How to Become an Electrician in New Jersey

Are you interested in learning how to design, install, maintain, and troubleshoot electrical wiring systems? Electricians can work on exciting projects both indoors and outdoors in homes, commercial or industrial buildings, and even on large equipment. 

If you’re wondering how to become an electrician in New Jersey, look no further. We’ll give you all you need to know to begin your new career.

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Are Electricians in Demand?

It’s a rewarding time to become an electrician in the USA. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects electrician employment will grow by 8% from 2019–2029. It’s vital to note this is much faster than the average projection for all occupations. 

Studies reveal that electrical jobs will grow by 18.5% across the 10 years leading up to 2024. Consequently, this guarantees job security and opportunities to go into business as an independent New Jersey electrical contractor.

The optimistic outlook for this occupation is related to the constant need to maintain increasingly sophisticated computerized wiring and electrical systems. Considering that almost all buildings utilize electrical power, an expected rise in new construction will lead to further job prospects for those in the electrical field.

Industrial real estate is popular in New Jersey. Part of this results from the spill-over from New York City into New Jersey’s more prominent and affordable land parcels. Plus, emergency repairs after storms and grid blowouts, along with the ongoing need to maintain aging electrical equipment in factories, create more demand. 

In addition, development in the generation of power across the state will require electricians trained for maintenance and installation of solar and wind technologies. The linking of these newer sources of energy to home and power grids will become the responsibility of electricians.

How Much Does an Electrician Earn in the State of New Jersey?

The average salary for an electrician in the State of New Jersey is around $64,290 per year. Wages generally start from $36,940 and go up to $120,820.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

OVERVIEW
STEP 1: Get Necessary Training from Trade School or Apprenticeship
STEP 2: Apply for an Electrical Journeyman License
STEP 3: Pass the Electrical Contractor Exam to Become a Licensed Electrical Contractor

Overview: Steps to Become a Certified Electrician in New Jersey

As an electrician, you’re required to possess a state license to work in New Jersey. You’ll receive this document from the New Jersey Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors (BEEC), located in Newark. 

Upon completion of all the state’s requirements, you will become a licensed New Jersey electrical contractor. Doing so will allow you to handle installations, repairs, and alterations of electrical equipment.

To get your electrician license in New Jersey, you’ll need first to join an electrical training program. You’ll then need to register for a Journeyman Electrician License. Once you’ve successfully completed the Electrical Contractor Exam, you’ll become a licensed electrical contractor.

steps to become an electrician in New Jersey

Step 1: Get Necessary Training from Trade School or Apprenticeship

To become a qualified journeyman electrician in New Jersey, you need to document 8,000 hours of practical electrical experience.

Four thousand hours (half the time) of this experience must be completed within the five years immediately before applying for a journeyman license. You will also have to complete at least 576 hours of classroom instruction to qualify.

During this stage, you’ll need to complete classroom and lab-based training while simultaneously gaining hands-on experience in the electrical field. This involves performing wiring installation and maintenance under the direct supervision of a licensed journeyman or master electrician in New Jersey.

You can start gaining the required training and experience by enrolling in a trade school program or directly pursuing a union or non-union apprenticeship.

Vocational School

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Vocational (trade) schools offer a structured and straightforward path to gaining meaningful electrical education and practical experience. By getting an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology or another related major, you’ll quickly satisfy the 576 hours of classwork required to apply for the journeyman license.

In addition to classroom and lab-based study, you’ll also perform electrical tasks such as residential and commercial wiring, installation of parts and components, and systems maintenance. In most cases, these programs involve an internship linking you with a state-licensed contractor. Consequently, you stand a chance of getting hired for an entry-level job. 

Upon completing your certificate or degree program, you can transition to full-time employment. You can work as a technician trainee or pursue another apprenticeship (paid) to gain your journeyman license experience.

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Apprenticeship

An alternative to entering trade school is joining an apprenticeship program directly. This is the most common way to work your way up the ladder towards becoming a journeyman electrician. There are two types of apprenticeship electrician programs: union and non-union.

Through Electrical Training Alliance programs, you can get a union apprenticeship. This program is managed jointly by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). 

New Jersey Joint Apprentice Training Committee – Union

The New Jersey Joint Apprentice Training Committee offers union-sanctioned apprenticeship opportunities. They also have numerous offices throughout the state:

Jersey City Electrical JATC

This union offers a program administered in conjunction with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). The five-year program, located in Paramus, takes applications four times a year: January, April, July, and October. 

Apprentices attend school on a full-time, paid basis by professional instructors. Once the five years are completed, and after passing the apprenticeship examination, an individual can achieve journeyman status.

Asbury Park Area Electrical JATC

This union offers flexible learning times, so you can attend evening training while working during the day in the field. They accept applications only on the first Wednesday of every month only.

Located in Wall, this program is proud of its apprenticeship program: they’ll set you up with a “good living, health benefits, and a retirement future.” The program takes five years to complete. Additionally, this union also offers skill improvement courses for members on weekends and weekday evenings.

Trenton JATC

In this program in Trenton, apprentices have two options. They can either specialize as an Inside Wireman or as a High Voltage Testing Technician. Both electrician programs take five years to complete. They include on-the-job training and classroom instruction. 

Currently, they only accept applications between January and March and online submissions.

Others include:

By going through a union apprenticeship program, you’ll become a member of the IBEW.

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Non-Union Apprenticeship Training

Should you wish to seek a non-union apprenticeship through a local merit shop, you can apply for the New Jersey Independent Electrical Contractors program.

Associated Builders and Contractors also have a great apprenticeship you may want to consider.

Step 2: Apply for an Electrical Journeyman License

You can apply for a journeyman license provided you have met the qualifications to become a journeyman electrician, including the 8,000 hours of practical electrical experience and minimum of 576 classroom instruction hours.

You’ll also need to print and fill out the Application for a Certificate of Registration to Practice as a Qualified Journeyman Electrician

The application will require you to give a detailed account of your work experience. This includes the tools used during installation and the modification of wiring for electric light, heat, or power. The application also consists of a reference form to be completed by an employer who has supervised you directly.

Once you get your journeyman electrician license, you’ll need to renew the license every three years. You will also need to complete 10 hours of continuing education every three years. During renewal, the board requires that you submit certificates of completion for each credit.

You will once again need to fill out the renewal form and mail it to the board. Renewal costs $160.

Step 3: Pass the Electrical Contractor Exam to Become a Licensed Electrical Contractor

The last step of your journey is to become an electrical contractor. Like other courses, you’re required to pass an exam and meet specific requirements to be eligible for licensing:

  • A high school diploma or GED,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or qualified alien,
  • And be over the age of 21 years.
wiring diagram

You must also show proof of at least five years of experience working with installation or repair wiring tools for electric light, heat, or power. This includes completing a four-year apprenticeship program and one year of work experience. 

You could also get a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and two years of hands-on experience. Moreover, you’ll be required to provide your Social Security Number or taxpayer identification number. You must also prove that you’re not defaulting on any student loan or child support obligations.

To take the electrical contractor exam, fill out this application for examination. Once complete, mail it with a fee of $100 to the Attorney General’s office, New Jersey. The exam comprises 150 questions, and you will need a minimum of 70% to pass. 

It is an open book; you can refer to the most current version of the testing center’s National Electrical Code. However, it’s essential to note that should you fail, you cannot retake the test for six months from the failed exam’s date.

You can get more information from the New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors’ Electrical Contractor Licensure Examination Bulletin.

You must list any occupational licenses or certifications held in New Jersey or other states’ certification applications. You also need to reveal if you have ever had your license revoked or suspended. The same applies if you’ve been penalized or have criminal charges or other pending actions. 

Furthermore, you’ll need to renew your contractors’ license every three years. The renewal fee is $150, and you’ll need to provide proof of at least 34 hours of continuing education. You can access the renewal form here. Once you’ve filled it out, mail it to the board.

State Reciprocity in New Jersey

Unfortunately, the State of New Jersey does not offer any reciprocity agreements with any other state licensing boards. This means you must be licensed there to work. Consequently, this is often disappointing for professionals relocating to the state of New Jersey but are qualified elsewhere. 

Fortunately, the state’s certification process isn’t overly expensive, especially given the numerous jobs available.

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Conclusion

A career as a New Jersey electrician doesn’t require a four-year college degree, a big draw for many young people. It’s also a stable career that provides a good income. Although a degree isn’t necessary to become an electrician, you’ll spend four to five years in an apprenticeship program. However, you can earn a salary as you study or get more information. 

A qualified journeyman electrician is often self-employed. They either work as independent contractors or as owners of small New Jersey electrical contracting companies, providing employment opportunities to other people. As a self-employed electrician, you’ll have the freedom to select your preferred jobs, working hours, and how much you earn.

Journeyman electricians are highly skilled trade workers. They problem-solve, troubleshoot, and encounter new situations and challenges at every job site. If you’re searching for a challenging yet fulfilling career, this is the perfect fit. 

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