How to become an electrician in Pennsylvania

Feb 14, 2022 · 5 minutes to read

An electrician installs downlights

Are you looking to try your craft as an electrician in the keystone state of Pennsylvania? Well, you’re on the right page!

From job security, competitive pay to being your own boss, being an electrician has a lot to offer, and running your own small business is part of the American dream.

While you may be excited to get going, there are a few things you need to consider first. Below is a step-by-step guide that will help you become an electrician, whether it be in Philadelphia or the electric city of Scranton.

Step 1: Consider getting properly educated

Being an electrician can often be a dangerous profession, as it involves putting yourself in a variety of hazardous situations from electrocution to electrical fires. Getting the proper education through the right channels is highly recommended to ensure the safety to you, your employees, and your clients.

While you can become a successful journeyman and independently teach yourself, you may lack structure to your education or miss critical information along the way.

Technical colleges are specifically designed to provide you with a comprehensive program that’ll let you develop both your practical and theoretical skills in a safe environment. Getting started on your own can be intimidating. Technical Colleges can fast-track your road to employment through providing you with network opportunities and lay the foundations for a long career as an electrician.

Step 2: consider an apprenticeship

Another avenue is getting involved in an apprenticeship program. Usually lasting three to five years, apprenticeships can offer valuable on-site education within an actual electrician business. Many budding electricians learn the ropes in the apprenticeship and are rewarded with significant connections within the Pennsylvanian electrician industry.

Apprentices in Pennsylvania can install, repair, and maintain electrical systems in commercial and residential properties under the supervision of a journeyman electrician or electrical contractor. To register as an apprentice, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, passed their high school algebra test course, and pass a general aptitude test.

Step 3: Become a journeyman

After you’ve completed your practical and theoretical training, you are now well on your way to earning the coveted title of being a journeyman electrician in Pennsylvania. The jobs a journeyman electrician can do include altering, repairing, and installing any equipment that uses electrical energy. Journeyman electricians can also supervise the work of apprentices.

Applicants for the journeyman electrician license in Pennsylvania must:

  • Work as an electrician apprentice for at least 4 years
  • Complete an approved apprenticeship program in Pennsylvania
  • Be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED
  • Take a journeyman examination
  • Submit an application

The four-hour journeyman exam is multiple choice and should take about four hours to complete. You will get at least 70% to pass. Upon completion you will be given your journeyman electrician license.

Step 4. Get your local Electrical Contractor license

Licensed electrical contractors can supervise journeyman electricians and apprentices and run their own electrician small business. Pennsylvania has no state license for electrical work and thus has left it to counties and cities to preside over the licensing and certification process.

Generally, they would need to work as a journeyman electrician for at least two years, hold a valid journeyman electrician license, and pass the electrical contractor examination. They will also need to cover the appropriate electrical contractor insurance in Pennsylvania for their company, which will discussed further in step five.

While the rules and regulations are mostly similar throughout Pennsylvania, aspiring electricians will need to contact their local building departments to confirm the specific fees, application instructions and requirements.

Step 5. Sorting out your insurance coverage

Your electrician insurance in Pennsylvania is another integral part of getting and maintaining the right licensing. Below is a continuation of the criteria needed to obtain your Electrical Contractor License in Philadelphia in terms of insurance for electricians. Again, the criteria may vary depending on where you are operating in Pennsylvania, but this will give a guide of what type of insurance coverage is expected for an electrician in the largest city in the state.

In Philadelphia you must provide a Certificate of Insurance to obtain your Electrical Contractor license that includes these minimum amounts:

  • General Liability: $500,000 per occurrence
  • Automobile Liability Insurance: $300,000
  • Worker’s Compensation:
    • $100,000 each accident
    • $100,000 each employee
    • $500,000 policy limit

That’s a confusing amount of electrician insurance so lets break it down and see where you can get it.

Automobile Liability insurance protects you against financial loss if you are in an accident during work. Since you are constantly driving to different places (and because it’s a legal requirement), it’s an essential form of coverage as an electrical contractor. Visit one of the many local auto insurance providers to get the best quote.

Another type of electrical liability in Pennsylvania is General Liability insurance. Also referred to as commercial general liability (CGL), “slip and fall” coverage, or electrical liability, General Liability insurance* protects your business against claims and lawsuits brought by outside parties that allege bodily injury or property damage.

Workers’ Compensation insurance* protects you against medical expenses and lawsuits triggered by employee workplace injuries and illnesses. Your policy may also pay lost wages while your employee is recovering.

Both General Liability and Worker’s Compensation coverage are available through BizInsure. With just a few clicks or a single phone call, you can get multiple competitive quotes from leading insurers for your electrical company insurance.

Select your preferred policy and get coverage instantly, so the only thing you need to worry about is adding a bit of spark to your client’s day.

*As with any insurance, the cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.

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