How to Become an Electrician in Indiana
An exciting career choice for a young person in Indiana is to work toward becoming an electrician. This is a career that involves interesting, hands-on work that changes by the day. It’s also a stable career in the state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for electricians are increasing at a rate of nearly 15 percent, which is much faster than average job growth. With classroom work, apprenticeship training and the appropriate licensing, you can become an engineer within a few years.[En Español]
Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in Indiana
Indiana is unique in that it does not have a statewide licensing board for electricians. To work in the state you have to apply for a license at the county or city level. For instance, in Indianapolis electricians apply through the city’s Department of Business and Neighborhood Services. The city licenses residential electricians, who can work only on residential buildings, and master electricians, who have no restrictions.
Applicants in Indianapolis must supply reference letters from employers and past customers and copies of any degrees, certificates or licenses. They then have to be interviewed and pass an exam. Other cities have similar requirements. Electricians can apply for licensing through the City of South Bend Building Department or in Evansville through the Building Commission. Because requirements are similar, it is not difficult to get licensed in multiple areas of the state.
In order to be able to meet the requirements in each city or county, you first need to go through a training program and get hands-on work experience. A degree program at a technical college plus an apprenticeship or a union or non-union apprenticeship program can provide you with all the resources you will need to qualify for licensing throughout the state. Most cities require around 150 hours of classroom learning and four to six years of job experience.
Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in Indiana
An electrical apprenticeship program includes both classroom work, usually in the evenings, and daytime paid work as an apprentice with a master electrician to learn the trade and gain the needed hours of work experience. There are several union programs in the state, which are offered through local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union (IBEW):
- IBEW Local 305, Fort Wayne
- IBEW Local 481, Indianapolis
- IBEW Local 16, Wabash County
- IBEW Local 153, South Bend
- IBEW Local 725, Terre Haute
- IBEW Local 855, Muncie
- IBEW Local 873, Kokomo
- IBEW Local 668, Lafayette
These Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) programs take five years to complete. Requirements to enroll include being 18 or older, having a high school diploma or GED, having a valid driver’s license, passing a general aptitude test that includes algebra, and living in the jurisdiction of the JATC.
There are also a few non-union apprenticeship programs through the Independent Electrical Contractors in Indianapolis, Southern Indiana and Crown Point. These programs are similar to those offered by the IBEW chapters with classroom hours, apprenticeship hours and the same general requirements for enrolling.
Indiana Schools for Electricians
The most direct route to becoming an electrician in Indiana is to enroll in one of the apprenticeship programs, but it is not the only one. You can also choose to earn a degree in electrical technology or engineering to get the required classroom hours and then partner with a local electrician to get the needed hours of work experience.
- Ivy Tech Community College, Indianapolis and Bloomington. Ivy Tech has a two-year degree program in electrical engineering technology, which prepares students for a variety of related careers. This degree can be used to work toward becoming an electrician or to get entry-level jobs in technical fields.
- Vincennes University, Vincennes. Vincennes offers four different two-year degrees in electronics, including electronics technician. This degree can lead to an entry-level position as a technician and provides the classroom learning necessary to begin apprenticing with a master electrician.
Outlook and Salary Expectations
Careers for electricians in Indiana are growing at a fast rate. The BLS reports that in 2014 there were 17,460 electricians employed in the state and that by 2024 that number would increase to 20,010. That means there will be more than 2,500 new jobs and opportunities for young electricians training right now.
If you become an electrician in Indiana you can expect to earn a good living. This is skilled work that not anyone can do, and the salaries are commensurate with training. In 2017, the average annual salary for an electrician in the state was $58,850. But, the top earners in the state were making an average of $82,650 that year.
Salaries in Indiana 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 Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment||320||$24.86||$15.70||$18.51||$29.65||$32.62||$51,720||$32,660||$38,500||$61,670||$67,850|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment||1,220||$23.97||$15.16||$17.85||$29.54||$34.69||$49,860||$31,530||$37,120||$61,440||$72,160|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay||630||$34.80||$26.04||$29.89||$39.55||$45.50||$72,370||$54,160||$62,180||$82,250||$94,640|
|Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers||2,390||$30.36||$17.53||$22.83||$37.98||$44.13||$63,150||$36,460||$47,490||$79,000||$91,790|
Electrician Salaries in Indiana 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|
|Fort Wayne, IN||1,060||$26.65||$15.15||$19.50||$34.14||$37.91||$55,430||$31,510||$40,560||$71,010||$78,860|
|Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN||400||$29.95||$18.41||$23.37||$36.65||$39.23||$62,290||$38,290||$48,610||$76,230||$81,590|
|Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN||3,020||$27.13||$16.93||$21.06||$33.47||$37.10||$56,430||$35,210||$43,810||$69,610||$77,170|
|Michigan City-La Porte, IN||100||$33.04||$17.42||$23.17||$42.14||$47.30||$68,730||$36,230||$48,200||$87,660||$98,390|
|South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI||700||$24.98||$16.76||$19.93||$29.75||$35.37||$51,950||$34,870||$41,460||$61,880||$73,570|
|Terre Haute, IN||310||$26.93||$16.55||$19.31||$34.67||$38.25||$56,010||$34,430||$40,170||$72,120||$79,560|
Working as an Electrician in Indiana
There are many opportunities for new electricians in the state, and there will continue to be more in the future. Electricians often get licensed in cities to work as independent contractors, working for themselves or starting contracting businesses that hire other electricians. A young electrician may work for one of these contractor, or may be hired by city and county governments, builders and construction companies. If you are willing to put in a few years of learning and paid training, you could become one of these in-demand electricians.
4200 S East Street, Suite 7, Indianapolis, Indiana 46227
Electrical Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program in Electrical Technician at Brightwood College is taught at their Indianapolis campus in the city of Indianapolis. The college has about 591 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees for the Electrical Technician program are in the order of $19,540 yearly. Study materials can cost about $2,354. Typically, the program is completed in 12 months.
50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208-5752
Electrical Engineering Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Engineering Technology – Associate Program
Ivy Tech Community College offers various Certificate program options for future professionals, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. This public college has about 81,668 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly around $4,255 and for out-of-state students around $8,211 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,390, although this will vary with the program.
Lincoln College of Technology offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are offered at their Indianapolis campus in the city of Indianapolis. The majority of of the school’s 1,103 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Fees for tuition are about $30,005 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,458, depending on the program.
1002 N First St, Vincennes, Indiana 47591
Electronics Technician – Associate Program
Vincennes University’s Associate-level Electronics Technician program is taught at their campus in the town of Vincennes. This public college has round 18,711 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The university is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $5,737 and for students from outside the state in the order of $13,567 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,286, although this will vary with 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.