- Why Work as an Electrician in Arkansas
- Becoming a Qualified Electrician
Why Work as an Electrician in Arkansas
Both the economy and the housing market in Arkansas are on the rise and this lead to increase demand for qualified electricians.
The US Department of Labor expects that by 2024 there will be 16.1% more jobs available for qualified electricians, in Arkansas.
Median Income for an Arkansas Electrician
While working as an electrician in Arkansas, you can expect a median salary of $44 115 annually, which is slightly less than the national average salary of $47 951 per year, for this occupation.
The best-paid electricians earn in Arkansas about $50 269, which is also a bit lower than the highest salary at a national level for the same segment of professionals, which is $54 640 per year.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Electricians in Arkansas
|North Little Rock||$44,566|
Becoming a Qualified Electrician
There are 4 steps you need to complete to become a licensed electrician in this state:
- Become an apprentice
- Become a journeyman
- Get your Master Electrician Certificate or License
- Becoming an Independent Electrical Contractor
Becoming an Apprentice
The apprenticeship period in Arkansas means spending 8,000 hours on the job and 800 hours getting technical instruction.
You can complete this by:
- Directly enrolling in an apprenticeship program
- Enrolling in a technical school
You have several options for finishing the required number of hours for this step:
- online programs
- community colleges that have technical programs
- vocational schools
You’ll need to obtain an electrician or electrical systems technology certificate, a career diploma or an associate’s diploma.
These are a few of the subjects you’ll study:
- Electrical theory
- AC/DC currents
- Blueprint reading
- Electrical algebra
- First aid/Safety/OSHA regulations
- Electric code standards
- Motors and transformers
Remember that you can start working while you’re still in school and some schools include a special training placement that counts as field experience.
Furthermore, there are some schools that can help you find employment after you graduate their program.
16 Electrician Schools in Arkansas
|Arkansas Northeastern||2501 South Division Street, Blytheville, Arkansas 72315|
|Arkansas State University at Beebe||1000 Iowa Street, Beebe, AR 72012|
|Arkansas State University||7648 Victory Blvd, Newport, AR 72112|
|Black River Tech||1410 Highway 304 East, Pocahontas, AR 72455|
|College of the Ouachitas||One College Circle, Malvern, AR 72104|
|Cossatot Community College||183 College Drive, De Queen, AR 71832|
|Crowley's Ridge Technical Institute||1620 Newcastle Road, Forrest City, AR 72335|
|East Arkansas Community College||1700 Newcastle Road, Forrest City, AR 72335|
|JATC of El Dorado||101 West Main Street, El Dorado, AR 71780|
|JATC of Fort Smith||2914 Midland Boulevard, Fort Smith, AR 72904|
|JATC of Jonesboro||PO Box 577 Jonesboro, AR 72403|
|JATC of Little Rock||7418 South University Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72209|
|Northwest Arkansas Community College||One College Drive, Bentonville, AR 72712|
|Northwest Technical Institute||709 South Old Missouri Road, Springdale, AR|
|Pulaski Tech — Main Campus||3000 West Scenic Drive, North Little Rock, AR|
|University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton||1537 University Boulevard, Morrilton, AR 72110|
Union or Non-Union Apprenticeship
This type of apprenticeship means you’ll be helping a journeyman on a variety of projects and get paid a fraction of their salary.
If you want to choose this route, make sure you match these requirements:
- Being at least 18 years old
- Having a high school diploma or GED
- Proof of a passing grade for the standard algebra class in high school
- Driver’s license and dependable car
- Pass a test covering math and reading skills
You’ll need to contact a Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC) about this type of apprenticeship:
While these committees mean you’re going the union route, you also have a non-union option at the Mid-South Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC).
You can also search online for Arkansas Apprenticeship to see where else you can complete the requirements for a journeyman.
Not only you have to enroll in the apprenticeship program, but you also must register as an apprentice with the Arkansas Board of Electrical Examiners.
Becoming a Journeyman
Those who work as journeymen have a license and met these 2 requirements:
- 4 years of apprenticeship under their belts
- passed a journeyman test
One must fill out an application with the board and they can schedule their test only if the application gets approved.
This exam lasts for 3 hours, is an open book and made of 60 questions.
The book you’re allowed to consult is the most recent issue of the National Electrical Code.
Here’s a breakdown of the topics covered during this exam:
- General knowledge of the electrical trade and calculations – 9 questions
- Service, feeders, branch feeders, and over-current protection – 8 questions
- Raceways and enclosures – 8 questions
- Conductors – 7 questions
- Motors and controls – 7 questions
- Grounding and bonding – 6 questions
- Utilization and general use equipment – 6 questions
- Special occupancies and equipment – 4 questions
- Safety – 3 questions
- Low voltage circuits, including alarms and communications – 2 questions
If you pass the test, you can buy your license that you must renew after one year.
After once year, you can choose how often you want to re-renew it: every year, every 2 years or every 3 years.
Regardless of your choice, you’ll also have to complete 8 hours of continuing education.
You need to do all this because the National Electric Code updates every 3 years and the 8 hours must be completed during every cycle of 3 years.
Become a Master Electrician
To be a master electrician you need a certificate or a license, but this is not a mandatory step.
Being a master electrician means you have no work restriction and you usually supervise other electricians in the firm you work for.
There are 3 ways in which you can earn your license:
- Have a degree n electrical engineering along with 2 years of work experience in constructions;
- Having worked for 2 years as a journeyman and having 6 years of work experience on residential and commercial properties;
- Any other type of work experience the Board approved
You must fill out an application and if the Board approves it, you can schedule your exam.
Here’s a breakdown for the open book exam that lasts 3 hours:
- Grounding and Bonding – 10 questions
- Service, feeders, branch feeders, and over-current protection – 10 questions
- Utilization and General Use Equipment – 7 questions
- Raceways and Enclosures – 6 questions
- Conductors – 6 questions
- Motors and controls – 6 questions
- General knowledge of the electrical trade and calculations – 5 questions
- Special occupancies and equipment – 5 questions
- Safety – 3 questions
- Low voltage circuits (includes alarms and communications) – 2 questions
The most recently issued National Electrical Code is the book you’re allowed to consult during the exam.
The same renewal rules apply for the master electrician license as for the journeyman license.
Become an Independent Electrical Contractor
This is not a mandatory step, but this certification allows you to work on residential properties.
These are the conditions to get this license:
- Be or hire a master electrician
- 5 years of experience
- Pass the Business and Law exam
The Business and Law exam can only be taken after you apply and get approved for it.
This test is open book, lasts for 2 hours and is made of 50 questions.
The Contractor’s Guide to Business, Law and Project Management, Arkansas Fourth Edition is the book allowed during the examination.
The questions belong in the following subjects:
- Contract management – 16%
- Personnel regulations – 16%
- Project management – 12%
- Financial management – 10%
- Tax laws – 10%
- Licensing – 8%
- Estimating and bidding – 8%
- Insurance and bonding – 6%
- OSHA Recordkeeping – 6%
- Lien laws – 6%
- Business organization – 2%
If you pass the exam, you must submit the following documents along with an application:
- Proof you passed the Business and Law exam
- A surety bond of $10,000 to the State of Arkansas
- Evidence of worker’s compensation insurance
- 3 references from former employers that account for 5 years of experience.
- A financial review, no more than a year old, from a certified public accountant
You can start working only after you get approved, and you’ll have to renew your new license yearly.