How long does it take to become an electrician? - knoweasy

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How long does it take to become an electrician?

March 14, 2022


Are you interested in becoming an electrician?

It could be an exciting and rewarding career choice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of November 2019, the job outlook shows that demand will be above average between now and 2028.

To become an electrician, you must go through a process and a path.

How long does it take to become an electrician? Read on to find out.


Your Career Vision


There are several stages to becoming a licensed electrician. You want to outline the ultimate goal you want to have in your career.

Do you want to become an electrical contractor and own your own business? In this case, you will be able to have other electricians working under you. You will need to have a C-10 license to become a contractor in the state of California.  

Do you want to work for someone else? You need to understand how the California licensing process works. In most states, they are classified based on experience. They will have journeyman and master electrician licenses.

California works slightly differently. They offer licenses for non-residential lighting technicians, voice, data and video technicians, fire and safety technicians, residential technicians and general electricians.

Each license requires a certain number of hours of work, on-the-job training, and you need to pass an exam.

You want to work for yourself and set career goals for yourself. Write down what you want your career as an electrician to look like and what you want your daily activities to look like.


Start your career path


Your first step in becoming an electrician is usually to complete or work toward completing a GED or high school diploma.

From there, you will need to apply, interview, and if accepted, enroll in an approved electrician certification program. You will need to make sure that the program you are enrolled in has been approved by the State of California.

You'll also want the opportunity to learn about different career options, such as residential electrical jobs and commercial or industrial jobs. The more you know about these options, the easier it will be for you to decide on the right career path for you.

Another benefit of attending trade school is that you will learn about building codes, occupational safety, and the theory and math behind electricity. Classroom instruction is invaluable and can help you take the next step in your career with confidence. Lab training prepares students for the practical aspects of the work they will be doing.


Become an apprentice


Obtaining any type of electrical license in California requires you to serve an apprenticeship under an electrical contractor.

Trade schools are often associated with apprenticeship opportunities, or they have job placement assistance programs where the school will help you find work as an electrical apprentice under a C-10 licensed contractor. Placement assistance programs make it easier for you to get started in the field.

Some apprenticeship programs want to make sure you are qualified to work as an electrician and require you to pass a test before you can start the program. That's why going to trade school may be a valuable option. 

Your official title may be "electrical trainee". At the end of your program and upon completion of your studies, you will be able to work for an electrical contractor with a C-10 license. Some schools may even provide you with proof of your enrollment before you graduate so that you can enroll in California and begin working under the direction of a C-10 licensed contractor before you are finished.  


Complete your time


After completing your training and schooling and beginning to work under a C-10 licensed contractor, you can begin to accumulate hours of work. For example, if you want to become certified as a residential electrician, you will need to work 4,000 hours and pass an exam to obtain that license.

How many 4,000 hours is that? Well, if you work 40 hours a week, that becomes 100 weeks. When you add in vacation time, you're looking at about two years of work. If you work part-time, it will be longer.

If you go to a state-accredited trade school, you'll need to pass a test and complete the hours.

To become a general electrician, you need to have 8,000 hours of work experience. That's four years of experience working 40 hours a week.

Many of the advantages of trade school are exposed. Explore these options before making a decision.


Become an Electrical Contractor


What if you want to get certified as an electrical contractor? This requires you to obtain a C-10 license from the California State Licensing Board for Contractors. You will need to meet many requirements, including working hours and passing an exam.

You will need to have completed an apprenticeship and on-the-job experience as a certified electrician, or have attended an approved trade school in California. You will have a lengthy application package to fill out and provide additional documentation to prove your experience. 

Once your application has been processed and approved, you will be required to appear at the CLSB to take the exam and have your fingerprints taken. You will also be required to take and pass a journeyman's test.


How long does it take to become an electrician?


Do you want to know how long it takes to become an electrician? It depends on you and the career path you want to take.

In some cases, you can start down that path in about a year. In other cases, it can take years to get to where you want to be.

It may seem frustrating at first, but if you start taking action now and take one step at a time, you will be able to achieve your career goals. In other words, you don't want to give up on your dream of a good career anymore.

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