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In Pennsylvania, electrician training is offered at career and technology centers and community colleges. Programs are commonly available through undergraduate certificate and diploma programs as well as associate degree programs. Certificate and diploma programs focus on career training, while associate-level programs combine foundational electrical technology courses with general education classes. One associate degree program integrates an apprenticeship, for a combined five-year education; another associate degree program requires students to complete a practicum. All programs combine lectures with lab work.
Community College of Alleghany County
Pittsburgh's Community College of Alleghany County offers the Associate of Science in Electrical Construction Technology, with an apprenticeship. In this program, students choose one of two tracks, which differ in the first and second year science, math and communications courses. This 5-year associate's degree program is a combined effort of the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
Coursework focuses on safety, AC and DC currents, the basic principles of matter as they relate to electrical theory, residential and commercial circuit lay-outs, blueprint-reading and decision-making logic. Introductory courses in computers, psychology and oral communication are also available. The program takes place in a classroom and an electrical laboratory in order to combine textbook knowledge with hands-on experience. Graduates may sit for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Journeyman Wireman Examination to receive industry certification. This certification allows graduates to work in residential, commercial and industrial construction, as well as all other areas of the electrical business.
Delaware County Community College
At the Media campus of Delaware County Community College, students can earn an Electrical Certificate after completion of seven courses. The 29-credit hour certificate includes courses in dealing with residential, commercial and industrial wires and study of electrical codes. Students explore the topic of DC currents, learning to use analog and digital Multimeter systems, troubleshooting circuits and circuit conversions. The final course in the program deals with safety and first aid for electrical professionals.
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center
Monroeville-based Forbes Road Career and Technology Center offers two certificates for individuals seeking training in electrical technology. The first is a 300-credit hour certificate, while the second is a 900-credit hour certificate. In either program, students explore topics like installation of a variety of systems, AC/DC systems and electrical panels. Students gain hands-on experience to fully understand the national electrical code.
Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center
Students at Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center in Johnstown can receive a diploma in electrical technology in daytime or evening courses. In the daytime program, students explore topics like hardware, materials and tools for electrical work, installation of electrical boxes and cable, building plans, residential entrances and residential service calculations. The evening program includes study of codes related to residential, commercial and industrial wiring, programmable controls, home technology integration and electrical safety.
Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg
At Harrisburg's campus of the Harrisburg Area Community College, students have multiple options to earn associate degrees, certificates or career diplomas in electrical technology. Students can pursue a Certificate in Electrical Technology, an Independent Electrical Contractor Apprentice Training Certificate or a Diploma in Electrical Technology. In the 35-credit hour Electrical Technology Certificate program, students take courses in electricity fundamentals, basic and advanced electrical wiring as well as blueprint reading.
The 32-credit hour Independent Electrical Contractor Apprentice Training Certificate requires completion of courses that explore safe work procedures, handling of electrical tools and materials and demonstrate techniques for working in residential, commercial or industrial settings. The Diploma in Electrical Technology, a 25-credit hour program, includes courses in blueprint reading, the national electrical code, fundamentals of electricity and two courses in electrical wiring.
Lehigh Carbon Community College
At Schnecksville-based Lehigh Carbon Community College, students can pursue an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology or an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering Technology. The A.A.S in Electrical Technology includes courses in the fundamentals of technology, digital fundamentals and study of microprocessors. Students also explore electrical maintenance and technical writing, while completing general education courses. In the A.A.S in Electrical Engineering Technology degree program, students take courses in AC and DC circuits, introduction to microprocessors, electronic circuits, engineering graphics and telecommunications. The school also offers a Certificate in Electrical Technology.
Luzerne County Community College
At Nanticoke-based Luzerne County Community College, students can pursue a Diploma in Electrical Construction Technology, an Associate in Applied Science in Electronics Engineering Technology or a Certificate in Electronics Engineering Technology. Each option has its own timeline - the associate degree is a 2-year degree and the certificate can be completed in two semesters, while students can complete the diploma in a single semester. In the diploma program students complete courses in AC and DC currents, basic construction wiring and study of national electrical code; they also study blueprint reading and applied mathematics. In the certificate program, students take the same courses as in the diploma program, but add classes in small business management, electrical motor control and control for heating systems. The associate degree program includes the same courses as the certificate, with the addition of general education courses and classes in working with transformers, power systems and programmable logic controllers.
Northampton County Area Community College
Bethlehem's Northampton County Area Community College offers a specialized Diploma in Electrical Technology or an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Construction Technology. The diploma program is designed for students just starting out in the electrical field. The program begins with the basics, such as electrical theory, AC and DC currents, electrical safety and basic circuit wiring. Students also become familiarized with motors, transformers, robotics and programmable controller systems.
Maintenance is the primary focus of this program, so students will learn to install, maintain, repair and debug all of the technology they have become acquainted with. This course work can also be used toward a degree in electrical construction technology or electromechanical technology after graduation. In the Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Construction Technology, students focus on electrical installation, wiring and testing of residential, commercial and industrial electrical systems. Course work includes the National Electrical Code, the fundamentals of electricity, wiring techniques, fiber optics, motor controls and programmable logic controllers. Upon completion of the degree program, students can test for municipal and state electrician's licenses.
Pennsylvania College of Technology
The Williamsport-based Pennsylvania College of Technology offers an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology that exposes students to electrical theory, programmable logic control input/output devices, technical and professional communication. Individuals can complete this degree program in four semesters, including construction laboratory experience. Students learn electrical drawing and print reading, accident prevention and physics for technological application. They also learn to troubleshoot and repair issues in electrical equipment.
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
Lancaster's Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology offers an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology. This 2-year degree program includes courses in electrical theory and analysis, an electrical technology practicum that begins in the first semester and continues into the second, as well as courses in Industrial Electronics, D.C. and A.C. Motors and Generators. Students take courses in physics, industrial electricity and electronics and systems design.
In order to work as an electrician or electrical contractor in Pennsylvania, an individual must obtain a municipal license or certification, according to the state's uniform construction code; also, they must register with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office. Read on to learn about the schools in Pennsylvania that offer electrical technology training as well as their program offerings and tuition information.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Electrical Technology Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Community College of Allegheny County||2-year, public; large city||Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Construction Technology, with an apprenticeship||$3,999 (in-district); $7,298 (in-state); $10,440 (out-of-state)*|
|Delaware County Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Electrical Certificate||$4,760 (in-district); $8,350 (in-state): $11,840 (out-of-state)*|
|Forbes Road Career and Technology Center||Less than 2-year, public||300-hour Certificate in Electrical Technology; 900-hour Certificate in Electrical Technology||$2,840*|
|Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center||Less than 2-year, public; small suburb||Certificate in Electrical Technology||$16,530*|
|Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg||2-year, public; small city|| Certificate in Electrical Technology,
Independent Electrical Contractor Apprentice Training Certificate,
Diploma in Electrical Technology
|$6,015 (in-district); $7,500 (in-state); $8,940 (out-of-state)*|
|Lehigh Carbon Community College||2-year, public; rural fringe|| Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering Technology
|$3,800 (in-district); $7,070 (in-state); $10,340 (out-of-state)*|
|Luzerne County Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Construction Technology,
Certificate in Electrical Construction Technology,
Diploma in Electrical Construction Technology
|$4,770 (in-district); $8,700 (in-state); $12,630 (out-of-state)*|
|Northampton County Area Community College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Construction Technology,
Diploma in Electrical Technology
|$3,990 (in-district); $8,700 (in-state); $12,840 (out-of-state)*|
|Pennsylvania College of Technology||4-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology||$15,810 (in-state); $22,470 (out-of-state)*|
|Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology||$7,430*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.