Find out about starting an electrician apprenticeship
Skilled, certified electricians are always in demand. If you are considering your trade school options, becoming an electrician can be an excellent career move. Growth for electrician jobs is stable, and launching your electrician apprenticeship is a fairly straightforward procedure. Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction at an electrician school or a community college or vocational institute.
Start Your Electrician Training
In the United States, you can contact the National Electrician Contractors Association or the National Joint Apprentice and Training Committee to see about available electrician apprenticeships in your area. Apprentice programs are ongoing, and you can apply for placement through these or other trade organizations.
During the initial stages of your apprenticeship, you will learn how to install and maintain conduits and wiring as well as electrical outlets. Once you understand the basics, you will have to declare an area of specialization. Residential, industrial and commercial electricians all require specific, in-depth training. You will also need different skill sets to wire high-rise or low-rise buildings.
You will supplement your on-the-job apprentice training with an electrician course offered through a trade school. Time requirements vary from state to state and country to country, but in the U.S., you will need a minimum of 140 in-class hours and 2,000 hours of apprentice training to qualify to write the licensing examination.
Choose a Reputable Electrician School
As with any vocational college, including HVAC school, auto mechanic school, welding school or plumbing school, you must take various factors into close consideration to evaluate your options. You will want to look closely at:
- Class sizes. The smaller a school's class sizes, the more opportunities there are for one-on-one, personalized instruction.
- The school's reputation. If the school is well-regarded by employers, your chances of landing a good-paying job are better.
- Program costs. This isn't about enrolling in the school that costs the least; it's about getting the most for your money. Schools with better resources and equipment have to charge higher fees, but you'll get a better education.
- Financial aid opportunities. If you need tuition assistance, in-house financing programs can help.
- Job placement programs. Many vocational schools offer job placement services to their students; these resources can be invaluable in helping you secure employment after graduation.
- Success rate. Ask the program's administrators what percentage of students who graduate from the program go on to find directly related employment within a year.
Lastly, should you want to go further in your career, perhaps designing and developing large-scale electrical equipment, then you may want to consider earning an electrical engineering degree.