LAUNCH YOUR CAREER AS AN ELECTRICIAN
If you’re hoping to secure stable employment with lots of room for advancement, a career as an electrician could be the perfect fit for you.
Nationwide, electrician jobs are projected to grow by 9% over the next decade. Colorado’s numbers are even better, with experts calling for a 28% increase in jobs by 2028.
The sky-rocketing job rate for electricians is great — but it doesn’t mean much without the opportunity to advance in your career! Thankfully, as you gain skills and experience, you can progress in your career as an electrician, eventually becoming a master electrician. It’s a long road, but it’s worth it: Master electricians can earn well over $80,000 per year.
So, what’s the first step toward becoming an electrician? Our team at CrossPurpose is here to break it down for you. We’ll walk you through the types of electrician licenses, the benefits of becoming an electrician, how to choose the right training path, and how to get free, hands-on experience by applying through CrossPurpose.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about becoming an electrician in Colorado.
What Is an Electrician?
Electricians are crucial to our communities, helping homes and businesses keep the lights on, receive a steady supply of power, and avoid dangerous electrical malfunctions. Simply put, electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems.
Now that we’ve got a high-level understanding of what electricians do, let’s look at some specifics. As an electrician, you can expect to do these types of tasks on a day-to-day basis:
- Reading technical diagrams, including blueprints
- Connecting wires to circuit breakers and other components
- Installing control and lighting systems
- Inspecting electrical systems
- Using a variety of specialized tools (for example, power tools and testing equipment)
- Troubleshooting and repairing electrical malfunctions
- Following local, state, and national electrical code
- Eventually, training and managing other electrical workers
Don’t worry if these duties sound overwhelming to you right now! During your training and pre-apprenticeship, you’ll learn these skills one at a time. And, if you get certified through CrossPurpose, we’ll ensure that you have the knowledge, expertise, and resources needed to thrive as an electrician.
Do You Need a License in Colorado to Become an Electrician?
Yes. To become an electrician in Colorado, you’ll need to work with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). They’re a government agency that issues licenses for more than 50 professions, including electricians.
Many employers also look for these requirements when hiring:
- A high school diploma (or equivalent)
- A minimum age of 18 years
- The ability to see color-coded cables and wires
- A knack for making keen observations and asking good questions
- Proper pre-apprenticeship training
Once you’ve completed your pre-apprenticeship training, you’ll be ready to begin work as a registered electrical apprentice! From there, you can work your way up the rungs of electrical licensing, from a residential wireman all the way to a master electrician.
In the next section, we’ll cover the various types of electrical licenses, how to get them, and the salary you can expect with each one.
Types of Electrician Licenses
Colorado offers four types of electrical licenses: residential wireman, journeyman electrician, master electrician, and independent electrical contractor. Here’s a closer look at each.
Expected salary range in Colorado: $35,000 to $50,000
Becoming a residential wireman is a strong first step in your career. As the name suggests, a residential wireman is allowed to work on residential properties, making installations in single- and multi-family homes.
To become a residential wireman, you’ll need to gain 4,000 hours of experience within two years.
Expected salary range in Colorado: $50,000 to $75,000
If you want to move forward with your career, the next step is to obtain a journeyman electrician license. Journeyman electricians can perform both commercial and industrial work — plus, they’re allowed to work without supervision!
Requirements to become a journeyman electrician fall into two buckets: education requirements and experience requirements.
- Education: 288 hours of classroom education, with proper documentation (e.g. a transcript or similar statement)
- Experience: 8,000 hours of experience earned within four years, 4,000 hours of which must be commercial/industrial work
Expected salary range in Colorado: $60,000 to $80,000
If you want to plan electrical projects and supervise novice electricians, earning a master electrician license is the right move for you. A licensed master electrician can bring home an excellent salary, but it’ll take years of hard work to get there! You can choose any of these options:
- Graduate with an electrical engineering degree from an accredited college or university and gain 2,000 hours of construction experience within one year, OR
- Graduate from an electrical trade school or community college and gain 8,000 hours of experience in less than four years, OR
- Complete the journeyman electrician requirements and earn 2,000 hours of additional experience within one year.
Independent Electrical Contractor
Expected salary range in Colorado: $60,000 to $100,000+
When it comes to earning potential, the sky’s the limit for independent electrical contractors. As a contractor, you’ll plan, design, and supervise the installation of electrical systems, big and small. The amount of money you earn will depend on the number of electricians you work with and the types of projects you take on.
To become a contractor, two things must be true:
- First, you must be a master electrician or hire a master electrician.
- Second, you must hold workers’ compensation insurance.
Benefits of Getting an Electrician Certification
If all of the licensing requirements are making your head spin, we don’t blame you! Now that we’ve tackled the details, though, it’s time for the fun part: exploring the benefits of working as an electrician.
Though there are plenty of awesome perks to choose from, our team at CrossPurpose has narrowed it down to the top five:
- Begin your career in a booming profession.
When you enter the workforce as an electrician, you won’t have to worry about job security — especially in Colorado! Every business and home in the state needs electricians, and our state’s job openings are expected to grow 28% by 2028.
- Gain a competitive edge in the job market.
Certification as an electrician will lay the foundation for your pre-apprenticeship, licensing, and long-term career in the field. When companies are hiring an apprentice, they’ll be sure to give your application a closer look when they see that you’ve completed a hands-on certification program.
- Become skilled at critical thinking and problem-solving.
Knowing how to solve problems is a crucial skill, no matter what line of work you’re in. Whether you pursue a career as a master electrician or branch out into the realms of plumbing, HVAC, or another trade, being able to think critically will set you apart from other job candidates.
- Enjoy independence.
Once you’ve got several years of experience under your belt, you’ll be granted more freedom as an electrician. You’ll get to organize the interior of your travel van, listen to the music you’d like, and avoid the long meetings that come with corporate jobs. If you’re a self-sufficient person, you’ll fit right in as an electrician.
- Earn an outstanding salary with solid benefits.
Electricians are some of the highest-paid trade specialists in the market. Plus, when you work with established companies, your contract may include benefits like training opportunities, health insurance, a retirement plan, a bonus program, and more!
Here’s a look at the salary trajectory for electricians in the United States:
Electrician Salary Guide
|Less than 1 year
|$24.39/hr ($50,730 annually)
|1 to 2 years
|$24.33/hr ($50,610 annually)
|3 to 5 years
|$26.32/hr ($54,750 annually)
|6 to 9 years
|$28.31/hr ($58,880 annually)
|$30.11/hr ($62,630 annually)
Choosing the Right Electrician Certification Program for You
Certification is a fantastic starting place for your career — but it can be difficult to navigate all of the options! To make your life a little easier, we’ve arranged them into three paths: attending a university, studying online, or a combination of online and on-the-job training.
- Get training at a college, university, or trade school.
It’ll likely cost more money, but a two- or four-year program will offer robust real-world experience and serve as a springboard for your electrical career. Local colleges and trade schools — for example, Red Rocks Community College or Lincoln Tech — provide comprehensive certifications and degree programs in Denver.
- Earn your certification online.
Online training has two major pros: cost efficiency and flexibility. Many online programs are self-paced, allowing you to arrange your studies around your personal life. Plus, an online certification might cost only a few thousand dollars, compared to the tens of thousands you could spend on a degree.
- Combine online training and hands-on experience through CrossPurpose.
Fortunately, there’s a stellar third option for you to consider: getting a top-notch education with hands-on experience through CrossPurpose. The best part? Our programs at CrossPurpose are 100% free.
We’ll help you build your resume, prepare for interviews, and acquire the skills and knowledge you need to flourish as an electrician. Plus, we’ll help you out financially along the way — which just so happens to be the topic of our next section!
How to Pay for Your Training
For many people, the cost is a huge barrier to receiving training as an electrician. At CrossPurpose, we believe that everybody deserves access to meaningful employment. That’s why we’ve compiled three ways to make the price of electrician training more manageable.
First up: scholarships. Many organizations have reserved funds for aspiring electricians, and they can make a serious dent in the amount you owe for training. Whether you’re thinking about attending a local college or you just need support while you complete your apprenticeship, scholarships are a savvy way to cut down on costs.
Dividing your payments over the course of several months or years is another technique to think about. If you’re enrolling in a training or certification program, but you can’t pay the entire cost upfront, ask if you can make monthly payments instead. Once you’re earning a great salary as an electrician, those payments will be no problem.
We’ve saved the best for last. If you partner with CrossPurpose to get certification, you won’t have to pay a single penny. In fact, we may even be able to give you a small stipend while you study! That way, you can focus on furthering your career without stressing about the financial burden of getting educated.
If you’d like to learn more about our free, flexible training programs, get in touch with us today.
Get Electrician Experience With a Pre-Apprenticeship Program
Before you begin as an apprentice, you’ll want to know the basics of life as an electrician. A pre-apprenticeship program is the best way to learn the ropes, pick up the job site lingo, and build the confidence you need for your first day on the job.
By the end of your training with CrossPurpose and Master’s Apprentice, you’ll be prepared to initiate your pre-apprenticeship, where you’ll:
- Get to observe and work with licensed electricians.
- Acquire the technical knowledge required to succeed.
- Learn fundamental principles of job site and electrical safety.
- Familiarize yourself with special tools and machinery.
- Troubleshoot common electrical problems.
- And lots more!
From start to finish, CrossPurpose is here to be your guide. Because we want to invest in your career and your life, our comprehensive program covers both personal and professional development. By the end of our certification program, you’ll be prepared to conquer your pre-apprenticeship and begin a rewarding career as an electrician.
Let’s launch your electrician career together with free training through CrossPurpose.
Electrician Career Paths
Another bonus of being an electrician is that it opens the door to a variety of career paths. Sure, most of your work will center on electrical systems — but you could be doing that electrical work in a home, on a plane, under a car, or out in a solar field! Here are some popular career tracks for electricians:
If you prefer to work with families who need help in their homes, you’ll want to become a residential electrician. Most of your jobs will take place in apartments, single-family homes, condos, and townhomes, and you’ll get the chance to make an immediate positive impact on your community.
On the other hand, you could also become a commercial electrician, where most of your projects will take place in businesses. Because large companies need top-notch repair work — and they often have bigger repair budgets — you should be able to earn a healthy salary.
Solar Panel Installer
What if you love working in the sun and don’t mind a little snow or rain? A career as a solar panel installer could be your calling. Your starting wage will be strong, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for advancement, and you’ll get to feel the wind in your hair while you work!
Get Started Today
Though the path to becoming a licensed electrician can be daunting, we’re here to help you take the first step. Our career coaches will work with you as you pursue your career as an electrician, providing training, encouragement, and sound advice. From our first meeting to your final certification, the CrossPurpose team will be by your side.
If you’re ready to change your life with free electrician training, get in touch with CrossPurpose today! Fill out the form below for more information, or give us a call at (720) 724-9544 to schedule an appointment.