Construction, Installation, Maintenance, and Repair

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    Required Education, Credentials, and Licenses

    • High school diploma or GED
    • Electrician license, if required by local government

    Preferred Education and Credentials

    • Driver’s license


    • Detail-oriented
    • Critical thinking
    • Troubleshooting
    • Manual dexterity
    • Color vision
    • Physical abilities (flexibility, lift up to 50 pounds) 
    • Knowledge of electrical codes
    • Comfort working with blueprints and schematics
    • Teamwork skills
    • Communication


    Electricians install, maintain, and repair systems that use and transmit electricity, including indoor wiring and power and control systems that are part of HVAC/R operations. 

    Electricians are one of several types of specialized tradespeople who work on HVAC/R systems. HVAC/R systems may be installed, maintained, and repaired by technicians trained to work on the system in its entirety or by several specialized tradespeople who are responsible for specific parts of the system. The role of specialized tradespeople is more common in union jobs than in non-union jobs.

    Electricians must have good attention to detail, knowledge of current electrical codes, and be able to understand manuals, schematics, and blueprints to accurately install, maintain, or repair wires, conduit, fixtures, and other equipment, so electrical systems work properly. They use instruments to check and test electrical equipment or circuits, and they interpret the results to independently identify and troubleshoot malfunctioning components. Electricians need strong critical thinking skills to determine the best solution to restore the system. They plan their work, determine the time and materials needed to fix or replace damaged parts, and revise blueprints and schematics accordingly.

    Electricity-based HVAC/R systems may use different types of electrical conductors and conduits than those used in fossil-fuel based equipment, so electricians need to be familiar with emerging clean energy technologies, including variable refrigerant flow systems and heat pumps. Knowing how to connect and troubleshoot electrical building automation systems and technology used in smart homes, such as smart thermostats, is increasingly important, and it will require electricians in the HVAC/R field to have some basic computer skills (e.g., understanding routers, data networks, firewalls).

    Electricians need good manual dexterity, since they regularly work with their hands and use tools. Color vision is necessary to easily differentiate wires by color. Electricians must have physical flexibility to work in tight spaces, comfort with heights and climbing ladders, and the strength to carry equipment weighing up to 50 pounds. They must be aware of and follow safety procedures to reduce the risk of electrical shocks, falls, or other injuries.

    Customer interaction is common, so electricians need strong verbal communication and customer service skills to build client relationships and inform customers of the work being done. Teamwork is important because electricians sometimes collaborate with engineers or other building workers, and they may train or supervise apprentices or helpers. 

    Electricians are typically employed at worksites on a full-time basis, and they may often be on-call for emergencies. Overtime shifts and work schedules can include evenings and weekends.

    Job Outlook

    According to the New York State Department of Labor, there are approximately 39,000 electricians in New York State and opportunities for employment are expected to be very favorable through 2030 – the Department projects this occupation to grow by 10,790 jobs between 2020 and 2030.

    Property owners who convert existing buildings’ fossil-fuel based HVAC/R to clean energy systems (e.g., heat pumps, heat recovery systems) or make other investments to electrify homes or commercial buildings may need to upgrade their circuit breaker panels and wiring to add electrical capacity. This, in turn, may bolster demand for electricians in the HVAC/R field.

    Entering the Field

    Workers need to have a high school diploma or GED to work as an electrician and, although higher education may not be necessary, many electricians in New York State have earned some college credits or have an associate degree. Electricians typically get started in the occupation by attending a four to five year-long apprenticeship program in which they receive classroom instruction and on-the-job training. They may independently perform tasks after completing the program. Many enter the apprenticeship without experience in the field, and others work as electrician helpers and then choose to apply to be an apprentice. 

    Licensing of electricians in New York is done by local government authorities rather than by the state government. For example, New York City’s Department of Buildings issues Master Electrician and Special Electrician licenses to qualified candidates wishing to work in the city. In addition to local licensing regulations, a driver’s license may be needed to get from one worksite to another.

    Check local government requirements for more information regarding working as an electrician.


    In New York State, the median wage for electricians is approximately $77,900. Entry-level workers earn about $49,100 and experienced workers earn about $102,100.

    Annual Wage (Q1 2023 dollars, rounded to 100s) – Statewide and by Labor Market Region

    New York State$49,100 $77,900 $102,100
    Capital Region$47,700 $69,200 $88,700
    Central New York$44,300 $66,500 $89,100
    Finger Lakes$44,400 $65,400 $83,300
    Hudson Valley$48,600 $74,300 $96,100
    Long Island$49,600 $76,400 $104,600
    Mohawk Valley$44,100 $61,400 $74,200
    New York City$52,800 $88,400 $114,100
    North Country$46,600 $63,500 $77,100
    Southern Tier$43,900 $66,400 $80,500
    Western New York$43,400 $67,700 $83,600

    Source: New York State Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Survey, SOC Code 47-2111 (Electricians)


    Construction contractors are the largest employer of electricians, followed by government agencies.

    The top three employers with the most online job advertisements in each region in 2022 are listed below.

    Note: construction jobs are often underrepresented in online job ads. Check local union or government websites for additional opportunities to gain employment as an electrician.

    Capital Region

    • Quad
    • Gemini Electric
    • State of New York (Education Department – NYSED)

    Central New York

    • CPP-Syracuse, Inc.
    • Lockheed Martin Corporation
    • State of New York (Office of Mental Health)

    Finger Lakes

    • Garlock Sealing Technologies
    • Xerox
    • Pactiv, LLC

    Hudson Valley

    • Constellation
    • Dandelion Energy
    • State of New York (Thruway Authority)

    Long Island

    • State University of New York at Stony Brook (SUNY Stony Brook University)
    • State of New York (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities)
    • Bright Side Electrical Services

    Mohawk Valley (All ads posted in 2022 were from two employers.)

    • State of New York (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities)
    • Vernon Downs Casino Hotel

    New York City

    • NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
    • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
    • Macy’s

    North Country

    • Arconic
    • Corning, Inc.
    • State University of New York at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam)

    Southern Tier

    • Cornell University
    • EMCOR Group
    • CVS Health

    Western New York

    • State University of New York at Buffalo (UB)
    • Seneca Gaming Corporation
    • State of New York (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities)

    Source: Lightcast™. 2022.

    Labor Unions

    The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is affiliated with 16 local chapters, whose union members work as electricians focused on electrical work inside buildings and telecommunications. Labor market regions throughout New York State have more than one active local chapter – almost all of which have apprenticeship programs. Visit union websites to see which unions are active in various parts of the state and to learn more about the training opportunities they offer. 

    Workers employed by New York State or local governments may also belong to unions. Check with local communities to see if there are public unions for electricians.

    Capital Region

    Central New York

    Finger Lakes

    Hudson Valley

    Long Island

    Mohawk Valley

    New York City

    North Country

    Southern Tier

    Western New York

    Education and Training Programs

    Schools across New York offer certificates and/or associate degrees that prepare people to work as electricians, though being an electrician does not necessarily require formal education beyond a high school diploma or GED. In addition to the programs listed below, local colleges may offer training in the electrical trade through adult continuing education or career training departments. Check with schools directly or see which schools partner with ed2go, an online continuing education provider that includes courses for electrical technicians and residential electricians. Electricians who want to enhance their skillset for a specific new technology – whether that be variable refrigerant flow systems, heat pumps, building automation systems, or other clean energy appliances and mechanicals – can enroll in training courses specific to those technologies that are offered by manufacturers or distributors.

    Educational InstitutionDepartmentCertificateAssociateBachelorMasterPhD
    Capital Region
    Hudson Valley Community CollegeApplied TechnologiesNoYesNoNoNo
    Central New YorkNoNoNoNoNo
    Onondaga Community CollegeSchool of Computing & Applied TechnologiesNoYesNoNoNo
    Mohawk Valley
    Mohawk Valley Community CollegeSchool of STEMNoYesNoNoNo
    New York City
    Apex Technical SchoolElectrical School ClassesYesNoNoNoNo
    Berk Trade and Business SchoolAcademicsYesNoNoNoNo
    Lincoln Technical InstituteElectrical and Electronics TrainingYesNoNoNoNo
    North Country
    Champlain Valley Educational ServicesElectrical Design, Installation, & Alternative EnergyYesNoNoNoNo
    Clinton Community CollegeTechnology Department YesYesNoNoNo
    SUNY at CantonCanino School of Engineering TechnologyYesNoNoNoNo
    Southern Tier
    SUNY at DelhiSchool of Applied Technologies and ArchitectureNoYesNoNoNo
    Western New York
    Erie Community CollegeBuilding Trades/Residential Light CommercialYesNoNoNoNo
    SUNY at AlfredElectrical, Machine Tool, and Welding TechnologyNoYesNoNoNo

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