Becoming an electrician in Florida depends on which municipality you are in, but the main concept of the process remains the same throughout the state. This is so the state has some sort of baseline that it can hold contractors to. This helps the state know that the people that are going into homes have a level of training and understanding of the practice that can convey a sense of security to the people of the state of Florida.
To begin your process of becoming an electrician in Jacksonville, you must either join a union or non-union apprenticeship program or go to a technical college. This requires you to be 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED. Most counties or cities require at least 8,000 hours of electrical work experience and 144 hours of classroom training. One notable exception is Miami or Dade County with three years of electrical working experience and 1.5 years of equivalent education. While you will find some differences like this in counties across the state, the basis of it remains very similar.
After you go through your work experience and classroom training, you will then be able to take the journeyman exam. Similar to the education and training process, testing requirements, and exam fees vary by city or municipality and you should reach out to your local government agency and find out the testing requirements.
Once you pass your journeyman exam, you will then be afforded the opportunity to work for your Master certification. Master electricians have more field hours than journeymen and are eligible to obtain residential permits across different municipalities. Both Journeyman and Master electricians are required to complete continuing education, which varies throughout different municipalities.
The next step in this process would be to obtain your electrical contractor license, which then allows you to hire journeymen and other master electricians. There are two different types of electrical contractors; registered and certified.
Registered electricians may only work in certain areas, while certified are able to work across the entire state. To become a registered electrician, you must obtain and fill out a competency card that shows you’ve complied with the area’s local requirements. Registered Electricians are only able to work in local jurisdictions, compared to certified electricians, who are able to work all over the state. If you’re a registered electrical contractor, you are able to design, install, and maintain electrical systems, in your local jurisdiction, with your local competency card.
To become a certified electrician, you have to complete an application, show 4 years of experience working in the field, and then pass a certified electrician contractor exam. There are more regulations when it comes to certified contractors, due to the fact you can have people working underneath you. You must be able to hold several types of insurance policies that include; general liability, property damage, and workers’ compensation, this can vary depending on your municipality, but generally it is about the same. Requiring electrical contractors to obtain these insurances, helps not only the electrical contractors, but also the people that work for the contractors and the people receiving the work from the contractors and their employees.
There are many benefits to going through the electrician process, whether you obtain your journeymen level, or go on to become a registered electrician or even go to the level of electrical contractor, there are multiple ways to make money in a career that will be a necessity in society for many years to come. As with many trades, it does not require you to be a straight A student all throughout high school and college. Becoming an electrician can be a cheaper and faster way to get into a career with limitless possibilities, without being bogged down by student loan debt.