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Electrician training is a unique blend of theory and practice, bringing together conceptual study of electrical systems and practical instruction under a certified electrician. Individuals interested in the field may choose from multiple academic and career prep avenues, attending either an electrician school or completing a formal apprenticeship through a professional association. Through both forms of training, students gain the technical and mechanical skills required to become an electrician or certified electrical technician. Learn more about how to become an electrician, program curriculum, apprenticeships, and the career outlook.

Best Electrician Programs 2018-2019

Methodology
2-Year Colleges

Those interested in enrolling in a program that teaches the industry-specific skills they will need to kick-start a career as an electrician may want to look into electrician schools and programs. Through one of these programs, students will be able to learn how to install, maintain and repair electric power in various settings. To help students find the best program that meets their individual needs, we have ranked the best electrician schools and programs in the country based on our criteria. Explore the top electrician schools and programs below.

Filters
Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Washburn Institute of Technology $5,472 2 82% 54% Yes Yes Yes

The Electrical Technology program at Washburn University Institute of Technology prepares students for work in electrical construction and maintenance. Instruction includes safety, electrical theory, blueprint reading, wiring, electrical construction and residential/commercial electricity. The half day program, which begins every August, can be completed in two semesters. Graduates earn a 30 credit hour technical certificate and may be eligible to enter an electrical union's apprentice program at the second level. Programs at Washburn University Institute of Technology, located in Topeka, KA, are included in the accreditation for Washburn University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

2 Pamlico Community College $1,824 2 72% 18% Yes Yes Yes

The Electrical Systems Technology program at Pamlico Community College in Grantsboro, NC, provides training in the installation and maintenance of electrical/electronic systems found in residential, commercial and industrial facilities. The program offers hands-on training in basic wiring practices, conduit bending, equipment and setup, and industrial motor controls. Courses include AC/DC theory, codes and standards, digital electronics, diagnostics and safety. Graduates can earn a career readiness certificate or an Associate in Science degree and pursue careers in repair and maintenance, manufacturing, or as a utility worker or electrician. All students have access to academic advising, tutoring and career counseling. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. Pamlico is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

3 Salina Area Technical College $4,531 4 77% 4% Yes Yes Yes

Nearly every building project requires an electrician and the Electrical Technology Program at Salina Area Technical College provides students with the skills needed to install, maintain and repair residential, commercial and industrial electrical systems. From blueprint reading and motor control to advanced automation and circuits, graduates are prepared to take the Journeyman's Exam and begin a career as a certified electrician. Graduates of the 2-year program are awarded an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Electrical Technology and can expect to earn an annual salary of $30,000-$40,000. Career opportunities include journeyman maintenance electrician, water plant electrician and industrial electrician. Salina Area Technical College, located in Salina, KS, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

4 Central Louisiana Technical Community College $3,335 4 72% 20% Yes Yes Yes

The Electrician Technology program at Central Louisiana Technical Community College combines a basic core of specialized instruction and practical shop experience to prepare students for employment in electrical trades. Students who complete the basic core can specialize as an industrial, marine or commercial electrician. Each area includes a study of applicable codes and standards, blueprint reading, wiring diagrams and installations. Graduates work as electrical contractors or are self-employed. The program typically takes 4 full-time semesters to complete. Diploma and certificate options include electrician helper, solar systems installer, residential electrician and commercial wiring. Through a partnership with Ed2Go, CLTCC also offers an online, non-credit Electrical Technician program providing an overview of electrical maintenance skills. The knowledge-based program can be completed at the student's own pace within 12 months. Graduates receive a certificate of completion. CLTCC, which has 8 campuses in Louisiana, with the main campus in Alexandria, is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.

5 Altierus Career College $12,729 1 75% 3% Yes Yes Yes

The hands-on Electrical Construction Technician training program at Altierus Career College is designed for quick workplace entry and takes just 9 months to complete. Students learn how to install, maintain and repair wiring and lighting systems; inspect electrical components such as transformers and circuit breakers, identify electronic issues using testing devices, and follow state and local building regulations. Coursework includes basic construction, electrical theory, residential wiring, and transformers and power distribution. The program also prepares students to take the professional certification exam to improve employability and earnings potential. Graduates can seek entry-level jobs such as apprentice electrician, electrical technician, field service technician and prefab electrical technician. The school cites median salary expectations for electricians at around $52,000. Altierus offers mentorships and job shadowing opportunities, resume and interview assistance, as well as financial aid to qualifying students. Altierus is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and College and has campuses in Tampa, FL, Norcross, GA, and Houston, TX.

6 Mitchell Technical Institute $3,488 5 70% 26% Yes Yes Yes

Mitchell Technical Institute's Electrical Construction and Maintenance AAS degree prepares graduates for careers as apprentice electricians, industrial electricians or estimators. Students can complete this 75-credit program in 4 semesters. Upon graduation, students receive 2,000 hours toward certification as a journeyman with a South Dakota's electrician's license. Graduates also have the opportunity to receive a year of experience credit for a Class A journeyman electrician, power limited technician, or maintenance electrician license in Minnesota, or apprentice credit in Iowa. The Mitchell Technical Institute is located in South Dakota, and classes must be taken on campus.

7 Cabell County Career Technology Center $2,700 2 94% 29% No Yes Yes

The Cabell County Career Technology Center has several options for students interested in careers in the electrical trade industry. In the introductory Electrical Technician program targeted to high-schoolers, students can learn the fundamentals of electricity, with the opportunity to earn National Center for Construction and Education Research (NCCER) certification for each skillset learned. The program takes 2 years or 1,080 hours to complete by students attending classes for half a day. The Electrical Technician Advanced program is for adult students or those possessing a journeyman's license, and is an evening course that takes place over a year. Finally, the Electrical Technician Industrial program prepares students to apply for an electrical journeyman's license administered by the West Virginia State Fire Marshall.

8 Weber State University $4,611 1 50% 58% Yes Yes Yes

Weber State University's Department of Engineering Technology offers students the option of pursuing either an associate or bachelor's degree in electronics engineering technology. With an approach focused on applications, this program aims to prepare students for jobs in various technology fields. The AAS requires a minimum of 63 credits (37 credits for the major as well as general requirements) and can be completed in 2 years. Students wishing to earn a bachelor's must complete the AAS credits as well as an additional 2 years of study for a total of 122 credits. In-person internship opportunities are available. Programs are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. While some core courses may be offered online, students should check with their advisers for availability.

9 Siena Heights University $24,390 1 53% 99% Yes Yes Yes

Siena Heights University offers an opportunity for professionals in the electrical or electronics technology field to obtain their Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree online. Designed for professionals who already hold an associate degree, students may apply previously earned credits toward the bachelor's. Credits from corporate or professional training or CLEP testing may also be applied. Working from the premise of an "inverted major," students seeking the BAS at Siena Heights do not take additional coursework in their field, but instead focus on liberal arts and management classes that will help them advance in their career. Siena Heights University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

10 Northern Michigan University $9,330 1 52% 82% Yes Yes Yes

Northern Michigan University offers a 2-year associate degree in electrical technology or a 4-year bachelor's in electrical engineering technology. The associate degree is a 60-credit program with 3 concentrations to choose from: electrical power technician, general electronics and industrial electrical. Graduates of the bachelor's program complete 120 credits and pursue careers in product design, prototyping, testing, automation and robotics. Courses are held at the Northern Michigan University campus, and internships are available.

11 Ferris State University $11,144 2 51% 69% Yes Yes Yes
12 Pittsburg State University $5,396 2 51% 59% Yes Yes Yes
13 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College $4,171 2 59% 17% Yes Yes Yes
14 Michigan State University $14,880 1 81% 46% No Yes Yes
15 Alfred State College $6,470 1 56% 83% No Yes Yes
16 Eastern Arizona College $2,400 3 31% 34% Yes Yes Yes
17 Northeast Community College $2,700 2 48% 40% Yes Yes Yes
18 State University of New York at Delhi $6,470 2 55% 79% No Yes Yes
19 Athens Technical College $2,136 7 30% 3% Yes Yes Yes
20 Southwest Virginia Community College $4,133 2 37% 61% Yes Yes Yes
21 Utah Valley University $4,840 2 35% 39% Yes Yes Yes
22 Manhattan Area Technical College $4,290 2 53% - Yes Yes Yes
23 Traviss Technical College $2,851 1 86% 15% No Yes Yes
24 Southwest Wisconsin Technical College $4,002 3 51% 21% Yes Yes Yes
25 Trenholm State Community College $3,510 3 34% 18% Yes Yes Yes
26 Northwest Iowa Community College $4,710 5 56% 37% Yes No Yes
27 Southside Virginia Community College $4,133 3 36% 19% Yes Yes Yes
28 Western Texas College $2,088 1 43% 44% Yes Yes Yes
29 Ridge Technical College $3,888 1 97% 8% No Yes Yes
30 Michigan Career and Technical Institute $6,816 1 85% - No Yes Yes
31 Orange Coast College $1,104 4 42% - Yes Yes Yes
32 Idaho State University $5,243 5 36% 62% Yes Yes Yes
33 University of Arkansas-Fort Smith $3,840 4 31% 48% Yes Yes Yes
34 Randolph Community College $1,824 3 25% 15% Yes Yes Yes
35 Stanly Community College $2,432 1 29% 11% Yes Yes Yes
36 State University of New York at Canton $6,470 1 33% 85% Yes Yes Yes
37 Dodge City Community College $1,410 2 42% 52% Yes Yes Yes
38 Moraine Park Technical College $3,965 3 46% 12% Yes Yes Yes
39 Irvine Valley College $1,104 3 44% - Yes Yes Yes
40 West Virginia University at Parkersburg $3,384 1 40% 17% Yes Yes Yes
41 Ranken Technical College $14,232 4 38% 63% Yes Yes Yes
42 Southeast Technical Institute $2,834 1 44% 17% Yes Yes Yes
43 North Seattle College $3,393 2 - 19% Yes Yes Yes
44 Northshore Technical Community College $3,214 4 31% 9% Yes Yes Yes
45 Gaston College $2,290 3 25% 2% Yes Yes Yes
46 Polk State College $2,483 3 - 8% Yes Yes Yes
47 Ridgewater College $4,791 2 41% - Yes Yes Yes
48 Lewis-Clark State College $6,120 5 26% 64% Yes Yes Yes
49 Rockingham Community College $1,824 3 18% 23% Yes Yes Yes
50 Albany Technical College $2,140 13 39% 6% Yes Yes Yes

Electrician Training at a Glance

Becoming an electrician requires multiple years of study, including thousands of hours of training in an apprenticeship. Technical training allows prospective electricians to pursue a range of professional opportunities, as an outside lineman, inside lineman, installer technician, or residential wireman. This training is comprehensive, bringing together classroom-based instruction and hands-on training. During electrician training students can expect to:

  • Learn the fundamentals of the field
  • Practice installing insulators
  • Learn how to install underground power circuits
  • Gain familiarity with the National Electrical Code
  • Prepare for a state licensing examination

With increasing job opportunities, completing formal electrician training is well worth the investment.

According to IBISWorld Market Research, the electrician industry is a $155 billion dollar industry in the U.S.

Although the national median wage is in the $50,000 range, experienced electricians can bring home upwards of $86,000 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The employment outlook for electricians is bright, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 14 percent industry growth nationally between 2014 and 2024.

Between 2012 and 2022, 19 states are expected to have 20 percent or greater employment gains for electricians, according to Projections Central.

For as many things in our trade that you must learn “in the field,” there are too many things about our trade that can’t be learned just there. This makes formal training a necessity, and is why states require class hours for licensing and not just on the job training. You can’t lose an education. You may get a job, but if there is no more work, you lose that job. But if you get an education, you can take that to any job you ever go to.

How to Become an Electrician: Education & Training

The process to becoming an electrician is comprehensive and can take several years to complete. The practice is regulated at the state level, with most states requiring electricians to complete an approved technical training and apprenticeship program. Different types of training and degrees are available from technical or trade schools, community colleges, and association-based apprenticeship programs. Below is an overview of the different education and training options of how to become an electrician.

Career & Technical School

Time to Complete:

12 to 18 months

Credential Earned:

Associate degree or certificate, depending on program

Learning Outcomes:

These programs provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills required to install, maintain and repair electrical systems and electronic equipment in commercial and residential buildings. Students may select from a range of specializations, preparing them to work with both high- and low-voltage electronics or move into emerging industries, such as renewable energy.

Curriculum:

Although it varies by school, the curriculum of electricity and electrical technology typically requires approximately 45 credit hours of study to complete. Divided between classroom and laboratory, hands-on instruction, this curriculum prepares graduates for entry-level employment opportunities in a range of electrical-related trades. Once completed, students are traditionally allowed to register for their state’s electrician’s certification examination.

Electrician certificate and diploma programs follow a progressive sequence of courses that introduce students to the principles of the trade, allowing them to develop career-specific skills required for entry-level employment. Below is a sample list of common courses offered in certificate programs.

Course Description
Principles of Electrical Wiring This course provides students with an understanding of the fundamentals of the electronic and electrical trade. Topics of study range from lighting fixtures to motor controls, electrical conductors to fuses and circuit breakers.
Electrical Controls Students gain familiarity with the functions of motor control systems, including an overview of maintenance and troubleshooting. The course discusses guidelines from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and teaches students about the structural features of electrical equipment.
Introduction to Electricity Students are introduced to the central principles of the electrical trade, covering subjects including the National Electrical Code (NEC), NEC regulations, electrical safety and working with residential electrical services.
Material Applications Students study the structural concepts of residential and commercial buildings and learn about their respective electrical and electronic system environments. Students develop skills to use blueprints, and install hardware and electrical systems safely.

Community College

Time to Complete:

24 months

Credential Earned:

Associate degree

Program Options:

Associate degree programs are designed to prepare students for entry-level electrician positions in residential, commercial, and industrial industries. Depending on the college, students may select from an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) or Associate of Science (AS) degree program. The AAS is a professional degree, one that has limited general education courses. The AS is an academic transfer degree, one that can be used to enter the workforce or transition into a four-year program of study.

Curriculum:

Curriculum includes approximately 60 to 66 credit hours of study. It blends theory and practical, laboratory-based instruction, through the hands-on use of contemporary electrical technologies. Some colleges issue students a state-based electrical apprentice identification card, allowing them to complete professional experience and classroom hours that meet the state’s electrical apprenticeship requirements.

Courses in associate degree programs can be leveraged to meet apprenticeship requirements, prepare for state licensing examinations, to develop additional career skills. Below is a sample of courses commonly offered at the community college level.

Course Description
Electrical Installations This course covers the basics of wiring in residential buildings, aligning with regulations set by the National Electrical Code, and teaching students how to install various electrical systems safely.
Electrical Maintenance Students gain an introduction to the electrical maintenance of industrial, residential and commercial buildings. Topics of study covers electrical code, safety, electrical controls and systems, and the use of electrical testing and installation equipment.
National Electric Code This course reviews the National Electrical Code and provides students with a comprehensive review of the code’s requirements, use of equipment, and wiring methods.
AC and DC Electricity Students develop an understanding of AC and DC circuits, including voltage, current and resistance, preparing them to use electrical instruments to analyze, maintain, install and repair electrical systems.

Apprenticeship Program

Time to Complete:

2 to 5 years

Credential Earned:

Licensed General Electrician

Overview:

Apprenticeships are sponsored by the Electrical Training Alliance and other trade associations, such as the Independent Electrical Conductors. Apprenticeships typically fall into one of four categories: Outside Linemen, Inside Wiremen, VDV Installer Technician, and Residential Wiremen. Depending on the specialty and association, apprenticeships may last between two and five years.

Curriculum & Requirements:

Apprentices are partnered with experienced electricians and participate in both classroom-based and in-the-field work. Traditionally, most apprenticeship programs require students to complete at least 8,000 hours of experience to meet state licensing requirements. Some trade associations have articulation agreements with local community colleges or technical schools that allow apprentices to earn an associate degree during the five years of their apprenticeship. The typical minimum entrance requirements include being at least 18 years old and holding a high school diploma or GED.

The required courses depend upon the apprentice’s field of study as an electrician. Classwork is designed to supplement and enhance on-the-job training, familiarizing candidates with the National Electrical Code and preparing them to take their state’s electrical licensing examination. Below is a sample list of apprentice coursework.

Course Description
Fundamentals of Grounding and Bonding This course provides students with an understanding of code regulations as they relate to bonding and grounding issues.
Motor Theory and Calculation Students study the core concepts of motor controls and motor theory, how to generate proper motor calculations, and handle installations.
Emerging Electrical Technologies Students are introduced to the code requirements for emerging technologies, including electrical vehicle charging stations and wind turbines.

Selecting an Electrician Training Program: Checklist

Students can select from a variety of electrician schools. However, not every program is the same, which means prospective students should take the time to review what each school has to offer. Below is a list of items to consider prior to enrolling in a training program.

  • Does the curriculum cover the National Electrical Code?

    The National Electrical Code (NEC) defines the rules and regulations for the electrician industry. Curriculum should be designed around the NEC, which prepares students to become skilled and effective apprentices.

  • Is the program accredited?

    No singular body accredits electrician schools. And, not all schools earn accreditation. Before enrolling, students should review the institution’s and school’s accreditation. For example, many electrician schools are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  • Does the program offer apprenticeship training?

    Completing an apprenticeship is a requirement to become an electrician. Some electrician schools offer hands-on training hours that are recognized by the state’s licensing agency and count towards the required hours to earn a license.

  • Does the program offer flexible scheduling?

    Some students may be working professionals and need greater flexibility to complete their degree. Check to see if the school allows students to work as an electrician during the day and complete courses at night or on the weekend.

  • Is the program state-approved?

    Most states require prospective electricians to graduate from an approved apprenticeship or electrical training program. Students should check with their state’s department of higher education and state licensing board to ensure their program meets the state’s seal of approval.

School vs. Apprenticeship: Choosing an Electrician Training Program

Prospective electricians have multiple training paths to prepare for a career in the field: degree-based academic programs and formal apprenticeships. Degree programs offer students the opportunity to gain industry-specific knowledge and professional skills that prepare them for a future apprenticeship. Apprenticeships provide practical, hands-on training along with supplementary classroom instruction that prepares graduates for state-based licensing examinations. There are inherent benefits to both, which allows students to choose a training program that fits the personal and professional needs.

TECHNICAL SCHOOL
  • Gain theoretical knowledge and practical skills
  • Access to emerging or cutting-edge tools and techniques
  • Prepare for transition into a four-year program of study
  • Flexible class scheduling, with day and evening courses available
  • Graduate prepared for an electrical apprenticeship
APPRENTICESHIP
  • Fast-paced, real-world experience
  • Earn increasing wages during each year of the apprenticeship
  • Option for insurance and retirement benefits
  • Earn college credit with tuition covered by apprenticeship employer
  • Industry-certified instructors

Bright Opportunities for Electricians: Job & Salary Outlook

The electrician industry is a burgeoning field, spurred by a recovering economy, improving housing market, and growing demand for construction. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians should experience 14 percent career growth nationally between 2014 and 2024. Other growing areas, notes the Bureau, include manufacturing and emerging technologies, such as alternative power and renewable energy. In fact, nine states are projected to have 25 percent or greater job gains for electricians between 2012 and 2022, and another 23 states will have at least 15 percent growth, according to data from Projections Central. Below is an overview of the employment outlook for electricians.

Industries with the Most Electricians

Industry Employment Hourly Mean Wage (2014) Annual Mean Wage (2014)
Building Equipment Contractors 402,120 $25.82 $53,710
Local Government (OES Designation) 13,870 $29.12 $60,580
Employment Services 11,910 $22.24 $46,260
Nonresidential Building Construction 9,470 $25.06 $52,130
Utility System Construction 7,110 $28.85 $60,010

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014)

Top 5 States with the Highest Concentration of Electricians
State Employment Employment per 1,000 Jobs
1 North Dakota 4,160 9.44
2 Wyoming 2,600 9.21
3 Alaska 2,280 7.01
4 West Virginia 4,760 6.72
5 Louisiana 12,360 6.45
Highest-Paying States for Electricians
State Annual Mean Wage (May 2014)
1 Alaska $78,800
2 Illinois $69,940
3 New York $69,820
4 Oregon $68,690
5 New Jersey $67,570

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014)

Licenses & Certifications for Electricians

In order to work in the electrical construction trade, electricians must hold a valid certification. The profession is regulated at the state level, typically by the state’s contractor’s board or a state department of licensing and regulation. Broadly, electricians fall into one of three categories: General Electrician, Journeyman Electrician, and Master Electrician. For most states, the most basic requirement is at least 8,000 documented hours working as an apprentice under the supervision of a licensed electrician, as well as 80 to 100 complementary hours of classroom instruction. Prospective electricians should contact their state’s licensing department to ask about state-approved apprenticeship programs and licensing requirements prior to enrolling in any training program.

Experienced electricians may also pursue specialized certifications to advance in their career or pivot into a new service area. Specific requirements vary by state, but generally require between 2,000 and 4,000 of supervised training under a licensed electrician and the passage of a state examination. Some common specialty areas include the following:

  • Residential
  • Residential Maintenance
  • HVAC
  • Appliance Repair
  • Pump and Irrigation
  • Equipment Repair

Beyond state-specific certifications, electricians can also complete voluntary certifications from third-party associations and vendors. Example voluntary certifications include the following:

Electrical Training Alliance Certification

The Electrical Training Alliance offers four nationally recognized certification programs for electricians.

Cable Splicing Certification

This certification is designed for individuals that work with splicing shielded electrical power cables. It requires the successful passing of a written knowledge examination and a practical (performance) examination.

Instrumentation Certification

This certification is for Journeymen Wiremen who are seeking to burnish their skills in instrumentation. The certification requires a successful score on a 200-question, open-note examination and a passing of a practical demonstration examination.

Craft Certification

This certification is designed for Inside Wiremen. The certification requires the successful passing of six written examinations and a performance test. Level 1 through Level 5 test entry-level knowledge, while the Level 6 examination is for individuals who are ready to become or are a licensed Journey-level electrician.

Solar PV Certification

The PV System Installer certification requires candidates to pass a single examination that measures the candidate’s knowledge of electrical work in both residential and commercial settings.

NETA Electrical Testing

The International Electrical Testing Association offers four levels of nationally recognized certifications for individuals in the electrical testing industry. To move up in classifications, applicants must meet the professional qualifications for that class and pass an examination for each previous level.

ETT Trainee Level I

An entry-level classification for individuals who are not certified technicians and are working under the supervision of a certified technician.

ETT Assistant Level II

This classification is for individuals who still require direct supervision, but conducts limited testing work.

ETT Certified Level III

This classification is for individuals who are experienced with performing electrical testing and switching, as well as supervising workers at the Trainee Level I and Assistant Level II.

ETT Senior Certified Level IV

This classification is for workers who are responsible for supervising projects and managing electrical crews.

Essential Skills & Experience for Electricians

Electricians must call upon a broad array of specific skills and industry knowledge. These skills are developed in the classroom and enhanced during an apprenticeship. Below is a list of five core skills and knowledge areas electricians should possess.

  • Ability to listen and follow instructions

    Becoming an electrician requires hands-on training from another electrician. Electricians should be attentive, listen to what others are saying, and follow directions to install wiring safely.

  • Familiarity with National Electric Code and local building codes

    Knowledge of the National Electric Code is a must, not only to earn a state license, but to practice as an electrician in a safe and professional manner.

  • Professional tools

    Electricians should develop familiarity with and a collection of industry tools, including cable reels, screwdrivers, stripping tools, voltage meters, and wire/cable cutters.

  • Design aptitude

    Electricians should possess critical thinking skills and be special thinkers as they are required to plan the layout and installation of both electrical wiring and equipment based on different specifications.

  • Mathematical and mechanical skills

    Electricians should be mechanically inclined with mathematical skills, as electrical calculations are required in each type of installation and repair: industrial, commercial, and residential.

Expert Advice from a Licensed Electrician

Interview with Marc Nowak, Licensed Journeyman Electrician & Instructor at Lincoln Technical Institute
What are the benefits of a formal education for electricians?

Benefits range from the simple—being more knowledgeable than someone without an education – to the more complex—having a support system to guide you through your career. Many people working in the field only know a small portion of the work we as electricians perform. Getting a formal education gives the student a chance to learn a much broader scope of work and work related skills.

What is the curriculum like in electrical technology/electronics/electrician programs?

Most Electrical Technology courses focus on the two most important things: Safety and The National Electrical Code (NEC). After basic theory courses students are introduced to materials (Romex, MC, EMT, etc.) and basic installation methods (switching, receptacles, disconnects, and starters). Then, then move on to more complex equipment (motors, transformers, VFDs, and PLCs). But courses are constantly changing to keep pace with our industry. New avenues of education being brought to these courses involve environmentally friendly and green technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, and fuel cells.

What advice do you have for someone considering an education to become an electrician?

Know who you are. I went to a four-year college and spent five years getting a bachelor’s degree because I didn’t know myself well enough. The students who always work their hardest are always the first to get employment. It’s easy to work hard at something if you love doing it.

Additional Resources for Electricians