How to Become an Electrician in Florida
If you live in Florida, now is a good time to become an electrician. Florida is one of the top three states in terms of employment levels for electricians.
There are currently more than 41,000 Floridian electricians and, with the right education, you can become one of them. Are you ready to find out how?
Training & Education
There are three mains steps to become an electrician which:
- Complete an Apprenticeship
- Become a Journeyman
- Become a Master Electrician
Step 1. Complete an Apprenticeship
During your apprenticeship, you will learn the craft of an electrician. As part of a registered electrician apprenticeship in Florida, you learn on the job alongside master electricians and journeymen. At the same time, you can earn a salary that typically increases every year. Additionally, you’ll have to attend classes once or twice a week as part of your apprenticeship.
There are more than 200 registered apprenticeships in Florida! These are broken down into union and nonunion opportunities. For example, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is a union of electrical workers. It has teamed up with the NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) to develop excellent apprenticeships.
Florida also has a number of excellent nonunion apprenticeship training programs. Nonunion apprenticeships are available free of tuition in Florida. However, you may need to buy books associated with individual programs.
Requirements to obtain an apprenticeship vary according to each program and depending on whether they are union or nonunion programs.
Here are some of the common requirements held by most apprenticeship programs:
- Completion of a high school diploma or equivalent
- Age 18 years old
- Physically able to handle this demanding job
- Employed through union member contractors
To complete the program, you have to meet the requirements. Let’s consider an ABC Electrician Apprenticeship, with the following requirements:
- 4-year apprenticeship
- Classroom training twice per week
- 8,000 hours of experience
The Florida Electrical Apprenticeship & Training (FEAT) program is another electrician apprentice training in Florida. FEAT boasts 200 participating employers.
Technical Trade School or College Option
Many community colleges have electrician programs that allow you to fulfill the classroom portion of your apprenticeship. Generally, you’ll be more valuable to potential employers with an increase in your skillset, including theoretical and practical skills. Additionally, you can seek out an internship so that you can work throughout your schooling.
Step 2. Pass the Licensing Exam for Journeyman Electrician
It’s very exciting to progress to the second stage of your training. After you pass the licensing exam, you will no longer be an apprentice. Instead, you will advance to the journeyman level.
Local municipalities have their own licensing rules and Florida has no statewide regulations. Therefore, it’s important to train in the area where you wish to complete your apprenticeship and journeyman training and the final steps to become a master electrician.
Below, we provide the requirements for a few municipalities to give you an idea of what might be required in your area.
To earn a license in Miami-Dade, you work from the county’s Construction Trade Qualifying Board (CTQB). After you successfully pass the Certificate of Competency, you become a journeyman.
To take the journeyman exam, you will need:
- Proof that you have 3 years‘ experience of on-the-job training under a licensed Master contractor.
- Diplomas and education can cover up to 18 months of this experience.
- Passing score of 75% on the Journeyman examination
Some Florida counties have reciprocity agreements with Miami-Dade. That means that you can contact the county in which you want to ply your trade, and, depending on whether it has a reciprocity agreement with Miami Dade County, you can apply for a journeyman license there as well.
Journeymen must have 16 hours of continuing education per term of their license to maintain their licensure.
In Hillsborough County, the requirements to sit for the journeyman exam are slightly different, as follows:
- Six years’ experience as an apprentice OR
- Four years as an apprentice AND completion of an approved apprenticeship program
- Passing score of 75%
When you pass the Journeyman exam and receive your Certificate of Competency.
Step 3. Pass the Master Electrician Exam
By increasing your skills, you make steady progress on your way to becoming a master electrician in Florida. Employment doors open and you can look forward to lucrative pay based on your experience. As a master electrician, you have shown that you understand both the National Electrical Code and local regulations regarding electrical work in your municipality.
As a Master Electrician in Florida, you also gain supervisory privileges. This means that you can oversee financials and field work at every worksite. Again, requirements vary by jurisdiction, so we have provided some examples below.
In Miami-Dade, the Construction Trades Qualifying Board handles the qualification of master electricians. At a minimum, the following requirements must be met:
- Passing score 75% on the test
The test has 75 questions, and you have three hours to take it. The questions consist of business and technical scenarios.
To become a master electrician in Broward County you need seven years of experience, including:
- Three years as a Journeyman
- Board may consider your vocational education subject to board review
- Passing score of 75%
- You have four hours to take the technical portion of the exam and two hours to take the business portion of the exam
Step 4. Evaluate Becoming an Electrical Contractor
Now, it’s time to enjoy being your own boss. However, with great power comes great responsibilities, as the saying goes. The Electrical Contractor’s Licensing Board handles certified and registered license requests from master electricians. To obtain the certified license, you have to pass the state exam and have your competency approved by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). If you become a registered licensee, your work is limited to certain jurisdictions.
Although it is more expensive to become registered by the state, it will increase your ability to take on additional work. Studying the exam details can help you better understand the process.
Take a look at the list of schools below to determine which program will give you the best start to meet your career goals.