Journeyman Electrician School and Training Program Information

Prospective journeyman electricians have several educational options, each of which requires several years to complete. In addition to education and training requirements, students also have to pass state and national licensing exams. Keep reading to learn more about schools for aspiring electricians and the programs they offer.

How to Choose a Journeyman Electrician School or Training Program

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.

Summary of Considerations

  • Specialization areas
  • Accreditation
  • Exam preparation

Specialization Areas

The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) notes that electricians can specialize in inside wiring, outside lining, residential wiring or voice, video and data connections (www.njatc.org). Individuals considering apprenticeships should select programs that offer training in one or more of these specialties.

Accreditation

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). According to the ETA, accreditation by one or more of these organizations ensures that an internship is current with industry standards and that access to the program is fair and impartial (www.doleta.gov).

Exam Preparation

Many states require electricians to become licensed by passing exams for the National Electrical Code and state electrical codes. Trade school programs offer certificates and associate's degrees, which typically take two years to complete, and these programs often prepare students to take these examinations. Some programs devote entire courses to a specific set of codes and exam preparation.

Degree Program Overviews

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. Apprentices learn about:

  • Safety and first aid
  • Lighting systems
  • Codes and standards
  • Electrical theory
  • Transformers

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. Specific topics include:

  • Electrical fundamentals
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Transformers
  • Circuit breakers
  • Overcurrent protection

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. Specific courses may include:

  • Management
  • Occupational health and safety
  • General business
  • Computer aided drafting
  • Welding technology

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