I am interested in the electrical industry...now what?

1. Get familiar with the different types of work you could be doing!

There are many parts to the electrical industry.  You can decide on the part of the industry that interests you most.  Electrical Contractors may specialize in different segments in order to gain expertise and be able to buy specialized equipment and gather skills.  

Common Segments include:

  • Residential installation and troubleshooting:  You would be working on electrical systems in single or multifamily housing, swimming pools, recreation area wiring.
  • Commercial wiring:  You would mainly work in stores, warehouses, and small manufacturing or office spaces, Photo- voltaic systems, hospitals.
  • Industrial wiring:  This involves large manufacturing facilities, automated systems, large food producers and motors- needing electric power and controls such as programmable controllers.
  • Agricultural electrical systems:  Working on Farms, grain storage and handling as well as animal care.
  • “Highway heavy”:  This type of work refers to heavy construction civil engineering-  roads, bridges and infrastructure, lighting and traffic control.
  • PLT- Power Limited Technicians:  Work on communication systems, satellite, low voltage lighting, Fire alarms and sound systems  

Within each of these segments, a variety of specialties will arise.  Conversations with the contractor or those within the company will help you determine how they do the work that they do and if it is the work you might like.  Ask what type of work you will be doing on a daily basis.

Your Pathway to Becoming an Electrician! 

2. Begin your Education!
Two options for success would be enrolling in an Apprenticeship Program or an Electrical Program at a Technical College.                       

Option 1:  Electrical Apprenticeship Programs
This type of education is best paired with on-the-job training.

1. Get hired by an electrical contractor who performs the type of work that you are interested in.

  • directory of MEA contractors - search by city to see a list of contractors in your area or check out our map.
  • click here for some tips and best practices that you can use when you make your initial call to the contractor or once you get in for an interview
2. Enroll in the Electrical Association's Apprenticeship Courses
  • runs Sep - April, one night a week for 3 hours
  • convenient and flexible online training - attend the live session or watch weekly recordings
  • allows you to maintain your full time job during the day
  • utilize your knowledge from class on the job site the next day - earn while you learn!
Ensure you are registered with the Department of Labor as an unlicensed registered electrician to ensure your on the job hours count towards licensure.
As an unlicensed registered electrician in MN - you will need 2 hours of continuing education per year to keep your license.
MEA has classes that you can take to fulfill this requirement: MEA Classes

Option 2: Enroll in an electrical program at a tech school
1. Click Here to view a list of tech schools who have electrical programs.
2. Call and find out more about their program
  • When does it start and what is the length?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What are the requirements/expectations?
Completion of a tech school program will give you 2000 hours of training towards your Journeyworker license.  

3. Get Licensed!
Once you complete 8000 hours of on the job training as a registered unlicensed electrician (2000 max/year) and meet all other requirements set by the state (click here) you are eligible to sit for your Journeyworker Exam.
1. MEA offers prep courses to assist you in a successful attempt at the exam 

There is a lot to know and a lot to learn but we are here to help.  Take a look at the helpful information and documents provided on this page to start you down a successful path.  You can always call the Electrical Association (Phone (toll free): (800) 829-6117 - Phone: (612) 827-6117) if you need further help or need additional guidance.