How to Become an Electrician in Delaware
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that demand for qualified electricians in Delaware is growing rapidly. Between 2018 and 2028 the number of positions for electricians in the state is expected to increase by as much as 10 percent. For a young person willing to go through training and classroom time to learn the trade, becoming an electrician in Delaware is a smart, lucrative and stable job opportunity. [En Español]
Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in Delaware
To do any electrical work in Delaware you must be licensed through the State Board of Electrical Examiners. Your first step will be to get licensed as an electrical apprentice. This allows you to work and earn required hours of hands-on experience as you go through an apprenticeship. To qualify you must be enrolled in an approved program.
Once you have completed an apprenticeship program you can apply for a journeyperson license. If you have a certificate of completion from an approved program you will not have to take the journeyperson exam. If you do not, you will have to apply for the license by examination. To apply by examination you must show that you have a minimum of 8,000 hours of on-the-job work experience and pass the journeyperson exam.
After working as a journeyman for a period of time you can apply for a license as an electrician. There are four different types of electrician licenses in the state: master, limited, master special and limited special. For all levels you have to pass an examination. Each one has specific work experience requirements as well. These include six years for a master electrician and three years for a limited electrician license. For the master special and limited special license, the six and three years must be in the specific areas of expertise.
Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in Delaware
The most common option for preparing to be an apprentice electrician in the state is to enroll in an approved apprenticeship program. These may be union or non-union programs and they include all the required classroom hours and work experience hours needed to become a journeyperson upon completion. Those who finish one of these programs will not have to take the journeyman test.
The largest union program in Delaware is offered by the Local 313 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in combination with the National Electrical Contractors Association in the form of the Electrical Training Alliance. The Alliance offers the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) program for young people interested in becoming electricians. To qualify to enroll you must be at least 18, have a GED or high school diploma, have passed algebra I, have transportation and be able to pass an aptitude test.
For a non-union apprenticeship program students can choose the Independent Electrical Contractors of Chesapeake Bay. The Electrical Apprenticeship Training Program takes four years to complete and prepares students for the journeyperson license. It has similar enrollment requirements to the union programs.
Delaware Schools for Electricians
An apprenticeship program in Delaware will provide you with all the requirements you need to become licensed, but it is not the only path to becoming an electrician. You can also complete a community college or trade school program in electrical technology or electronics engineering to get the required classroom hours, but you will also need to partner with an electrical contractor to work as an apprentice and get the 8,000 hours required. Some schools to consider include:
- University of Delaware, Newark. For students who want to earn a four-year degree, the University of Delaware offers a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. This gives you the flexibility to continue with a career as an electrician or to go into engineering and related fields.
- Delaware Skills Center, New Castle. The Delaware Skills Center offers a quicker path to being qualified to apprentice as an electrician. The electrical trades program includes 420 hours of classroom work and prepares students to begin earning work experience hours as apprentices.
- Delaware State University, Dover. This school also offers a four-year bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technology. The program prepares students for a variety of careers in electronics, including an apprenticeship with an electrician.
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Outlook and Salary Expectations
Job growth is strong for electricians around the country, and Delaware is no exception. According to the BLS there were 2,250 electricians working in the state in 2018, and there are expected to be 2,480 by 2028 – a big increase. It’s a small state with a small population, but there will be more opportunities for qualified electricians in the coming years.
Salaries are competitive too, with an average annual income of $55,340 in 2019. That year the top earners in the field made $92,220. These were the experienced, master electricians with years on the job, as well as owners of electrical contracting companies.
Salaries in Delaware by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Wage||Annual Salary 10th Percentile||Annual Salary 25th Percentile||Annual Salary 75th Percentile||Annual Salary 90th Percentile|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment||240||$32.21||$66,990||$52,730||$60,220||$75,240||$81,280|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay||60||$41.72||$86,770||$61,900||$83,600||$97,650||$101,870|
|Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers||420||$35.84||$74,550||$36,710||$65,770||$91,540||$99,170|
Electrician Salaries in Delaware by Region
|Area||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Mean Annual Salary||Hourly Wage 10th Percentile||Hourly Wage 25th Percentile||Hourly Wage 75th Percentile||Hourly Wage 90th Percentile|
Working as an Electrician in Delaware
The job opportunities in Delaware for trained electricians are numerous and will continue to grow. You can expect to find available jobs in commercial and residential buildings, with independent contractors who hire other electricians, with construction companies and developers, and also have the opportunity to become a contractor and start your own business.
Organizations You Should Know
- IBEW Local 313, New Castle
- Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Delaware Chapter
- IEC, Chesapeake
See also the neighbor states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and New York.
How much do electricians earn in the state of Delaware?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of Delaware made an average of $58,460 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $35,000 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $92,220.