At least 2 years (4,000 hours) of experience in the chosen specialty
- Can credit up to 1 year (2,000 hours) of approved educational courses toward the experience
To apply for any of the three licenses, you must submit the following:
- Completed application for examination form
- Exam fee – $25
- Proof of meeting the experience or educational requirements
- Documented work experience
- Certificate of completion of apprenticeship or vocational program
After you’ve been approved to sit for and successfully passed the exam, you’ll need to pay a $50 license fee to obtain your license.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal shall administer the electrical licensure exams.
Here are some key exam details that you should know about:
- Exam type – open book with only NEC and Ugly’s Electrical References allowed
- Content – questions are based on the NEC 2020
- Journeyman / master / single family dwelling – 50 multiple choice questions and 5 calculations
- Low voltage – 25 multiple-choice questions
- Electrical sign / HVAC – 20 multiple-choice questions
- Duration – 4 hours
- Passing score – 80%
Your license will expire on June 30 every year.
To renew, you must submit the following:
- Completed renewal application online
- Renewal fee – $50
How to Become an Independent Electrical Contractor in West Virginia
The WV Division of Labor, Contractor Licensing Board oversees the licensing regulations for contractors.
You’ll only be required to obtain the electrical contractor license if you’re taking projects exceeding $1,000.
To apply, you must submit the following:
- Completed and notarized contractor license application form
- Application fee – $90
- Wage Bond Status Affidavit and fee, unless you fall under the exemptions
- Proof of worker’s compensation and unemployment compensation
The Board has contracted with PSI to help administer the contractor exams.
Here are the details for the electrical contractor exam portion:
- Exam fee – $47.50
- Exam content
- Business and law – 50 questions in 180 minutes
- Trade – electrical – 75 questions in 180 minutes
- Exam type – open book with only the following references allowed
- NASCLA Contractors Guide to Business, Law, and Project Management West Virginia
- American Electricians’ Handbook
- Passing score – 70%
Your license will expire one year from the issuance date.
To renew, you must submit the following:
- Completed renewal application, online, by mail, or in-person
- Renewal fee – $90
- In good standing with the following WV agencies
- Tax Department – Business Registration
- Insurance Commissioner’s Office – Workers’ Compensation
- Secretary of State – Certificate of Authority
- WorkForce – Unemployment
Electrical Training Programs and Schools in West Virginia
If you want to become a highly-skilled electrician, you must first acquire trade education and training.
To do so, you can either enroll in a trade school or sponsored apprenticeship program.
In trade schools, you can receive formal training which will help you learn the fundamentals of the trade.
You’ll have knowledge and skills in key areas, such as:
- General wiring of receptacles, switches, and breaker boxes
- Working with conduit
- Motor controls and fire alarms
- Installation of high, medium, and low voltage switches and relays
- Testing, troubleshooting, and repairing electrical systems
Most often, these schools will include apprenticeships in their curricula so you can have real-world experience in the trade.
Most apprenticeship programs are sponsored by unions (through JATCs) and non-unions (through private entities).
They offer these programs to help you understand the trade and the industry, as well as ensure the quality of the electrical workforce.
To apply for an apprenticeship, both groups will generally require the following qualifications:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Has a high school diploma or GED equivalent
- Passing grade in high school algebra
- Valid driver’s license
- Pass the general aptitude test and physical exam
- DD-214 if you’ve received military training
The table below lists some of the schools and associations offering electrical programs in West Virginia.
13 Electrician Schools in West Virginia
|Academy of Careers||390 Stanford Rd. Beckley, WV|
|BlueRidge Community and Technical College||13650 Apple Harvest Drive Martinsburg, WV 25403|
|Fayette Institute of Technology||300 West Oyler Avenue Oak Hill, WV 25901|
|IEC Chesapeake||8751 Freestate Drive Laurel, MD 20723|
|JATC of the Charleston Area||810 Indiana Avenue Charleston, WV 25302|
|JATC of Clarksburg||1001 North 12th Street Clarksburg, WV 26301|
|JATC of Huntington||1850 Madison Avenue Huntington, WV 25704|
|JATC of Parkersburg||1845 7th Street Parkersburg, WV 26101|
|JATC of Wheeling||82 Burkham Court Wheeling, WV 26003|
|James Rumsey Tech||3274 Hedgesville Martinsburg, WV|
|New River Community and Technical College||280 University Drive Beaver, WV 25813|
|Parkersburg West Virginia University||300 Campus Drive Parkersburg, WV 26104-8647|
|Pierpont Community & Technical College||1201 Locust Avenue Fairmont, WV 26554|
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