How to Become an Electrician in South Dakota

Electricians can enjoy hands-on experience from the time they begin learning about the trade. With numerous hours of physical work required to earn entry-level certification, this career field is one that proves learning never stops. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this trade will see 320 new job openings in South Dakota by the year 2028. If that sounds appealing, this may be your career match. Also, you can find the most suitable electrician schools in South Dakota from our guide. [En Español]

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Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in South Dakota

To become a licensed electrician in South Dakota, you must meet the requirements set by the South Dakota Electrical Commission, which is part of the South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation.

The first step to becoming an electrician in the state is to complete an application to become an apprentice. You’ll need to work as an apprentice electrician for at least four years (8,000 hours), and the work you do as an apprentice must be performed under the supervision of an electrical contractor or a Class B electrician. A Class B electrician is defined as a person with the necessary qualifications, training and technical knowledge to wire, install and repair electrical apparatus and equipment in accordance with the standard rules and regulations governing such work.

Upon completion of your four years (8,000 hours) of work as an apprentice, you will be eligible to take the journeyman’s exam. When you pass this exam and become a journeyman electrician, you will need to work another two years (4,000 hours) under an electrical contractor, with 2,000 of those 4,000 hours consisting of commercial work. When these requirements are met, you will be eligible to take your electrical contractor exam.

To become a Class B electrician, 2,000 of your 4,000 hours as a journeyman must consist of work in residential or farmstead wiring. Your entire 4,000 hours as a journeyman can be completed under an electrical contractor or a Class B electrician. You must have at least 18 months of experience in farmstead or residential wiring in order to qualify for your Class B license.

Each license requires the submission of a completed application before taking exams.

Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in South Dakota

A decent amount of experience is required if you want to become an electrician in just about any state. There are different ways to go about gaining the experience you need to earn your electrician license. One common option is to join an apprenticeship program with the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC), also known as the Electrical Training Alliance.

If you’re looking to join an apprenticeship program in South Dakota, you might consider the Dakotas Area Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Fund (Dakotas JATC). This program will offer you training in telecommunications wiring, fiber optics, fire alarms and much more.

To apply, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Provide a copy of your birth certificate showing that you are at least 18 years of age.
  • Show proof of one full credit of high school algebra, or one post-high school algebra course with a passing grade.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Provide an official high school transcript or GED and college or technical school transcripts, showing courses and grades.

This program takes five years to complete and consists mostly of on-the-job training. Students are required to attend class one night per week from September to May. These classes are free, but there is a yearly book fee of $696 (based on the 2017-18 year), which is due by the first day of classes.

South Dakota Schools for Electricians

The NJATC is not the only organization offering apprenticeship training to aspiring electricians. South Dakota is home to a number of other schools offering courses that will help you gain electrical work experience.

  • AETech Electrical Training Center offers electrical training at all levels. Registration is available online or by phone, and the school is located in Rapid City, South Dakota. Their full-time apprenticeship program was designed to be completed in just four months. Pre-registration is $50, and exam preparation classes are also available to those preparing for journeyman or electrical contractor exams.
  • Southeast Technical Institute is a two-year college granting graduates 2,000 hours toward certification as a journeyman electrician. The total cost of tuition for this program is $18,830, which includes tuition, fees, books and supplies. Southeast Tech is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
  • Western Dakota Technical Institute offers a two-year degree, which will help students develop skills in programmable controls, computerized networking and more. On-campus classes are $247 per credit hour, and online classes are $297 per credit hour. Scholarships are available to those who qualify, and the school is located in Rapid City, South Dakota.
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Outlook and Salary Expectations

According to the BLS, South Dakota is home to 60 new electrician job openings per year. Electricians in this state make an average of more than $45,680 per year, with top earners making more than $62,800 annually.

Salaries in South Dakota by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual WageAnnual Salary 10th PercentileAnnual Salary 25th PercentileAnnual Salary 75th PercentileAnnual Salary 90th Percentile
Electricians2,190$22.37$46,540$32,570$37,380$54,950$62,800
Helpers--Electricians170$14.40$29,950$22,260$25,320$34,770$38,610
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment260$24.59$51,140$32,050$38,420$58,460$70,390
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers870$37.50$78,010$58,700$68,100$91,030$99,830

Electrician Salaries in South Dakota by Region

AreaTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual SalaryHourly Wage 10th PercentileHourly Wage 25th PercentileHourly Wage 75th PercentileHourly Wage 90th Percentile
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD430$26.08$54,240$14.79$20.23$30.21$39.24
Rapid City, SD350$21.02$43,720$15.76$17.45$24.43$28.33
Sioux Falls, SD820$23.15$48,160$15.52$18.46$27.54$30.84

Working as an Electrician in South Dakota

Electricians will make the most of their career if they are skilled with their hands, capable of doing some moderate or heavy lifting and enjoy using critical thinking skills. Some companies offer full-time positions with benefits, while others might prefer to employ you as a contractor.

In South Dakota, you can expect to do work in varying weather conditions, and work is available in both residential and commercial environments. You’ll likely find the most job opportunities in either Rapid City or Sioux Falls, with Sioux Falls offering the highest salary of the two cities.

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College Programs

Eastern South Dakota Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Mitchell Technical Institute

1800 E. Spruce Street, Mitchell, South Dakota 57301
(605) 995-3025
Electrical Utilities & Substation Technology – Certificate Program, Electrical Utilities & Substation Technology – Associate Program

Mitchell Technical Institute offers multiple electrician training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Mitchell in Davison County. Most of the school’s 1,261 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 $6,592 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $850, although this will depend on the program.

Rapid City, SD Area

Western Dakota Technical Institute

800 Mickelson Dr, Rapid City, South Dakota 57703-4018
(605) 394-4034
Electrical Trades – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in Electrical Trades at Western Dakota Technical Institute is based at their campus in Rapid City in Pennington County. Most of the school’s 836 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 in the order of $7,360 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $2,500, depending on the program.

Sioux Falls, SD Area

Southeast Technical Institute

2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57107-1301
(605) 367-7624
Electrician – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program in Electrician at Southeast Technical Institute is based at their campus in Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County. The college has in the region of 2,047 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. The cost of tuition is in the order of $6,110 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,600, depending on the program.

Western South Dakota Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Oglala Lakota College

490 Piya Wiconi Road, Kyle, South Dakota 57752-0490
(605) 455-6000
Electrical Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s program in Electrical Technology at Oglala Lakota College is based at their campus in Kyle in Shannon County. Of the 1,366 students, about 3% are postgraduates. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is in the order of $2,684 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,200, depending on the program.

Sinte Gleska University

E. Highway 18, 101 Antelope Lake Circle, Mission, South Dakota 57555-0105
(605) 856-8100
Building Trades – Associate Program

Sinte Gleska University’s Associate-level Building Trades program is offered at their campus in Mission in Todd County, South Dakota. This is a full, 4-year private college with 581 students, of which 92% are undergraduates. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is in the order of $3,154 per year, while books and supplies may cost around $1,000, although this varies from program to 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 South Dakota may also wish to review their options in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana.

FAQs

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

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of South Dakota made an average of $46,540 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $32,570 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $62,800.