How to Become a High-voltage Electrician


Electricians install, test, troubleshoot and repair components of electrical systems, working with 110- and 220-volt systems in homes and other buildings. High-voltage electricians, however, work with electrical voltage systems of 480 volts or more, climb electrical towers or work from hydraulic lifts. It takes several years to learn the trade and become a high-voltage electrician.

Prerequisites and Other Requirements

  • You must be at least 18 years old to become an electrician. You'll need a high school diploma, and some states have more specific requirements. Washington, for example, requires both a high school diploma or GED, and at least one year of high school algebra or one term of college algebra with a grade of C or better documented on either transcript. You might also need to pass an aptitude test to become an apprentice with some companies, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a drug screening test is typically required.

What You'll Learn

  • Some electricians choose formal education to learn the basics of the trade. These programs are found in colleges and technical-vocational schools. The military also offers basic electrician training. Most high-voltage electricians, however, learn their trade through an apprenticeship. In all cases, you must learn electrical theory and how to read blueprints, and study mathematics, electrical code requirements and basic safety. Students also learn how to deal with electrical shock emergencies. High-voltage electricians must also learn how to climb and descend electrical towers.

Become an Apprentice

  • An electrician's apprenticeship program typically takes four to five years, according to the BLS. Each year, you must complete a minimum of 144 hours of technical training and spend 2,000 hours in paid on-the-job training. You might also need additional training, such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration courses on high-voltage electricity. At the end of the apprenticeship program, you become a journeyman high-voltage electrician, qualified to work without direct supervision. The BLS notes that most states require you to pay a fee and pass a test to become licensed. Each state sets its own licensing fees. Certification is available but not required, though it may increase job opportunities.

Job Outlook and Salary

  • The BLS projects demand for electricians to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022 -- a growth rate almost twice as fast as the 11 percent average for all occupations. Alternative power generation from solar and wind energy, and the need to connect new installations into the high-voltage power grid, should provide the best opportunities for high-voltage electricians. However, demand for electricians tends to fluctuate and is often related to construction activity. The BLS reports that the median salary for all electricians, including high-voltage electricians, was $49,840 in 2012. Job site Indeed reports that the average annual salary for high-voltage electricians was $50,000 in 2014.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit RGtimeline/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • High Voltage Electrician Job Description

    High voltage electricians are skilled in the maintenance of overhead, underground, power plants and other central electrical systems. They have a thorough...

  • Electrical Apprentice Job Description

    Electricians might learn their trade through technical school and an apprenticeship or through an apprenticeship only. This occupation, like many trades, requires...

  • Low Voltage Electrical Training

    Low voltage electrical workers, or electricians, usually work in residential maintenance or construction. They diagnose faults, repair appliances and wire installations. Training...

  • High Voltage Terminations Training

    When a high-voltage cable is terminated for a connection, the termination must be made by to exact specifications to avoid faulty circuits....

  • How to Become a Journeyman Lineman

    Line installers and repairers, usually called linemen regardless of gender, need both technical instruction and long-term training on the job. Most linemen...

  • How to Become an Electrician

    If you are looking for a challenging, rewarding, hands-on career, do not curse the darkness - become an electrician. Here's how you...

  • The Salary of High Voltage Electricians

  • HVAC Apprenticeship Programs

    HVAC apprenticeship programs fall under the National Apprenticeship Act, overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL works with the...

Related Searches

Check It Out

3 Day-to-Night Outfits for the Work Week

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!