Your Maine Electrician: What Do The Titles Really Mean?

Looking for a qualified electrician in Maine can be challenging, especially if you live in a rural area where services are scarce. Because small communities may not support more than one or two electricians, your choices may be limited. Knowing what to look for in credentials and experience makes choosing the appropriate electrician for the job easier. Here's a look at the designations assigned to those practicing as electricians in Maine.

Electrician's Helper & Apprentice Electricians

An electrician's helper works under the direct supervision of a journeyman, master or limited electrician. Students enrolled in an approved training program may obtain a helper electrician certificate but must work under the direct supervision of the instructor (who is a master electrician) at all times. This is the entry-level certification for working as an electrician in Maine.

The apprentice electrician is similar to the electrician's helper designation. The individual must have a written contract to work with a journeyman, master or limited electrician for training. An apprentice must also be under the direct supervision of the licensed electrician. The hours worked as an apprentice count towards qualifying for a journeyman's license.  

Journeyman in Training

A journeyman-in-training is an electrician working towards certification as a journeyman. He must pass a journeyman exam, be a graduate of an accredited electrical training program and have at least 2,000 hours of experience working as an electrician. Verification must be from an employer and must be notarized. A journeyman-in-training can perform electrical work for an electrical company, master or limited electrician, and must be supervised by a journeyman, master or limited electrician. Journeyman-in-training is the second tier for working as an electrician.


A journeyman must complete 8,000 hours as a helper or apprentice and complete 576 hours of training that has been approved by the Electrician's Examining Board. A journeyman must be employed by a master or limited electrician or an electrical company. A journeyman does not need to work under the direct supervision of the licensed electrician.

Master Electrician

A master electrician does not require supervision and can work individually or establish his own business. Master electricians need at least 12,000 hours of experience with electrical installations, 4,000 of which must be as a journeyman. He must also have completed 576 hours of approved training from an accredited institution. A master electrician typically employs journeymen as part of his workforce.

Limited Electrician

A limited electrician has expertise in a specific area of electrical work, such as house wiring or refrigeration. The number of hours of experience in the field and required training varies, depending on the specialty. In the case of electricians, limited means specialty and does not reflect that the electrician has limited experience. Limited electricians may be employed by master electricians to handle specific needs in the area.  If you have electrical needs other than basic house wiring issues, you may want to seek the services of a limited electrician who has expertise in that area.

Senior Electricians

You may notice the term senior added to the title of your electrician and assume this means the electrician has more experienced than the average electrician does. This may be true, but in the state of Maine, the designation of senior has nothing to do with experience. Senior denotes the age of the electrician. An electrician over the age of 70 years old is a senior electrician. This applies to all tiers and affords the electrician a discount when renewing his license.

Don't be afraid to ask your electrician about his certification and experience. Most will be happy to provide you with that information. If your electrician appears reluctant to share his level of expertise with you, talk to the owner of the electrical service to determine the certification level of the employees.

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