Becoming an Electrician in New York
New York State does not have a statewide regulation on becoming an electrician; therefore, regulations are decided by each jurisdiction. The main cities in New York are New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany. Each area has its own licensing process and requirements, so it is recommended to research your area’s rules. [En Español]
Generally, a person entering the electrical field starts out as a trainee or electrician helper. The individual does that for a set amount of hours until they qualify to become a journeyman electrician, which is an important professional certification for a skilled worker in this field. Once they have enough experience and complete the licensing requirements, one can apply to become a master electrician or special electrician. In some municipalities schooling can count toward some of the required hours, while others require hands-on apprenticeships only before becoming eligible to sit for the licensing exam. It is also possible to take the exam without having to complete any of the aforementioned steps in some of the areas in the state, as long as one has the experience needed. Again, it is important to keep in mind that the amount of education from electrician schools and training varies by county, so it is crucial to know what your area’s requirements are.
The Job Outlook in New York
In 2018, there were 45,320 people working as electricians in New York state as detailed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment for electricians in New York is predicted to increase by 10 percent up until 2028, which is higher than average across all occupations. Becoming an electrician is in high demand, and it is estimated that approximately 5,950 people will be hired by 2028. New York is one of the top five employers of electricians in the United States, which makes this field a smart choice in this state.
Electrician Salaries in New York
In 2019, the average annual salary for electricians in New York was $71,640 (BLS). This is equivalent to $34.44 per hour. Those who are well trained can earn over $110,110 per year. The top 10th percentile earned an average of $127,460. There are many opportunities for people to find well-paying jobs in this field.
Salaries in New York 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||530||$32.36||$67,320||$31,380||$62,220||$79,380||$83,880|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment||1,500||$28.78||$59,860||$38,670||$47,410||$71,680||$82,940|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay||2,470||$41.19||$85,670||$64,870||$72,500||$100,650||$116,150|
|Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers||5,070||$38.75||$80,600||$49,250||$62,370||$100,250||$115,560|
Electrician Salaries in New York 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|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||44,330||$39.73||$82,640||$19.25||$25.31||$55.02||$61.89|
|Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY||2,370||$30.94||$64,360||$19.93||$25.29||$36.58||$41.76|
|Glens Falls, NY||240||$28.05||$58,350||$18.76||$22.66||$33.49||$37.67|
|Watertown-Fort Drum, NY||100||$30.70||$63,850||$21.54||$26.09||$36.02||$38.38|
Electrician Training Programs in New York
Training to become an electrician in New York is usually completed through apprenticeships via unions and/or non-union employers. New York State Department of Labor has regulations that employers must follow to be an approved apprenticeship. The NYS Department of Labor also keeps a listing of available apprenticeship opportunities that meet their regulations. In some parts of the state it is also possible to attend college or a trade school to reduce the amount of experience one needs to sit for the examination to become a master or special electrician.
- Erie County Community College (ECC). ECC offers an Electrical Engineering Technology Program that is the only A.A.S. degree program in western New York that offers Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) of ABET accreditation. It provides students with entry-level skills as technicians as well as the ability to transfer credits to a four-year engineering technology program.
- Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). RIT offers a few options in regards to programing. They have bachelor degree options in Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology and Electrical Mechanical Engineering Technology. All of these options would help a person pursuing this field stand out amongst their competition.
- SUNY Alfred State. Alfred State offers programs specifically in Electrical Construction and Maintenance Electricity, geared toward those wanting to work in commercial and residential construction. They provide hands-on experience in conjunction with their classroom education. Alfred was actually ranked “Number One in the U.S, Colleges with Electrical and Power Transmission, General” by US News & World Report in 2018.
- See also, Apex Technical School in Queens, and Berk Trade and Business School near Long Island City.
Electrical Apprenticeship Programs in New York
New York electricians began their careers in apprenticeships. If you’re hoping to become a licensed apprentice in the state, you can choose from union or non-union positions. Both offer paid apprenticeships and the hours of classroom learning required for licensing. In the classroom, you can expect to learn from coursework about electrical wiring, electrical systems, the National Electrical Code, state regulations and local guidelines, as well as the mathematical element of the electricians job which includes some algebra. As an apprentice, working alongside a qualified tradesman, you will gain the practical training required to become a skilled worker.
Non-union programs usually have tuition costs but do not tie you to the union.
Union programs are known as Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs). These are apprenticeship programs associated with a joint trust between the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Each program is run through the local IBEW:
- IBEW Local 3 in Flushing, Queens
- IBEW Local 25 in Hauppauge, Long Island
- Tri-City JATC in Latham, Albany County
- IBEW Local 241 in Ithaca, in New York’s Finger Lakes region
- IBEW Local 1249 in Syracuse
- IBEW Local 236 in Albany, the state capital.
- IBEW Local 840 in Geneva, in Ontario and Seneca counties
- Central New York ETA in Clay, in Onondaga County, New York
The non-union apprenticeships in New York are run by two different trade organizations: the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC). The IEC program is in Buffalo and includes blended online and in-class learning along with on-the-job training. It takes five years to complete. The ABC offers classes in Rochester, Buffalo, and Long Island, along with apprenticeship positions.
Where to Find Work in New York
With the growth that is expected in New York over the next decade, deciding to work as an electrician is a smart choice with great income and job security. Most electricians in New York work for construction companies or under independent contractors. Licensed electricians can also be hired to work for the government on contracts for cities and towns, as well as working as independent contractors and opening their own businesses. Below you can check the electrician schools in New York and choose the one that suits you.
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
- Capital/Northern New York Nonmetropolitan Area
- Central New York Nonmetropolitan Area
- Southwest New York Nonmetropolitan Area
- Syracuse, NY
- Utica-Rome, NY
80 Vandenburgh Ave, Troy, New York 12180
Electrical Technology: Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology – Associate Program
Hudson Valley Community College offers various Associate program options for future professionals. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Troy, NY. The majority of of the school’s 11,796 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $5,632 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $12,532 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,200, although this varies from program to program.
1585 Military Turnpike, Plattsburgh, New York 12901-0455
Electrician – Certificate Program
Clinton Essex Warren Washington BOCES’s Certificate program is taught at their campus in the town of Plattsburgh, New York. The college has roughly 74 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Fees for tuition are about $10,327 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,877, depending on the program.
2805 State Hwy 67, Johnstown, New York 12095-3790
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program
Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Certificate-level Electrical Technology program is taught at their campus in Johnstown in Fulton County, NY. The college has roughly 2,551 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The cost of tuition for in-state students is about $5,020 and for students from other states in the order of $9,470 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $900, depending on the program.
34 Cornell Drive, Canton, New York 13617-1098
Electrical Engineering Technology – Certificate Program
The Certificate program in Electrical Engineering Technology at SUNY College of Technology at Canton is based at their campus in the town of Canton, New York. Most of the school’s 3,140 students are on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 83%. The cost of tuition for in-state students is about $8,130 and for students from other states in the order of $12,320 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,300, depending on the program.
2 Main Street, Delhi, New York 13753-1100
Electrical Construction & Instrumentation – Associate Program, Electrical Construction & Plumbing – Certificate Program
SUNY College of Technology at Delhi offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. All programs are offered at their campus in the town of Delhi, NY. This is a full, 4-year public college with 3,457 students, of which 99% are undergraduates. The college is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $8,120 and for out-of-state students approximately $12,290 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,600, depending on the program chosen.
24-02 Queens Plaza South, Long Island City, New York 11101
Electrical – Certificate Program
The Certificate program in Electrical at Apex Technical School is offered at their campus in the city of Long Island City. The college has around 1,152 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees are usually around $18,295 annually. Study materials can cost around $491, depending on the program chosen.
33-09 Queens Boulevard, Long Island City, New York 11101-8120
Electrical Installation – Certificate Program
Berk Trade and Business School’s Certificate-level Electrical Installation program is offered at their campus in the city of Long Island City, NY. The college has around 295 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. Tuition fees are around $11,225 annually. Study materials can cost around $375, depending on the program chosen.
10 Upper College Drive, Alfred, New York 14802
Electrical Engineering Technology – Associate Program
SUNY College of Technology at Alfred’s Associate program in Electrical Engineering Technology is offered at their campus in the town of Alfred. Most of the school’s 3,699 students are on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 88%. Tuition fees are around $8,327 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,200, depending on the program chosen.
Main Campus, Liverpool, New York 13088
Electrical Maintenance Technician – Certificate Program
The Certificate program in Electrical Maintenance Technician at Onondaga Cortland Madison BOCES is based at their campus in Liverpool in Onondaga County. Most of the school’s 511 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is over 80%. Tuition fees for the Electrical Maintenance Technician program are in the order of $8,700 per year. Typically, the program is completed in 7 months.
1101 Sherman Dr, Utica, New York 13501-5394
Electrical Service Technician – Certificate Program, Electrical Engineering Technology – Associate Program
Mohawk Valley Community College offers various Certificate program options for future opticians, a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are based at their campus in the city of Utica, NY. The college has in the region of 6,675 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $5,058 and for students from outside the state in the order of $9,308 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,570, depending on the program chosen.
* 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 New York?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of New York made an average of $79,480 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $39,240 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $127,460.