Electrician School: Types, Costs and What You Need To Know

Trade School vs. College by Numbers
National Average Four-Year College Trade School
Average Cost $9,410 (per year) [4] $5,000–$15,000 (total)
Time to Complete 4 years 3–18 months
Other Expenses Books, housing, misc. Books
Award Bachelor’s degree Diploma or certificate of completion

Episode 51 – Should You Go To Trade School To Be An Electrician?

What do you study in electrician school?

Since there are numerous educational options for aspiring electricians, the subjects covered in those programs also come in a wide range. Students who enroll in a certificate program, which lasts one year or less, will learn about:

An associate degree is the next option for electrician training, and it typically takes two years to complete. In an associate program, students learn all the above and:

Last but not least, a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering teaches you a combination of theoretical knowledge more akin to what an electrical engineer might learn. Many classes also cover technological information if it’s pertinent to understanding electrical devices. Some skills and courses for this type of degree include:

Typically, a bachelor’s degree is not required to become an electrician, but it can be helpful for those who want the flexibility to work with technology.

What is electrician school?

Where you learn how to become an electrician is typically a trade school, also referred to as a vocational college or technical school. Understanding building codes, electrical safety, and wiring and cabling may be covered in an electrician’s training at a trade school. Electrical programs can range in length from a few months to a four-year bachelor’s degree.

The majority of electricians attend school as one step in the process of becoming one, which frequently also entails an apprenticeship. Although it doesn’t require a lot of education to become an electrician, taking the right courses can speed up your workplace adaptation.

What does electrician school cost?

There are several different types of electrician schools, and each one requires a different amount of time, so there is a wide range in potential costs. Location and the educational institution also affect the overall cost.

Costs for associate degrees or certificate programs can range from $1,000 to $12,000. Depending on the university, the cost of a bachelor’s degree ranges from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many trade schools and colleges offer scholarships and financial aid for certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs to make the education more accessible.

While apprentices typically receive compensation, they may also be required to pay an annual fee of no more than $1,000.

Types of electrician training and degrees

The four main categories of electrical training and degrees are as follows:


To become an electrician, you must complete an apprenticeship, which you can do with or without education. While the organization that set up your apprenticeship may require you to take a few classes, in general you will learn on the job over the course of four to five years.


The shortest course of study for electricians is a certificate from a trade school, which can take anywhere from a few months to a year. Your school might be able to place you in an apprenticeship program, which is one benefit of a certificate program. Additionally, the apprenticeship process can be made more productive and efficient by having some electrical education.

Associate degree

An associate degree will cover the fundamentals of being an electrician in greater detail, and if you want to continue your education, you can typically transfer the credits from an associate degree to a bachelor’s. Even though aspiring electricians with an associate degree must still complete an apprenticeship, having classroom experience can help them be successful in the position.

Bachelors degree

The most time-consuming option for aspiring electricians is a bachelor’s degree, which typically takes four years. However, it also provides greater flexibility to transition into other related fields. Electrical technology bachelor’s degree programs are common, so students will learn about a wide range of systems and products that are applicable to engineering and other fields.

Military training

Joining the military is another way to get an education in electrical engineering. After completing their basic training, soldiers must complete job-specific training, and many military branches employ electricians. Engineers who received their training in the military may find it simpler to find employment after active duty.

Are there additional costs for becoming an electrician?

Depending on your individual path, additional expenses for becoming an electrician can range from $250 to $10,000 or more. For instance, you might have to pay for certain tools or equipment, or you might have to pay for housing while you finish your education. In other instances, you might be required to pay a licensing exam fee, which is typically less than $100 but may vary by location.

How to pursue electrician school

The procedure for being accepted into, selecting, and graduating from electrical school is as follows:

1. Complete high school or a GED

A high school diploma or GED is required, regardless of whether you plan to pursue further education or enter an apprenticeship. Electrical skills can be learned in high school by taking math, science, shop, and computer-aided drafting (CAD) courses. For those who want to enter the workforce more quickly, technical high schools that allow students to learn a trade while earning their high school diploma can be a good option.

2. Decide on school vs. an apprenticeship

You can enroll in a school or pursue an apprenticeship; each has advantages and disadvantages. After high school, some people pursue an apprenticeship because they want to start working right away, but others might prefer to get some formal education first before entering the field. Even if you choose to attend school, you will still receive the necessary on-the-job training because every electrician is required to work as an apprentice.

3. Apply to desired programs

Apply to those programs once you’ve decided how you want to learn electrical skills. For instance, you can submit an application to a college or a company that organizes apprenticeships. If you have the means, applying to several places can be a good way to increase your chances of getting accepted. When applying to schools, make sure they offer financial aid if you need it.

4. Select a training program

Once you’ve been accepted into programs, choose the one that best meets your needs. To get feedback, it can be useful to research each program online and get in touch with any current students or apprentices. To help you determine whether the training or educational program is the best fit for you, they could, for instance, describe the projects they work on, the skills they’re honing, and the classes they’re taking.

5. Complete all educational requirements

Depending on the type of education you’re pursuing, the educational requirements for an electrician program will vary, but it’s important to keep the requirements in mind as you move through your program. To begin looking for additional training or employment after graduating, be sure to finish all required courses, training sessions, and labs.

The next step after completing a degree program is to look for employment in an apprenticeship program. In order to work as a journey worker electrician and advance your career, you should pursue licensure if you have just finished your apprenticeship training.


Do electricians use a lot of math?

Although it might make it easier for you to grasp the fundamental formulas more quickly, algebra and other school math are not strictly necessary. These formulas can also be memorized. A memorized formula or a memorized table, like the ampacity chart, will be used in 99% of calculations.

Where are the highest paid electricians?

Below is a list of the top-10 highest-paying states for electricians.
  • New York: $77,810.
  • Alaska: $76,330.
  • Illinois: $75,820.
  • Hawaii: $75,810.
  • New Jersey: $71,660.
  • Minnesota: $70,410.
  • Oregon: $69,330.
  • California: $69,320.

Do electricians get rich?

In order to earn their rate or the number of hours you can fit into a day, electricians may be paid by the hour or by a daily rate. You won’t become that millionaire when you work for someone because sometimes they may be on a price so if they finish a job quickly, it will maximize profits.

What type of math do electricians use?

Other geometry (linear feet around a circumference, etc.); Ohms Law (voltage current power); load calculation (see code); simple algebra (mental math” or as complex multiplication, division, and their friends as you can solve in your head quickly and precisely to); trigonometry (rise over run, solve for side x, etc.);

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