When looking for an online electrical construction program, students should check whether the program offers hands-on opportunities and sets graduates up for apprenticeships. Although online programs are rare, some schools may offer hybrid learning options.
How to Select an Online Electrical Construction School
Students considering online electrical construction schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Hybrid degree programs in electrical construction are available from some community colleges and online schools. Whether students receive a degree, a trade certificate, or a diploma depends on the institution. Colleges that offer full degree programs are the most likely to offer hybrid instruction. Quality electrical construction programs are often partnered with apprenticeship programs to help graduates to attain journeyman status after graduation.
Approved Apprenticeship Status
Because an electrician is normally required to go through an apprenticeship program, electrical construction programs often partner with an apprenticeship program or training committee. This allows graduates to receive journeyman status upon completion of their education. Whether students choose a diploma or degree program may affect their apprenticeship status.
Because electrical construction is a hands-on profession, education programs that offer hands-on instruction, especially real-world construction experience, are preferred. These programs may require that students actually work on a house or commercial building project during their education.
Options for Electrical Construction Programs
Diplomas and Certificates
Diplomas and certificates are the least likely to include online elements, and are often hands-on trade certificates for those who wish to immediately go to work in electrical construction. Some online portions are available through either e-mail correspondence or a college's online education system. Coursework includes:
- Electrical code
- Electrical calculations
- Technical computer usage
Associate's Degree in Electrical Construction
Electrical construction associate's degree programs are more likely to have the option for online components than certificates or diplomas. These degree programs normally include both hands-on instruction in electrical construction and general education requirements, which can at times be completed via online coursework. Students take courses in:
- AC/DC fundamentals
- Technical drawings and specifications
- Industrial safety
- Electrical wiring
- Electrical motors and controls
Schools with Online Programs in Electrical Construction
Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) offers an online electrical construction management bachelor's degree program. An apprenticeship must be completed prior to taking classes, and there are two mandatory in-person sessions, which cover hands-on learning and a capstone presentation. Additionally, students must complete 65 general education and supporting coursework credits at a home university. Once these components are completed, the remaining courses are available online. Courses include topics such as construction law, industrial safety, and engineering economy.
Through Red Rocks Community College, students can earn a construction electrician associate's degree and/or certificate. The associate's degree can transfer to a four year school for those interested in obtaining a bachelor's degree. Like the program at MTSU, this program is designed to pair with a lengthy apprenticeship, as several years of hands-on training is a general requirement for certification as a construction electrician.
Online electrical construction programs are uncommon, but there are a few available for those who have completed the apprenticeship required for certification in the field. These programs help turn prior knowledge and experience into a degree, as well as build on a few skills which will be useful in the workplace.