How to Become an Electrician in New Jersey

residential electrician working

New Jersey electricians can make over $75K per year.  To start, you’ll need to find state-approved educational and apprenticeship programs that teach you the tools of the trade.

Education and Training

Online programs from local institutions often allow you to enroll right away.

Local Trade School Programs

Search Electrician Programs

Get information on Electrician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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    American Institute Trade School
    Hybrid electrical trades technology program.

    • Paterson, Somerset, Toms River


    Eastwick College
    9 month apprenticeship diploma program with evening classes.

    • Ramsey, Nutley, Hackensack, Paterson


    FORTIS College
    Prepares students for entry level electrician jobs with classes in areas such as Alternating Current Theory, A.C. Motors, and Three Phase Power and Transformers.

    • Lawrenceville, Wayne


    HoHoKus School of Trade & Technical Sciences

    • Paterson


    Lincoln Tech
    52 week Electrical and Electronic Systems Technology diploma program. Morning, afternoon and evening classes.

    • Iselin, Moorestown, Paramus, Newark, Mahwah, South Plainfield


    Pennco Tech
    26 week program with day or evening classes.

    • Blackwood


What You Study

During your studies, your instructors will cover topics like:

Foundational Knowledge:

  • Introduction to Electrical Trades
  • Basic Electrical Concepts:
    • Basic Electrical Theory
    • Basic Electrical Math
  • Introduction to Electrical Theory

Safety Training:

  • General Safety Practices:
    • Safety and Craft Skills
    • Electrical Safety
    • Jobsite Safety
  • Circuit and Personnel Protection

Tools and Techniques:

  • Tool Mastery:
    • Hand Tools
    • Power Tools
  • Materials and Equipment Handling:
    • Building Materials – Conductors and Cables
    • Building Materials – Enclosures and Cabinets
    • Building Materials – Terminal Devices

Systems and Controls:

  • Electrical System Operations:
    • Electrical System Operation Principles
    • AC & DC Motor Control
    • Motor and Industrial Motor Controls
    • Programmable Logic Controls
  • Service and Maintenance Techniques:
    • Service of circuit breakers, lighting fixtures, receptacles, switches, paddle fans, and electric motors
    • Identifying and fixing electrical problems on “service calls”

Applications and Installations:

  • Residential, Commercial, and Low Voltage Applications
  • Specialty Installations:
    • Solar Electric Applications
    • Installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of photovoltaic renewable energy systems

Circuit Design and Protection:

  • Circuit and Breaker Fundamentals:
    • Circuit Breakers & Branch Circuits
    • Branch and feeder circuits with various types of cable and conduit
    • Required Branch Circuits
    • GFCI Protection and Branch Circuits
    • AFCI Protection
    • Required Outlets and Devices

System Design and Construction:

  • Raceways and Cable Management:
    • Raceway Systems & Electrical Construction Drawings
    • Flexible Cables/Conduit Bending and Raceways
  • Comprehensive System Design:
    • Electrical Services & Transformers
    • Overcurrent Protection & Electrical Calculations
    • Electrical System Calculations
  • Emergency and Renewable Energy Systems:
    • Fundamentals of Emergency & Renewable Energy Systems

Professional Development:

  • Customer Service and Soft Skills:
    • 10 lessons on customer service
    • Optional soft skills for the residential electrician
  • Practical Training and Assessment:
    • Instructor-graded assignments
    • Quizzes in each lesson
    • On-the-job scenarios (critical thinking scenarios)
    • Project Planning
    • Troubleshooting
    • Course Challenge

Documentation and Planning:

  • Technical Drawing and Documentation:
    • Construction Drawings
  • Grounding and Bonding Techniques:
    • Grounding and Bonding of Services
    • Feeders and Separate Buildings

Enhanced Learning Tools:

  • 3D Learning Aids:
    • 3D Models including main panel, circuit breaker, DMM, fuses, 3D model walk-throughs, and branch circuit learning check

Workshop Training

Most courses also include a workshop component, where students practice using electrician tools and equipment to install and repair various electrical system models.

How Long is an Electrician Program?

Trade school programs designed for entry level students take roughly 7 to 12 months to complete.  State law requires electricians in NJ to complete a minimum of 576 classroom hours.

Two- and four-year degree programs are also available for those who plan to become master electricians and private contractors.

How Much Do They Cost?

Tuition rates for beginner electrician programs, and those with no prior experience, cost around $2,500 or $5,000.

New Jersey Electrician Requirements

new jersey sealIn order to qualify for electrician jobs in New Jersey, you’ll need to pass a certification exam and obtain an official journeyman electrician license from the state’s Attorney General’s office.

Electrician Apprenticeships

Like other skilled trades professionals, electricians in NJ need to complete years of hands-on training before they can apply for licensure.

Students can find apprenticeship programs through the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development and begin working with licensed electricians.

Hands-On Experience

Aspiring electricians in NJ must also earn at least 8,000 of hands-on industry training through their apprenticeships. It takes most people four years to obtain the required hours, bringing the total education and training time for electricians in NJ to approximately five years.

Apprenticeship Tasks

NJ electrician apprenticeships typically involve:

  • Office duties like answering phones, talking to clients, scheduling house calls
  • Assisting master electricians on job sites
  • Performing supervised installation and repair tasks in homes and businesses

Do Apprentice Electricians Get Paid?

Although circumstances vary by program, most apprentice electricians in NJ earn a regular paycheck for their services. Others provide tuition assistance or reimbursement to cover the costs of your schooling.

Check with your potential supervisors to learn about their payment and financial aid policies.

Applying for a Journeyman License

Aspiring electricians in NJ must register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and submit the following to receive their credentials:

  1. Proof of identification showing that you are at least 18 years of age
  2. A copy of your high school diploma or GED
  3. Payment of the state’s initial licensing fee
  4. A passport-style photo taken within the past six months
  5. A completed Application for a Certificate of Registration to Practice as a Qualified Journeyman Electrician form detailing your qualifications, such as:
    1. Personal information
    2. A signed and notarized affidavit agreeing to a criminal background check
    3. Completion of a minimum of 576 hours of classroom instruction
    4. At least 8,000 documented work experience hours
    5. Work experience certification form, to be filled out by your apprenticeship supervisor

Once the Attorney General’s office processes your application, you’ll receive a certification card confirming your status as a registered journeyman electrician. You can then qualify for electrician jobs in New Jersey.

Electrical Contractor License

After a year of working as a certified journeyman electrician in NJ, you can log into your Division of Consumer Affairs account and register to take the electrical contractor licensing exam.

The state’s Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors proctors this exam to measure each applicant’s knowledge and expertise.

Test Registration

To register for this test, you’ll need to submit the following:

  • A driver’s license or state-issued ID, signifying that you are at least 21 years of age
  • A completed Application for Examination form
  • Payment of the $100 exam fee

You’ll need to achieve a 70 percent score or higher to pass this test and obtain your electrical contractor license.

Salary Range

Average salary survey using top employment websites:

Below are numbers for a few areas of the state according to BLS data.

Area Hourly Annual
Atlantic City-Hammonton $34.67 $72,110.00
Ocean City $28.55 $59,380.00
Trenton $42.29 $87,970.00
Vineland-Bridgeton $38.99 $81,100.00

Occupation: Electricians (SOC Code472111)

source: data.bls.gov

Those working for local electric companies might have salaries in the $70k to $75k range. Meanwhile, government contracts and construction jobs might pay closer to $90k or more.

Job Description


Electrician jobs in New Jersey require a combination of critical thinking skills, physical stamina, and focused attention to detail. Depending on the customer’s needs, an electrician may need to perform any or all of the following tasks:

  • Installing electrical systems, light fixtures, security cameras, and outlets
  • Repairing damaged powerlines
  • Working with builders and architects to wire a new build
  • Testing and maintaining backup generators in hospitals, schools, and businesses
  • Restoring power to buildings after storms and outages

Career Outlook

As more journeyman electricians in NJ earn their master electrician credentials and start their own businesses, the need for electricians will likely increase. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the demand for these skilled trades professionals to grow by seven percent within the next decade.

Search Electrician Programs

Get information on Electrician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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