The Educational Pathway
No matter how you approach it, you’ve “connected” with a career as an electrician when you’ve been accepted into an apprenticeship program. How you get to that point, however, provides you with a few options
A college certificate or diploma
Want to move fast? You can be ready to enter an apprenticeship program in as little as a year if you pursue a diploma. The courses you’ll typically be taught in a college certificate or diploma program give you a well-rounded introduction to the theory and math behind the field. You’ll learn about the standard electrical codes and both commercial and residential wiring.
This adds the opportunity to benefit from general education courses, on top of a deeper dive into electrical work. This approach usually takes between two to four years. During that time, you’ll take courses that’ll give you a taste of the things you’ll be doing on the job as an apprentice.
An associate degree doesn’t shorten your electrical apprenticeship, but it does prepare you to jump right in and spend more time applying what you’ve already learned.
Preparing for your apprenticeship by getting either a certificate or an associate degree will cost between $1,000 to $11,000. The range in price depends on the school you choose. There are many scholarships available for students and veterans looking to explore a career as an electrician. Keep in mind that you’ll have additional costs for certain tools of the trade, as well as textbooks.