How to Become an Electrician in Washington, D.C.
Are you interested in a hands-on career that requires in-depth knowledge of how electrical systems function? If so, becoming an electrician may be the right choice for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the electrician trade in Washington, D.C., will grow by 11.4 percent from 2014 to 2024. While this may not seem like much, this career field sees 30 job openings per year in D.C. alone.[En Español]
Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in Washington, D.C.
While some states have similar requirements for earning your license as an electrician, these requirements will vary slightly depending on location. In Washington, D.C., licensing is mandatory for apprentices, journeyman, and master electricians. The District of Columbia Board of Industrial Trades, which is part of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, provides the rules and regulations to earn licensing.
To apply for your license as a limited/low voltage master electrician or journeyman electrician, you must have worked as an apprentice electrician for at least 8,000 hours over four years. Additionally, you are required to have a degree in electrical engineering from an accredited college or university and the ability to show at least two years of practical experience in electrical work. This work experience will need to be certified by a licensed master electrician.
If you did not attend an accredited college or university, you still have other options to apply for your limited/low voltage master electrician or journeyman electrician license. These options include the ability to show comparable experience, or a combination of education and experience that the Board deems equivalent to a college degree, as well as any additional evidence as the Board determines is necessary. The Board is also willing to accept a certificate from a nationally recognized trade organization or labor union, certifying that you have passed the organization’s required examination and that you are designated by the organization as a journeyman electrician. Records must also show that you have not been disciplined or otherwise disqualified by the organization.
Those seeking to apply for their license as a master electrician must meet the requirements above and also have worked as a journeyman electrician for at least four years.
Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in Washington, D.C.
If you want to be successful at this career, there will be footwork involved. Joining an apprenticeship program is a great way to get the experience you need to progress within this field.
The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) of Washington, D.C. is comprised of representatives from Local Union 26 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and representatives from the Washington D.C. Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). If accepted into this apprenticeship program, you will be placed to work for a contractor of Local Union 26 IBEW. Through this program, you will complete both on-the-job training hours, as well as classroom-related instruction hours.
To apply, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Show proof of a passing grade in algebra 1 or GED equivalent
- Be a high school graduate or have a GED
- Provide a photo ID
- Pass an aptitude test
There is no cost for tuition, and programs are offered for completion within three or five years.
Washington, D.C. Schools for Electricians
In addition to an apprenticeship, you can go to a college or university to gain the experience and classroom hours required to apply for your electrician license. Below are some colleges in Washington D.C. that offer courses in electrical technology:
- Brightwood College offers an Electrical Technician undergraduate certificate that takes 12 months to complete. Tuition and fees amount to $21,023. Campuses are located in Towson, Beltsville and Baltimore, MD.
- Lincoln Tech offers an undergraduate certificate in Electrical and Electronics Systems Technology, which takes 47 weeks to complete. The total cost for tuition and fees total $21,919. The nearest campus to Washington D.C. is located about 49 minutes away in Columbia, MD.
Outlook and Salary Expectations
By 2024, according to the BLS, a total of 140 new jobs will be added to the electrician trade in Washington, D.C. If you’re thinking about solving electrical issues for a living in our nation’s capital, you can look forward to an average annual salary of $77,330. Top earners in this field in D.C. make more than $100,000 per year.
Salaries in DC by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Hourly Wage 10th Percentile||Hourly Wage 25th Percentile||Hourly Wage 75th Percentile||Hourly Wage 90th Percentile||Mean Annual Salary||Annual Salary 10th Percentile||Annual Salary 25th Percentile||Annual Salary 75th Percentile||Annual Salary 90th Percentile|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment||180||$40.48||$31.86||$33.61||$48.94||$50.23||$84,200||$66,270||$69,900||$101,790||$104,470|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay||**||$41.62||$24.20||$36.85||$48.16||$54.24||$86,580||$50,330||$76,650||$100,170||$112,820|
Electrician Salaries in DC by Region
|Area||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Hourly Wage 10th Percentile||Hourly Wage 25th Percentile||Hourly Wage 75th Percentile||Hourly Wage 90th Percentile||Mean Annual Salary||Annual Salary 10th Percentile||Annual Salary 25th Percentile||Annual Salary 75th Percentile||Annual Salary 90th Percentile|
Working as an Electrician in Washington, D.C.
The electrician trade will undoubtedly see growth in the near future. If you want to be part of that growth, D.C. could be an ideal place to start. Working here puts you on the pulse of the nation and gives you an opportunity to interact with diverse groups of people, as D.C. sees tens of millions of tourists each year. If you like to put your critical thinking skills to work and you appreciate doing the handiwork to go along with it, you should consider entering this career field to find a potential match for your interests.