The Ultimate Guide to Becoming an Electrician in Oregon

Oregon

How to become an Electrician in Oregon


You want to become an electrician in Oregon. Home of the ducks, beavers and the only flag with different logos. This guide will help you become an electrician in the state of Oregon.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Median wages for electricians in Oregon are $34.12/hour which is significantly higher than the $26.53/hour median wage across the USA. 

You’re in one of the best states to become an electrician in the nation. 

Prerequisites

To get started it’s worth knowing what is required. You have to be:

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

Paths

The best way to become a journeyman electrician is to start off as an apprentice in Oregon. By completing an approved apprenticeship. Oregon has a ton of apprenticeship focused programs for the skilled trades in construction. Of course one is for electricians. That’s you. 

OR… yes there’s another way. Say you’re coming from out of state. You can get your journeyman with X amount of hours. 

576 hours of mixed classroom education and lab technical training. A verification of 8,000 work hours (combined). Which must be broken down into:

  • Residential (1,000 - 3,000)
  • Industrial (1,000 - 3,000)
  • Commercial (1,000 - 3,000

1,000 hours is the minimum required for each sector (residential, industrial, commercial). 

No classroom hours? No worries…instead, you’ll need 16,000 hours of on the job training and experience outside of Oregon. The minimum requirements are now 2,000 for commercial, industrial and residential.

  • 2,000 - 6,000 (residential + commercial + industrial)

Content

There are 3 routes to starting your electrician career in Oregon. A local trade school, union or non-union apprenticeship (electrical employer apprenticeship). 

Typically you’ll start off with a union or employer apprenticeship with a contractor. With an electrical speciality. Ranging from:

  • Inside Electrician
  • Limited Residential Electrician
  • Limited Renewable Energy Electrician
  • Limited Energy Tech A
  • Limited Energy Tech B

https://www.oregon.gov/boli/ATD/pages/ElectricianTrades.aspx

Let’s take a look at your routes to becoming an electrician in Oregon. 

Trade Schools

Trade schools and electrical programs are a great starting point. You’ll gain local electrical theory, safety and more in depth resources that focus on providing you with the electrician knowledge you need. More so you’ll be able to enter the industry ahead of someone who is just starting out. Plus, you can knock out most of your education upfront. Allowing you to focus on your electrical skills.

Trade schools usually have a career center and some connections to help you enter the industry. For more information on trade schools. Click here for an in depth guide.

Union Route

Many times you’ll want to enter the electrical trade because you know someone who is a part of the local union. It’s a great route and can provide you with high wages starting off. Including paid time-off, health benefits and retirement benefits. 

For more information on electrical unions in Oregon. Click here for an in depth.

Employer Apprenticeship (aka the open shop job route)

Yes, sometimes contractors are called open shops… We are here to provide you with an overview of how to join a contractor to start your electrician career. 

For more information on electrician contractors and employer apprenticeships. Click here for an in depth.

Outlook

Portland is a vibrant city and has a great tech community (which is growing) and is definitely a sellers market. 

Electricians are expected to grow 16 percent from 2014 through 2024, slightly faster than the 14 percent growth projected for all occupations