A journeyman is a man or woman who has successfully completed an apprenticeship and passed state or regional licensing exams to work in a specific trade. Individuals are highly skilled in their jobs and perform very important work to construct, install, and maintain various structures. Journeyman jobs can be found in dozens of different lines of work, as professionals may become electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, or mechanics, among other options.
To obtain most journeyman jobs and licenses, individuals must work as apprentices to skilled craftsmen for a period of about three to five years. Employers and workers' unions generally help hopeful journeyman find paid apprenticeships, where they gain valuable firsthand work experience by assisting established professionals and performing supervised tasks. Many journeymen receive specialized classroom training as well, learning about the different laws, regulations, and duties involved in their trades. After training requirements are met, most states and countries require prospective craftsmen to pass written licensing exams before working independently in journeyman jobs.
Many journeyman jobs can be found with electrician unions and power companies, where workers install and renovate electrical systems in buildings, residences, and municipal facilities. Journeymen must have detailed knowledge of the properties of electricity and safe, effective wiring techniques. Many professionals are involved in the construction of walls and floors, ensuring that power lines and outlets are installed correctly. Individuals known as journeyman linemen specialize in maintaining power lines that run underground or on power poles to transfer electricity from power plants to homes and businesses.
Plumbers usually begin their careers as journeymen and apprentices, where they are given the opportunity to learn the complex skills involved in the trade. Professionals install pipes and fixtures in commercial buildings and residences, and perform maintenance jobs when necessary. Some plumbers lay sewer, water, and gas pipes under city roads using a number of different specialized tools and heavy equipment.
Construction journeymen jobs usually entail carpentry and ironwork. Carpenters measure, cut, and shape building materials out of wood, while ironworkers manipulate pieces of iron and other metals to construct framework for homes, buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, and other structures. Professionals often work outside, occasionally under dangerous conditions such as inclement weather or high up on scaffolding and exposed iron beams.
There are many other types of journeyman jobs available in mechanic shops and companies that install heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Automobile mechanic journeymen may specialize by performing detailed repairs on passenger vehicles, boats, industrial equipment, or large diesel engines. HVAC unit installations and repairs are executed by skilled journeyman who understand the physics behind heating and cooling systems and keep strict records of their work.