How to Become an Electrician in North Dakota

Becoming an Electrician in North Dakota involves a few years of training followed by licensing. The process is a learning experience but it also pays. You can work as an apprentice and learn and earn at the same time. This is a career that requires hands-on, physical work in a variety of settings. It is a great choice for anyone interested in a trade or skill that pays well. [En Español]

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Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in North Dakota

Each state has unique rules and requirements for licensing electricians. In North Dakota it is the State Electrical Board that is responsible for issuing licenses to qualified applicants. The first step in becoming an electrician in the state is to register as an apprentice. To then become licensed as a journeyman electrician you need to have completed 8,000 hours of work experience as an apprentice in no less than three years.

Alternatively, you can qualify for journeyman licensing by completing a two-year degree program in electrical technology at a community college or trade school along with 6,000 hours of apprenticed work experience. There is also a class B license that requires only 3,000 hours of work experience, or two years with a degree, but these electricians can only work on residential buildings.

To qualify to become a licensed master electrician, you must have 2,000 work experience hours as a journeyman. There are three types of master licenses in North Dakota. A contracting master electrician must have liability insurance and can start an electrical contracting business. A master of record electrician works for a company and is responsible for adhering to electrical code and laws. A non-contracting master electrician has similar responsibilities as a journeyman and must work under a contracting or master of record electrician.

Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in North Dakota

An official apprenticeship program in North Dakota provides aspiring electricians with classroom learning and placement as an apprentice. It gives you everything you need to be qualified for journeyman licensing upon completion. For an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union apprenticeship you can apply with the Dakotas Area Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Fund. Requirements for enrollment include being 18 or older, having a high school diploma or GED, a passing grade in algebra, a driver’s license and an interview.

The non-union option is the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) Dakotas Electrical Training and Apprenticeship Program. It also provides the necessary classes and work experience for licensing and has similar requirements to the union program. There are training locations in Fargo and Grand Forks in North Dakota, and Rapid City and Sioux Falls in South Dakota.

North Dakota Schools for Electricians

The other option for meeting journeyman licensing requirements is to earn a two-year degree in electrical technology. With your degree you will also need to find an apprenticeship opportunity to get 6,000 hours of work experience.

  • North Dakota State College of Science, Fargo. The State College of Science has three different programs within its Architecture and Construction cluster that students can choose to begin a career as an electrician. All of these are two-year associate degree programs and include electrical construction, electrical master technician and industrial electrical. The master technician program is designed to build on the electrical theory and skills learned in the other two programs.
  • Bismarck State College, Bismarck. Bismarck offers a two-year degree in electric power technology. There is a focus on power and industrial electrical work in this program, which includes online courses. Another program offered here is in electrical transmission systems technology.
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Outlook and Salary Expectations

North Dakota is one of very few states in which growth for electrical careers is actually negative. It is a small decrease, though. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be about 350 more jobs for electricians between 2018 and 2028. This is a 11 percent increase, and hard-working apprentices can expect to be in a good position to find a job. The training in the state is also comprehensive and can transfer well to other states.

Following your electrician apprenticeship in North Dakota, if you do land a job as a licensed electrician in the state, you can expect to earn a good living. The BLS reports that the average salary in 2019 for electricians in the state was $62,750. The electricians earning in the top 10 percent made an average of $90,620. The average salary in North Dakota for all occupations in 2019 was $50,430.

Salaries in North Dakota by Occupation 2019

OccupationTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual WageAnnual Salary 10th PercentileAnnual Salary 25th PercentileAnnual Salary 75th PercentileAnnual Salary 90th Percentile
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment340$36.14$75,170$44,780$54,010$95,340$105,820
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay140$43.22$89,900$66,200$81,540$102,210$114,910
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers730$41.06$85,410$51,220$82,350$99,820$104,310

Electrician Salaries in North Dakota 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
Bismarck, ND450$29.88$62,150$18.44$25.41$35.34$40.46

Working as an Electrician in North Dakota

Career opportunities for electricians in North Dakota may be in residential areas, commercial buildings or in industrial settings. North Dakota has a large energy industry, so electricians are needed in power plants and in other energy industry workplaces. With a North Dakota contractor license (i.e. a contracting master electrician license as described above) you may choose to start your own business, hire other electricians and offer services to the public. If you are prepared to go through a few years of training, you can work toward an exciting career as an electrician in North Dakota.

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College Programs

West Central North Dakota Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Sitting Bull College

9299 Hwy 24, Fort Yates, North Dakota 58538-9721
(701) 854-8000
Electrical – Certificate Program

Sitting Bull College’s Certificate program in Electrical is based at their campus in Fort Yates in Sioux County, North Dakota. This is a full, 4-year public college with 261 students, of which 99% are undergraduates. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is in the order of $3,910 yearly. Learning materials may cost about $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 ( Check all details directly with college before applying.

Neighbor States

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


How much do electricians earn in the state of North Dakota?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of North Dakota made an average of $64,620 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $42,180 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $90,620.

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