Electricians work in the maintenance and construction industries, installing wiring and control systems that facilitate electric currents. Students can opt for an academic program, offered at community colleges throughout the nation, or an apprenticeship, offered through various trade schools and unions.
Schools with Electrician Programs
Some electrician programs in the United States are offered at the colleges listed here.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Eastern Shore Community College||Melfa, VA||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $4,395; Out-of-state $10,233|
|El Paso Community College||El Paso, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $2,386; Out-of-state $4,042|
|Spokane Community College||Spokane, WA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $3,388; Out-of-state $8,726|
|Metropolitan Community College||Omaha, NE||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $2,745; Out-of-state $4,005|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-district $1,632; In-state $3,360; Out-of-state $3,756|
|Lone Star College||The Woodlands, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-district $1,504; In-state $3,184; Out-of-state $3,544|
|GateWay Community College||Phoenix, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $2,046; Out-of-state $7,830|
|Springfield Technical Community College||Springfield, MA||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $5,436; Out-of-state $11,946|
|Lansing Community College||Lansing, MI||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-district $3,020; In-state $5,660; Out-of-state $8,300|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
Students should keep the following in mind when choosing a school:
- Electricians can specialize in inside wiring, outside lining, residential wiring or voice, video and data connections.
- Students are advised to look for apprenticeships that are accredited by the NJATC, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) or the U.S. Department of Labor's Education and Training Administration (ETA).
- Trade school programs offer certificates and associate's degrees, which typically take two years to complete, and these programs often prepare students to take any required licensing examinations.
- Some schools allow certificate or journeyman courses to be applied to an associate's degree.
Journeyman Training Apprenticeship
Training programs involve the completion of an apprenticeship that typically last 4-5 years and include supplemental coursework in electrician techniques and codes. Apprentices are paid a percentage of journeyman pay that increases as they advance. Applicants for apprenticeships must pass an aptitude test.
Journeyman Electrician Certificate
Certificate programs provide the basic coursework that prepares students for licensing examinations. Some states allow completion of these programs to count as a year or two toward on-the-job training requirements. Students take from 24-40 credit hours of coursework covering safety, equipment, blueprint reading and systems and gain a basic understanding of electricity and electronics.
Journeyman Electrician Associate's Degree
Students wishing to advance to leadership positions might consider associate's degree programs. These programs include general education courses, such as basic math, communications and writing, in addition to the electrician courses. Cooperative internships or apprenticeships are often required for graduation.
Electricians can prepare to enter the field with a certificate or associate's degree that can be earned at a public college. There are many program options at 2-year institutions that can be considered for those interested in pursuing studies in this field; completing an apprenticeship is also an option for those who prefer hands-on learning.