Starting an electrical training program: what you can expect before, d - knoweasy

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Starting an electrical training program: what you can expect before, during and after

March 07, 2022


Did you know that electricians must pass a color test? They also offer a wide range of functions that require problem-solving skills. There are many other exciting facts about electricians.

However, if you are interested in becoming an electrician, then you already know quite a few of them, if not all. But now that you've decided to pursue your dream, do you know where you should start?

To become an electrician in California, you must be licensed to work as a licensed electrician. There are many electrical training programs you can attend to earn your certification, obtain your electrical trainee card, and test and earn your license after the required time in the field. There are a variety of schools and apprenticeship programs that can provide you with a certificate of completion and help you achieve your career goals.

You can complete some certification programs in less than a year, or it may take up to two years to complete. An electrician certificate from an approved school can help prepare you for entry-level work. It can allow you to become an electrical trainee. You can work under a licensed electrician until you have completed the hours required to apply for a license with the State of California. Remember, you can only attend a school or apprenticeship program approved by the State of California; otherwise, you may not be allowed to work in the field. 

However, before starting any electrical training program, you should have a clear understanding of what an electrician does and his or her area of expertise.


What does an electrician do?


An electrician is a craftsman with the ability and training to design, install, maintain and solve problems with electrical wiring systems. All residential, commercial, and industrial projects require electrical wiring systems. 

Electricians ensure that many basic items work properly. These include televisions, lights and appliances. They may also work on certain types of large equipment and machinery.

Some electrical occupations typically fall into the following categories. 

Installation - involves lighting, electrical system installation, fire protection, residential and commercial data networks and security systems.

Maintenance - involves checking electrical systems for efficient and safe operation.

Electrician Panel Fabrication - involves installing and assembling control panels that run electrical systems.

Machine maintenance and rewinding - involves maintaining and repairing electric motors and machinery, such as transformers.


How to Become an Electrician


Once you have chosen the field you wish to specialize in, there are some requirements that you will need to meet before enrolling in an electrical training program.

You must have a high school diploma or a general education diploma (GED) to participate in any electrical training program. This is important because it provides training on some of the basic principles used on the job. Some colleges will accept you without a high school diploma or GED if you attend an accredited high school program at the same time as your electrical training program. some schools will help you find a GED testing center or help you enroll in an accredited high school program at the same time as your electrical training program. Students in electrical training programs can earn a high school diploma at the same time.  


Some high school programs are helpful because the classes you take will prepare you for the following areas.

Math - at least one year of high school algebra with a minimum grade of "C".

Physics - you should have a basic understanding of the physics of electrical currents.

Hands-on courses - Automotive mechanics, electronics, or woodworking shops offer you the opportunity to work hands-on. These can help build your confidence in the field.

Once you have earned your high school diploma or GED and you are 18 years of age or older, you may choose to participate in an electrical training program or pursue an apprenticeship with a California-approved institution.

InterCoast offers students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma while attending electrical programs! Please call 1-877-227-3377 for more information *Some restrictions may apply.

Apprenticeships involve working with established electricians at various job sites. During your apprenticeship, you will practice electrical skills with these professionals. Apprenticeship programs typically take three to four years to complete. Training will include a similar curriculum, including learning the National Electrical Code (NEC).

You may also choose to do an apprenticeship after completing the electrical training program, but this is not required. This will allow you to gain hands-on experience with an experienced professional through an apprenticeship arrangement. Or, once you graduate from a California-approved school, you can work under a qualified licensed electrician to gain valuable work experience that applies to your licensing requirements.


Contents of the Electrical Training Program


The Electrical Training Program is designed to allow participants to earn a certification as an electrician. This will allow you to work in the electrical industry or other related fields under the direction of a licensed electrician.

If you are already in the field, this is a great way to update your technical skills and knowledge. Getting certified allows you to demonstrate your skills to potential employees and complete an approved electrical training program. The Electrical Training Program provides participants with an overview of the skills required for a variety of electrical careers.

Coursework will cover a variety of areas, including:

  • Basic trade math
  • Fundamentals of electrical power and distribution
  • Commercial, industrial and residential electrical wiring requirements
  • National Electrical Code requirements
  • Safety and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards
  • Other motor control fundamentals.
  • Benefits of completing an approved electrical training program


Participating in an approved electrical training program will help you get hired for a variety of entry-level industry positions. These include residential and commercial electrical trainee positions as well as positions in the solar industry. This is a career that will bring many benefits because it is.


It's fun - The beauty of working in this field is that you'll never get bored. The work is interesting, challenging, and sometimes unpredictable. It is not usually described as monotonous because you are constantly exposed to new things as each job is different.

There is earning potential - working as an electrical intern after graduation will pay you while gaining hands-on experience. You'll continue your studies under the guidance of a licensed electrician who will support your on-the-job training and job growth. In some cases, many electrical interns receive competitive wages and even receive benefits. This is a great way to pay off any student loans you may have.

Can Pay Well - There is a steady demand for electrical services. Attending an approved electrical cadet school in California and gaining your work experience time can pay off. As you add overtime and weekends to your work schedule, your income and the rate at which you build your work experience hours will increase.


A U.S. News study ranked San Francisco, California as one of the highest paying states for (licensed) electricians, with an average annual salary of $92,390. San Jose also ranked in the top five with an average salary of $79,010. Now, that's motivation to get licensed! 

Meet California requirements - The California Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Industrial Relations requires individuals who wish to pursue a career as an electrician to participate in a state-approved program or a state-approved apprenticeship program. You may have years of experience in the electrical field in another state and still meet the California requirements. It is best to verify what you need to do to work as an electrician in California.  

If you choose to enter the electrical training field by attending school, make sure you are only enrolled in a school that is approved to teach the "entire curriculum" of the electrical training program. Only students enrolled in a full course training program are eligible to apply for an electrical trainee card through the state. This "T-Card" provides students and graduates with the ability to work as electrical trainees immediately after graduation. Some students even go to work before graduation.

Strong demand - Employment of licensed electricians will grow faster than average in the coming years compared to other occupations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, projections show growth of 8 percent from 2019 to 2029. 

That's because electricians are in high demand. There will always be a need to install wiring and basic electrical components for homes and businesses. As you gain experience, opportunities will continue to grow. Once you have logged your work experience hours and taken and passed the journeyman's exam, you can work independently as a licensed electrician! Please contact the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Labor Relations Division for the most up-to-date information.  

It's a respected profession - the skills and knowledge of an electrician are specialized. A good electrician requires not only technical skills but also intelligence and problem-solving skills. They are also responsible for the safety of people.


Makes entrepreneurship possible - Electrical training programs can open up a world of possibilities for you. After obtaining your license, you can:

  • Start your own business.
  • Choose to specialize or provide general electrical services.
  • Work for a large electrical company.
  • The options are plentiful!


The right electrical training program for you


Finding the right electrical training program for you is critical. It's important to do the proper research to ensure you get the best training possible.

Intercoast Colleges offers a comprehensive electrical training program approved by the State of California to provide its entire curriculum program. We have also recently introduced a hybrid electrical training program.

We can help applicants earn their high school diplomas, and we offer financial aid. And, job placement assistance is available for qualified students after graduation.

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