How long does it take to train as an electrician, and how much can you make?

Considering a career change, and looking for a trade that might suit you? Find out how long it takes to train as an electrician, and how much you can make.

Electricians are vital craftspeople who ensure everyone can access reliable and secure power. These technicians train to handle various works, including wiring systems and installing and repairing electrical equipment, explains thelocalelectrician.com.au.

Pursuing a career in electrical work can be rewarding. Certified electricians enjoy several benefits, such as lucrative salaries and access to many job opportunities. However, reaching this level requires you to meet certain obligations that may involve thorough training programs.

To help you make a sound decision, this article discusses what it takes to be an electrician and how much you can make with your skills.

What’s the duration of electrician training?

Becoming a licensed electrician involves a combination of formal education and practical experience. While the specific requirements can vary by region, most aspiring technicians follow a similar trajectory, which includes the following:

High school education or GED Diploma

Before enrolling in an electrical work training program, one must obtain a high school or General Education Development (GED) diploma. This foundational education provides essential skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. This knowledge is essential for understanding fundamental concepts in electrical work.

Vocational training program

Aspiring electricians must enroll in an electrical training program to acquire essential theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The study duration can vary from several months to two years, depending on the level of certification you pursue. Some programs may offer specialized training in residential, commercial, or industrial electrical work areas.

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship program is vital to sharpen your skills and knowledge. This hands-on training typically lasts four to five years, during which aspiring electricians work under the supervision of experienced professionals. Apprenticeships offer invaluable real-world experience, allowing trainees to apply their knowledge in practical settings while earning a modest wage.

Licensing and certification

Once you pass apprenticeship requirements, you must obtain a license or certification to work in your respective regions legally. While the licensing requirements may vary from one state to another, passing a standardized exam is generally a common criterion. You can find tips to pass the electrical contractor license exam online, if you are planning to take it.

What are the best training programs for electricians?

Choosing the right training program is crucial for building a strong foundation in the electrical trade and ensuring career success. Some of the best training programs for aspiring electricians include the following:

Independent trade schools

Independent trade schools are educational institutions that specialize in providing hands-on training and comprehensive programs for specific trades, including electrician training. These schools often offer smaller class sizes, fostering a more personalized learning environment. Trade schools rely on a focused curriculum, ensuring that every student pursuing a career as an electrician gains practical skills and knowledge directly applicable to their chosen field.

National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC)

The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) is a prominent organization offering comprehensive apprenticeship programs for aspiring electricians. NJATC’s training approach combines theoretical classroom instruction with practical, hands-on training. Through their highly regarded programs, they produce skilled and competent electricians equipped to meet the demands of the electrical industry.

Community colleges

Many community colleges offer affordable electrical programs that cover basic electrical knowledge and hands-on skills. These programs are ideal for those seeking a more budget-friendly option without compromising quality education.

How much can you make working as an electrician?

Averagely, electricians in the US earn a median annual salary of around $79,940, according to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, this figure may vary significantly depending on your state. For example, electric workers in Alaska, Illinois, and New York tend to have higher average pay than in other states.

Moreover, electricians who have additional certifications or specialized skills may command higher pay. These include journeyman technicians who qualify to work without supervision and guide junior workers.

It is worth saying that the pay for electricians across the US states is attractive. That is particularly true given that you don’t have to pay for highly costly training programs or complete a four-year college education degree to become an entry-level technician. 

Electricians enjoy a stable and well-paying career

Becoming an electrician requires dedication, commitment, and a willingness to learn and adapt to advancements in technology continually. While the training period may vary depending on your chosen path, the rewards are worth the effort.

Electricians enjoy a stable and well-paying career with ample opportunities for growth and specialization. However, choosing a reputable training program is vital to be fully competent for the job market.