How to Become an Electrician in Arizona

Understand everything there is to know about being an electrician in Arizona and how community colleges provide the perfect training opportunities to become one.
An electrician's job is more than a job; it's a solid career path. Electrical contractors have a diverse range of job choices and make a decent living. Although becoming an electrician requires time and hard work, luckily you get paid as you learn and gain experience. In this guide, we will help you understand everything there is to know about being an electrician in Arizona and how community colleges provide the perfect training opportunities to become one.
Click to learn more about Unmudl and Amazon Original Course Go to Introduction to Mechatronics for Equipment Maintenance Course Page

Many electricians in Arizona acquire their education and training from local community colleges, which enables them to gain the skills required, in a short amount of time and to begin working immediately.

Electricians in Arizona are experiencing rapid growth in their careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, there were approximately 5,490 electricians employed in the state. Nearly 1,000 additional jobs are predicted to be added to that amount by 2028, indicating that career prospects for electricians with training and licensure will continue to be ample in the coming years.

Become an electrician in Arizona

Take a fast track course to get started

Go to Introduction to Mechatronics for Equipment Maintenance Course PageGo to Introduction to Mechatronics for Equipment Maintenance Course Page

Salary and job outlook for an electrician

Electricians in Arizona earn an average annual salary of $38,386, with wages generally starting from $26,266 but can go up to $56,099, according to Career Explorer.

Various levels of electrician earnings in Arizona are as follows:

Top-level electrician

$26.97/per hour

$56,099/per year

Senior-level electrician

$22.53/per hour

$46,870/per year

Mid-level electrician

$18.45/per hour

$38,386/per year

Junior-level electrician

$15.11/per hour

$31,437/per year

Starting-level electrician

$12.63/per hour

$26,266/per year

Photo of electrician

Related: How to Become a Carpenter in Arizona

What are the requirements to become an electrician?

Now that you know the details of what electricians do and how much they earn, before starting your journey to obtain a license, it is important to know all the requirements.. 

First of all, in order to operate as an electrician in the state of Arizona, being a licensed contractor is absolutely necessary. 

In the state of Arizona, contractor licenses are issued instead of journeyman licenses. There are different types of contractor licenses which include Residential(R-11), Commercial(C-11), or Electrical(K-11). 

In order to be a “journeyman electrician” in Arizona, a contractor must have ample work experience on record however an electrical apprentice does not require any license or permit. 

Other requirements include:

i. Minimum age of 18 years with a high school diploma or GED.

ii. 900 hours of classroom work followed by 8000 hours of experiential training

iii. Post-apprenticeship experience

iv. The licensing process should be done through the state registrar

v. Business management and trade exams must be passed.

Be sure to check out: Best Paying Trade Jobs in Arizona

A step-by-step guide to becoming an Electrician in Arizona

ACQUIRING NECESSARY TRAINING:

The two main requirements of training include a minimum of 8,000 hours of practical, on-field training along with a minimum of 900 hours of training in the classroom. Several technical/trade schools can help fulfill this requirement. Candidates can also enroll in union/non-union apprenticeships to help achieve these targets.

GAINING POST APPRENTICESHIP EXPERIENCE: 

In Arizona, there are no official journeyman certifications or licenses so completing an apprenticeship is sufficient. However, there are national programs that offer journeyman certifications and completing these certifications is recommended. There are several specialties that licensees can do to gain more experience. These include commercial contractors, industrial installations, solar power, HVAC electric, and many more.

HOW TO APPLY FOR THE CONTRACTOR LICENSING EXAM?

Contractor licenses in Arizona are issued by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. The governing body offers three different types of licenses; Residential (R-11), Commercial(C-11), or a combination of residential and electric which is labeled Electrical(K-11). The business management exam and trade exam are prerequisites for getting either of these three licenses.

TAKING THE LICENSING CONTRACTOR EXAM:

The two exams that need to be attempted before obtaining a license are:

i. A business management exam: This exam has 80 questions and a time limit of 180 minutes. In order to pass the exam, a minimum score of 70% is necessary.

ii. A trade exam: This exam comes with 110 questions and a time limit of 240 minutes. A minimum score of 70% is required to pass this exam.

OBTAIN YOUR ELECTRICIAN LICENSE:

The next step after passing the licensing contractor exams is paying for the license fees to finally obtain your license. The fees are paid to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. The fees are different for the different types of licenses. For a residential license, you must pay $720, whereas for a commercial license the fees are relatively less, $580. Each license has a validity of two years, after which it can be renewed again. With the exception of a few counties, electricians aren’t required to continue their education in the state of Arizona.

PROOF OF COMMERCIAL CONTRACTOR INSURANCE:

There are several types of insurance that licensed contractors can choose to have; however, all contractors must have an electrical contractor's insurance. This covers liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. 

In order to be more secure, contractors can choose to include Errors and Omissions Insurance, and Commercial Property Insurance. Errors and Omissions insurance covers claims of negligence and failure to perform a promised service. Commercial Property Insurance fully covers the business building.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ELECTRICIAN LICENSE IN ARIZONA?

To fulfill the apprenticeship requirements of 8,000 hours of hands-on training along with 900 hours of classroom training, the average time required to obtain an electrician license is around four to five years.

Electrician
Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu from Pexels


Pima Community College

Highlights:

Pima Community College (PCC) is a comprehensive two-year institution dedicated to enhancing Arizona's communities. Students have access to a diverse choice of high-quality programs that provide them with the skills demanded by today's employers and enable them to transition effectively to four-year institutions.

Program details 

PCC's electrician certificate program is a 16-week course that teaches students how to install, operate, maintain, and repair electric apparatus and systems such as residential, commercial, and industrial electric-power wiring, as well as DC and AC motors, controls, and electrical distribution panels. 

Electronics and electrical systems concepts, wiring, power transmission, safety, industrial and domestic appliances, work estimating, electrical testing and inspection, and related regulations and standards are also some topics that are covered.

Fact

You can register for your PCC Electrician course through this link. It is eligible for 9 College Credits [$168.22/credit].

Campus location

The PCC campus is located at 4905C East Broadway Blvd, Tucson, Arizona 85709-1275..

Cost and financial aid

Average annual cost 

The average annual cost of studying to be an electrician at PCC is $1,513.99 (Excluding Tax), as of 2022. Cost includes tuition, living costs, books and supplies, and fees (not including the average grants and scholarships for federal financial aid recipients)

Financial Aid 

PCC offers financial aid to over 59.0% of first-year students. These are awarded to students eligible for their scholarships and grants program.

Graduation rate & salary

Graduation Rate 

Out of 34,645 students

  • 14% graduated
  • 46% withdrew
  • 38% transferred
  • 2% still enrolled

Salary 

The average starting salary of electricians graduating from PCC is $38,386, annually. 

Student Body

There are over 17,141 undergraduate students at PCC, with 26% of them being full-time students and 74% being part-time.

.

GateWay Community College

Highlights:

GateWay Community College (GateWay CC) is known for being Arizona's first technical college; it was the first to customize courses to the demands of business and industry; and it was even the first to install a computer. These are just a few examples of how GateWay CC has been innovative and visionary from the very start. 

Program details 

GateWay Community College now offers an Associate in Applied Science in Electrical Technology that teaches the maintenance, installation, testing and connection of electrical systems. Electrical work is taught at factories, industrial buildings, residential properties, and more.

Here are some of the necessary job skills taught at GateWay CC:

  • Inspecting and locating problems preventatively
  • Performing preventative maintenance
  • Laying the founding for electrical systems of high rise buildings
  • Performing maintenance on a residential home
  • Maintaining a safe environment 
  • Specialized knowledge in electricity, refrigeration, solid state electronic controls and safety.

Fact

“GateWay Community College has built a legacy of innovation, pioneering vision and responsiveness to the needs of our community: the first technical college in Arizona; first to use community advisory committees; first to tailor courses to the needs of business and industry; first to offer classes at off-campus locations; even the first to install a computer.”

Campus location

GateWay CC is located on 108 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034, United States.

Cost and financial aid

Average annual cost 

The average annual cost of studying at GateWay CC is $10,315, as of 2021. Cost includes tuition, living costs, books and supplies, and fees (not including the average grants and scholarships for federal financial aid recipients)

Financial Aid 

GateWay CC offers financial aid in the form of grants, loans, Federal Work-Study, and scholarships. Click here to learn more about their financial aid program.

Graduation rate & salary

Graduation Rate

Out of 10,134 students:

  • 18% graduated
  • 45% withdrew
  • 37% transferred
  • 1% still enrolled

Salary 

The average starting salary of electricians graduating from GateWay CC is $38,386, annually.

Student Body

There are over 4,162 undergraduate students at GateWay CC, with 30% of them being full-time students and 70% being part-time. 

Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Highlights:

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) provides something for everyone, with four campuses and more than 70 degree and certificate programs, CGCC has educational opportunities in some of today's most in-demand career fields.

They provide low-cost, high-quality education that will prepare you for the next chapter. They can help you in exploring your passion and achieving your goals, whether you're there for university transfer, job training and career development, or lifelong learning.

Program details 

  • The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Electric Utility Technology program caters to students looking to apply for the position of an apprentice-level line worker. The program aims to create individuals who are well equipped with the knowledge and skills required to be an electrician.

Students will also receive a Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Electric Utility Technology a part of the degre

 Students will be taught:

  • Power line installation and maintenance
  • Pole climbing and use of tools
  • Truck and equipment operation
  • Overhead and underground distribution
  • Construction
  • Maintenance of electrical lines
  • Electrical/Power Installation program teaches students to work with wiring, grounding, bonding, voltage, alternating currents (AC), direct currents (DC), motors, generators, alternators, and more. 

The program also teaches its students how to define the principles, concepts, and devices related to electronics and solid-state technology. Graduates of this program can earn employment in a variety of fields such as management, sales, field service, business ownership, or electrical industry.

Fact

“At CGCC, we put the community in community college. We’re not just a place for students to learn. We’re a resource, a gathering place, an anchor for the entire Chandler-Gilbert area. 8K+ Hours of community service volunteered in just one semester from more than 1,000 students through service-learning projects.”

Campus location

The CGCC campus is located at 2626 E Pecos Rd, Chandler, AZ 85225, USA..

Cost and financial aid

Average annual cost 

The average annual cost of studying at CGCC is $9,926, as of 2021. Cost includes tuition, living costs, books and supplies, and fees (not including the average grants and scholarships for federal financial aid recipients)

Financial Aid 

CGCC offers financial aid in the form of grants, loans, Federal Work-Study, and scholarships. Click here to learn more about their financial aid program. 

Graduation rate & salary

Graduation Rate 

Out of 13,228 students:

  • 15% graduated
  • 36% withdrew
  • 48% transferred
  • 1% still enrolled

Salary 

The average starting salary of electricians graduating from CGCC is $38,386, annually.

Student Body

There are over 9,233 undergraduate students at CGCC, with 39% of them being full-time students and 61% being part-time.


Electrician Apprenticeship Programs in Arizona

  • Apprenticeship programs are usually divided into two categories: union and non-union. 
  • The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union and the National Electrical Contractors Alliance both offer union programmes in Arizona, including locations in Tucson and Phoenix. 
  • These are known as the Globe-Miami Electrical JATC, Phoenix Electrical JATC, and the Tucson Electrical JATC and are organized by Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATC).
  • To be accepted you must have atleast a high school diploma or GED, basic math and algebra skills, and transportation. 
  • The duration of these programs is approximately five years with 900 hours of class instruction and 8,000 hours of hands-on training.
  • Non-union apprenticeships are offered through the Arizona Builders Alliance and the Independent Electrical Contractors of Arizona. 
  • Both programs take around four years to complete, including eight semesters of coursework and 8,000 hours of work experience and hands-on training. 
  • Students can expect to be paired with a contractor for hands-on work as part of any apprenticeship program.

Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Arizona 

There are many benefits to pursuing Arizona electrician licensing: 

  • The law in Arizona requires electricians to be licensed through the state to legally perform electrical work. 
  • An electrical contractor license is proof of all of your learned experience and skill.
  • Only electricians that are licensed can:
  •  Pull building permits and pass inspections
  • Operate a business and advertise services
  • Obtain commercial insurance
  • Bid on public and government projects
  • A trade license is vital to protect your company and customers.
  • A license puts you and your company at a competitive advantage in the job market and increases your chances of landing a well-paid job.

Conclusion

All in all, the job of an electrician is extremely crucial. The process of becoming one not only requires years of studying the techniques and skills but also requires a great amount of hands-on training. Whether or not you decide to pursue a career as an electrician, we hope that this article has given you a better understanding on who exactly an electrician is, what they do, and what the job outlook for such a profession entails. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you on the fence about changing jobs or a complete career change?

More Articles