Online Electrician Schools: How to Choose

Electrician training programs can be found in a partially online format; students should expect that much of their practical training will be conducted in person. Look over the choices you have to select the right school by reading on.

Online electrician schools are not typically available, though some relevant degrees are available in hybrid format. When researching these programs, remember to consider the level of training offered and whether or not it can help you prepare for licensure.

How to Select an Online Electrician School

Electricians learn their trade on the job so fully online programs for inexperienced individuals aren't feasible. Partially online or hybrid programs are available at the associate's degree level along with online undergraduate degree options for professional electricians. Continuing education and apprenticeship programs also provide some online coursework. Students then must factor in the program type and electrician licensing considerations.

Program Type

Some hybrid certificate and degree programs combine on-the-job apprenticeships with selected online courses. Other degree completion programs allow journeymen electricians to earn an associate's degree by applying their prior apprenticeship hours to a degree program and fulfilling elective and general education requirements, which are sometimes offered online. Finally, some schools offer individual online electrician courses that can be taken as non-credit continuing education or for personal interest.

Electrician Licensing

While a formal education isn't required to work as an electrician, most states do require electricians to be licensed before they can legally work. The majority of electrician programs include preparation for state licensure exams. Prospective students will want to research the licensing rules for their state.

List of Online Electrician Programs

Online Continuing Education Courses

Apprentice, journeyman, and master electricians typically need to complete continuing education to maintain state licensure. Some schools offer self-paced courses that can fulfill state requirements. Courses usually don't offer college credit but do comprise 5-6 hours of continuing education credit. Professionals can take courses that cover several topics, such as:

  • Solar hot water heating
  • Photovoltaic system design and installation

Online Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Construction

Associate's degrees in electrical construction provide professional electricians the opportunity to earn a college degree and apply work experience toward program requirements. The American Council on Education defines a standard 5-year electrical apprenticeship as being equal to 51 college credits. The remaining credits needed for an associate's degree can be completed by taking some or all remaining courses online. Schools usually feature an online learning system, like Moodle, and students will need access to high-speed Internet and multimedia software. Coursework for the degree includes:

  • DC-AC Electronics
  • Integrated Circuits
  • Solid-state electrical devices
  • Digital Fundamentals

Electrician Apprenticeship Program

Electrician apprenticeship programs give individuals on-the-job instruction and training to prepare for work as independent electricians. Most apprenticeship programs offer paid employment during training, as well as credited courses that can be applied toward a certificate or associate's degree in the field.

During an apprenticeship, students might work alongside residential wiring electricians, industrial electricians, commercial electricians, or other power company employees. They'll also complete on-campus and online classes in topics such as electrical theory, electrical codes and regulations, blueprint reading, safety and first aid, heat tracing, and freeze protection. Other topics include:

  • Contractors and relays
  • Conductor installations
  • Sensor and transducer principles
  • Alternating current
  • Capacitive circuits

Schools with Online Programs for Electricians

Mid Michigan Community College has online courses to take in tandem with its electrician apprenticeship program. There are a multitude of course topics available, from basic to advanced-level study. For placement purposes, students must provide proof of work experience with an electrician before enrolling in these courses. They might also have to take a skills test in some cases.

The State University of New York's Delhi campus offers an Associate in Occupational Studies in Electrical Construction and Instrumentation to students who have completed their apprenticeship. Journeyman electricians can receive 51 course credits towards the degree. The remaining 12 credits of general education coursework required for the degree can be completed online.

Most online education for electricians is designed for currently employed electricians looking for continuing education or degree completion, though some entry-level programs do offer part of the program coursework online. It's important to preview the types of programs and courses available as well as licensure support from the schools you're considering attending.

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