How to Become an Electrician in Minnesota

A great career to consider for young people in Minnesota is as an electrician. It takes a few years of coursework and paid apprenticeship to become qualified as an electrician, but once you are in this skilled trade you can expect to enjoy interesting, hands-on work, great job security and a reliable and good income. [En Español]

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Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in Minnesota

In Minnesota, licensing of electricians is done by the Board of Electricity through the Department of Labor and Industry. Minnesota licenses journeymen electricians, master electricians and electrical contractors. You can also seek licensing as a power limited technician, class B installer, maintenance electrician, satellite system installer or lineman.

The typical route that you would take to become an electrician is to become a journeyman, then a master electrician and, if you want to start your own business, an independent contractor. To become a journeyman electrician you must either have completed a two-year educational program in electrical technology as well as have three years of work experience as an apprentice, or have four years of apprenticeship work experience. These factors qualify you to take the journeyman exam.

To qualify for the master electrician exam you must have worked as a licensed journeyman for at least one year. The master electrician license must be renewed every two years, after the first two-year period. Renewal requires completing at least 16 hours of continuing education, which will involve keeping up-to-date with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and Minnesota state code changes.

Some electricians in the state stop at this level, but others go on to earn an independent electrical contractor license. This allows you start a business and hire other electricians. Requirements include having liability insurance, a surety bond, and either being or hiring a master electrician.

Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in Minnesota

There are two paths you can choose from in order to work toward becoming a Minnesota journeyman electrician. One is to enroll in and complete an apprenticeship program. The Minnesota Career Pathways lists all the companies in the state that take on apprentices for learning the electrical trade. Individuals are responsible for contacting each one to find out if there are any positions available, the qualifications and how to apply.

Most electrician apprenticeships are four years long and include the 8,000 required hours of work experience for journeyman licensing. Apprentices earn a salary on the job as they train and learn under the supervision of a master electrician.

One of the largest organizers of electrical apprenticeships in Minnesota is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union in collaboration with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Together they form Joint Apprenticeships and Training Committees that operate typically under the sponsorship of local IBEW unions. In Minnesota, these include:

Applicants for these union apprenticeships programs must be 17 years old, be at least a high school graduate, or have a GED, hold a valid drivers license, and qualify for interview, by obtaining a score of “4” or higher, using the Electrical Trade’s Aptitude Test developed and validated by the American Institute for Research. Having attended a electrical construction trade school is optional but useful.

There is also a statewide limited energy JATC.

There are also non-union options that include the electrical apprenticeship program offered by Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) and their IEC Dakotas chapter, and that offered by Associated Builders and Contractors, (ABC) Minnesota/North Dakota Chapter.

Minnesota Schools for Electricians

The second option for becoming a journeyman electrician is to complete a two-year vocational or technical program at a post-secondary trade school or community college. Completion of such a program counts as one year of work experience. During or after completion, you must find an apprenticeship and complete three years of hands-on, supervised work experience. The Department of Labor and Industry lists schools in Minnesota with approved programs. These are a few examples:

  • Lake Superior College, Duluth. In northern Minnesota students can choose this associate degree program in commercial and residential wiring. The approximate tuition cost is $16,000, and the program takes two years to complete.
  • Northwest Technical College, Bemidji. Students at Northwest Tech can complete the electrical construction and maintenance program and be qualified to work as an electrician apprentice or to find work in an entry-level assistant or technician position. The placement rate for this program is 100 percent.
  • Dunwoody College of Technology, Minneapolis. Students in the Twin Cities may complete this electrical construction and maintenance program. The two-year associate degree program prepares students for an apprenticeship and has a 100-percent placement rate. Dunwoody also has an electrical design program, which includes a focus on using software to design and draft electrical systems.
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College. M State offers an Electrical Lineworker Technology program at their Wadena campus, for those looker for a lineman school in Minnesota. The program is available both as both diploma and AAS degree.
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Outlook and Salary Expectations

A career as an electrician in Minnesota is a smart choice, because skilled workers are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that growth in the field between 2018 and 2028 is going to be around 10 percent. There were 11,500 employed electricians in the state in 2018, and there are expected to be 12,590 by 2028.

So how much do electricians make in Minnesota? Salaries in the state reflect the skilled nature of this work. In 2019, the average salary for an electrician in the state was $68,050. The top earners in the field that year made $99,340 on average, reflecting more years of experience and owners of electrical contracting businesses.

Salaries in Minnesota by Occupation 2019

OccupationTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual WageAnnual Salary 10th PercentileAnnual Salary 25th PercentileAnnual Salary 75th PercentileAnnual Salary 90th Percentile
Electricians10,530$32.99$68,620$37,780$51,450$86,530$99,340
Helpers--Electricians80$19.22$39,990$27,170$34,050$47,670$51,430
Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment**$31.14$64,780$53,720$57,370$73,040$80,150
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment1,110$31.76$66,070$48,710$56,920$75,450$82,710
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay390$44.79$93,160$79,890$86,390$101,500$114,210
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers2,520$38.82$80,750$50,460$68,860$96,320$102,820

Electrician Salaries in Minnesota by Region 2019

AreaTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual SalaryHourly Wage 10th PercentileHourly Wage 25th PercentileHourly Wage 75th PercentileHourly Wage 90th Percentile
Fargo, ND-MN920$27.04$56,240$16.87$21.26$31.56$36.67
Grand Forks, ND-MN390$28.97$60,250$18.93$24.35$32.55$41.83
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN280$32.14$66,850$19.20$25.08$38.19$44.19
Duluth, MN-WI640$33.18$69,020$25.54$29.21$37.58$42.03
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI6,080$35.62$74,090$18.78$26.24$45.00$49.13
Mankato-North Mankato, MN210$30.51$63,450$20.09$25.08$36.29$40.18
Rochester, MN510$28.29$58,850$16.45$20.44$35.32$42.26
St. Cloud, MN560$30.95$64,370$18.92$25.15$37.36$42.12

Working as an Electrician in Minnesota

The outlook in Minnesota for qualified and licensed electricians is positive. There will be thousands of job opportunities in coming years for those willing to go through the training needed to get licensed. As a master electrician you may work for an electrical contractor, for a building contractor, for a development company, for industrial companies and in commercial buildings, or for government agencies. A career as an electrician could be yours, along with job security and a great income, if you start training and learning now.

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College Programs

Duluth, MN-WI Area

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

2101 14th St, Cloquet, Minnesota 55720-2342
(218) 879-0800
Electric Utility Technology – Certificate Program, Electric Utility Technology – Associate Program

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Cloquet. Most of the school’s 2,227 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees are around $5,257 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,114, depending on the program chosen.

Hibbing Community College

1515 E 25th St, Hibbing, Minnesota 55746
(218) 262-7200
Electrical Maintenance – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Maintenance at Hibbing Community College can be taken at their campus in the town of Hibbing, Minnesota. Most of the school’s 1,344 students are on 2-year programs. The college is 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 about $5,310 and for students from other states around $6,491 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,050, depending on the program chosen.

Lake Superior College

2101 Trinity Rd, Duluth, Minnesota 55811-3399
(800) 432-2884
Commercial and Residential Wiring – Certificate Program, Commercial and Residential Wiring – Associate Program

Lake Superior College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are imparted at their campus in the city of Duluth. This public college has round 4,862 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is 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 about $5,153 and for students from other states around $9,483 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,500, depending on the program chosen.

Mesabi Range College

1001 Chestnut Street West, Virginia, Minnesota 55792
(218) 741-3095
Electrical Controls and Maintenance – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Electrical Controls and Maintenance at Mesabi Range College is offered at their campus in the town of Virginia. This public college has approximately 1,206 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $5,329 and for out-of-state students approximately $6,511 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,000, although this will depend on the program.

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Area

Anoka Technical College

1355 Highway 10 West, Anoka, Minnesota 55303
(763) 433-1100
Construction Electrician – Certificate Program

Anoka Technical College’s Certificate program is offered at their campus in Anoka in Anoka County. The college has about 2,027 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. Fees for tuition are, as a rough guide, about $5,584 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,200, although this varies from program to program.

Dakota County Technical College

1300 145th Street East, Rosemount, Minnesota 55068-2999
(651) 423-8301
Electrical Construction & Maintenance Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Construction & Maintenance Technology – Associate Program

Dakota County Technical College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are taught at their campus in Rosemount in Dakota County. The majority of of the school’s 2,783 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition are, as a rough guide, about $5,713 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,200, although this varies from program to program.

Dunwoody College of Technology

818 Dunwoody Blvd, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403-1192
(612) 374-5800
Electrical Construction & Maintenance – Associate Program

Dunwoody College of Technology’s Associate-level Electrical Construction & Maintenance program is taught at their campus in the city of Minneapolis. The college has approximately 1,094 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition are about $21,610 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $998, although this will vary with the program.

Saint Paul College

235 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102-9808
(651) 846-1600
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Technology – Associate Program

Saint Paul College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Most of the school’s 6,428 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees are generally around $5,560 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,200, although this will depend on the program.

Northwest Minnesota Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Leech Lake Tribal College

6945 Littlewolf Road NW, Cass Lake, Minnesota 56633
(218) 335-4200
Electrical Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Technician at Leech Lake Tribal College is taught at their campus in Cass Lake in Cass County, MN. Most of the school’s 348 students are 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 is usually in the order of $4,198 yearly. Study materials can cost about $600, depending on the program chosen.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

1414 College Way, Fergus Falls, Minnesota 56537-1000
(218) 736-1500
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Technology at Minnesota State Community and Technical College is taught at their campus in the town of Fergus Falls, MN. Most of the school’s 6,391 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is usually in the order of $5,335 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,960, depending on the program chosen.

Northland Community and Technical College

1101 Hwy One East, Thief River Falls, Minnesota 56701
(218) 683-8800
Construction Electricity – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Construction Electricity at Northland Community and Technical College is taught at their campus in the town of Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The college has approximately 3,573 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is usually in the order of $5,549 yearly. Study materials can cost about $1,000, depending on the program.

Northwest Technical College

905 Grant Avenue SE, Bemidji, Minnesota 56601-4907
(218) 333-6600
Electrician Construction – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrician Construction at Northwest Technical College can be taken at their campus in the town of Bemidji. This public college has approximately 1,128 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees are around $5,480 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,600, depending on the program.

Southeast Minnesota Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Riverland Community College

1900 8th Ave NW, Austin, Minnesota 55912-1473
(507) 433-0600
Electrical Maintenance Technician – Certificate Program

Riverland Community College offers various Certificate program options for future professionals. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Austin, Minnesota. Most of the school’s 3,068 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is broadly in the order of $5,570 yearly, while study materials may cost about $800, depending on the program.

Southwest Minnesota Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

1593 11th Ave, Granite Falls, Minnesota 56241
(800) 658-2330
Electric Utility Substation Technician – Certificate Program

Minnesota West Community and Technical College offers various Certificate program options for future opticians. All programs are based at their campus in the town of Granite Falls, MN. Most of the school’s 3,026 students are 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 in-state students is usually around $5,692 and for out-of-state students in the order of $10,838 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, depending on the program chosen.

Ridgewater College

2101 15th Ave NW, Willmar, Minnesota 56201
(800) 722-1151
Electrician – Certificate Program, Electrician – Associate Program

Ridgewater College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are taught at their campus in the town of Willmar. Most of the school’s 3,563 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition are about $5,759 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,200, depending on the program chosen.

St. Cloud, MN Area

St Cloud Technical and Community College

1540 Northway Drive, Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56303-1240
(320) 308-5000
Electrical Construction Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Construction Technology – Associate Program

St Cloud Technical and Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Saint Cloud, MN. The college has roughly 4,701 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition are likely to be about $5,359 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,200, 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.

Neighbor States

Residents of Minnesota may also wish to review their options in Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.

FAQs

How much do electricians earn in the state of Minnesota?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of Minnesota made an average of $68,620 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $37,780 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $99,340.