ElectricianSchool.Training is your one-stop shop for everything from finding an accredited electrician school in your area, to reviewing your state’s licensing requirements. We even provide a handy career guide to help you familiarize yourself with the steps required to become an electrician, and to find out about the employment outlook and salary range you can expect in your area.
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Why Become an Electrician?
If you’re looking for a career that pays well, keeps you on your toes, and is always hiring, then you may be the perfect candidate to become an electrician!
According to the United States Department of Labor, demand for new electricians in America is near historic highs. As a matter of fact, the latest projections show that there will be a 20% increase in new jobs created for electricians through 2022. Check out the following table to see how this growth looks compared to other similar career fields.
|Occupational Title||Employment 2012||Employment 2022||Pct. Growth|
|Helpers – Electricians||60,800||83,300||37%|
|All Construction Laborers||1,071,000||1,560,100||22%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Electrician pay is also usually higher than most other skilled trades. The table below illustrates this fact.
|Occupational Title||Median Annual Wages, 2012|
|Construction Trades Workers||$38,970|
|Total, All Occupations||$34,750|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
If you’d like to learn more about electrician salary around the country, check out our 2014-15 salary guide here.
FAQs About Electrician School
If you’re trying to decide whether to attend an electrician school or pursue an apprenticeship, you probably have several questions. In this section, we provide answers to some of the most-common ones.
Simply click on any tab below to read the answer to the featured question.
Electrician Schools vs. Apprenticeships
While the majority of current professionals learned their trade on-the-job through an apprenticeship, it is becoming an increasingly attractive option to attend electrician school first. Each approach has its own advantages when compared against the other.
Advantages of Electrician Schools
- You are usually exposed to a wider range of job specialties (e.g. residential, industrial and commercial) than you would be during an apprenticeship
- Schools include training in theory and technology in addition to specific skills
- Many employers prefer to take on apprentices who have completed a diploma, certificate or associate’s degree in electrical technology
Advantages of Apprenticeships
- You gain real world, hands-on experience while learning your trade
- Because the apprenticeship may be sponsored by an employer, you are more likely to get a job as soon as you become licensed
- You will be paid for your work while going through the apprenticeship program
Where to Find an Apprenticeship
There are numerous sponsors for electrician apprenticeships. Some employers offer apprenticeships, as do some electrician trade schools and community college programs. Probably the largest provider of electrician apprenticeship programs, however, is the Electrical Training ALLIANCE.
Electrical Training ALLIANCE – NJATC
Formerly known as NJATC, the electrical training ALLIANCE is the only educator in the electrical industry that is endorsed by both the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
To learn more about securing an apprenticeship through this organization, visit their official website at www.electricaltrainingalliance.org.
Prerequisites for Electrician Programs
The requirements for an electrician training program offered through a vocational school may vary slightly from one institution to the next. However, it is generally safe to assume that most schools’ admission requirements will include the following:
- Applicant must be at least 18 years of age
- The applicant must hold a high school diploma or GED
- Have full color vision (i.e. the applicant cannot be color blind)
How Long is Electrician School?
Depending upon whether the student is pursuing a diploma, certificate, or associate’s degree, electrician school can last anywhere between several months and two years. As a general guideline, one can expect each type of credential program to last approximately as long as shown:
- Certificate program: 6 months or longer
- Diploma program: 1 year or longer
- Associate’s degree: 2 years
NOTE: These timeframes are estimates for how long it takes to complete your courses in electrician school – not how long it will take to become a licensed electrician. Becoming eligible to test for licensure will still require you to first complete a four-year apprenticeship in most states.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of attending an electrician trade school will vary depending on the institution you choose, and the type of credential you pursue. Nonetheless, you can usually expect the cost to fall somewhere within the following ranges:
- Certificate programs: $1,000 or more
- Diploma programs: $4,000 or more
- Associate’s degree program: $9,000 or more
What Should I Look for in a Program?
Finding the right electrician training program is an important step for obvious reasons. Not only do you want to make sure that your investment of time and money will give you the results you deserve, but the school you graduate from also carries weight with potential employers.
With that said, the following list details things you should consider when comparing electrician schools.
- Does the program offer an apprenticeship program?
- Does the school include a simulator or similar tools for practicing your skills?
- Does the course curriculum prepare you for your state’s licensing exam?
- Is financial assistance available?
While these factors aren’t the only ones that should weigh into your decision, they should be part of your consideration when choosing a school.
Electrician Certification & Licensing
The terms “certification” and “license” are often used interchangeably when discussing whether or not an electrician is eligible to work independently in his or her state. Regardless of which word is used, however, holding an electrician certification or license is absolutely mandatory if you intend to work in the electrical industry.