The Ultimate Guide to Becoming an Electrician in Minnesota

Minnesota

How to become an Electrician in Minnesota

Intro

You are here because you want to become an Electrician in Minnesota. Land of ice, cold, Fargo, and the Minnesota Vikings. You betcha come to the right place. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Median wages for electricians in Minnesota are $34.25/hour which is significantly higher than the $26.53/hour median wage across the USA. 

So it’s a great gig.

To break the ice, it usually takes some years of coursework normally 1-2 years to become a licensed electrician. Typically, there will be some form of a paid apprenticeship opportunity from your union or local electrical contractor to benefit from.

This article is meant to help you get started with your electrical career and break into the industry as an electrician.

 If you want to learn more about becoming and preparing for a journeyman, read this.

Prerequisites

If you want to become an electrician. These are things you ought to know:

  • Be 18 years or older (17 for some apprenticeships)
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Pass a drug test
  • You must obtain a qualifying score on an aptitude test (most states require this although some may not)

Careers for Electricians

Once you are an electrician there are multiple jobs you can specialize in. Across multiple industries, residential, commercial and industrial.

Paths to Become an Electrician

If your goal is to become a journeyman class A electrician in Minnesota; There are primarily two ways to get licensed: 

1. Finish a Board of Electricity approved post high school two-year electrical course at the associates, certificate or diploma level and get 7,000 hours (36 months) of experience performing supervised electrical wiring work.

2. Obtain 48,000 hours (48 months) of experience performing supervised electrical work as an apprentice electrician, electrical helper or in another related role. 

Journeyman Class A Electrician License

There are multiple electrician licensing classes in Minnesota. However, on this page we talk explicitly about the Journeyman Class A License. This licensing class is the most common license that aspiring electricians get. To be eligible for a Journeyman Class A Electrician license you will need 48 months of experience (8,000) hours. 

We wouldn’t be the best resource for existing and aspiring electricians if we didn’t list the other licensing classes within Minnesota. They are down below:

  1. Maintenance Electrician – 48 Months/8,000 hours
  2. Outside Lineman – 48 Months/8,000 hours
  3. Power Limited Technician – 36 Months/6,000 hours
  4. Journeyman Elevator Constructor – 36 Months/6,000 hours
  5. Installer B – 12 Months/2,000 hours

So how do you become an electrician in Minnesota?

You start off by deciding which training route is best for you. You can go down the trade school, union or employer apprenticeship route. You will determine which route makes the most sense for you. At Electrician Path; we provide all the tools, options and information to make this choice easier for you. 

Electrician Trade Schools and Electrical Training Programs

Trade school and training programs are growing with popularity. They offer hands on and hands off training. Upon completion you get a degree or certificate.

Most cost money. Some offer scholarships and financial aid. Others are paid for (talk about a sweet deal, huh?). Schools and programs approved by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s - Board of Electricity counts towards your overall 8,000 hour requirement; by taking away 7,000 hours. That’s right… approved trade school programs will give you 7,000 hours of experience. So you’ll only have 1000 more hours of experience to gain as an apprentice electrician before being eligible to take your Journeyman electrician exam.  

For a more comprehensive guide on all electrician trade schools and training programs in Minnesota you should click here.

Employer Apprenticeships

Maybe the union and trade school isn’t the route for you. No worries! Many enter the industry without going through that path. There are a ton of electrical contractors and companies that are looking for motivated and hard working people. 

With employer apprenticeships; you are working for a sole company. The employer will provide you with work pay, benefits, and other perks…Did anybody say “Company Truck?”. Most employer apprenticeships work under a model of meritocracy. This translates to...If you’re a hard worker and bring it everyday; you will be rewarded. 

For a more comprehensive guide on all Electrician Trade Unions and Union Apprenticeships  in Minnesota - you should click here.

Local Electrical Unions and Union Apprenticeships

There is the union route, more specifically the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) route. Many people join a union due to the stability, benefits, relationships, and common pay scale (you make as much as the person next to you). No more Andy, gets paid more cause his uncle is the boss. 

As an aspiring electrician, you will have to apply for a union apprenticeship in order to get into the union. These apprenticeships are usually run and operated by both the IBEW and NECA (National Electric Contractors Association). You can spot a union apprenticeship by the word JATC - Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee e.g St. Paul Electrical JATC. To get in; check out the unions closest to you, see what JATC they work with, and apply for them.  

To join the union as an electrician in Minnesota. You’ll want to find the union closest to you. Check out their union fees, dues and application process. Once applications open up you can apply.

For a more comprehensive guide on all Electrician Trade Unions and Union Apprenticeships  in Minnesota - you should click here.

Not sure which route to take? We discussed the pros and cons of each here. 

Once you’ve decided the best route for you. You’ll be starting off your career as an electrician. It is important to take the time to do some research on your options and 

Outlook

The outlook for electricians in Minnesota is promising. Job growth is expected to increase by an average of 10% until 2024. 

Regardless if you're a city girl or country boy the job growth is promising in both rural and urban Minnesota for electricians.

  • Seven County Minneapolis-St. Paul area: 22.5% increase in jobs for electricians
  • Southeast Minnesota: 19.4% increase in jobs for electricians

There’s never been a better time to enter the industry and grow your career. 

Ready to get started?