From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



journeyman, printer

A journeyman is a trader or crafter who has completed an apprenticeship. A journeyman is a craftsman who had fully learned his trade and earned money but was not yet a master. To become a master, a journeyman had to submit a master work piece to a guild for judgment. If the work were deemed worthy, the journeyman would be admitted to the guild as a master.


Origin of the title

The word 'journeyman' comes from the French word journee, meaning the period of one day; this refers to their right to charge a fee for each day's work. They would normally be employed by a master craftsman, but would live apart and might have a family of their own. A journeyman could not employ others. In contrast, an apprentice would be bound to a master, usually for a fixed term of seven years, and lived with the master as a member of the household, receiving most or all of their compensation in terms of food and lodging.

In parts of Europe, as in later medieval Germany, spending time as a journeyman (Geselle), moving from one town to another to gain experience of different workshops, was an important part of the training of an aspirant master. Carpenters in Germany have retained the tradition of traveling journeymen even today, although only a small minority still practice it. In later medieval England, however, most journeymen remained as employees throughout their careers, lacking the financial resources to set up their own workshops. In France, they were known as Compagnons.

The terms jack and knave are sometimes used as informal words for journeyman. Hence 'jack of all trades, master of none' — someone who is educated in several fields of trade, but is not yet skilled enough in any to set up their own workshop as a master.

In professional sport, the term "journeyman" refers to a player who is able to play at a starting level, but not as well as top players in a league. As such, they generally move frequently from place to place. It is a term particularly used to refer to quarterbacks in American football; players such as Trent Dilfer, Kelly Holcomb and Tony Banks are recent examples of journeymen quarterbacks.

Industrial era and later

In modern apprenticeship systems, a journeyperson is someone who has a trade certificate that required completion of an apprenticeship. This is the highest formal rank, that of master having been eliminated; it allows them to perform all the tasks of the trade within the area where they are certified, to supervise apprentices and to become self-employed.


Someone who has completed the traditional live-in apprenticeship could be considered a journeyman, as could someone who is educated in their field and has passed a board certified test. In the United States, the requirements for a journeyman's license are set by each state.Template:Citation needed

In the United States, employment as an electrician usually requires that a person holds a state or local (city or county) license as a journeyman or master. The journeyman license certifies that the electrician has met the requirements of time in the field (usually a minimum of 8000 hours) and time in an approved classroom setting (usually 700 hours). A journeyman has the responsibility of supervising workers of lesser experience and training them, in addition to having the qualifications (knowledge and skills) to work unsupervised himself. However, other professions where journeyman status is applicable such as contracting or plumbing, an equivalent amount of work and scholarly experience are just as desirable to an employer.Template:Citation needed

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Journeyman" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools