Electrician Classes in Montana (Top Schools)

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Job Outlook

In 2014, Montana was in the top 5 states with exceptional job growth, and the Montana Department of Labor & Industry expects to see a 21.4% increased demand for electricians between 2014 and 2024.

As an electrician in the State of Montana, expect to be paid $43,467 per year, though the salary can reach $49,531 annually.

By contrast, these salaries are a bit lower than at the national level, with the median one being $47,951 per year, and the highest being $54,640 per year.

Annual Salary Range:
$38K
$43K
$49K

Average Salary of Electricians in Montana

City NameSalary
Billings$45,921
Missoula$39,631
Great Falls$41,573
Bozeman$39,631
Helena$40,351
Kalispell$42,556
Havre$40,854
Anaconda$39,631
Miles City$45,202
Muttte$39,631
* Salary information last updated 2020

Becoming an Electrician

To become an electrician in this state, you need a license from Montana State Electrical Board.

To become a successful electrician in Montana, follow this plan:

  • Become an apprentice
  • Pass the journeyman exam
  • Become a licensed master electrician
  • Get your electrical contractor license

Become an Apprentice

This step means you have to accumulate:

  • 8000 or 4000 hours of experience on the job and 500 hours of classroom education, OR
  • Obtain an associate’s degree and complete either 8000 or 4000 hours of field experience, OR
  • A combination of an approved apprenticeship (training) program and at least 20,000 hours performing electrical maintenance, with 8,000 or 4,000 hours of practical experience.

The 8,000 hours are needed by those who want to become journeymen and 4,000 hours by those who become residential electricians.

No matter where you enroll, you must study the following:

  • Electrical Theory
  • Structured wiring systems
  • National Electrical Code (NEC)
  • Conduit bending
  • Blueprint reading
  • OSHA safety
  • Industrial motor controls
  • Fiber optics
  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)

Apprenticeship Programs

Being an apprentice is the way most electricians become licensed in Montana.

Apprenticeship programs are done through unions or non-unions.

To enroll in a union apprenticeship, you must:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Have a valid Montana driver’s license
  • Show certified copies of your birth certificate and Social Security card
  • Submit your high school diploma or GED transcripts
  • Reside in Montana
  • Pass the electrical trade aptitude test
  • Apply for union membership

To join a non-union based apprenticeship program you won’t have to join any union and the rules are more relaxed.

Technical College

There are just 2 community colleges that offer a program through which you’ll earn an associate’s degree.

Attending the technical college covers the classroom hour instruction needed for the license.

To fulfill the work experience, students may be helped by their school to find an apprenticeship program or they can find one by themselves.

This is a sponsored apprenticeship and it can provide the needed 8,000 or 4,000 hours of work experience.

Students may also find non-unionized employments for the hands-on experience they need for their next step in their careers.

If the person has 20,000 hours of past experience doing maintenance, they already met this work-related requirement.

7 Electrician Schools in Montana

School NameAddress
Flathead Valley College — Main Campus in Kalispell777 Grandview Dr. Kalispell, MT
Flathead Valley College — Lincoln County225 Commerce Way Libby, MT 59923
IEC of MontanaPO Box 6955, Helena, MT 59604
JATC of Helena2616 Bozeman Avenue Helena, MT 59604
Missoula College909 South Ave Missoula, MT
Montana State University — Northern300 13th Street West Havre, MT 59501
Montana Tech1300 West Park Street Butte, MT 59701

Pass the journeyman exam

As mentioned you can get either a journeyman license or a residential electrician license, and we’ll show you what you have to do for each of them

Journeyman License

License requirements:

  • Complete the application
  • Fulfill the education or experience requirement
  • Pay the $240 application fee (to the state board)
  • Pay the $70 examination fee (to PSI Services)
  • Show a copy of your Apprenticeship Completion Certificate
  • Receive a passing score (75%) on the journeyman exam

Refer to the previous section for the education and work experience you need for this license.

If you get accepted for the exam, you’ll have to pay an additional $50 to the state board, for a temporary work permit as a journeyman.

The exam lasts 3 hours, is an open book exam and 60 questions long, that cover the following topics:

  • National Electrical Code (NEC) 2014
  • Ohm’s law
  • Layout and practical installation of electrical circuits

You’ll have to renew your license every 2 years, and this costs $200.

Additionally, you’ll have to continue your education with 16 hours in total, though 8 hours must be spent studying the updated Code.

Residential Electrician License

Requirements:

  • Fill out the application
  • Fulfill the education or experience requirement
  • Pay the $240 application fee (to the state board)
  • Pay the $70 examination fee (to PSI Services)
  • Show a copy of your Apprenticeship Completion Certificate
  • Receive a passing score (75%) on the exam

Refer to the apprenticeship section for the education and work experience you need for this license.

If you’re accepted, you’ll get a temporary work permit as a residential electrician if you pay $50.

The exam lasts 2.5 hours, its 50 questions long and open-book.

These are the covered topics:

  • National Electrical Code (NEC) 2014
  • Ohm’s law
  • Layout and practical installation of electrical circuits

This license gets renewed every 2 years for a $200 fee.

Remember to continue your education as well: 16 hours in total, with 8 hours covering the updates to the Code.

Get a master electrician license

You might want to proceed to the next step, that of being a master electrician.

Requirements:

  • Fill out the application
  • Fulfill the education OR experience requirement
  • Pay the $240 application fee (to the state board)
  • Pay the $80 examination fee (to PSI Services)
  • Attach copies of college transcripts (if you have a degree in electrical engineering)
  • Attached a completed Master Experience Verification Affidavit (if you are applying by experience criteria)
  • Receive a passing score (75%) on the master electrician examination organized by PSI Services

This is the education or experience you need for this license:

  • Education – a degree in electrical engineering AND 2,000 hours of practical experience
  • Experience – at least 8,000 hours of journeyman-level experience (wiring, installing, or repairing electrical apparatus and equipment used for light, heat, and power) and 20 to 50% of the time must be spent on residential work

If you’re accepted, you can register for the exam, which lasts 4 hours, has 80 questions and is open-book.

The topics included are:

  • National Electrical Code (NEC) 2014
  • Cost estimating
  • Procurement and material handling
  • Printreading
  • The layout of electrical circuits
  • Electrical theory

You renew this license the same way as the residential electrician license.

Become Licensed as an Electrical Contractor

In Montana, you can get either a limited or an unlimited electrical contractor license.

A limited electrical contractor can only work on residential constructions of single structures having less than 5 units, while the unlimited electrical contractor can work both on residential and commercial properties.

In Montana, an electrical contractor must have a full-time responsible electrician who is meant to supervise their work.

The type of license the supervisor has determines the type of electrical contractor license you can get.

The requirements for a limited electrical contractor license are:

  • Fill out the application
  • Pay the application fee – $300
  • Attach proof of worker’s compensation coverage
  • Attach proof of unemployment insurance coverage
  • Employ a journeyman, full time

Renew this license every 2 years after paying the $300 renewal fee.

The requirements for the unlimited electrical contractor license are the same as for the limited license, with the exception of the last one where you have to hire a full-time master electrician as a supervisor.

The renewal is the same as for the limited license.

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