Becoming an Electrician in Virginia

Virginia has statewide regulation on becoming a licensed electrician that is structured by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). Generally, a person starts their journey as a registered apprentice through the Department of Labor and Industry and then, once they meet the requirements (a minimum of 2,000 hours of supervised on-the-job training and at least 144 hours of technical instruction at relevant electrician schools in Virginia each year), they are able to continue on to become a licensed journeyman and eventually a master electrician through the DPOR.[En Español]

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The Job Outlook in Virginia

In 2018, there were 17,040 people working as electricians throughout the state, as detailed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment for electricians in Virginia is predicted to increase by 8 percent up until 2028, which is higher than average across all occupations. Becoming a licensed electrician is in high demand, and it is estimated that approximately 2,200 more people in Virginia will be hired in the industry by 2028.

Electrician Salaries in Virginia

In 2019, the average annual salary for electricians in Virginia was $51,930 (BLS). This is equivalent to $24.97 per hour. The top 10th percentile earned an average of $62,630. Those who specialize in the electrical and electronics repair, powerhouse, substation and relay sub-fields have the best opportunity for having the highest wages in the state, with the average annual salary being $78,260 (BLS).

Salaries in Virginia by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual WageAnnual Salary 10th PercentileAnnual Salary 25th PercentileAnnual Salary 75th PercentileAnnual Salary 90th Percentile
Electricians18,440$26.29$54,690$35,430$43,020$62,630$78,260
Helpers--Electricians2,700$14.69$30,550$21,270$24,530$35,700$39,720
Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment710$32.50$67,600$46,780$57,570$76,780$83,130
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment1,640$29.13$60,590$42,720$51,180$69,690$78,720
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay1,070$39.53$82,230$55,340$69,750$97,000$102,450
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers3,410$31.36$65,230$42,150$50,310$79,610$94,120

Electrician Salaries in Virginia by Region

AreaTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual SalaryHourly Wage 10th PercentileHourly Wage 25th PercentileHourly Wage 75th PercentileHourly Wage 90th Percentile
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV13,830$31.25$65,010$19.29$23.48$39.09$46.55
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC4,790$23.50$48,880$16.36$19.43$27.37$29.99
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA550$22.10$45,980$12.71$16.61$27.68$33.35
Winchester, VA-WV150$23.36$48,580$17.49$19.80$27.41$30.12
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA180$22.85$47,540$15.95$19.06$26.87$29.26
Charlottesville, VA760$26.10$54,280$16.91$20.11$30.50$40.80
Harrisonburg, VA230$23.58$49,040$16.34$19.84$27.68$30.70
Lynchburg, VA410$22.60$47,010$14.29$18.55$27.06$31.00
Richmond, VA3,700$24.66$51,290$16.77$20.39$28.65$34.86
Roanoke, VA680$23.36$48,600$16.12$18.27$27.60$31.08
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA210$22.43$46,660$13.29$17.28$26.62$30.44

Electrical Apprenticeship Programs in Virginia

Becoming an electrician in Virginia means first going through an apprenticeship. Apprentices learn to be electricians through a combination of classroom work and on-the-job training. They earn a salary while learning from master electricians.

In Virginia, you can choose between union and non-union apprenticeships to begin your career. Union programs are part of the joint trust between the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The NECA-IBEW guides union electrician training through Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs) throughout the country.

JATCs are run through local unions. Virginia has two JATCs for aspiring electricians. Washington, D.C., is also home to a JATC for Virginia residents in the area:

Admittance to union programs can be competitive. The benefits of a union program are that you get stability in terms of finding a job, salary and benefits. You do have to become a paying member of the IBEW to be a union apprentice.

If you prefer to train with a non-union organization, options include the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC). There is one of each program available for Virginia residents:

Training to become an electrician in Virginia is usually completed through apprenticeships via unions, non-union employers and training programs. The United States Department of Labor -Employment and Training Administration keeps a list of Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium (RACC) members that are part of a network of apprenticeship programs and colleges that work together to provide individuals with college-to-career transition assistance. Virginia has 13 colleges registered to the RACC. 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.

Electrician Training Programs in Virginia

  • ECPI University. East Coast Polytechnic Institute (ECPI) University is located in highly desirable Virginia Beach. They offer multiple training programs related to electricity and electronics. They offer a bachelor degree program in Electronic Systems Engineering Technology, as well as Electronics Engineering associate and bachelor degrees.
  • J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. Located in Richmond, VA, this school offers an Associate of Science degree in Engineering with an Electrical/Computer Engineering specialization. This program is designed for students who are planning to continue on to earn a four-year degree in electrical or computer engineering.
  • Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). NOVA’s largest campus, located in Annandale, VA, offers an Engineering A.S. degree program with an Electrical Engineering specialization. This program is also offered at their Alexandria, Loudoun and Manassas campuses as well as through online learning.
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Where to Find Work in Virginia

With the growth that is expected in Virginia over the next decade, it is a good choice to go into the electrical field. Becoming an electrician in Virginia comes with job security and a good income. You will usually find electrician apprentices in Virginia working for construction companies or under independent contractors. Licensed journeyman and master electricians can also be hired to work for the government on contracts. Many go on to work as independent contractors and open their own businesses.

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College Programs

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA Area

New River Community College

5251 College Drive, Dublin, Virginia 24084-1127
(540) 674-3600
Electricity – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electricity at New River Community College is taught at their campus in the town of Dublin. The majority of of the school’s 4,477 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be about $4,585 and for students from other states likely to be about $10,513 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,800, although this varies from program to program.

Danville, VA Area

Danville Community College

1008 S Main St, Danville, Virginia 24541-4004
(434) 797-2222
Electrical/Electronic Equipment Servicing – Certificate Program

Danville Community College offers various Certificate program options for future professionals. All programs are taught at their campus in the town of Danville. This public college has about 3,561 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are about $4,598 and for students from other states likely to be about $10,526 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,500, although this varies from program to program.

Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA Area

Virginia Highlands Community College

100 VHCC Drive, Abingdon, Virginia 24212-0828
(276) 739-2400
Electricity – Certificate Program, Electrical Technology – Associate Program

Virginia Highlands Community College offers various Certificate program options for future professionals, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Abingdon in Washington County. The majority of of the school’s 2,365 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually about $4,598 and for students from other states in the order of $10,526 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $1,200, depending on the program.

Lynchburg, VA Area

Central Virginia Community College

3506 Wards Rd, Lynchburg, Virginia 24502-2498
(434) 832-7600
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

Central Virginia Community College’s Certificate program in Electrical Technology is offered at their campus in the city of Lynchburg, Virginia. The majority of of the school’s 4,433 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is about $4,726 and for students from other states in the order of $10,654 per year, while study materials may cost in the order of $958, although this will depend on the program.

Northwestern Virginia Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Blue Ridge Community College

1 College Lane, Weyers Cave, Virginia 24486-0080
(540) 234-9261
Electrical Fundamentals – Certificate Program

Blue Ridge Community College’s Certificate program is offered at their campus in Weyers Cave in Augusta County, Virginia. This public college has round 4,192 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $5,252 and for out-of-state students approximately $11,180 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,300, although this will depend on the program.

Dabney S Lancaster Community College

1000 Dabney Drive, Clifton Forge, Virginia 24422-1000
(540) 863-2800
Electrical Wiring Fundamentals – Certificate Program

Dabney S Lancaster Community College’s Certificate program in Electrical Wiring Fundamentals is based at their campus in Clifton Forge in Alleghany County, VA. Most of the school’s 1,236 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $4,613 and for out-of-state students approximately $10,541 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,400, although this will depend on the program.

Roanoke, VA Area

Virginia Western Community College

3093 Colonial Ave, Roanoke, Virginia 24015
(540) 857-7311
Electrical Wiring – Certificate Program, Electrical Wiring – Associate Program

Virginia Western Community College offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Roanoke, Virginia. The college has about 7,932 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are in the order of $5,228 and for students from outside the state approximately $11,156 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,500, although this will depend on the program.

Southside Virginia Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Paul D Camp Community College

100 N College Dr, Franklin, Virginia 23851
(757) 569-6700
Electricity – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electricity at Paul D Camp Community College is based at their campus in the town of Franklin, VA. Most of the school’s 1,473 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually around $4,588 and for out-of-state students in the order of $10,516 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,300, although this will vary with the program.

Southside Virginia Community College

109 Campus Drive, Alberta, Virginia 23821
(888) 220-7822
Electrician – Certificate Program

Southside Virginia Community College offers various Certificate program options for future opticians. Classes are taken at their campus in Alberta in Brunswick County, Virginia. The college has round 4,439 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually around $4,583 and for out-of-state students in the order of $10,511 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,863, although this will vary with the program.

Southwestern Virginia Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Southwest Virginia Community College

369 College Road US Rt. 19, 6 Miles S. Claypool Hill, Richlands, Virginia 24641-1101
(276) 964-2555
Electrical Installation – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Installation at Southwest Virginia Community College can be taken at their campus in Richlands in Tazewell County. Most of the school’s 2,563 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $4,591 and for students from other states around $10,519 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,200, depending on the program.

Wytheville Community College

1000 E Main Street, Wytheville, Virginia 24382-3308
(276) 223-4700
Electrical Track – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Track at Wytheville Community College can be taken at their campus in the town of Wytheville. The college has in the region of 2,915 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $4,613 and for students from other states around $10,541 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,200, depending on the program.

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Area

Everest College-Chesapeake

825 Greenbrier Circle Suite 100, Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
(757) 361-3900
Electrician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrician at Everest College can be taken at their Chesapeake campus in Chesapeake in Chesapeake City County, Virginia. This private, not-for-profit college has in the region of 321 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Fees for tuition are broadly about $10,407 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,050, depending on the program.

Tidewater Community College

121 College Place, Norfolk, Virginia 23510
(757) 822-1122
Electrical Wiring – Certificate Program, Electrical Technology – Associate Program

Tidewater Community College offers various Certificate program options for future professionals, a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Norfolk. The majority of of the school’s 25,927 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $5,434 and for students from other states around $11,362 for each academic year, while study materials may cost about $1,500, 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 Virginia may also wish to review their options in Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.

FAQs

How Much is the Virginia Apprenticeship Application Fee?

According to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, electrical apprentices must participate in the Virginia Registered Apprenticeship Program. There is no fee to become a registered apprentice in the state.

How often do I need to renew my Electrician License in Virginia?

According to the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Licensing, journeyman and master electricians must renew their licenses every three years. Applications are available on their website.

What are the Virginia electrical license requirements?

The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Licensing for an electrical journeyman license are four years of on-the-job experience plus 240 hours of vocational training. A master electrician must have one year of experience as a licensed journeyman.

How much do electricians earn in the state of Virginia?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of Virginia made an average of $54,690 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $35,430 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $78,260.