How to Become an Electrician in Massachusetts
Growth in jobs for licensed electricians in Massachusetts is strong and should continue that way for years to come, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you are looking for a new career with plenty of opportunities, that will help you earn a good income, and that is hands-on and always different from day to day, consider training to become a licensed Massachusetts electrician. [En Español]
Requirements for a Massachusetts Electricians License
To become an electrician you have to follow a path that includes classroom learning at one of Massachusetts trade schools or community college, and apprenticeship training, culminating in licensing. The licensing process in Massachusetts is governed by the Board of State Examiners of Electricians. The Board licenses journeymen and master electricians.
To become a journeyman electrician in the state, the Board of State Examiners requires that you complete 8,000 hours of supervised electrical work and 600 hours of classroom learning in electrical topics, including both technical and regulatory topics such as the National Electrical Code (NEC). With these requirements met you can take the test and apply for a journeyman license. The requirements can be met either by completing an apprenticeship program or by earning an electrical degree and working as an apprentice. The journeyman license is also known as the Class A license.
In order to become licensed as a master electrician, you have to work as a licensed journeyman for at least one year and have completed an additional 150 hours of coursework relating to the National Electrical Code and state regulations. There is also a test to pass at this licensing level administered by the Board of State Examiners of Electricians. Master electricians can start a contracting business, which must be registered through the state’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The master electrician license is also known as the Class B license.
The Board of State Examiners of Electricians requires all licensed electricians to complete 21 hours of Massachusetts electrical continuing education courses every 3 years in order to renew their license (both class A and B). The license can be renewed online through the Division of Professional Licensure’s (DPL) e-PLACE Portal. All licensees receive renewal notices approximately sixty to ninety days prior to the expiration date of July 31st. The mandatory continuing education (MCE) requirements include 15 hours of classes on the Massachusetts Electrical Code (Amendments) plus six hours which can be professional development.
Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in Massachusetts
The state’s Division of Apprentice Standards can guide you to approved apprenticeship programs in Massachusetts for future electricians. These programs are largely run by local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union, in collaboration with the National Electrical Contrators Association (NECA), and are called Joint Apprentice and Training Committees, or JATCs. For example the electrical union in Boston, the IBEW Local 103, runs the Boston JATC. The programs provide qualified applicants with the required coursework for licensing and placement with a master electrician for an apprenticeship and training. Some programs available in Massachusetts are:
- Boston JATC, Local 103 IBEW
- IBEW Local 223 Southeast Massachusetts
- Springfield Electrical JATC, Local 7 IBEW
- IBEW Local 96, Worcester
Apprenticeship programs usually take five years to complete. They include evening classes and daytime work with a master electrician. The apprenticeship training is paid work. Requirements to enroll usually include being 18 years old, having a high school diploma or GED, and passing an aptitude test.
Additionally, Associated Builders and Contrators (ABC) of Massachusetts offers their Merit Apprenticeship Program (MAP) and broad range of training in constructions trades through their affiliate, the Gould Construction Institute.
For those interested in finding a lineman school in Massachusetts, Northeast Public Power Association (NEPPA) in Littleman offers a four-year lineman apprenticeship program, which combines hands-on and formal classroom training.
Massachusetts Electrician Schools
An alternative to completing a union or non-union apprenticeship to become an electrician in Massachusetts is to earn a degree in electrical technology or engineering. If you choose this route to get your classroom hours, you will still need to find a master electrician to apprentice with and get your 8,000 hours of work experience.
- Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, Boston. The associate degree program in electrical technology at Benjamin Franklin is a good way to start a career as an electrician. The two-year program prepares students for entry-level work and electrician apprenticeships.
- Port and Chester Institute. This school has campuses in Canton, Worcester and Chicopee, and offers a one-year program in electrician skills. This can jumpstart your classroom requirements for licensing and prepare you to find an apprenticeship for work experience.
- Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield. Berkshire offers students a two-year associate degree program in computer and electronic technology. This provides needed classroom hours for future electricians and prepares students for entry-level jobs in electronics and working with computers.
- Manchester Community College. Manchester offers a electrical lineman certification program in partnership with IBEW Locals 104 and 1837.
Outlook and Salary Expectations
Future electricians in Massachusetts can expect to have plenty of job opportunities upon becoming licensed as a journeyman. The growth in the industry is at nine percent in the state. According to the BLS, there were 17,220 electricians working in Massachusetts in 2018, and there are expected to be over 18,140 by 2028, positions that will be filled by today’s apprentices.
The salary expectations are also strong for those training to become electricians. In 2019 in Massachusetts, electricians’ average annual salary was $68,080. Those with more experience who are working as contractors and business owners can earn even more. The top-earning electricians in 2019 in the state made an average of $114,040.
Salaries in Massachusetts 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||$31.68||$65,890||$37,160||$53,440||$81,170||$93,770|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment||1,210||$31.27||$65,040||$43,700||$52,630||$78,380||$91,610|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay||60||$40.78||$84,820||$67,290||$75,740||$97,080||$102,800|
|Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers||2,060||$43.25||$89,960||$67,100||$79,670||$101,710||$117,250|
Electrician Salaries in Massachusetts 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|
|Barnstable Town, MA||450||$32.77||$68,150||$20.59||$25.54||$36.66||$46.41|
|New Bedford, MA||230||$29.61||$61,580||$19.56||$25.15||$35.49||$38.50|
Working as an Electrician in Massachusetts
If you are training to become an electrician in Massachusetts right now, you will have plenty of options for jobs in the coming years. You may end up working for an electrical contractor or you may start your own business and hire and manage other electricians. Electricians work in residential settings and in commercial buildings and for industrial businesses. With just a few years of training and learning you can become a licensed Massachusetts electrician.
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. This private, not-for-profit college has around 596 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Technical and Career Institutions. Tuition fees are around $17,450 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,000, depending on the program chosen.
250 New Rutherford Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02129-2925
Electrical Engineering Transfer Option – Associate Program
The Associate’s program in Electrical Engineering Transfer Option at Bunker Hill Community College can be taken at their campus in the city of Boston. Most of the school’s 13,142 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is in the order of $4,224 and for students from outside the state around $9,168 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $2,100, 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 Massachusetts?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of Massachusetts made an average of $71,110 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $36,420 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $114,040.