You must successfully complete several steps in order to become a maintenance electrician, working either for a service company or simply for yourself. First, you must complete some coursework at a trade school or vocational college to acquire a basic background in electrical systems equipment. You will then need to apply for and obtain a professional apprenticeship with an experienced electrician, preferably one that works in maintenance rather than in construction. You should complete all phases of the apprenticeship, and then take the required licensing exams for your jurisdiction to become a maintenance electrician. Once you pass the exams, become affiliated with an electrician's union that has other members in your geographic location.
The first step to become a maintenance electrician is to establish a basic foundation for your education in electrical supply and transmission systems. You can take several basic courses at a trade school or vocational institution that cover the fundamentals of controlled electricity, material types, and related equipment, as well as what is and is not sanctioned by the municipal codes in your jurisdiction. The education may or may not lead to a formal degree in electrical systems, but the completion of basic courses will help you to acquire an apprenticeship or an internship. You may need to take as few as four or five classes if you do not intend to complete a degree with the trade school.
You should apply for an apprenticeship with another maintenance electrician in order to become a maintenance electrician. In many cases, you can obtain an apprenticeship with any working electrician in good standing. You may also apply for an apprenticeship with service and maintenance companies that perform electrical work on established properties. Avoid applying for an apprenticeship with a company that performs strictly construction and implementation electrical work as this will provide little in the way of direct experience for maintaining and repairing electrical systems.
Internships for maintenance electricians vary but can last up to five years. Once your maintenance electrician apprenticeship is complete, you will have to sit for the licensing exams administered by the appropriate authority in your state. When you pass the exams and receive your license, you can begin seeking work as a maintenance electrician, and often you can a suitable position through your mentor apprenticeship mentor. Though you can work independently, you may want to find a paid position with an organization in order to gain experience before attempting to work solo. When you begin work, you may need to join your local electrician's union and pay the required dues.