If you feel being an electrician is the right career for you, read on to learn more about becoming one.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security claims there will be a 15% increase in electrician jobs in the next 6 years.
On average, Illinois electricians make $49,404 per year, while the better-paid ones make around $56,296 per year.
By contrast, these salaries are a bit lower at a national level, with the median one being $47,951 per year, and the highest being $54,640 per year.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Electricians in Illinois
Becoming an Electrician
In Illinois, each city issues its own certifications, after which you are allowed to work anywhere in the state.
To get licensed, you need to follow some steps:
- Become an apprentice
- Take the licensing exam
- Get certified as an Independent Electrical Contractor
Becoming an apprentice
Although the requirements vary based on the city, you will typically need to have 8,000 hours of job experience and between 500 and 800 hours of class training.
To meet the required standards, you have to:
- Get into a technical program and then get hired for an entry-level position
- Enroll in an apprenticeship program with the IBEW union
- Attend a program that is not part of the union
The easiest way to meet the standards is by getting an associate’s degree or diploma in electrical technology.
In some regions, it is possible to replace some of the job experience hours with the diploma.
You can get hired in one of the larger companies in the state after getting your degree:
- Handyman Matters in Chicago
- Storm Electric Company in Melrose Park
- Powell Construction and Decorating in Addison
Illinois programs meet the standards of the National Training Alliance, the association which manages the JATCs (Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees) all over the country.
This table contains all the institutions you can contact to become an electrician:
50 Electrician Schools in Illinois
|Black Hawk College||6600 34th Ave, Moline, IL 61265|
|Champaign JATC||3301 North Boardwalk, Champaign, IL|
|City Colleges of Chicago||226 West Jackson, Chicago, IL 60606|
|City Colleges of Chicago — Kennedy-King||6301 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60621|
|Danville Area Community College||2000 East Main Street, Danville, IL 61832|
|Frontier Community College||2 Frontier Drive, Fairfield, IL 62837|
|Heartland Community College — Technology Division||1500 West Raab Road, Normal, IL 61761|
|IEC of Greater St. Louis||12704 Pennridge Drive, Bridgeton, MO 63044|
|Illinois Central College||1 College Dr, East Peoria, IL 61635|
|Illinois Valley Community College||815 North Orlando Smith Road, Oglesby, IL 61348|
|JATC of Bloomington and Normal||2407 Beich Avenue, Bloomington, IL|
|JATC of DuPage County||28600 Bella Vista Parkway, Warrenville, IL|
|JACT of Lake County||31290 North U.S. Highway #45, Libertyville, IL|
|JATC for Local Union #176||1110 Northeast Frontage, Joliet, IL|
|JATC of Local Union 461||591 Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL|
|John A. Logan College||700 Logan College Road, Carterville, IL 62918|
|Joliet Junior College||1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431,|
|Kankakee Community||100 College Drive, Kankakee, IL 60901|
|Kaskaskia College||27210 College Road, Centralia, IL 62801|
|Kishwaukee College||21193 Malta Road, Malta, IL 60150|
|Lakeland College||5001 Lake Land Blvd, Mattoon, IL 61938|
|Lewis and Clark Community College — Benjamin Godfrey Campus||5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, IL 62035|
|Lewis and Clark Community College — National Great Rivers Confluence Campus||1, Confluence Way, East Alton, IL 62024|
|Lewis and Clark Community College — N. O. Nelson Campus||600 Troy Road, Edwardsville, IL 62025|
|Lincoln Land Community College||5250 Shepherd Road, Springfield, IL 62794|
|Lincoln Tech — Melrose Park Campus||8317 West North Avenue, Melrose Park, IL 60160|
|Lincoln Trail College||11220 State Highway 1, Robinson, IL 62454|
|Local 193 JATC||3150 Wide Track Drive, Springfield, IL|
|Local 649 JATC||3941 Humbert Road, Alton, IL|
|McHenry & North Kane Counties JATC||765 Munshaw Lane, Crystal Lake, IL|
|Midstate JATC||3390 North Woodford Street, Decatur, IL|
|Midwest IEC||371 Kairns Drive, Crown Point, IN 46307|
|Northern Illinois JATC||619 South Rock, Rockford, IL|
|Oakton Community College — Des Plaines Campus||1600 East Golf Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016|
|Oakton Community College — Skokie Campus||7701 North Lincoln Avenue, Skokie, IL 60077|
|Olney Central College||305 North West Street, Olney, IL 62450|
|Parkland College||2400 West Bradley Ave, Champaign, IL 61821|
|Peoria JATC||707 Northeast Jefferson Avenue, Peoria, IL|
|Prairie State College — Matteson Area Center||4821 Southwick Drive, Matteson, IL 60443|
|Quad City JATC||1700 52nd Ave, Moline, IL|
|Rend Lake College||468 North Ken Gray Parkway, Ina, IL 62846|
|Richland Community College||One College Park, Decatur, IL 62521|
|Rock Valley College — RVC||3301 North Mumford Road, Rockford, IL|
|Sauk Valley Community College||173 Illinois Route 2, Dixon, IL 61021|
|Shawnee Community College||8364 Shawnee College Road, Ullin, IL 62992|
|Southwestern Illinois College — Belleville Campus||2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL 62221|
|Southeastern Illinois College -Harrisburg||3575 College Road, Harrisburg, IL 62946|
|Southwestern Illinois JATC||2000 Mall Street, Collinsville, IL|
|Tech Center of Dupage||301 S Swift Rd, Addison, IL 60101|
|Wabash Valley College||2200 College Drive, Mount Carmel, IL 62863|
To attend a program, you need to:
- Be 18 years old
- Have the physical abilities to do your job
- Means of transportation
- Take a general aptitude exam
- Bring a high school diploma/GED
- Finish a high-school algebra class
You will also need to become a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
If you choose a non-union option, you can complete your training with a non-union contractor in Illinois and find employment that way.
Some of the companies offering programs are:
- Midwest IEC
- IEC Greater Saint Louis (serving Illinois localities in Bridgeton, Missouri)
- ABC-Illinois Chapter (Elk Grove Village, Springfield)
Take the Licensing Exam
The state of Illinois mostly offers electrical contractor certifications, with the exception of Chicago where a journeyman license is required first.
In order to show proof of finishing your apprenticeship hours in your region, take the City of Chicago exam.
The “Supervising Electrician Certification” is the license electricians get in Chicago after they pass an exam.
As a supervising electrician, your activities will be overseen by an electrical contractor.
The electrical contractor must work with a supervising electrician, or meet the qualification himself.
In Chicago, this is the final stage in becoming an electrician if you don’t want to start your own business.
To get certified, you need to:
- Be 21 years old or older
- An electrical experience totaling 2 years
- Passing a test
- Proof you worked under a supervising electrician
You will need to complete a form, after which the certification exam will be scheduled.
The test is managed by the Continental Testing Service.
The certification must be renewed after 1 to 4 years, and you can find info on the City of Chicago site.
Get Certified as an Independent Electrical Contractor
You will need to register in any city you want to work in, and below are the requirements for the biggest counties in the state:
This county requires:
- Be licensed as a supervising electrician in the county
- Apply in person at the Department of Building and Zoning Office
- A Certificate of General Liability up to $1 million
- If your business is a corporation, a copy of your corporation papers with a list of corporate officers is required
- Submit a Child Support Compliance Data Form
Your electrical contractor certification will need to be renewed yearly, and you will be contacted with a few weeks before the deadline.
In this county, you can either work as a sub-contractor or a contractor.
As a contractor, you will be allowed to do technical work in all trades.
As a sub-contractor, you can only do electrical work.
To get licensed, visit the Contractor Registration Information on the county’s official website.
The requirements are below:
- Knowledge of the DuPage County Ordinances, Codes, and Regulations
- The proper registration fee
- The required liability insurance
As a contractor, you need to have the liability insurance listed below:
- General liability – $1 million
- Worker’s compensation and employee liability – Broad form coverage as indicated by law
As a sub-contractor, you need to have the liability insurance listed below:
- General liability insurance
- Worker’s compensation and employee liability
Your certification will need to be renewed once a year.
You will have to complete the Contractor Registration Application on the Will County Building Division page, and meet the below requirements:
- The proper fee
- A Supervising Electrician Certification copy that shows the test date
Your certification will need to be renewed once a year.