Electrician programs include classes & on-job apprenticeships. Read a guide to the best electrician programs in 2021 & obtaining a valued career today.
When you look at an outline of steps required to become an electrician the process seems easy enough to complete. Certified, electricians complete comprehensive training in order to work on professional job sites, however. Modern electrician programs include class and course studies as well as on-the-job apprenticeships. What is involved in an electrician certification process? What are the benefits of becoming an electrician in modern times?
Electrical contracting business in the U.S. is valued at over $130 billion per year. This is good news for electrician program graduates hoping for high job placement opportunities. How much does it cost to train for electrician jobs in 2021? What are several top schools offering electrician programs today? Read on for an informative guide to finding the best electrician programs in 2021 and pursuing a valued career today.
Why Become an Electrician?
The career of a qualified electrician is capable of lasting for decades on end. This is logical considering the vast amount of homes, businesses and other facilities in need of working electricity to function. Therefore the primary benefit to becoming an electrician is long-term job security for the right candidates.
Electrical contracting business in the U.S. has an estimated value of over $130 billion per year. 70,000+ electrical contracting firms exist in the U.S. today with well over half a million employees on staff. Flexible employment options are another significant benefit. Certified electricians can start their own private businesses working for themselves. Do you prefer a corporate environment with retirement benefits and healthcare packages included? Corporate electricians do work for major events facilities and even regional utility companies.
Performing professional electric work is dangerous and requires specific skills and training to complete in a manner both safe and effective for all parties involved. Homes, businesses, government facilities and more all need light, sound and functioning equipment/gear to operate. Servicing all possible scenarios as an electrician requires more than connecting wires, however. Electrician/trade schools also teach courses in mathematics and electrical theory. Classes in load calculations, electrical tradecraft and business management are also offered. Extensive safety training is also mandatory pursuant to machinery, machine shop and job-site operations.
Electrician apprenticeships are facilitated in every U.S. state in 2021. Apprenticeships are either union or non-union depending on a variety of factors. What is an electrician apprenticeship? As an electrician apprentice you learn basic and advanced skills on the job under the constant supervision of a master electrician. Apprenticeships are essentially paid training programs conducted in addition to any vocational/trade school education you receive. Entry level apprentice wages are below the overall national average for the profession. Wages increase quickly as you advance throughout a four to six-year apprenticeship, however.
What is the difference between union and non-union apprenticeships? The Electrical Training Alliance is comprised of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Together these organizations provide union-based apprenticeships, which meet certification requirements of the Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATC). Non-union apprenticeships, also referred to as merit shops, reward electricians based on relative exceptional workmanship. Unions offer certain wage and discrimination protection, while also charging membership dues and limiting where you can and cannot work. Non-union jobs give you more flexibility but fewer protections.
The Certification Process – Requirements & Wages
Getting certified as an electrician starts by graduating high school and/or receiving an equivalency diploma. Candidates must also be eighteen years of age or older. Your education and apprenticeship stages are next in the certification process. Some trade-school electrician programs last as few as nine months, while others last twelve months or more. Are you pursuing an associate, bachelors or higher degree in electrical engineering or another electrician-based field of study? Plan on two to six years of college education if so. Trade schools plus apprenticeships last four to six years total on average. Apprenticeships wages average approximately $14-$21/hour. Once you receive a journeyman license your wages might increase to approximately $17-$35/hour.
Part of your certification process involves passing the Electrical IBEW Aptitude Test. Each U.S. state has its own specific electrician certification requirements as well. A minimum combined number of hours (usually multiple hundreds) in classroom instruction and on-site experience is required in each state prior to you receiving your license. Consult ElectricianSchoolEdu.org for current information on electrician license & certification requirements in your state today.
Advanced Training & Job Outlook 2021 (and beyond)
Once you are certified and have fulfilled all requirements of your journeyman license you are qualified to pursue a master/contractor license. Salaries once this license is obtained range from $20-$40 or more per hour. Leadership opportunities and company ownership possibilities are the next steps up the career ladder after you become a master electrician. In 2019 the median annual electrician’s salary was $56,180/year or $27.01/hour. The job growth rate in electrician-based fields is also expected to increase by eight percent through 2029.
Top Electrician Program Schools Today
Resources such as Accredited Schools Online help find the top accredited electrician programs available in the U.S. today. Delta Technical School has two campuses in Mississippi, both of which offer some of the best electrician programs in the nation. Additional top electrician program schools today include:
Electrician Programs – Costs & Financial Aid
The average costs for an U.S. electrician trade school range between $5,000 and $15,000 per year. Two-year associate programs average over $3,400 per school year, and four-year (bachelors) programs average approximately $9,400 per school year. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form for financial aid options including Federal Pell Grants and more.