How to Become an Electrician in Maryland
The occupation of an electrician is one that is rapidly increasing in demand. In 2018, there were 15,930 electricians employed in the state of Maryland, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Furthermore, that number is expected to rise by 8 percent over the next few years, adding even more electrician jobs within the state. If you’re looking to become an electrician in Maryland, read on. [En Español]
In most states, you would first work as an electrician’s helper or apprentice and complete work and educational requirements to qualify to take a test to become licensed as a journeyman electrician, master electrician and in some states a contractor. Maryland has the most unique licensing requirements of all the states. The requirements and licenses vary for each county, and most licenses are restricted to the county they are issued in. The highest license you can receive in Maryland is a statewide master electrician license, which will allow you to work anywhere in the state without restrictions.
Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in Maryland
In Maryland, electrician licenses are handled differently by county. Most counties do not even have the option to get a journeyman license, or a specific electrical contractors license. Most counties offer limited or restricted electrician licenses, which allow the electrician to work within in the county they received the license. The range of work they are permitted to do is often limited as well. Since licensing is handled differently by county, the best thing to do would be to contact the licensing department for your area and find out what their guidelines are. In all counties, you will be required to work as an apprentice or helper before you are able to receive any kind of license.
Here are some examples of licensing requirements for some of the larger Maryland counties:
- Baltimore County. In Baltimore County, you can get a limited electrician license or a restricted electrician license. The limited license will allow you to work in commercial, industrial and residential areas. You must show proof of five years work experience under a licensed electrician to be eligible for this license. For a restricted license, you must have three years of experience working with a licensed electrician. With this license, you are only allowed to work in areas that handle 50 volts of electricity or fewer. Baltimore County’s Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections administers both Baltimore County electrical permits and electrician licenses. It also offers a license search service for consumers.
- Anne Arundel County. Anne Arundel County offers electricians the option of getting a restricted license or master limited license. To get a restricted license, you must show proof of a total of seven years work experience under a master electrician. Working as a journeyman electrician in another county does count. A master limited license allows you to work only at an industrial plant. To get this license, you much work for at least two years with a master limited or master general electrician. Electrical licensing is administered by the county Licensing Division of the Department of Inspections and Permits.
- Montgomery County. Licenses are issued by Montgomery County’s Department of Permitting Services (DPS) Licenses and Certificates. Montgomery County is one of the few counties in Maryland that does offer a journeyman license. With the journeyman license in this county you can supervise up to three other workers who are unlicensed. To get this license, you must have four years of work experience. This license must be renewed every two years. The Department also now issues a Electrical Contractor’s Business License for anyone “in the business of installing, repairing, or maintaining any electrical wiring or device designed for conducting, consuming or converting electrical current”.
Some county-specific licenses can be reciprocated in other counties if you get a reciprocal license. If you are licensed in another county for at least one year, you can apply for a reciprocal license, so you won’t have to get relicensed to work in the county.
Finally, Maryland offers a statewide master electrician license. This license can be obtained through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. To apply for the Maryland electrical license, you must have seven years of work experience under a master electrician. If you complete an apprenticeship program you can count that as three of the seven years.
There are six places in Maryland where you can take the master electrician license exam: College Park, Crofton, Hagerstown, Lanham, Salisbury and Baltimore. The test takes four hours to complete and has 100 questions. A grade of 70 is considered a passing score. This license must be renewed every two years but can be done online if you pay the $25 renewal fee. In Maryland, you do not need to show proof of continued education to renew your master electrician license. Maryland doesn’t issue contractor’s licenses; you can work for yourself if you hold a Maryland master electrician license. You will need liability, property damage and workers compensation insurance to work on your own.
If you are licensed as a master electrician in the states of Delaware, Virginia or West Virginia, you can complete a reciprocal initial license application and become licensed in Maryland as well.
Apprenticeship Programs in Maryland
Since you must have work experience before becoming a licensed electrician in Maryland, an apprenticeship is an option to consider. While completing an apprenticeship you can work for pay as well as attend electrician classes. In Maryland, most apprenticeship programs require 2,000 hours of work training and classroom training combined. Many apprenticeships and colleges throughout the state work together, allowing you to transfer credits earned during your apprenticeship toward a college certificate or degree. However, oftentimes there are long waiting lists to get into apprenticeship programs.
The Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program (MATP) can help you locate available apprentice openings if you are interested. To qualify, you must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent, pass a drug test, be physically capable of meeting job demands and have reliable transportation.
Many people who look for an electrician apprenticeship in Maryland will start with offerings by local unions. These are typically offered by Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATC), which are collaborations between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). The JATCs are managed by local chapters of the IBEW. In Maryland, they include:
- Baltimore Electrical JATC – IBEW Local 24, Baltimore, MD
- Washington DC Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee – IBEW Local 26, Lanham, MD
- Western Maryland Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee – IBEW Local 307, Cumberland, MD
There are also non-union options available which include apprenticeship programs provided by the Maryland chapters of Associated Builders and Contractors: ABC Baltimore and ABC Metro Washington. Also Independent Electrical Contractors’ Chesapeake Chapter also offers an electrical apprenticeship program.
Maryland Electrician Programs
Many aspiring electricians choose to complete certificate or degree programs at vocational or technical schools to gain education and experience in the electrical field. These programs can be completed in addition to or instead of an apprenticeship. The best programs will cover such coursework as residential, commercial and industrial wiring, the National Electric Code (NEC), electrical theory, transformers and generators, electrical motors, reading blueprints, electrical tools and equipment, low voltage wiring maintenance and repair, and cable and splicing installation and repair. Some of these programs may include externships, which will allow on-the-job training. There are several electrician programs in Maryland for you to consider. Here are a couple of examples:
- Brightwood College. Brightwood College in Beltsville offers an electrician training certificate program that can be completed within nine months to a year. The classes in this program combine hands-on learning with classroom instruction. Classes are limited in size and many are taught by licensed electricians. This program prepares students to do entry-level electrician work in residential, commercial and industrial areas. Brightwood does help its students find an externship before they graduate, ensuring they will be able to start working shortly after graduation.
- College of Southern Maryland. The Regional Hughesville College of Southern Maryland campus in Hughesville offers a couple of different programs for students interested in electrical technology. Both are Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree programs. The first is an AAS as an electric power technician. This program consists of 61 credit hours. The College of Southern Maryland offers the general education classes needed for this degree, while the technical classes are provided through Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO). Upon graduation, students will be able to install, repair and maintain electrical systems in residential and commercial areas.
Also available at Southern Maryland is an AAS as an electric wiring technician. This program consists of 60 credit hours. The general ed courses are provided through the college, and the technical courses are given through the Electrical Local 26 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Trust Fund (JATTF). This program prepares students for electrical managerial positions and students must have already completed an apprenticeship prior to taking this program.
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Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
In Maryland, licensed electricians are some of the highest paid workers in the state. The BLS predicts that the number of electricians working in Maryland will increase from 12,230 to 13,730 by 2024, adding approximately 1,500 more electrician jobs in the state. Additionally, there were 1,760 electrician helpers working in Maryland in 2014, and that number is predicted to increase by 23 percent by 2024.
Electricians in Maryland were making an average of $26.44 hourly and $55,000 annually, as stated by the BLS data from 2017. The top earners, licensed master electricians with years of experience under their belt, could average up to $ 86,000 annually. The highest volume of electricians can be found working in Baltimore, Columbia and Towson. The Cumberland area boasts the highest paid electricians.
Salaries in Maryland 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 Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment||410||$33.94||$70,580||$55,940||$63,990||$77,430||$81,590|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment||660||$32.09||$66,750||$42,090||$49,840||$82,430||$96,740|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay||360||$38.17||$79,380||$57,880||$68,380||$93,500||$101,490|
|Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers||2,230||$32.33||$67,240||$43,320||$53,510||$80,040||$92,490|
Electrician Salaries in Maryland 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|
|California-Lexington Park, MD||190||$31.27||$65,040||$14.58||$24.55||$41.49||$47.29|
Working as an Electrician in Maryland
When working as an electrician in Maryland, depending on your licensing you may work in residential, commercial or industrial areas. You may hold jobs such as an electrical technician, low voltage technician, instrument repairer, cable splicer, electrician helper, machine repair tech, service installer, or electronic and equipment repairer. You may install new electrical systems or repair and maintain existing ones. You may perform service on and troubleshoot electrical equipment.
If you are considering becoming an electrician in Maryland, there is no time like the present with the job field growing as fast as it is. You can complete an apprenticeship, get your local license and go on to become a statewide master electrician, or you may choose to work as an apprentice until you have enough experience to take the test to become licensed as a statewide master electrician. Either way, if you are ready to put in the time to learn the trade, you can be a master electrician in the state of Maryland in just a few years.
- Baltimore-Towson, MD
- Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
Baltimore-Towson, MD Area
1520 South Caton Ave, Baltimore, Maryland 21227-1063
Electrical Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program in Electrical Technician at Brightwood College can be taken at their Baltimore campus in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. Most of the school’s 566 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Tuition fees for the Electrical Technician program are likely to be in the order of $18,659 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $2,114. Program completion is usually 12 months.
9325 Snowden River Pky, Columbia, Maryland 21046
(410) 290-7100 x41500
Electrical / Electronics – Certificate Program
The Electrical / Electronics Certificate program in Electrical / Electronics at Lincoln College of Technology can be taken at their Columbia campus in the city of Columbia, MD. The majority of of the school’s 711 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Fees for tuition are broadly about $26,172 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,438, depending on the program.
6901 Security Blvd, Suite 16, Baltimore, Maryland 21244
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program
North American Trade Schools offers various Certificate program options for future professionals. All programs are imparted at their campus in Baltimore in Baltimore County. This private, for-profit college has around 505 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. The college’s retention rate for full-time students is over 80%. Tuition fees for the Electrical Technology program are about $15,333 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $2,318. Program completion is normally 12 months.
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division Area
51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Fundamentals of Electrical Wiring – Certificate Program
Montgomery College offers various Certificate program options for future professionals. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Rockville. This public college has about 25,320 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fees for tuition for in-district students are generally about $4,974 and are $9,618 and $13,110 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively, while books and supplies may cost around $1,462, although this varies from program to program.
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Area
4600 Powder Mill Rd, Beltsville, Maryland 20705
Electrical Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program in Electrical Technician at Brightwood College can be taken at their Beltsville campus in Beltsville in Prince George’S County, MD. The college has round 448 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Tuition fees for the Electrical Technician program are likely to be about $18,659 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $2,114. Program completion is usually 12 months.
8730 Mitchell Rd, La Plata, Maryland 20646-0910
Electric Wiring Technician – Associate Program
College of Southern Maryland’s Associate program in Electric Wiring Technician is offered at their campus in La Plata in Charles County, Maryland. This public college has in the region of 8,166 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Tuition fees for in-district students are generally around $3,690 and are $6,406 and $8,266 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $1,154, although this will depend on 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.
Residents of Maryland may also wish to review their options in Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.
How much do electricians earn in the state of Maryland?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of Maryland made an average of $58,680 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $34,160 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $90,320.