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 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for electricians are increasing at a rate of around 10 percent, which is faster than average job growth. With classroom work, apprenticeship training and the appropriate licensing, you can become an electrician within a few years. [En Español]
Requirements for an Indiana Electrical License
Unlike most states, Indiana does not have a statewide licensing board for electricians. To work in the state as an electrician, master electrician or electrical contractor, you have to apply for a license at the county or city level. For instance, for an Indianapo lis electrician license, professionals apply through the city’s Department of Business and Neighborhood Services. The city of Indianapolis 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 such as have similar requirements. Electricians can apply for an electrician license, or master electrician license, through the City of South Bend Building Department for South Bend, the Allen County Building Department for Fort Wayne 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 an electrician training program, that will include building a knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC), and get hands-on work experience. A degree program at a technical college or trade school 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), in partnership with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) in the form of Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATC). These Indiana unions and corresponding JATCs offer electrical apprenticeships:
- IBEW Local 305, Fort Wayne – Fort Wayne JATC
- IBEW Local 481, Indianapolis – Indianapolis Electrical Training Institute
- IBEW Local 16, Wabash County – NECA/IBEW Electrical Training Center JATC, Wabash County and Southwestern Indiana
- IBEW Local 153, South Bend – South Bend JATC 153
- IBEW Local 725, Terre Haute – Terre Haute Electrical JATC
- IBEW Local 855, Muncie – Muncie Electrical JATC
- IBEW Local 873, Kokomo – Marion – Kokomo Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee
- IBEW Local 668, Lafayette – Lafayette Electrical JATC
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.
- Central Indiana IEC (Indianapolis)
- IEC Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter
- IEC Southern Indiana Chapter (Evansville)
- Midwest IEC (Crown Point)
- ABC-Indiana/Kentucky Chapter (Indianapolis)
Indiana Electricians Schools
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 at one of Indiana’s trade schools or community colleges 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 2018 there were 15,790 electricians employed in the state and that by 2028 that number should increase to 17,380. That means there will be more than 1,500 new jobs and opportunities for young electricians training right now, creating an average of 2,080 job openings per year.
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 2019, the average annual salary for an electrician in the state was $57,240. But, the top earners in the state were making an average of $88,410 that year.
Salaries in Indiana by Occupation 2019
|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 Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment||140||$27.21||$56,600||$34,810||$44,060||$68,020||$77,780|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment||1,110||$26.35||$54,800||$33,180||$40,780||$67,280||$79,290|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay||630||$36.96||$76,870||$60,980||$68,530||$88,120||$98,670|
|Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers||3,100||$33.48||$69,640||$39,660||$54,160||$87,420||$97,790|
Electrician Salaries in Indiana by Region 2019
|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|
|Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN||4,050||$27.20||$56,580||$16.44||$20.27||$34.72||$38.02|
|South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI||770||$29.25||$60,850||$17.47||$23.00||$35.13||$40.24|
|Fort Wayne, IN||1,340||$26.65||$55,430||$15.56||$21.28||$32.92||$37.09|
|Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN||550||$25.83||$53,730||$14.49||$18.39||$32.56||$38.15|
|Michigan City-La Porte, IN||120||$24.77||$51,530||$13.73||$16.38||$32.81||$38.69|
|Terre Haute, IN||380||$34.17||$71,070||$20.30||$28.13||$41.25||$46.44|
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 elcectrical 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.
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. Ivy Tech Community 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. The Electrical Engineering Technology program at Ivy Tech Community College prepares students for a variety of careers in technology, such as computing, networking, communications, eletrical power and machinery, process control and automation, robotics, energy management, and transportation. Students can acquire the associate level Certified Electronics Technician (CET) certification.
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. With 1,200 hours of instruction, students learn electrical, motor and generator theory, and then use this information as their starting knowledge base to learn about more advanced topics such as the National Electrical Code (NEC), telecommunications, residential and commercial wiring and OSHA requirements. This course of study also includes training in power generation and distribution, blueprint reading and semi-conductor applications such as programmatic logic controllers, alarm and CCTV systems, and photovoltaics. The instruction is broken down into 864 hours of classroom teaching and 336 hours of hands-on job experience. After graduation from this program, students are ready to join the industry as electrician apprentices.
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.
How much do electricians earn in the state of Indiana?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of Indiana made an average of $59,130 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $33,730 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $88,410.