How to Become a Commercial Electrician in Texas
The electrical trade is a fantastic place to build a career for those interested in pursuing a path that allows you to make a great living, use your hands, work with awesome people, and ultimately even start your own business. Plus, unlike most jobs that require a college degree, electricians often get paid to learn the trade rather than pay to receive an education.
The average entry level commercial electrical apprentice, or "helper", in Texas earns on average $14 to $16 an hour during their first year. That hourly pay rate quickly increases as a function of the knowledge, skills, and positive attitude demonstrated on the job. After a few years, you can expect to be earning anywhere from $25 to $35 an hour!
And best of all, electricians are going to be in high demand for many decades to come. As you'll see below, you can decide to get started as an electrical apprentice today, and if you like it, you're nearly guaranteed a lifetime of steady work at great pay.
Where to get started:
1. Get your license: Want to become a licensed apprentice electrician? Right this second, you can go to the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration's (TDLR) website and buy an electrical apprentice license for $20. Boom, you're an electrical apprentice!
2. Find a helper job: What you'll want to do next is get employed as a helper. A helper in the electrical trade is really the same thing as an electrical apprentice. We recommend starting by downloading the Buildforce App which will connect you directly with dozens of top contractors across Texas looking for electrical helpers.
We believe the best way to learn the electrical trade is to get paid while doing it. Many of the best contractors who Buildforce is partnered with provide on-the-job training to entry level electricians and some even run formal apprenticeship programs with structured training.
There are also plenty of other places you can go to receive training:
- Join your local Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) chapter
- Trade schools like Altierus, Houston School of Carpentry, and many others
- Join your local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union chapter
3. Work hard, learn, and report hours: Once you're employed, learn everything you can from the journeyman you're helping. If you're serious about the electrical trade, you'll also want to make sure that the Master Electrician where you're working is reporting all of your hours to TDLR. After 8000 of recorded work with TDLR, you will become eligible to take your Journeyman test to become a Journeyman electrician!
To summarize, becoming a commercial electrician in Texas is as simple as:
- Buy your TDLR apprentice electricians for $20
- Download the Buildforce App
- Get paired with a top electrical contractor in Texas
- Start earning and learning