There are trade school and apprenticeship paths to becoming an electrician or electrical technician. Each one takes a different amount of time. Read on to learn more.
Trade School Program Lengths
A trade school certificate or diploma electrical technology program can have you career-ready in as few as 10 months. Some schools do offer shorter accelerated programs. An associate degree in electrical technology takes up to two years to earn.
Completing either type of program should gain you your OSHA 30 certification and prepare you to sit for the Journeyman’s test.
Find an electrical trade school near you.
Example Schools With Program Lengths
- San Joaquin Valley College - Certificate of completion takes about 10 months. The A.S. degree takes approximately 14 months.
- The Refrigeration School - The 3 to 5-month electrical technologies program prepares students for entry as new construction/maintenance electrician.
- YTI Career Institute - In the 9-month program, students receive training in construction site safety, OSHA requirements, National Electrical Code, and more.
- Altierus Career College - The 9-month electrical technician program prepares students to work as an electrical construction technician or an industrial electrical technician. Training for both positions is available but adds time to your program.
Apprenticeship Program Lengths
In general, electrician apprenticeship programs take four years to complete, with 144 hours of technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training each year of your apprenticeship.
Classes will include electrical theory, blueprint reading, math, electric code requirements, and more. Specialized training can also be found in an apprenticeship program.
Types Of Apprenticeship Programs
There are four different types of apprenticeship programs to consider, with the focus on specialization:
- Outside lineman
- Inside wireman
- Telecommunication tech
- Residential wireman
Each of these apprenticeships vary in time. Residential and installer tech will take about three years. Inside wiremen apprenticeships take approximately five years to complete. And, outside linemen apprenticeships take three and a half years to complete.
It Takes Time To Build A Career
Choosing to become an electrician puts you on a solid career path. It may take some years to complete, but the bonus for all the hard work you put into your training will be working in a well-paying field where employers need you!
In 2021, the top 10% of electricians made $99,800, and the average annual pay for all electricians was $63,310 (bls.gov).