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Alabama saw a boom in the housing market in the recent past.
Newly built houses also require new and custom electrical wiring, leading to an increased demand for qualified electricians.
- Reasons to Become an Electrician in Alabama
- The Steps of Becoming an Electrician
- Electrician Schools by City
Reasons to Become an Electrician in Alabama
The Department of Labor in Alabama predicts that by 2024 there will be 12.9% more positions available for electricians.
Median Wage for Electricians
Electricians have a good median income in Alabama, as they earn about $44,728 per year.
This salary is a bit lower than the national one for electricians, which is of about $47,951 per year.
The best-paid electricians in the state make around $50,968 per year, while nationally the best-paid electricians earn about $54,640 annually.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Electricians in Alabama
The Steps of Becoming an Electrician
Future electricians must familiarize themselves with the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board.
This board will issue licenses after the individual finishes first their apprenticeship and becoming a journeyman.
These are the steps of becoming an Alabama electrician:
- Must earn 8,000 hours experience as an apprentice
- Sit through the examination to become a journeyman
- Become an independent electrical contractor by getting a license.
Earning 8,000 Hours of Experience
Before becoming a journeyman, you must work between 4 and 5 years as an apprentice or helper.
There are 2 ways of completing this step:
- Gaining experience on the job (8,000 hours or 4 years) while attending a course (576 hours)
- Attend a technical school for 2 years and gain 6,000 hours of field experience
As you may guess, you can directly become an apprentice or you can enroll for a course and slowly transition to an entry-level job in the field.
At this stage, your salary will be lower than the shown ones, however as you gain experience, the salary will increase.
Many vocational schools have a program for an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology diploma, in which you can enroll.
27 Electrician Schools in Alabama
|Alabama Southern Community College — Gilbertown Campus||251 College Street, Gilbertown, AL 36908|
|Alabama Southern Community College — Jackson Campus||235 College Avenue, Jackson, AL 36545|
|Alabama Southern Community College — Monroeville Campus||2800 South Alabama Avenue, Monroeville, AL 36460|
|Alabama Southern Community College — Thomasville Campus||30755 Highway 43 South, Thomasville, AL 36784|
|BEJATC of Birmingham||5000 East Lake Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35217|
|Bevill State Community College||1411 Indiana Avenue, Jasper, AL 35501|
|Bishop State Community College||351 North Broad Street, Mobile, AL 36603|
|Gadsden State Community College||East Broad Campus 1001 East Broad Street, Gadsden, AL 35902|
|George C Wallace State Community College - Dothan||1141 Wallace Drive, Dothan, AL 36303|
|George C Wallace State Community College - Selma||3000 Earl Goodwin Parkway, Selma, AL 36703|
|H Councill Trenholm State Technical College||1225 Air Base Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36108|
|J F Drake State Community and Technical College||3421 Meridian St N, Huntsville, AL 35811|
|J F Ingram State Technical College||5375 Ingram Rd, Deatsville, AL 36022|
|JATC of Mobile||2244 Halls Mill Road, Mobile, AL 36606|
|JATC of Montgomery||1469 Jean Street, Montgomery, AL 36107|
|Jefferson Davis Community College||220 Alco Dr, Brewton, AL 36426|
|John C Calhoun State Community College||6250 U S Highway 31 N, Tanner, AL 35671|
|Lawson State Community College||3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221|
|Lurleen B. Wallace Community College — Greenville Campus||750 Greenville, Greenville, AL 36037|
|Lurleen B. Wallace Community College — Luverne Center||886 Glenwood Road, Luverne, AL 36049|
|Lurleen B. Wallace Community College — MacArthur Campus||1708 North Main Street, Opp, AL 36467|
|NALJATC of North Alabama||1805 East 17th Street, Sheffield, AL 35660|
|Northeast Alabama Community College||138 AL-35, Rainsville, AL 35986|
|Northwest-Shoals Community College||800 George Wallace Blvd, Muscle Shoals, AL 35661|
|Reid State Technical College||100 AL-83, Evergreen, AL 36401|
|Shelton State Community College||9500 Old Greensboro Rd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405|
|Wallace Community College||1141 Wallace Drive, Dothan, AL 36303|
If you choose this route, you still need 6,000 hours of experience on the job.
This means that when you find an electrical contractor in need of a helper, he should also be willing to record the hours you completed.
Luckily, many electrical contracting companies in Alabama are searching for apprentices that will turn into long-time employees when they complete their training.
These are some of the aforementioned firms:
- Alabama Electric Company, Inc (Dothan)
- Alabama Electrical Contractors (Cullman)
- North Alabama Electric (Decatur)
If you want to skip the training school and go straight into being an apprentice, contact Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC).
This committee will help you find someone in need of a helper.
This is a union route, and the apprenticeships are made possible through the collaboration of Alabama chapters of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union, through the Electrical Training Alliance.
To partake, you’ll be required to become a union member as well.
Here are the JATCs in Alabama:
- North Alabama Electrical JATC
- Birmingham Electrical JATC
- Montgomery Alabama Electricians, IBEW Local 443
- Mobile Electricians JATC
There are also some requirements you must meet before joining these JATCs:
- Minimum 18 years old
- High school diploma or GED
- A passing grade in algebra, in high school
- Having your driver’s license and reliable transportation
- Pass a general aptitude test
- Going for an interview
Non-union apprenticeships are also possible, but more difficult to find.
You can inquire here:
- Central Alabama Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)
- ABC-affiliated Construction Education Foundation Alabama – CEFA (Birmingham)
Becoming a Journeyman
You must pass a test in order to become a journeyman, a title that allows you to earn the full pay and work on your own.
You can’t get your journeyman license without completing the previous step and having your employer filling in a Work Affidavit.
You also must fill in an application with the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board, which they must approve before you can schedule your examination that lasts 4 hours.
There are 80 questions to which you must answer and you’re allowed to consult your 2014 National Electric Code and the American Electricians Handbook during the exam.
The topics covered in the test are:
- General electrical knowledge, Conductors and Cables, Raceways and boxes – a total of 30 questions.
- Service, feeders, and branch circuits – 9 questions
- Grounding and bonding – 8 questions
- Special occupancies and equipment, Motors – a total of 12 questions
- Safety Information and Overcurrent Protection – 10 questions in total
- Lighting – 3 questions
- Electrical power, Low voltage, Illuminated signs, Fire detection, and alarm systems – 8 total questions
If you pass the test, you’ll have to pay the licensing fee and then get your license which needs renewing every year, though no extra credits are needed for this.
To renew it, you can just fill out an online form.
Becoming an Independent Electrical Contractor
Journeymen electricians have the possibility of starting their own business and thus becoming independent electrical contractors.
To do so, you’ll need a license from Alabama’s Electrical Contractors Board.
To qualify, you need to meet these requirements:
- 8,000 hours of work experience and maintenance work doesn’t count towards the total.
- Have some experience as a manager
After you made sure these 2 requirements are met, fill out an application with the Board and schedule an exam once your application is approved.
The exam lasts for 5 hours, has 110 questions and you can bring these books with you for reference:
- The American Electricians Handbook
- Contractors Guide to Business, Law and Project Management
- Alabama Electrical Contractors Supplement to the Contractors Guide
- 2014 National Electric Code
These are the topics covered in the exam:
- General Electrical Knowledge – 10 questions
- Service, Feeders, and Branch Circuits – 10 questions
- Conductors and Cables – 10 questions
- Grounding and Bonding – 9 questions
- Raceways and Boxes – 8 questions
- Overcurrent Protection – 6 questions
- Motors – 6 questions
- Safety Information – 5 questions
- Special Occupancies and Equipment – 4 questions
- Licensing Law – 4 questions
- Estimating – 4 questions
- Tax Laws – 4 questions
- Financial Management – 4 questions
- Electrical Power – 3 questions
- Lighting – 3 questions
- Labor Laws – 3 questions
- Contracts – 3 questions
- Low Voltage – 2 questions
- Illuminated Signs – 2 questions
- Fire Detection and Alarm Systems – 2 questions
- Risk Management – 2 questions
- Project Management – 2 questions
- Safety and Environmental – 2 questions
- Business Organization – 1 questions
- Lien Law – 1 questions
If you pass this exam you can pay for your license and then pick it up.
Remember that you must renew it every year, and you can do so with an online form.
You should also continue your education and the Board can give you more details regarding this aspect.