How to Become an Electrician
There is currently a shortage of electricians and demand continues to grow. Now is the best time to get your electrician career started and increase your earning potential. Programs are as short as 3 to 6 months.
Certain skill-based trades such as electricians, plumbers, and roofers are a good way to learn a trade and make decent money. These are underrepresented industries that when pursued, they offer a solid career path without building up heavy student loan debt from years of schooling. It is even possible to learn one of these trades without accruing any debt at all. There is always a high demand for these skilled trade careers, especially electricians.
Electricians are probably the most common of these skilled trade careers paths. Even though the industry is in a constant state of changing, people will always need power in their homes for lights, charging electronics, and refrigeration. The power comes in different forms, such as solar, geothermal, or coal, but the basic wiring configuration operates in the same way. A skilled electrician that has a certificate will always have work available.
Different Career Paths
There are different paths towards becoming an electrician. Sometimes high schools will offer electrician programs or have opportunities with local colleges who offer classes of their own that are available to high school students. These classes will prepare the student for after graduation and set them on their course towards an electrician career. If the school is a vocational or technical school, they are specialized in offering classes necessary towards acquiring an electrician degree.
Also, there are electrician-specific schools offered only to those looking to pursue the career. In all of these cases, there is classroom instruction where students will learn what they need to know in order to complete the necessary requirements.
Best Electrician Schools
- Washburn Institute of Technology in Topeka, Kansas
- and Pamlico Community College in Grantsboro, North Carolina.
Lastly, there are companies that hire apprentices, these are electricians who are not yet fully trained, or still undergoing the required schooling.
These electrician apprentices work closely under supervision at the company that hires them. While they continue to finish their license and also get hands on experience. Some institutes such as Washburn Institute offers an accelerated program where students can complete their schooling in as fast as twelve weeks. This allows for faster employment post-completion.
Once the program is chosen, students must go through the three levels of becoming an electrician. The first is an apprentice. These apprenticeships, as mentioned above, can begin as soon as the student begins electrician classes. They occur under the supervision of both a Journeyman Electrician and a Master Electrician.
Length of the Program Depends on Experience
The length of these apprenticeships can last anywhere from three to six years, and pay is usually given. How much pay is given relies entirely on demographic and previous experience. The next level is Journeyman Electrician where supervision comes from the Master Electrician. At this level, the electrician has the education and proper licensing but is still lacking the necessary seven to ten years of experience that a Master Electrician has. The experience is what sets Journeyman and Master Electricians apart.
Becoming an electrician is a great option for those interested in a career with high earning potential. Also, the education acquired tends to focus more on the industry-specific needs and therefore can be completed in a faster span of time, compared to the normal schooling process of a four-year school.
Electrician Courses at No Cost
Sometimes starting a new career can be expensive. Luckily there are many grants and financial aid available to help with the cost. Sites like studentaid.gov allow you to apply for aid. Which at times can cover the entire cost of earning an electrician certificate. In addition to Federal Financial Aid you can find many grants online. Gocollege.com allows you to see what grants you can qualify for.