Most people do not associate a steady career with a traveling lifestyle. Maintaining a consistent income can be difficult for those who want to travel or live a nomadic lifestyle, as careers are typically location-specific. Surprisingly, there is a space for those who want both an unfaltering career and a nomadic lifestyle. The secret is choosing a career that is in demand practically anywhere. One of the most ideal types of careers that fit this category is a trade career such as an electrician. 

Electricians are needed everywhere; after all, everyone requires electrical servicing. Travelers and nomadic individuals can find work as an electrician pretty much anywhere with the help of licensing and specific traveling roles.

The Role of an Electrician

Electricians are responsible for installing, inspecting, and repairing electrical systems including power, control, communications, and lighting. This includes residential, commercial, or even outdoor electrical systems. They can even audit and identify energy consumption to determine the most energy-efficient usage as well. These skills are unique and severely needed regardless of location, perfect for travelers. 

Traveling Electricians

Typically, electricians will decide to work for a single, local company or start their own business in a place of their choosing. However, this isn’t a requirement; electricians can travel essentially anywhere, but they will need to be properly licensed in the state they are working. This may be tricky for travelers, as not all licenses are reciprocal, but proper planning and licensing can ensure steady work practically anywhere.


There are a few types of licensing that electricians typically have depending on the type of work they want to undertake. Journeyman licenses cover basic electrician work while master electricians have the power to oversee larger and more diverse types of work. Traveling electricians who want standard electrical work will usually only have a journeyman license, but those who want more flexibility or freedom in work types will need a master license.

Journeyman License

The journeyman license is the average, basic electrical license that most contractors will have. This is obtained through pre-licensing courses or trade school, but many opt for apprenticeships via on-the-job training instead. While you don’t have to complete an apprenticeship all in one location, it will likely be quicker and easier to settle in one place for training purposes before traveling. Licensing is issued in one state only, and the requirements for obtaining a license vary depending on which state you’re in. Most, however, require hands-on training or schooling hours and passing a journeyman licensing exam.

Master License

An electrician master license gives an electrician more power in their career. They can oversee projects, train or supervise a journeyman, own a business, and obtain managerial positions. Traveling electricians will only need this type of license if they are planning to take on managerial roles or travel under their own business name. A master electrician has more training hours under the belt and will need to pass another exam. However, similar to the journeyman license, each license requirement varies depending on location.

License Reciprocity

The main drawback to traveling as an electrician is typically due to license reciprocity. Not all licenses are valid in every state. Some licenses are only valid in certain states. Some licenses are only valid in the state they’re issued in. Electricians who want to travel will need to keep this in mind and take several licensing tests depending on the areas they want to travel to. It’s also smart to obtain a license in a state that has reciprocity in many other states, reducing the amount of exams you may need to take. Some examples follow.


If you decide to get a prep course with RocketCert and apply for a Texas journeyman electrician license, you’ll be happy to know that the license you obtain is valid in a few other states: Arkansas, Wyoming, South Dakota, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nebraska, Idaho, and Montana. A Texas master license, however, is only reciprocal in Louisiana and North Carolina.


Electricians traveling to California cannot be licensed from out of state, although those holding licenses in certain states (Nebraska, Arizona, or Louisiana) may be able to waive the exam to obtain a California license.


Electricians traveling to Florida will see license reciprocity if they come from Nebraska, Kentucky, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and a few others. 

Traveling Companies

There are a few companies that offer building, construction, or trade contracts on a traveling basis. Electricians who want to travel without specific location goals in mind will benefit from working for these companies; they also won’t have to worry about specific state licensing themselves. Additionally, unions such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) provide job connections, contracts, and protections in many different states and countries.

Overseas Electricians

To travel to a different country for electrician work, you’ll need verifiable experience and licensing, at least as a journeyman. You also may need to take exams or courses to be qualified in the target country as well, such as UK certification procedures; this is because electrical systems work quite differently from country to country.


While traveling electricians aren’t as popular as the alternative, they remain attractive for nomadic individuals and those who don’t want to be tied down by a location-specific career. Obtaining a license is a great idea for those looking to travel, but where they are licensed will make a difference in terms of license reciprocity and job availability. Certain companies or unions can provide traveling electrician work as well.