How to Become an Electrician in Wisconsin

A career as an electrician is a great option if you live in Wisconsin and are looking for great job opportunities and security. The growth in careers for electricians in the state is set to rise by over 8 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a career that allows you to earn while you train and then, when licensed, to earn a great living working with your hands and helping people.[En Español]

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Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in Wisconsin

Licenses are issued for journeyman, master and contractor electricians in Wisconsin through the Department of Safety and Professional Services. The department also registers apprentices. The first step in becoming an electrician in the state is to go through the training required to qualify for the exam to become a licensed journeyman electrician.

There are a few different options for getting the training needed to become a journeyman electrician. The first is to enroll in and complete an apprenticeship program, most of which are run through local union chapters. Another option is to complete a two-year degree program in electrical technology as well as an apprenticeship for at least three years. Finally, you can find an electrician willing to take on an apprentice and work in that role for four years to qualify. You can also get licensed as an industrial electrician, which requires five years of work experience with 1,000 hours of industrial work.

After working as a licensed journeyman in Wisconsin for a year you can take the exam and apply to be licensed as a master electrician. Alternatively, if you were never licensed as a journeyman, 10,000 hours of work experience can be used for qualification. As a master electrician you may choose to register as an electrical contractor, which allows you to offer services to customers and hire other licensed professionals.

Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in Wisconsin

One of the simplest ways to ensure you meet all the requirements for licensing in the state is to enroll in and complete an approved apprenticeship program. Local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) run Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs or JACs) to provide all the learning and training apprentices need to qualify for journeyman licensing. There are also non-union programs through the Associated Building Contractors.

  • Wisconsin River Valley Area Electrical JAC
  • Eau Claire Area Electrical JAC, Eau Claire
  • Kenosha Area Electrical JAC, Kenosha
  • Kettle Moraine Area Electrical JAC
  • Madison Area Electrical JAC
  • Milwaukee Area Electrical JAC
  • Racine Area Electrical JAC
  • South Central Wisconsin Area Electrical JAC
  • ABC of Wisconsin

All of these programs have similar requirements for being accepted. These include having a high school diploma or GED, being at least 18 years old, having a driver’s license, having passed an algebra course, and taking and passing a basic skills and aptitude test.

Wisconsin Schools for Electricians

Instead of an apprenticeship program, you may choose to complete a two-year degree in electrical technology or a related field. With this degree you will only need three years of additional work experience as a registered apprentice.

  • Western Technical College, La Crosse. Students at Western can choose to complete a two-year degree program in electromechanical technology to jumpstart a career as an electrician. The program counts as one year of experience for licensing and teaches students the fundamentals of electrical systems.
  • Gateway Technical College, Kenosha. With a degree from Gateway in electrical engineering technology, students are prepared to work as an electrician’s apprentice. Graduates are also prepared to land an entry-level job in various electronic fields, as a technician.
  • Madison Area Technical College, Madison. Students here have a unique opportunity to complete electrical classes on the college campus, while also working as an apprentice with a Wisconsin JATC. The program offers coursework, an apprenticeship position, paid work and all the requirements for licensing upon completion.
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Outlook and Salary Expectations

The BLS reports that the outlook for anyone training to be an electrician in Wisconsin right now is positive. Growth in the industry is strong, with 12,270 employed electricians in 2018. That number is expected to grow to 13,270 by 2028. This is a growth of over 8 percent and an increase of 1,580 more jobs for qualified and licensed electricians.

The BLS also states that salaries for electricians in Wisconsin are strong. In 2019, the average licensed electrician made $61,440 per year. There is much more room for growth in income in this field, though. In the same year the average top-earning electricians made over $87,530.

Salaries in Wisconsin by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual WageAnnual Salary 10th PercentileAnnual Salary 25th PercentileAnnual Salary 75th PercentileAnnual Salary 90th Percentile
Electricians12,170$29.44$61,220$35,370$44,960$76,200$87,530
Helpers--Electricians1,250$17.52$36,450$24,480$28,680$42,600$52,830
Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment40$29.86$62,110$41,000$45,980$77,370$95,550
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment440$26.75$55,640$34,730$45,680$64,120$75,360
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay350$38.90$80,920$55,250$67,830$96,080$105,360
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers2,110$37.94$78,920$49,210$66,860$95,040$101,210

Electrician Salaries in Wisconsin by Region

AreaTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual SalaryHourly Wage 10th PercentileHourly Wage 25th PercentileHourly Wage 75th PercentileHourly Wage 90th Percentile
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI19,390$39.10$81,320$21.31$30.45$48.07$55.66
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN280$32.14$66,850$19.20$25.08$38.19$44.19
Duluth, MN-WI640$33.18$69,020$25.54$29.21$37.58$42.03
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI6,080$35.62$74,090$18.78$26.24$45.00$49.13
Appleton, WI670$27.71$57,630$17.49$23.18$33.09$38.28
Eau Claire, WI500$30.67$63,790$16.69$25.31$36.85$39.08
Fond du Lac, WI130$30.34$63,110$18.10$26.76$35.69$39.01
Green Bay, WI590$27.29$56,770$15.12$19.07$35.06$38.69
Janesville-Beloit, WI320$26.35$54,810$16.48$18.95$33.77$37.42
Madison, WI2,150$26.53$55,180$16.36$19.34$33.28$38.91
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI3,280$33.43$69,530$19.50$26.36$40.02$46.56
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI760$29.01$60,330$18.82$24.24$35.26$38.20
Racine, WI280$36.69$76,310$17.71$26.86$47.48$54.80
Sheboygan, WI510$26.17$54,440$17.66$20.80$31.11$36.23
Wausau, WI310$25.71$53,470$13.59$15.96$31.06$36.67

Working as an Electrician in Wisconsin

As careers and job opportunities for electricians continue to grow, people training now can expect to have a choice of first jobs as journeymen. These electricians are often hired by electrical contractors, but they may also work for companies that need electricians, like industrial manufacturers, power plants, government agencies or building companies. With just a few years of paid training, you could have your pick of jobs in Wisconsin.

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College Programs

Appleton, WI Area

Fox Valley Technical College

1825 N Bluemound Dr, Appleton, Wisconsin 54912-2277
(920) 735-5600
Electrical Engineering Technology – Certificate Program

Fox Valley Technical College offers various Certificate program options for future opticians. All programs are based at their campus in Appleton in Outagamie County. This public college has in the region of 10,901 students in total, with most students 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 for in-state students is around $4,497 and for out-of-state students in the order of $6,480 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,940, although this will vary with the program.

Eastern Wisconsin Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Lakeshore Technical College

1290 North Avenue, Cleveland, Wisconsin 53015-1414
(920) 693-1000 x1192
Industrial Electrician Apprenticeship – Certificate Program

The Industrial Electrician Apprenticeship Certificate program in Industrial Electrician Apprenticeship at Lakeshore Technical College is based at their campus in Cleveland in Manitowoc County. The college has in the region of 2,837 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 for in-state students is usually around $4,184 and for out-of-state students in the order of $6,167 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,940, although this will vary with the program.

Eau Claire, WI Area

Chippewa Valley Technical College

620 W Clairemont Ave, Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54701-6162
(715) 833-6200
Electrical Power Distribution – Certificate Program

Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Certificate program in Electrical Power Distribution is taught at their campus in the city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Most of the school’s 6,017 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 for students living in the state is about $4,304 and for students from other states around $6,287 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,939, although this will depend on the program.

Fond du Lac, WI Area

Moraine Park Technical College

235 N National Avenue, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin 54936-1940
(920) 929-2483
Electricity – Certificate Program

Moraine Park Technical College offers various Certificate program options for future opticians. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. The college has approximately 6,294 students in total, with most students 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 for students living in the state is roughly about $4,461 and for students from other states around $6,416 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,939, although this will depend on the program.

Green Bay, WI Area

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

2740 W Mason St, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54307-9042
(920) 498-5400
Electricity Technical – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electricity Technical at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is offered at their campus in the city of Green Bay, WI. Most of the school’s 10,096 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 for students living in the state is around $4,415 and for out-of-state students approximately $6,398 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,819, depending on the program chosen.

Janesville, WI Area

Blackhawk Technical College

6004 County Road G, Janesville, Wisconsin 53546-6458
(608) 758-6900
Electro-Mechanical Technology – Certificate Program

Blackhawk Technical College’s Certificate-level Electro-Mechanical Technology program is offered at their campus in Janesville in Rock County, WI. Most of the school’s 2,249 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 for in-state students are around $4,329 and for out-of-state students approximately $6,312 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,765, depending on the program chosen.

La Crosse, WI-MN Area

Western Technical College

400 Seventh St. North, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
(608) 785-9200
Electrical Fundamentals & PLCs – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Fundamentals & PLCs at Western Technical College is offered at their campus in the city of La Crosse, WI. The college has approximately 4,044 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. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $3,965 and for out-of-state students approximately $6,249 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,720, depending on the program chosen.

Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division Area

Gateway Technical College

3520 30th Ave, Kenosha, Wisconsin 53144-1690
(262) 564-2200
Electrical Engineering Technology – Certificate Program

Gateway Technical College’s Certificate-level Electrical Engineering Technology program is taught at their campus in Kenosha in Kenosha County, WI. This public college has around 8,740 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $4,369 and for out-of-state students approximately $6,352 annually, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,938, although this varies from program to program.

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI Area

Milwaukee Area Technical College

700 W State St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233-1443
(414) 297-6370
Electricity – Certificate Program

Milwaukee Area Technical College’s Certificate program in Electricity is taught at their campus in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The majority of of the school’s 15,186 students are 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 for in-state students is usually about $4,491 and for students from other states in the order of $6,174 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $2,000, although this varies from program to program.

Waukesha County Technical College

800 Main Street, Pewaukee, Wisconsin 53072-4601
(262) 691-5566
Electrician – Certificate Program

Waukesha County Technical College’s Certificate program in Electrician is taught at their campus in Pewaukee in Waukesha County. The majority of of the school’s 7,928 students are 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 for in-state students is usually about $4,340 and for students from other states in the order of $6,206 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,940, although this varies from program to program.

Northern Wisconsin Nonmetropolitan Area Area

College of Menominee Nation

N172 State Highway 47&55, Keshena, Wisconsin 54135-1179
(715) 799-5600 x3084
Electricity – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electricity at College of Menominee Nation is based at their campus in Keshena in Menominee County, WI. This private, not-for-profit college has around 433 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition are, as a rough guide, about $6,200 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $859, although this varies from program to program.

South Central Wisconsin Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, Wisconsin 53809-9778
(608) 822-3262
Electrical Power Distribution – Certificate Program

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College’s Certificate-level Electrical Power Distribution program is based at their campus in Fennimore in Grant County, WI. The majority of of the school’s 2,114 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 for in-state students is usually in the order of $4,340 and for students from outside the state in the order of $6,204 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,936, although this varies from program to program.

Wausau, WI Area

Northcentral Technical College

1000 Campus Dr, Wausau, Wisconsin 54401-1899
(715) 675-3331
Industrial Electronics & Maintenance Technician – Certificate Program

Northcentral Technical College offers various Certificate program options for future professionals. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Wausau, WI. The college has round 4,580 students in total, with the majority of students 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 for in-state students is usually in the order of $3,497 and for students from outside the state in the order of $5,083 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,939, although this varies from program to program.

West Central Wisconsin Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Mid-State Technical College

500 32nd St N, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin 54494
(715) 422-5300
Electrical Power Engineering Technicians – Certificate Program

Mid-State Technical College offers various Certificate program options for future professionals. Classes are taken at their campus in Wisconsin Rapids in Wood County, WI. The majority of of the school’s 2,636 students are 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 for in-state students is usually around $4,371 and for out-of-state students approximately $6,354 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,940, 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.

Neighbor States

Residents of Wisconsin may also wish to review their options in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois.

FAQs

How much do electricians earn in the state of Wisconsin?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of Wisconsin made an average of $61,220 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $35,370 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $87,530.