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Electrician: Educational Requirements and Career Profile

Electricians help bring power to residences, commercial areas and industrial complexes. They're employed in a variety of industries, installing and fixing electrical wiring and components. Electricians may specialize in construction or repair, though they often perform both functions. Read on to learn about the education and licensing needed to become an electrician.

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Educational Requirements for Electricians

Electricians usually gain career training through apprenticeship programs. Some electricians may begin the training process by attending a classroom-based vocational program or serving as an electrician's helper; however, these electricians often go on to complete apprenticeships.

Candidates who hold high school diplomas or the equivalent may apply to become apprentices through various unions, such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers or the National Electrical Contractors Association. Completion of these 4-year programs allows apprentices to become journeymen and work on both construction and repair projects.

Apprenticeship Training

Apprentices receive approximately 600 hours of in-class instruction on safety principles, electrical circuits and blueprint reading. Aside from learning in the classroom, apprentices also receive on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced electricians. Apprentices may practice wiring outlets and soldering electrical components.

Career Profile for Electricians

Electricians may work for utility companies, construction firms or service providers. Electricians in different industries may have varying job descriptions. For example, maintenance electricians working for factories may be required to service and repair assembly lines, while construction electricians who work on remodeling homes may need to install switches and rewire lighting.

Licensing Requirements

Electricians in most states must be licensed by their respective state board. Licensing requirements generally include completing a qualifying test on electrical applications and building codes. The BLS notes that self-employed electricians working as contractors may need to earn a separate contractor's license and complete a bachelor's degree program in electrical engineering or a related field.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS stated that opportunities for electricians were expected to increase by 23% between 2010 and 2020. The Bureau also noted that employment is very sensitive to economic swings, so electricians may find themselves unemployed when the number of construction projects decreases. In May 2012, the BLS reported that the average annual wage for electricians was $53,030. Electricians in the top tenth percentile earned $82,930 per year, whereas the bottom tenth percentile earned $30,420 per year.

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Online Electrician Schools: How to Choose

Popular Schools

  • School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • New York (3 campuses)
    • Ohio (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor in Construction Management
    • Associate
        • Associate in Electrical Technology
        • Associate in Construction Technology

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Construction Mgmt, General
        • Electrician
  • School locations:
    • Puerto Rico (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at D'Mart Institute include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Electrician
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Pearl River Community College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework, Diploma
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Carpentry
        • Electrician
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Dunwoody College of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Construction Site Management
        • Electrician
        • Property Management and Maintenance
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Cabinetmaking
        • Carpentry
        • Concrete Finishing
        • Drywall Installation
        • Electrical Systems Lineworker
        • Electrician
        • Glazier
        • House Painting and Wall Paper
        • Masonry
        • Metal Building Assembly
        • Pipefitting
        • Roofer
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
      • Heavy Equipment Maintenance
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    • Kansas (1 campus)
    • Missouri (4)
    • Ohio (1)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Tennessee (1)
    Areas of study you may find at Vatterott College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Electrician
        • Plumbing Technology
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Nashville State Technical Community College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Electrician
      • Precision Metal Working
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Maryland (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at TESST College of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Electrician

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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