Electrician Trade Schools: a Head-Start to Apprenticeship

Electrician trade schools can fast track your career as a professional electrician. Have you ever noticed how heavily we rely on electricians? Probably not.

Electrician Trade Schools

We flip the switch and expect the lights to come on. We turn the hot water tap and expect hot water to come out. Everything we naturally take for granted, we owe to trained electricians.

You can be one of these professionals the rest of the population depends on, in less than half the time it takes with a traditional apprenticeship.

Electricity is Fascinating

However captivating electricity may be, you have to remember it is also very dangerous. Only highly trained professionals can safely work with electricity. An electrician trade school gives you the knowledge and skills required to work in this fascinating career with confidence.

You will learn the proper installation, connecting, testing and maintenance of sophisticated electrical systems in a variety of applications. You also have the opportunity to specialize in specific areas such as construction or heavy industry. Or you can become your own boss as an electrical contractor.

As the population and the economy continues to grow, the need for trained electricians increases. Each new house, commercial building, new street and industrial building needs a highly trained electrician. And while many new structures are being built, many old electrical systems need to be updated, as well.

This means the need for experienced electricians will never end. Once you have completed your training, your skills will be in high demand for life.

Finding Electrician Trade Schools

A quick online search will give you the locations of several trade schools in your area. In case there aren’t any accredited schools nearby, you can train online.

The Internet puts the world at your fingertips. These days many online vocational training schools are fully accredited; obtaining your technical training online is recognized as being just as credible as if you had attended a brick and mortar school.

Trained electricians can expect:

  • Annual earnings of about $50,000 as apprentice; journeymen can expect to make $90,000 or much more (in Canada)
  • Secure employment
  • Chance for advancement
  • Opportunity to become self-employed

If you want a satisfying career that will take you into retirement and beyond, training to be an electrician is the answer.

Finding Electrician Apprenticeships Programs

During your apprenticeship you will work side by side with an experienced electrician. You see first hand everything that is involved and learn how to perform each duty correctly.

In the beginning your responsibilities will be minor. You will drill and tap holes, cut, file and mount strut, begin learning how to ground electrical systems, and other minor jobs delegated by the master electrician.

Your responsibilities will grow with your knowledge. Before long you will be able to install electrical wiring, circuit breakers, repair sensitive equipment, fix street lights and many other electrical applications.

You will understand electrical code, know all of the required rules and regulations and know how to assemble and test equipment needed to properly wire a building or machinery.

Electrician Trade School

Electricians must be able to read and follow directions, think fast, make critical decisions and have a solid mathematical foundation. Electrician trade schools train you and help you develop these skills to ensure that you are able to meet all of the demands and responsibilities you will encounter in your job, without spending years as an apprentice.

Trade school programs provide you with the basic knowledge of national electrical codes, general electrical codes, local codes and electrical theory.

Everything you would learn in an apprenticeship program is covered in a trade school program. Upon graduation you will be fully prepared to take and pass the electrician’s licensing exam. Just as if you had been an apprentice.

Traditionally, you would become a licensed electrician by completing a three to five-year apprenticeship under the supervision of a professional electrician combined with classwork. Many professionals today prefer to launch their careers by first going to an electrician trade school.

Hands-On and Theoretical Training

By combining hands-on training with courses on theory, an electrician program is able to offer you the same type of in-depth training normally obtained during an apprenticeship program in much less time.

Electrician Trade Schools

A standard apprenticeship takes three to five years, whereas graduating from an electrician trade school can take as little as twelve months.

Most employers will still require you to apprentice under the supervision of an experienced electrician, however, the length of this apprenticeship is usually cut in half. In most cases you will also be paid much more than apprentices coming from technical schools.

One drawback to electrician trade schools is that you have to pay more for your training. A registered apprentice gets support from the government during the entire training period. An apprentice may have to pay for the classroom courses, but that is only 144 hours per year, so the costs are minimal.

Additionally, by working in the field alongside professional electricians, an apprentice is able to establish relationships with people in the industry. Securing a permanent job after becoming a licensed journeyman electrician is practically automatic.

In most cases, the company you apprentice with will hire you full-time. They have already invested several years training you and having you on the payroll, it is only natural they will want to keep you around. In many cases the only reason they take on new apprentices is because they need more electricians.

Trade School Opens Doors

Graduating from an electrician trade school will not give you these connections. It may take a bit longer to find a job. But, when you do find a job, you will be starting at a higher salary than the apprentice.

You have to weigh all of the pros and cons and then decide which path is the right one for you. Do you want to be an apprentice for three to five years? Or would you rather fast track your career and start with electrician trade schools?



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Industrial Electrician Dusten Huebner
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