How to Become an Electrician in Vermont
Do you enjoy working with your hands and problem-solving? Do you want a career that changes every day and involves working with people? If the answers are yes, you may want to consider becoming an electrician. In addition to these great benefits, job growth is strong. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth in positions for electricians in Vermont is 14 percent. There is great security in this career, as well as great income opportunities.[En Español]
Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in Vermont
Becoming an Electrician in Vermont begins with getting hands-on work experience and training. To do this you must be registered as an apprentice through the Vermont Department of Labor. The next step is to become a licensed electrician. The Electrical Licensing Board in the state licenses journeymen electricians, master electricians and specialists.
To qualify for the journeyman license you have three options:
- Complete an apprenticeship program that includes at least 576 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of work experience that provides on-the-job training.
- Complete an educational program related to electrical technology and get 8,000 hours of work experience.
- Complete 12,000 hours of work experience.
To become a specialist you will need 2,000 additional work experience hours in the area of expertise for which you are seeking a license. To qualify for master electrician licensing you must have worked as a licensed journeyman for two years or have 16,000 hours of on-the-job training and work experience.
Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in Vermont
An apprenticeship program provides all the requirements for journeyman licensing and typically takes five years to complete. While working as an apprentice you will also be earning a salary and attending classes. There is one Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) in Vermont that provides electrical apprentice training through the local 300 chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union (IBEW). There are several requirements for enrolling in the JATC:
- A minimum age of 18 when the program begins
- A high school diploma or GED
- A passing grade in algebra
- A valid driver’s license
- A passing score on an aptitude test
Vermont Schools for Electricians
The alternative to the union-based JATC apprenticeship program is to complete a certificate or degree program at a trade or technical school. If you choose this path you will also need to find an electrician to apprentice with. Many schools will help with placement. The main school in Vermont with electrical technology programs is Vermont Technical College, with campuses in Randolph Center, Williston, Bennington, Brattleboro, Lyndon, Middlebury, Morrisville, Newport, St. Albans, Springfield, Rutland and White River Junction.
Vermont Tech partners with the Vermont Department of Labor to provide an approved apprenticeship program for students who want to become electricians. The electrical program offers courses two nights a week at many of the satellite campuses, online courses, and one Saturday each month at the Randolph Center campus. Students work and earn as apprentices during the day.
Outlook and Salary Expectations
If you were hoping to become an electrician in Vermont, the outlook for getting a job is good. The BLS states that 1,380 electricians were employed in the state in 2014 and that there will be 1,570 more by 2024. Those additional electricians will be the ones who are training today, so opportunities in the state will be available for you if you start a program now.
You can also expect to earn a great salary as a Vermont electrician. In 2017, the average annual salary for a licensed electrician was $51,920. There are also options to earn more with specialties and additional years of experience. The highest-earning electricians in the state in 2017 were making an average of $69,950 per year.
Salaries in Vermont 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||160||$28.24||$15.50||$22.01||$35.17||$37.99||$58,730||$32,240||$45,770||$73,140||$79,010|
|Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay||40||$41.30||$32.39||$35.51||$45.74||$49.00||$85,900||$67,370||$73,860||$95,130||$101,930|
|Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers||240||$36.20||$24.20||$31.11||$43.28||$48.03||$75,290||$50,330||$64,710||$90,020||$99,900|
Electrician Salaries in Vermont 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|
|Burlington-South Burlington, VT||370||$25.62||$17.13||$20.71||$29.71||$35.48||$53,300||$35,630||$43,090||$61,800||$73,800|
Working as an Electrician in Vermont
Once you have trained as an apprentice and achieved journeyman electrician licensing in Vermont, you will have a lot of different options for work. You may choose to work in residential buildings, commercial buildings or both, for instance. You may be hired by a contractor or building company to work on either type of building, or you may be hired directly by an industrial company to work in a plant. Regardless of what you choose, there will be options for qualified electricians in Vermont in the coming years.