The differences between Master and Journeyman Electricians


Electricians are highly skilled professionals that provide essential services to us all. We wouldn’t have electricity without them. A title is given to a student when they begin their journey to becoming an electrician. Apprentices train to become journeymen, which can lead to master status. They have spent many years honing their skills, which allows them to work in commercial and domestic settings. They are highly skilled professionals.

It is quite important to know the difference between a master electrician and a journeyman electrician. This guide is for you if you are an aspiring electrician or a company looking to hire a master electrician. Let’s get to it…

Training & Experience

Journeyman electricians must have 8,000 hours of job experience. This is done over a 4-year apprenticeship. Journeymen who are interested in becoming electricians learn:

  • Understand blueprints and other mechanical drawings
  • Maintain and install electrical equipment and power supplies
  • Electrical codes and regulations must be followed
  • Fire alarm systems: Understand the basics
  • Use protective devices, bonds, and ground
Two men electricians working on a residential breaker box. They use tools to assess the repair and wear matching blue uniforms. The multi-ethnic group is discussing next steps in the job repair. Electric meter to side.

Journeymen are eligible to become master electricians once they have been licensed. This can be achieved by working an additional 4,000 hours over 2 years and passing the journeyman-to-master electrician exam. Master electricians must demonstrate proficiency in:

  • Electrical blueprints and building plans can be created
  • Complex electrical system failures can be solved
  • Coaching, evaluating, and monitoring other electricians
  • As the point of contact between vendors and owners
  • As a team, we plan and execute projects with engineers, general contractors, architects, and other tradespeople.

Master electricians and journeymen start with the same training but this changes as they progress in their careers. Master electricians must be able to comprehend a broader range of electrical concepts. This is why journeymen require additional training to help them take on more responsibility.


The location of the job can have an impact on how much a worker earns. For example, an electrician in Oregon can make significantly more than one in Florida. This is due in part to the fact that salaries are closely related to local living costs, regardless of their industry.

New York, Illinois, and Alaska are the top-paying states for electricians. Southern states tend to have more anti-union policies. This region is worth looking into if you are an electrician.

Journeyman vs Master Electrician – Salary

The national average salary for a journeyman electrician stands at $27.73 an hour, or $64,554 annually.

On average, master electricians earn $31.95 per hour or $74,408 annually.

Like any other industry, the more you know and the more you make, the better. Master electricians must be able to solve complicated problems, train others, and take on more responsibility.

This brings us to the next point…


Although both a master and a journeyman electrician do many of the same jobs, each has its own responsibilities. Some functions are only possible with master training because the master has spent more time learning them. The following are the responsibilities of a journeyman electrician:

  • The standard electrician’s duties include installing or repairing electrical fixtures and wires.
  • Installation of electrical components in walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Upgrade or replacement of older electrical systems
  • Testing and installing electrical appliances
  • A master electrician has the following responsibilities:
  • Regular electrical tasks include installing and maintaining electric systems.
  • Collaborating with general contractors to create blueprints and electrical plans
  • Assisting with the management of electrical projects
  • Negotiating with suppliers and coordinating
  • Permits and compliance with current building codes
  • Scheduling tasks for apprentice and journeymen electricians

Master electricians must complete a lot more training, as you can see. It takes time to build the confidence necessary to mentor others electricians and design complete electrical structures.


The best thing about being a master electrician? It allows you to start your own business.

First, you will need to demonstrate your ability to follow strict building codes and solve complex electrical problems. Master electricians take years of problem-solving, experience, and hard work. After passing the master’s exam you are able to start your own business and hire electricians. Or you can become a general contractor and work independently.

Although some journeyman electricians are able to work independently, it is true that the rules can get complicated depending on where you live. You should check your local labor laws to see what you are allowed to do as a journeyman. It’s better to work towards your master’s designation. You’ll be able to gain more skills, get higher pay, and open up new career possibilities.

Employers need to know the difference between a Journeyman and a Master Electrician

Before you hire an electrician, it is important to know the basics. These are the key points to remember:

  1. Are you able to create blueprints? Journeyman electricians can read and interpret electrical drawings but they cannot create them. This will require a master electrician license.
  2. Are you required to obtain building permits? You must apply for building permits whenever you make structural changes to buildings or start from scratch. Although regulations vary from one state to the next, it is best to hire an electrician master when permits are required.
  3. Are you looking for someone to manage projects or take a leadership position with other electricians? These tasks are best suited for a master electrician.

These points should not discourage you from employing a journeyman. These highly skilled workers are certified and capable of handling all jobs. However, master electricians will need to be trained in local laws.

It can be difficult to understand rules and regulations. To make life easier, consider using S&S for your next electrical project. We have certified experts who can take care of all the details. We have a large pool of qualified electricians that can match you with the right electrician for your project.

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