How to Become an Electrician in West Virginia

For anyone looking for a career where you can use problem-solving skills and be free from sitting at a desk all day, consider becoming a licensed electrician. In the state of West Virginia, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a growth in the rate of new electricians’ helpers of 6 percent by 2028. Electrical and electronic repairers specializing in substations and powerhouse repair are expected to see a 5 percent increase, while electrical power line installers and repairers are expected to see an 8 percent increase by 2028. In this guide, you can also find relevant electrician schools in West Virginia.[En Español]

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Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in West Virginia

The licensing process in West Virginia begins by getting a journeyman license. The journeyman license can be obtained by completing one of the three following options: completing a vocational course that has 1,080 hours of educational training; taking an electrical apprenticeship course; or by documenting four years of work under a licensed electrician. Applications for becoming an apprentice are submitted to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal. West Virginia has agreements with the states of Kentucky and Virginia so that requirements that have been met in those states can be transferred to West Virginia. There is an application process for this scenario.

After 10,000 hours, or five years, of working as a journeyman or obtaining other hands-on experience as an electrician, you can apply to become a master electrician. This does not include educational hours accrued in a vocational school. Work experience to become a master electrician includes residential, commercial and industrial. The state of West Virginia wants to see that you have a well-rounded background in order to become a master electrician. If you have the necessary hours, the next steps include completing the application, paying the licensing fees and taking the master electrician exam.

Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in West Virginia

Apprenticeship programs are available through both union and non-union companies. An apprenticeship has the advantage of providing you with educational hours and the work experience required to get your journeyman license. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) has several programs that are offered by the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC), preparing participants for their career as an electrician. In the state of West Virginia, you can complete these programs if you reside in Charleston, Wheeling, Clarksburg, Huntington and Parkersburg jurisdictions. Check with the IBEW chapters in these locations to see where the jurisdictional lines are and if you are eligible to apply.

To participate in a JATC program you need to be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, have completed and passed an algebra class, have a current driver’s license and pass an aptitude test. After completing the aptitude test, you will be contacted to participate in an interview. If you pass the interview process, you will then be placed on the JATC admission selection list.

West Virginia Schools for Electricians

Several schools in West Virginia offer training in electrical technology or electrician training. Most offer certificates. Here are a few schools that offer electrician training.

  • Pierpont Community and Technical College. Based in Fairmont, West Virginia, Pierpont offers AAS degrees for Electric Utility Technician: Line Workers or Electric Utility Technician: Substation Electricians. These programs are part of the Power Systems Institute (PSI), a joint effort with FirstEnergy. Students going through these programs will be well prepared to work as electric utility technicians.
  • James Rumsey Technical Institute. Located in Martinsburg, West Virginia, James Rumsey Technical Institute offers an Electrical Technician Certificate. The program is 11 months long and consists of 30 hours weekly of training.
  • Fayette Institute of Technology (FIT). FIT offers a certificate in Industrial Electricity, preparing students who have completed the 1080-hour course for taking the journeyman exam upon completion.
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Outlook and Salary Expectations

Most of the career options for electricians in the state of West Virginia are increasing. Electrician helpers are predicted to see a 6 percent growth, electrical and electronic repair are expected to increase by 5 percent, and the number of electrical power line installers and repairers is expected to increase by 8 percent. The highest demand in West Virginia is for electrical power line installers and repairers. According to the BLS, there were 4,010 employed in 2018. The need predicted by 2028 is 4,260, reflecting that qualified, trained electrical technicians are in demand.

The average salary for an electrician in West Virginia according to the BLS was $55,660 annually or $26.76 hourly in 2019. The highest-paid electricians in the area can earn up to $80,050 per year. The highest paid electrical technicians are the electrical power line installers and repairers, earning $70,260 annually or $33.78 hourly, with top workers in this field earning as much as $97,870. The highest earnings go to those with the most years of experience.

Salaries in West Virginia by Occupation

OccupationTotal EmploymentMean Hourly WageMean Annual WageAnnual Salary 10th PercentileAnnual Salary 25th PercentileAnnual Salary 75th PercentileAnnual Salary 90th Percentile
Electricians4,300$26.52$55,150$31,950$39,580$69,360$80,050
Helpers--Electricians230$15.74$32,740$24,750$28,180$37,340$40,580
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Commercial and Industrial Equipment260$29.76$61,900$36,400$53,470$75,020$80,100
Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay240$35.70$74,250$55,150$63,040$85,110$96,500
Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers590$33.02$68,680$39,390$53,600$82,340$97,870

Electrician Salaries in West 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
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH780$30.71$63,870$19.20$25.19$36.82$42.97
Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH290$27.27$56,710$14.61$23.40$31.25$38.44
Wheeling, WV-OH490$29.27$60,880$18.03$25.24$35.30$38.59
Cumberland, MD-WV140$26.49$55,090$16.23$19.45$32.59$37.50
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV490$26.71$55,550$17.45$21.61$30.26$39.63
Winchester, VA-WV150$23.36$48,580$17.49$19.80$27.41$30.12
Beckley, WV350$23.96$49,840$15.44$18.67$29.08$32.85
Charleston, WV520$25.53$53,110$16.16$20.74$30.13$35.83
Morgantown, WV300$25.61$53,260$15.66$18.08$34.44$38.79
Parkersburg-Vienna, WV180$22.26$46,300$13.45$15.27$28.49$37.57

Working as an Electrician in West Virginia

There are a wide variety of job options for those who choose to pursue a career as an electrical technician. At the journeyman level, some job options that you could consider are working for an electrical contractor, working in residential construction or commercial buildings, government agencies or industrial sites. You could also pursue getting your master electrician license and hiring other electricians to work for you in your own electrical contracting business. The timeframe to achieve the top licensing tiers in the electrical technician industry is in the range of three to five years. Jobs are plentiful in West Virginia for those looking to pursue a career in this industry.

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College Programs

Charleston, WV Area

Ben Franklin Career Center

500 28th St, Dunbar, West Virginia 25064
(304) 766-0369
Electrical Technician – Certificate Program

The Electrical Technician Certificate program in Electrical Technician at Ben Franklin Career Center is offered at their campus in Dunbar in Kanawha County, WV. The majority of of the school’s 399 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees are usually around $5,017 annually. Study materials can cost around $700, depending on the program chosen.

Carver Career Center

4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, West Virginia 25306-6397
(304) 348-1968
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Technology at Carver Career Center can be taken at their campus in Charleston in Kanawha County. The college has in the order of 223 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. Tuition fees for the Electrical Technology program are usually around $2,880 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,995. Usually, the program is completed in 12 months.

Putnam Career and Technical Center

300 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, West Virginia 25070-0640
(304) 586-3494 x4421
Electrical Tech-nology – Certificate Program

The Electrical Tech-nology Certificate program in Electrical Tech-nology at Putnam Career and Technical Center can be taken at their campus in Eleanor in Putnam County, WV. The college has in the order of 108 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Electrical Tech-nology program are broadly in the order of $3,619 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $399. Usually, the program is completed in 22 months.

Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Area

James Rumsey Technical Institute

3274 Hedgesville Road, Martinsburg, West Virginia 25403-0259
(304) 754-7925
Electrical Technician – Certificate Program

James Rumsey Technical Institute’s Certificate-level Electrical Technician program is based at their campus in Martinsburg in Berkeley County, WV. This public college has in the order of 128 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Electrical Technician program are in the order of $3,146 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,575. Usually, the program is completed in 12 months.

Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Area

Cabell County Career Technology Center

1035 Norway Ave, Huntington, West Virginia 25705-2827
(304) 528-5106
Electrical Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Technician at Cabell County Career Technology Center can be taken at their campus in Huntington in Cabell County, WV. This public college has in the order of 96 students in total, with the majority of students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition is in the order of $4,565 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $597, depending on the program.

North Central West Virginia Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Fred W Eberle Technical Center

Rte 5 Box 2, Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201
(304) 472-1259
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

Fred W Eberle Technical Center’s Certificate-level Electrical Technology program is based at their campus in the town of Buckhannon. The majority of of the school’s 168 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The cost of tuition is broadly in the order of $2,500 for each academic year, while study materials may cost in the order of $300, although this will depend on the program.

Pierpont Community and Technical College

1201 Locust Ave, Fairmont, West Virginia 26554
(304) 367-4692
Electric Utility Technology – Associate Program

Pierpont Community and Technical College’s Associate-level Electric Utility Technology program is offered at their campus in the town of Fairmont, West Virginia. Most of the school’s 2,182 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 around $4,918 and for out-of-state students in the order of $11,684 per year. Books and supplies can cost in the order of $1,000, although this will depend on the program.

Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH Area

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

300 Campus Drive, Parkersburg, West Virginia 26104
(304) 424-8000
Electricity & Instrumentation – Certificate Program

West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Certificate-level Electricity & Instrumentation program is offered at their campus in Parkersburg in Wood County, WV. This public college has approximately 2,812 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. The university 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 $3,552 and for out-of-state students in the order of $7,920 per year. Books and supplies can cost in the order of $1,500, although this will depend on the program.

Southern West Virginia Nonmetropolitan Area Area

Academy of Careers and Technology

390 Stanaford Rd, Beckley, West Virginia 25801
(304) 256-4615 x302
Eletrical Technician – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Eletrical Technician at Academy of Careers and Technology is based at their campus in the city of Beckley. Most of the school’s 192 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Eletrical Technician program are generally around $5,900 per year. Books and supplies can cost in the order of $500. The typical program completion time is 9 months.

Fayette Institute of Technology

300 West Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, West Virginia 25901
(304) 469-2911 x7104
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

The Electrical Technology Certificate program in Electrical Technology at Fayette Institute of Technology is based at their campus in Oak Hill in Fayette County. The college has approximately 41 students in total, with most students on programs that last under 2 years. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Electrical Technology program are generally around $3,100 per year, while books and supplies may cost around $1,500. Program completion is normally 10 months.

Mercer County Technical Education Center

1397 Stafford Dr, Princeton, West Virginia 24740
(304) 425-9551
Electrical Technician – Certificate Program

Mercer County Technical Education Center’s Certificate-level Electrical Technician program is offered at their campus in the town of Princeton, WV. This public college has around 132 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Electrical Technician program are, as a rough guide, around $2,970 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,518. Program completion is normally 12 months.

Ralph R Willis Career and Technical Center

144 Vocational Road, Three Mile Curve, Stollings, West Virginia 25646
(304) 752-4687 x2207
Electrical Technology – Certificate Program

The Certificate program in Electrical Technology at Ralph R Willis Career and Technical Center is offered at their campus in Stollings in Logan County. Most of the school’s 37 students are on diploma programs of under two years. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. The retention rate of full-time students at this college is 85%. Tuition fees for the Electrical Technology program are around $1,650 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $682. Program completion is normally 10 months.

* 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 West Virginia may also wish to review their options in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky.

FAQs

How much do electricians earn in the state of West Virginia?

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians in the state of West Virginia made an average of $55,150 per year in 2019. Entry-level electricians earned around $31,950 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $80,050.