Electricity Repair Certificate and Diploma Program Information
Read detailed information about programs that award certificates and diplomas in electricity repair. Learn about the similarities and differences between these types of programs, what courses are taken and continuing education opportunities. Also find out about career options for graduates.
Students interested in electricity repair careers might consider electrical technology diploma or certificate programs. These programs are offered at technical, vocational or community colleges and prepare students for entry-level positions in electricity repair and maintenance. They offer studies in circuits, currents, wiring, blueprint reading and national code standards. Lab exercises could accompany classroom learning in some programs; others might offer apprenticeship opportunities. It generally takes about 1-2 years to earn this type of certificate or diploma. These programs can help aspiring electricians prepare to take the national exam for licensure.
Electrical Technology Certificate Programs
An electrical technology certificate program might last 2-4 semesters and covers theoretical concepts through class lectures and technical skills through hands-on training. Some schools offer programs in partnership with nationally approved apprenticeship programs. Other schools might provide graduates with assistance acquiring apprenticeships upon completion of the program.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admittance into an electrical technology program; in some cases, acceptable results on a skills test may suffice. Some programs recommend previous coursework in algebra and science.
Most programs combine courses on electrical theory with laboratory components that allow students to gain hands-on experience with electrical tools and techniques. Topics covered include the following:
- Electrical theory
- Circuits and currents
- Commercial and industrial wiring
- Motor controls
- Job safety
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Although employment of electricians is sensitive to the state of the economy, overall job growth during the 2010-2020 period was expected to be good, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs in electricity maintenance may be steadier than those in construction. The mean annual wage for electricians was $53,030 in 2012, according to the BLS.
Licensing and Continuing Education
In most states, electricians must pass exams that demonstrate their knowledge of theory and electrical codes in order to become licensed electricians. Continued education is necessary to keep current with changes in the National Electrical Code. Electricians might also be required to complete safety programs.
Electrical Technology Diploma Programs
Similar to certificate programs, diploma programs in electrical repair require 1-2 years to complete and provide students with training in both electricity theory and technical skills. Students are prepared to enter into apprenticeship programs or entry-level positions in electricity repair. Electricity repair diploma programs are similar to certificate programs; however, diplomas tend to be awarded more at technical or vocational schools than at community colleges.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admittance into electrical technology diploma programs. Some schools require students to submit standardized test scores.
Unlike degree programs, diploma and certificate programs focus solely on the knowledge and skills needed for electricity repair; general education courses are seldom required. Courses might include:
- Blueprint reading
- Electrical construction
- Electrical controls
- National Electrical Code
Popular Career Options
Electricians can work in maintenance, where they repair and replace existing electrical components, or in construction, where they install new systems and components. Some electricians do both. Popular job titles for electricians might include the following:
- Electrical technician
- Quality control technician
- Industrial electrician
- Construction electrician
- Motor control electrician
Continuing Education and Advancement
Job opportunities, according to the BLS, will be especially good for electricians with a wide range of skills. Electricians might consider taking additional courses in technologies such as video, voice and data systems or on alternative energy systems. Additionally, electricians can take courses to become contractors.
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