How to Become an Electrician in New Hampshire
If you’re in the market for a new job or a change in career, becoming a skilled electrician could be the ideal choice for you. According to New Hampshire Public Radio, growth is at a peak for the construction industry, but this is especially true for the Seacoast and Manchester areas, which are some of the fastest growing sectors in New England. Due to this growth, New Hampshire considers the job prospects for electricians to be very favorable through 2024, with more than 61 job openings per year. If you are interested in how technical systems work and enjoy methodical problem-solving, becoming an electrician might be a great career move for you.[En Español]
Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in New Hampshire
Every state has its own process for earning an electrician’s license and, like most states, New Hampshire requires electricians to obtain at least one of three different licenses. These licenses include journeyman electrician, master electrician and high/medium voltage electrician. The Office of Professional Licensure and Certification Electricians’ Board provides the rules and regulations to earn licensing in New Hampshire. The requirements of licensure are determined by the type of circuit of the electrical installation, not the voltage of the circuit.
In New Hampshire, people who are interested in applying for an electrician’s license will first need to complete an apprenticeship program to obtain an identification card issued by the Board. These identification cards are valid for a period of 12 months. If you have had on-the-job-training and can provide employment verification, this can minimize the required apprenticeship hours to sit for the journeyman exam.
To qualify for the electrical journeyman exam, you must show proof that you have completed an apprenticeship. The New Hampshire apprenticeship is a four-year program with 8,000 hours of practical training and work experience, which equals approximately 2,000 hours per year under the direct supervision of a licensed journeyman or master electrician. In addition to these 8,000 hours, you will need to complete 576 hours of classroom instruction, or 144 hours of instruction per year over the four-year apprenticeship. Those who are interested in applying for apprenticeship will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent.
As mentioned above, to obtain your license as a journeyman electrician you will need to submit an application and relevant fees, complete the required hours of practical training, meet all examination requirements, have no disqualifying felonies and have a valid electrician’s ID card. As a journeyman in New Hampshire you will need to be employed by and work under a master electrician at all times. The initial fee for a journeyman license is $150 for a three-year license.
As qualifications, applicants for a master electrician license will first have to pass the journeyman examination and obtain at least 2,000 hours of field experience as a journeyman in performing electrical installations before being eligible to take the master electrician exam. As a master electrician you may install, maintain, alter or repair any wire, cable, conduit, raceway, fixture or equipment that transmits, transforms or uses electrical energy. The initial fee for a master electrician is $270 for a three-year license.
To obtain a high/medium voltage electrician license, you will need to submit an application and have a certificate showing completion of a state, federal or employer certification program approved by the Board. The initial fee for a high/medium voltage electrician is $270 for a three-year license.
Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in New Hampshire and Schools for Electricians
If you’re ready to tackle the next step and gain the amount of work experience and hours needed to apply for any of the skilled electrical licenses, there are quite a few state-sponsored electrician apprenticeship programs and schools in New Hampshire that you can take advantage of, including:
- Keene Community Education. Keene provides on-the-job training, and typically the apprenticeship program begins at the end of August or beginning of September each year. High school students are eligible to attend Keene’s program if they are at least 16 years of age.
- Laconia Adult Education. Laconia offers flexible class schedules as well as affordability for those interested in the electrician apprenticeship program. Their four-year program will hold classes twice a week from September through April each year, requiring 8,000 hours of on-the-job-training and 600 hours of classroom instruction over the four-year period.
- Manchester School of Technology. Similar to Laconia, Manchester School of Technology offers a four-year program with evening classes that meet twice per week while classes are in session.
In addition to the above, there are distance learning programs that can be a great start to your new career as an electrician. Most of these programs, unless tailored to high school students, require students to have a high school diploma or equivalent and be at least 18 years of age.
Upon attending these programs you will gain the amount of hours and work experience necessary to sit for your licensure exam. Additionally, the state-sponsored schools above offer job placement assistance for the apprenticeship program.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to the 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) report, there were 2,150 electricians working in New Hampshire at that time, with an average hourly wage of $25.69. The lowest 10 percent of earners averaged $32,180 per year, while the highest 10 percent in the field earned an annual average of $92,690. The career field is expected to grow nine percent by 2026.
Keep in mind that apprentices receive lower pay than fully trained and licensed electricians, but the pay for an apprentice will grow as they learn to do more.
Salaries in New Hampshire by Occupation
|Occupation||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Hourly Wage 10th Percentile||Hourly Wage 25th Percentile||Hourly Wage 75th Percentile||Hourly Wage 90th Percentile||Mean Annual Salary||Annual Salary 10th Percentile||Annual Salary 25th Percentile||Annual Salary 75th Percentile||Annual Salary 90th Percentile|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment||380||$27.63||$16.42||$21.24||$34.25||$38.91||$57,460||$34,150||$44,180||$71,250||$80,930|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay||100||$36.03||$22.33||$30.66||$43.56||$48.56||$74,930||$46,450||$63,770||$90,600||$101,010|
|Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers||570||$33.27||$19.28||$23.94||$41.85||$47.10||$69,200||$40,110||$49,800||$87,050||$97,970|
Electrician Salaries in New Hampshire by Region
|Area||Total Employment||Mean Hourly Wage||Hourly Wage 10th Percentile||Hourly Wage 25th Percentile||Hourly Wage 75th Percentile||Hourly Wage 90th Percentile||Mean Annual Salary||Annual Salary 10th Percentile||Annual Salary 25th Percentile||Annual Salary 75th Percentile||Annual Salary 90th Percentile|
Working as an Electrician in New Hampshire
As one of the top locations for electrician job openings in New England, there is significant growth potential in New Hampshire within the career field, especially in terms of room for advancement. There are a variety of specialty options, including residential electricians who install wiring and solve electrical problems, electricians who work on construction sites with large contracting companies, and those who work for small businesses and factories. It is also not uncommon for experienced electricians to run their own businesses. As an independent contractor or small business owner, you could experience life as your own boss with as few as 10 clients or customers or more than fifty. While the path from apprentice to journeyman can take some time, a career as an electrician in New Hampshire will offer financial stability as well as a fulfilling career with many different options for growth.
Manchester Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in the city of Manchester, New Hampshire. Most of the school’s 2,968 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 in-state students is in the order of $7,232 and for students from outside the state in the order of $15,808 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,400, although this will vary with the program.
379 Belmont Road, Laconia, New Hampshire 03246
Electrical Power and Control Technologies – Certificate Program, Residential Construction Wiring – Associate Program
Lakes Region Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Laconia, NH. This public college has in the region of 1,170 students in total, with the majority of students 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 in-state students is about $6,972 and for students from other states in the order of $15,548 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,400, 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.