How to Become an Electrician in Alabama

An electrician works exclusively on the electrical wiring of buildings, machines and equipment. They may install new wiring or repair existing electrical systems. The job field for electricians is steadily growing nationally. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the state of Alabama should see a 12-percent increase of electricians working there by the year 2024. [En Español]

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Becoming an Electrician in Alabama is not entirely difficult, although it does take time. Taking electrician classes in addition to working as an apprentice will count toward work experience and shorten the time you will be required to work to become licensed as a journeyman electrician.

Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in Alabama

Electrician licensing and training requirements vary by state. In Alabama, you can become licensed as either a journeyman or a contractor. The designation of master electrician does not exist in Alabama and, and such, there are no Alabama master electrician license requirements. Journeyman and contractor licenses can be obtained through the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board.

Before becoming licensed as a journeyman electrician, you must first work as an apprentice under a licensed electrician on an Alabama Board-approved apprenticeship training program. Pay for an apprentice is reported by Indeed.com as at December 2020 as $16.28 hourly, with an average yearly salary of $32,560. As you gain experience and training, your salary may increase. You must work for a minimum 8,000 hours as an apprentice plus complete 576 education hours before applying for a journeyman license. Or, if you complete a two-year technical program, that will count for one year of experience and your education hours, leaving you with 6,000 hours to work as an apprentice. If you do not want to attend a technical school, you can enter an apprenticeship program.

Once you’ve completed and shown proof of your required hours as an apprentice, you can apply through the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board to take the journeyman exam. The exam fee is $115.00, and you are given four hours to complete the 80-question exam. The 2014 National Electric Code and American Electricians Handbook may be used for reference. If you pass the exam you will need to pay a $35.00 licensing fee, and then your Alabama state electrical license must be renewed annually.

After you have worked for some time as a journeyman, you may wish to become an independent contractor and start your own electrical business. To do this, you will need a contractor’s license. You will be required to show proof of 8,000 hours of work experience, but supervisory experience is also required. Furthermore, only hours doing commercial, residential and industrial work count. As with a journeyman license, you will need to apply through the Board before taking the contractors exam. The exam fee is $165.00. Five hours are allowed for the contractor’s exam, which consists of 110 questions that will test your knowledge of the Alabama electrical code. The 2014 National Electric Code, the American Electricians Handbook, Contractors Guide to Business, Law and Project Management and Alabama Electrical Contractors Supplement to the Contractors Guide are all permitted as references for this exam. A contractor’s license costs $200 and must be renewed annually. Contractors are also required to show proof of continued education to renew their license. See a list of continuing education providers in Alabama.

Alabama journeyman and contractor’s licenses are reciprocal in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. This means if you have an electricians license in any of these states, you can use it to apply for a local electrical license and not have to meet the local apprenticeship conditions.

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Apprenticeship Programs

If you decide to go straight into work as an apprentice without completing a technical program, you have two options: union or non-union apprenticeship. If you choose union, you will need to apply through a local Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC) to find a contractor to work under. You will also need to be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, have passed high school algebra, hold a valid drivers license, have dependable transportation, pass an aptitude test and complete an interview. The larger JATCs in Alabama are the North Alabama Electrical JATC (NALJTAC), Birmingham Electrical JATC (BEJATC), Mobile Electricians JATC (MEJATC) and Montgomery Alabama Electricians, IBEW Local 443. All of these are affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union. If none of these are near you, you may still be able to find a local chapter close to your area. A lot of unions will also require monthly membership dues.

Going the non-union route means you would be responsible for finding a non-union, independent contractor to apprentice under. The Central Alabama Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC), the ABC of Alabama Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors and the Construction Education Foundation Alabama (CEFA) in Birmingham are good places for non-union electricians to look for work. As with a union, you still must meet requirements to work as an apprentice. These include being at least 18 years old, having a diploma or GED, being able to pass a basic math and reading exam, passing a background check and drug screen, and having a valid driver’s license and transportation.

Electrician Programs in Alabama

If you choose to enroll in a technical program before working as an apprentice, this will cover your education hours as well as knock off up to one year (2,000 hours) of the required work experience needed to become a journeyman.

There are several technical and community colleges that have electrical technology programs in Alabama. Here are a few:

  • Lawson State Community College. Lawson State is in Birmingham. With both the Birmingham JATC and CEFA located in the city, Lawson State would be an ideal choice as you will be highly likely to find an apprenticeship job after you complete the program. The classes are small, generally between 10 and 20 students. Students are taught the basic electrical terms and concepts and will become familiar with the tools and materials needed to work as an electrician. This is a one-year certificate program.
  • Wallace Community College. Located in Dothan, Wallace’s electrical technology program is a two-year short certificate program. This program teaches basic electricity, basic wiring and technical communications, and prepares students to apply these skills working as a residential, commercial or industrial electrician. This program has accreditation through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).
  • Shelton State Community College. Shelton State CC is in Tuscaloosa, also home to the University of Alabama. At Shelton State you can opt to complete either a certificate program or an associate in applied science degree. Students receive classroom instruction and then apply what they have learned in labs. The certificate program consists of 58 credit hours and the AAS degree program consists of 76 credit hours.
  • Coastal Alabama Community College. Coastal Alabama Community College has campus locations in Atmore, Bay Minette, Brewton, Fairhope, Gilbertown, Gulf Shores, Jackson, Monroeville and Thomasville. CACC offers a one-year certificate program in electrical technology as well as an associate degree program in construction electricity technology, which also takes one year to complete.

Outlook and Salary Expectations

In 2018, there were 9,720 electricians working in the state of Alabama. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from that same year, electrician job growth should be at least 8% in the state for the ten year period to 2028, equivalent to an extra 1,250 electrician jobs in Alabama.

So, how much do electricians make in Alabama? According to the BLS, electricians in the state earned an average $22.24 an hour and $46,260 yearly in 2019. Nationally, electricians make an average of $56,180 per year. With experience and licensing, electricians in Alabama have the potential to make as much as $64,740 a year. With a steady growth rate in this field and many opportunities for education, union and non-union apprenticeships, the career outlook for electricians in Alabama is positive. The IBEW pay scale for Alabama is nationally agreed.

Salaries in Alabama by Occupation 2019

OccupationTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual WageAnnual Salary 10th PercentileAnnual Salary 25th PercentileAnnual Salary 75th PercentileAnnual Salary 90th Percentile
Electricians9,760$22.83$47,490$31,640$37,220$56,840$64,740
Helpers--Electricians1,890$13.49$28,050$20,370$23,170$32,220$37,510
Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment150$22.77$47,360$36,390$41,210$50,390$64,570
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment1,350$28.02$58,280$37,510$45,720$71,160$79,600
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay840$37.24$77,460$52,410$64,840$93,890$100,260
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers3,170$33.48$69,640$38,490$57,050$83,450$96,470

Electrician Salaries in Alabama by Region 2019

AreaTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual SalaryHourly Wage 10th PercentileHourly Wage 25th PercentileHourly Wage 75th PercentileHourly Wage 90th Percentile
Columbus, GA-AL230$23.26$48,370$15.46$18.96$27.96$30.17
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL170$22.81$47,440$14.90$18.67$26.83$29.94
Auburn-Opelika, AL270$18.75$39,010$13.45$15.85$22.11$24.38
Birmingham-Hoover, AL2,320$22.84$47,520$15.81$18.68$27.09$30.86
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL260$22.22$46,210$15.58$17.69$27.07$29.09
Decatur, AL460$23.73$49,370$15.81$17.48$26.85$42.13
Dothan, AL230$21.60$44,920$13.51$15.75$26.58$29.39
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL550$23.09$48,040$15.18$16.75$28.83$39.49
Gadsden, AL210$24.26$50,460$15.89$19.15$26.03$41.76
Huntsville, AL1,080$23.54$48,960$14.74$18.80$28.56$31.28
Mobile, AL1,900$23.01$47,870$15.32$18.08$27.84$30.79
Montgomery, AL610$21.63$44,990$14.84$17.30$23.98$30.39
Tuscaloosa, AL520$25.05$52,110$16.67$19.06$29.31$34.31

Working as an Electrician in Alabama

Electrician jobs in the state of Alabama are on the rise. Although it does take time to become a licensed journeyman or contractor, the salary and ample job opportunities are worth it. Working as an apprentice will help get your foot in the door. Independent contractors or construction companies are great places to begin looking for work, as well as larger contractors such as the Alabama Electric Company in Dothan or North Alabama Electric in Decatur. With training, experience and licensing you could eventually be an independent contractor and even run your own business. If you are willing to put in the time and effort, a career as an electrician in Alabama could be a rewarding job for you.

Organizations You Should Know

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College Programs

Birmingham-Hoover, AL Area

Bevill State Community College

1411 Indiana Avenue, Jasper, Alabama 35501
(205) 387-0511
Electrical Systems Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Systems Technology – Associate Program

Bevill State Community College offers various Certificate program options for future opticians, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Jasper, AL. Most of the school’s 3,619 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $4,766 and for students from other states around $8,574 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,200, depending on the program.

Fortis Institute-Birmingham

100 London Pkwy Ste 150, Birmingham, Alabama 35211
(205) 940-7800 x4911
Electrician – Certificate Program

Fortis Institute’s Certificate program in Electrician is taught at their Birmingham campus in the city of Birmingham, AL. Most of the school’s 454 students are on 2-year programs. Fees for tuition are about $14,220 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $838, depending on the program.

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus

3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, Alabama 35221-1717
(205) 925-2515
Electronics/Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

The Electronics/Electrical Technology Certificate program in Electronics/Electrical Technology at Lawson State Community College is offered at their Birmingham campus in the city of Birmingham, AL. Most of the school’s 3,172 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $4,440 and for students from other states around $8,010 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,600, depending on the program.

Dothan, AL Area

George C Wallace State Community College-Dothan

1141 Wallace Drive, Dothan, Alabama 36303-9234
(334) 983-3521
Industrial Electricity Concentration – Certificate Program, Electrical Technology – Associate Program

George C Wallace State Community College offers various Certificate program options for future opticians, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their Dothan campus in Dothan in Houston County. This public college has round 4,769 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be around $4,380 and for out-of-state students likely to be about $7,950 yearly. Books and supplies can cost about $1,900, although this will depend on the program.

Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL Area

Northwest-Shoals Community College

800 George Wallace Blvd, Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35661
(256) 331-5200
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Technology at Northwest-Shoals Community College is offered at their campus in the city of Muscle Shoals. The majority of of the school’s 3,700 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually about $4,411 and for students from other states in the order of $7,921 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,750, depending on the program.

Gadsden, AL Area

Gadsden State Community College

1001 George Wallace Dr, Gadsden, Alabama 35903
(256) 549-8200
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

Gadsden State Community College’s Certificate-level Electrical Technology program is based at their campus in the city of Gadsden, AL. The college has about 5,018 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $3,600 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $6,456 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $1,500, although this will vary with the program.

Huntsville, AL Area

J F Drake State Community and Technical College

3421 Meridian St N, Huntsville, Alabama 35811
(256) 539-8161
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

J F Drake State Community and Technical College’s Certificate program is taught at their campus in the city of Huntsville. Most of the school’s 996 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $4,410 and for out-of-state students approximately $7,980 annually. Study materials can cost around $2,000, depending on the program chosen.

John C Calhoun State Community College

6250 U S Highway 31 N, Tanner, Alabama 35671
(256) 306-2500
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Technology – Associate Program

John C Calhoun State Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Tanner in Limestone County. The majority of of the school’s 9,985 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is in the order of $4,520 and for students from outside the state around $8,090 per year. Books and supplies can cost in the order of $1,500, although this will depend on the program. Employment opportunities include companies in the fields of electrical construction (residential & commercial), cable TV, lineman, power production, instrumentation, and industrial maintenance electrician. Career opportunities in the Tanner area include: Nucor, ICE Electrical Contractors, Goss Electric, and 3M.

Mobile, AL Area

Bishop State Community College

351 North Broad Street, Mobile, Alabama 36603-5898
(251) 405-7000
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Technology at Bishop State Community College is offered at their campus in the city of Mobile. This public college has in the order of 3,111 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is in the order of $4,440 and for students from outside the state around $8,010 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,500, although this will vary with the program.

Montgomery, AL Area

H Councill Trenholm State Community College

1225 Air Base Blvd, Montgomery, Alabama 36108-3199
(334) 420-4200
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Technology – Associate Program

H Councill Trenholm State Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in the city of Montgomery, AL. Most of the school’s 1,401 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually around $4,350 and for out-of-state students in the order of $7,920 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,800, although this will vary with the program.

J F Ingram State Technical College

5375 Ingram Rd, Deatsville, Alabama 36022
(334) 285-5177 x3249
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

J F Ingram State Technical College offers various Certificate program options for future professionals. Classes are taken at their campus in Deatsville in Elmore County, Alabama. The majority of of the school’s 422 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition is in the order of $4,968 yearly. Study materials can cost about $612, depending on the program chosen.

Southwest Alabama Nonmetropolitan Area Area

George C Wallace State Community College-Selma

3000 Earl Goodwin Parkway, Selma, Alabama 36703-2808
(334) 876-9227
Electrician – Certificate Program, Electrician – Associate Program

George C Wallace State Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their Selma campus in the town of Selma, Alabama. Most of the school’s 1,591 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $4,140 and for out-of-state students approximately $7,710 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,875, although this will depend on the program.

Jefferson Davis Community College

220 Alco Dr, Brewton, Alabama 36426
(251) 867-4832
Construction Electricity – Certificate Program

Jefferson Davis Community College offers various Certificate program options for future opticians. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Brewton, AL. The majority of of the school’s 1,098 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $4,088 and for out-of-state students approximately $7,598 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,600, although this will depend on the program.

Tuscaloosa, AL Area

Shelton State Community College

9500 Old Greensboro Rd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405-8522
(205) 391-2211
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Technology – Associate Program

Shelton State Community College offers various Certificate program options for future opticians, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Tuscaloosa. The college has roughly 4,834 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually around $4,189 and for out-of-state students in the order of $7,759 per year. Books and supplies can cost in the order of $2,100, although this will depend on the program.

* College accredition status and tuition fees and are, to our best knowledge, correct at the time of writing, and sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Check all details directly with college before applying.

Neighbor States

See also the neighbor states of Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida.

FAQs

How much do electricians earn in the state of Alabama?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of Alabama made an average of $47,490 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $31,640 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $64,740.