How to Become an Electrician in Ohio

The Bureau of Labor says that Ohio is the #5 state in the US for electrician employment. With the right training program, you can get started now.

Education and Training

An online program with open enrollment is the best way to begin the learning process today.

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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What Will You Study?

Foundational Electrical Knowledge:

  • Electrical Theories and Principles:
    • Basic electrical theory covering voltage, current, resistance, transformers, and power.
    • Fundamentals of DC and AC electricity, including specific focus on single phase and 3 phase motors and controls.
    • Technical mathematics for detailed load calculations and advanced problem-solving.

Safety Protocols and Procedures:

  • Comprehensive Safety Training:
    • Field and shop safety practices to prevent workplace accidents.
    • Detailed instruction on electrical safety and jobsite safety protocols.
    • Circuit and personnel protection techniques to enhance safety during electrical operations.

Hands-On Skills and Techniques:

  • Practical Wiring and Installation:
    • Residential and commercial wiring standards and practices.
    • Expertise in pipe bending and conduit management for effective wire routing.
  • Advanced System Installations:
    • Grounding and bonding techniques for services.
    • Installation of feeders and management of separate building connections.

Code Compliance and Systems Management:

  • Regulatory Standards Mastery:
    • In-depth study of the National Electrical Code to ensure compliance across projects.
    • Branch circuit fundamentals, including GFCI and AFCI protection requirements.
  • Electrical System Operations:
    • Operation principles for comprehensive system management.
    • Handling and connection of required outlets, devices, and appliance setups.

Technical Proficiency with Tools and Materials:

  • Tool and Material Use:
    • Mastery in using hand tools and power tools essential for daily tasks.
    • Knowledge of building materials such as conductors, cables, enclosures, cabinets, and terminal devices.

Project Management and Troubleshooting:

  • Effective Project Execution:
    • Skills in project planning and execution to manage electrical installations and maintenance efficiently.
    • Advanced troubleshooting techniques to diagnose and resolve electrical issues swiftly.

Professional Skills and Career Development:

  • Soft Skills and Industry Insight:
    • Development of soft skills for effective communication and professional interaction (optional).
    • Comprehensive understanding of the electrical industry to prepare for diverse career paths.
  • Technical Documentation:
    • Ability to read and interpret construction drawings crucial for project planning and implementation.

Certification Preparation:

  • Career Readiness and Certification:
    • Course challenges and assessments to test comprehensive knowledge and skills.
    • Preparation for national certification exams with provided study materials and exam vouchers.

How Much Does a Program Cost?

Between$2,500 and $5,000 for tuition which usually covers any exam fees.  Some programs include free tools in the cost.

How Long Do They Take?

Courses designed for students with no experience are usually 7 to 12 months. Online programs are usually faster.

Other Local Trade School Programs

Salary Range

Average salary data in the state from major employment sites and the Bureau of Labor:

City and regional numbers from the BLS:

AreaHourlyAnnual
Akron$33.50$69,690.00
Canton-Massillon$33.37$69,410.00
Cincinnati$30.19$62,790.00
Cleveland-Elyria$31.14$64,780.00
Columbus$30.99$64,460.00
Dayton$29.73$61,840.00
Eastern Ohio$29.87$62,130.00
Lima$30.82$64,100.00
Mansfield$27.21$56,590.00
North Northeastern$30.97$64,410.00
Southern Ohio$29.80$61,980.00
Springfield$28.94$60,190.00
Toledo$32.76$68,130.00
West Northwestern$32.06$66,690.00
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman$28.72$59,730.00

Occupation: Electricians (SOC Code472111)

source: data.bls.gov

Interview With an Ohio Electrician

We talk to a young electrician in Ohio and discuss his career journey.

Video Transcription (Abbreviated)

Question:
“Please tell us what your experience has been since high school and what led you into the trades, specifically electrician.”

Answer:
“I did a construction trades career tech at my high school.

A career tech is something that you might take in high school that will advance you into a field of study or a career of some sort.

We had some for nursing, we had some for construction trades, engineering, among other things.

So I had taken engineering in high school, realized it wasn’t my kind of thing, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it going into college.

I wanted to get involved in building things and designed things..and I realized that I liked working with my hands a lot more. It was better for me to do that than stand behind a desk and design.

So I transferred to my construction trade school tech instead, and then through that I met a union carpenter union.

His name was Mr. Bricker, funny enough, and he had introduced me to the electrical trades.”

Question:
“Does the school cost a lot of money?”

Answer:
“It doesn’t cost a lot of money. I think for a year’s worth of tuition, I paid $600. I paid $600 and I paid my union fees on that.

Along with being a part of the union, we get a healthcare package, and retirement fund. We get prescription programs, we get a lot of extra benefits that come with that… we get a credit union, we get a couple different kinds of retirement funds that we can invest into on top of our pension that we get already.

Different locals do different things. Some have a vacation fund set up….
But for the most part it’s very because I’m out of high school right now, I’m 19 years old and I am in my apprenticeship program.

I’m a first year inside electrician as an apprentice. I have roughly 3,200 hours of work that I’ve done so far…

I work five days a week generally, unless I do a bit of overtime in which we can also work weekends if we want, and we get an increase in pay at that time on top of our wage already. So we get time and a half if we work most days.

And then holidays and special occasions like Christmas, Thanksgiving, if you ever work those days…they will pay you double your hourly rate.

Whenever you top out at the end of schooling, you will become what is known as a journeyman.

Journeyman electricians, specifically for where I am make roughly 37 dollars an hour. And then you also get all of your benefits on top of that.

I go to school two days a week. I actually just took my final for one of my classes today.”

Question:
“And where is your school? Is it at a local college?”

Answer:
“It’s called the JATC, Joint Apprenticeship Training Center.

The one I am at is in the Jackson Township area of Ohio.

The way that they do credits..they also work through a community college…I do get college credits on top of it.

If I ever wanted to in the future, I could go to college if I wanted to, but with what I already get, it’s already great to just work with the career that they give me at the end of it.”

Question:
“What’s the message that you would give to students from your school if you went back in there today?”

Answer:
“I like to studying a field and knowing that you can learn practical skills immediately…It’s a very understandable thing, worrying about how it’s going to be in the future for you, knowing that you might be doing a job that you dont like after putting in time and money. That was the one biggest fear I had.

And knowing that when you get into the trades, you are able to do so many different things after finishing it.

It’s not like you just get your license and you can only do that, you can expand your portfolio by a lot and for a lot less of the price than a tuition of a college, frankly. Colleges have their place and they’re amazing for the careers that they provide, but when it comes to needing people to build a house for you, or being able to serve your community in a way…or help friends and family members with the work that you can provide, it’s a very rewarding feeling.

And frankly, it pays well.”

Ohio Requirements

Electrical Licensing

Ohio state seal

To become a licensed electrician in Ohio, you must be 18, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and complete an apprenticeship or training program with 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom instruction.

Verified work experience under a licensed electrician can sometimes substitute for the formal apprenticeship program.

Application

The application process involves submitting proof of your work experience or apprenticeship completion and documentation like transcripts or recommendation letters.

Exam

The exam covers electrical theory, the National Electrical Code (NEC), local building codes, safety protocols, and practical electrical knowledge.

Costs

Costs include an initial application and exam fees totaling around $175, depending on your jurisdiction.

After passing the exam, you must pay a licensing fee ranging from $50 to $150.

Renewals

Licensed electricians must renew their licenses periodically with the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB) every 1 to 3 years, with renewal fees ranging from $60 to $100, depending on the level of licensure.

Journeyman License

The Journeyman electrical license is the first significant milestone in the journey to becoming a licensed electrician in Ohio.

Requirements

In addition to meeting the general electrical licensing requirements, the exam application process involves submitting proof of your work experience or apprenticeship completion and necessary documentation like transcripts or recommendation letters.

Exam

The licensing exam covers electrical theory, the National Electrical Code (NEC), local building codes, safety protocols, and practical electrical knowledge.

Costs

Licensing costs include an initial application and exam fees totaling around $175, depending on your jurisdiction. After passing the exam, you must pay a licensing fee ranging from $50 to $150.

Licensed electricians must renew their licenses periodically with the OCILB every 1 to 3 years, with renewal fees ranging from $60 to $100, depending on the level of licensure.

Master License (Electrical Contractor)

To become a Master Electrician, you need at least five years of vocational experience, three years as a registered electrical engineer, or equivalent experience approved by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB) on top of meeting the general licensing requirements.

You must also carry a minimum of $500,000 in contractor liability insurance.

In addition to possessing a prerequisite Journeyman license, the process involves submitting an application, passing a state and federal background check, and completing the licensing exam. Upon passing, you receive your master’s license, allowing you to operate as an electrical contractor in Ohio.