How Much Does Electrician School Cost? Real Training Costs (2023)

Training in a trade is a great way to secure a potentially lucrative future, and the electrical trade is no exception. In fact, electrician careers are growing in the United States, with jobs expected to increase by 10.4 percent over the next 10 years, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). All in all, a career as an electrician is a logical choice for anyone who likes to work with their hands and travel locally. Find out here the cost of electrician school and other additional costs of training.

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If you want to become an electrician, you might be looking to find out more about your options for job training. Those considering training in a new career might be especially concerned about how much it will cost. In this regard, trades are unique, as new tradespeople generally learn through the completion of an apprenticeship.

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Apprentices serve as assistants to a journey-level or master tradesperson, carrying tools and supplies to a job site and performing minor repairs. As such, they are part of the work crew and are paid for their work. This is a great way to become an electrician. Although this doesn’t mean there are no costs involved with training, the pay you earn while you are learning can help offset your electrician training costs.

How Long Do Electricians Need to Go to School and How Much Does Electrician School Cost?

There is more than one way to become trained as an electrician. Electrical training is usually obtained through participation in a training program at an electrician school, a local trade school or a community college. Electricians are also required to participate in an electrical apprenticeship, regardless of having acquired a certificate or associate’s degree. Many apprenticeship programs are actually self-contained and include classroom instruction, so it is possible to gain all of the training you need through an apprenticeship.

Although electricians don’t necessarily have to attend a training program at a trade school, participating in one can help you be more competitive and ultimately secure a better apprenticeship. Electrical training programs will help you meet on-site work demands with more preparation and knowledge. Classroom instruction should include an in-depth study of electrical theory, electrical systems and electrical technology. Training programs generally take anywhere from a few months to two years to complete.

If you are worried about the time it will take to begin training through an electrical training program, you will want to know that graduates usually receive credit toward their apprenticeship. In addition, a training program will likely include some form of on-the-job training. Many programs are also offered in the evenings, to allow students to work during the day, meaning you may be able to attend training and do your apprenticeship concurrently.

So how much does an electrician school cost? It depends on where you enroll. Electrician training cost varies by the length and location of the program. However, in general, you should expect to spend anywhere between $1,000 and $11,000 to attend a training program. This sum may sound like a lot of money, but it’s important to remember that schools may have grants, loans and scholarships available to alleviate your electrician training costs.

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Online electrician programs tend to be economical than campus-based training. Attending a trade school or community college will have other additional costs such as travel and perhaps accommodation.

Associate’s degree programs in electrical technology will cost more than a diploma program, that focuses on core training for electricians, such as learning the National Electrical Code, basic electrical systems and electrical theory. Both types of program will set you on course to becoming a licensed electrician. An associate’s degree program may open more doors later, as will a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Electrician Apprenticeship Costs

Apprenticeships can be approached through a union or non-union training program. Union programs are conducted through a partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers(IBEW) and theNational Electrical Contractors Association(NECA). Partnering with local contractors, these two unions form Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs), in a partnership known as theElectrical Training Alliance.

IBEW Local 271 in Wichita, KS, estimates that training will cost an apprentice around $3,600 for tools, textbooks, electrical code books, licensing exam fees and instructional fees.

Non-union apprenticeships, also known as open-shop or merit-based apprenticeships, may be available through non-union electrical contractors in your area. You can also participate in an official non-union training program through one of two non-union trade associations: theIndependent Electrical Contractors(IEC) or theAssociated Builders and Contractors(ABC).

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The costs of these programs should be similar to the cost of training through a union apprenticeship. In either case, training costs are offset by the wages you are paid for working as an apprentice.

Additional Costs for Electricians

As you progress through your career, you will need to earn credentials at each level. In most states, this will mean qualifying for a state-issued or a locally approved license, for which you will have to pay. To prove your qualifications, you will need to take an examination at an additional cost.

So, how does an electrician’s career typically develop? You begin your career as an apprentice, either directly or after having completed a training program. During your apprenticeship, you will be learning the trade while assisting on the job site. Apprentices work under strict supervision by a journey- or master-level electrician.

In most places, you will be required to spend four to five years working as an apprentice. Once you have completed your apprenticeship, you will be qualified to become a fully qualified journey-level electrician. To earn your credentials, you will need to pass an examination and apply for licensure as a journeyperson.

Once you have obtained your journeyperson license, you will not be able to apply for a master electrician or electrical contractor license for at least two years. Once the two years are up, you will once again have to pass an licensing exam to qualify. Licensing examinations are given either as written or oral exams and are based heavily on local building codes as well as the National Electrical Code.

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Whether you are a journeyman or master electrician, maintaining your license is vital to your career because an unlicensed electrician cannot work in most places. You should expect to spend between $15 and $75 yearly for your license and between $30 and $75 for professional exams. For more specific information about licensing in your area, refer to the department of professional licensing in your state, city or county.

Potential Wages for Your Career as an Electrician

So how much money do electricians make? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that electricians make an average of $39,530 yearly, with the highest-paid electricians in the field reporting an annual income of $56,910. However, data collected by the BLS includes apprentices, journey-level and master electricians, whose wages vary considerably.

Your qualifications will drive your earning potential, with your salary increasing throughout your career. For instance, as the least experienced electricians, apprentices make the lowest wages. According to payscale.com, electrical apprentices can expect to make an average hourly wage of $15.43. There is also potential for bonuses, profit sharing and commissions, which could increase your annual income by up to $2,000.

Once you have completed your apprenticeship and qualified as a journeyperson, your wages will increase considerably. Journey-level electricians make an average of $25.56 per hour, with the potential for around $6,500 in additional bonuses annually. Although, this is a large bump in your salary, you will have even more potential for earnings when you have met the requirements to become a master electrician or electrical contractor.

As a master electrician, you have reached the pinnacle of your career and your wages will reflect your expertise. Master electricians make an average hourly wage of $29.14, with a potential for up to $14,000 per year in bonuses. Additionally, master electricians are the only electricians who can operate a contracting company, meaning there is potential for even greater earnings as a business owner. Regardless of where you choose to work as a master electrician, reaching this level could help you finally earn the future you deserve.

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FAQs

How much does it cost to become an electrician in California? ›

California Electrician Training Programs and Schools

Certification from a technical or vocational school can cost between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the school and the program desired.

Which course is best for electrician? ›

An associate degree in electrical technology is perhaps the most popular option for future electricians who choose to attend two-year programs. Some students specialize in certain areas of the field, like renewable energy or industrial electrical technology.

What qualifications do you need to be an electrician in South Africa? ›

To register as an electrical contractor with the DoL, firstly, an electrician must pass a trade test and have an NQF level 3 qualification as a minimum. Secondly, they must obtain a wireman's license and thirdly they must pass the SANS 10142-1 national exam.

Is Penn Foster accredited for electrician? ›

Career Diploma

Penn Foster is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

How much does it cost to become an electrician? ›

The cost of your schooling to become an electrician will depend on the type you choose. Trade schools are usually the most expensive, costing $30,000 or more. Community colleges average about $3,500 a year. You'll need to add books, study materials, school fees, and tools to the tuition.

Is being an electrician hard? ›

Con: Electrician work can be physically demanding

This is true of many construction trades, and electrician is no exception. Be prepared to crawl into some small dark spaces, up onto roofs, and do a lot of standing, bending, and reaching overhead. Electricians work on their feet and are always on the move.

How long is electrician course? ›

However, many colleges offer two-year fast-track options for advanced students, as well as part-time study, which could take much longer. After completion, it is then up to the student whether they continue on to higher education courses or undertake job-related training (e.g. a PAT testing certification).

How long do you study for an electrician? ›

Education and training

Courses range from three to five years for the first two, and to become a master electrician requires even longer with significant experience working in hazardous situations for an extended period of time, on top of increasingly complex examinations.

How do I become an electrician without going to school? ›

Apply for an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is required in order to become a licensed electrician. Apprenticeships can be found through trade schools, Independent Electrical Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors, or through Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATC).

How long is the Penn Foster electrician program? ›

On average, learners can complete their program in as few as 13 months. Faster learners, or those with more time to dedicate to their coursework, can finish in as little as 9 months.

Can I train to be an electrician online? ›

These days, you can train for skilled trade qualifications online, working around your day job in the electrical industry, at times to suit you. A wide range of online training options are available to you to get the necessary qualifications to become an electrician, and quickly.

What do residential electricians do? ›

A residential electrician performs installations, maintenance, inspections and electrical repairs to keep electrical systems and components in good working order. Furthermore, they need to inspect and repair electrical wiring.

What skills do electricians need? ›

Some examples of the technical skills required for electricians include:
  • Installing and maintaining electrical systems, equipment and devices.
  • Using and maintaining hand and power tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers and drills.
  • Repairing wiring systems.
  • Installing electrical conduits, cables, tubing.

How many types of electrician course are there? ›

Certificates of ITI Electrician Course

There are 2 types of certificates available that are NCVT and SCVT. The NCVT certificate is a national-level certificate that can be used all over the country. So if you are going to join ITI Electrician then you should go for the NCVT certificate.

How much does a certified electrician make in California? ›

The average Electrician Journeyman salary in California is $72,900 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $63,800 and $82,500.

How do you become a lineman? ›

How to become a lineworker
  1. Earn a high school diploma or GED. The first step to becoming a lineworker is to earn a high school diploma or GED. ...
  2. Get a driver's license. ...
  3. Attend a trade school. ...
  4. Take an aptitude test. ...
  5. Begin an apprenticeship program. ...
  6. Earn certifications. ...
  7. Become a journeyman lineworker.

How long does it take to become an electrician in Florida? ›

How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician Certification in Florida? In most Florida cities/counties, obtaining a journeyman certification takes an average of four to five years, which includes 8,000 hours of work-related experience and 144 hours of classroom time per year.

What type of math do electricians use? ›

Electricians use trigonometry and basic geometry principles during installations, repair, and maintenance. Trigonometry is a math branch dealing with the sides and angles of triangles. Electricians can apply tangent functions to determine the ideal angles to bend conduit sections along the proper wiring route.

Is there a lot of math in electrician? ›

Basic math and some algebra should get you by. You'll need a full grasp of the fundamentals of electricity, electrical code, and safety. And you'll need to know how to wire and connect circuitry, and how to work on motors, transformers, generators, and the electronic systems in mechanical tools.

Do electricians wake up early? ›

Their schedule can be a 9-to-5, but often it can start earlier. So many electricians start their day at 6 or 7 or 8 am. Annually, those hours amount to around 1,800 to 2,080 hours.

How can I become an electrician fast? ›

Complete a college course or an NVQ course

City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Building Services (Electrical Installation route) or EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Electrical Installation. T Level in Building Services Engineering for Construction. NVQ Level 3 Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

What can a Level 3 electrician do? ›

Fault diagnosis and rectification. Inspection, testing and commissioning. Electrical Systems design. Career awareness in the building services.

Is 40 too old to become an electrician? ›

While some electricians start their training immediately after high school graduation, others (like you) look to this field as a second or even third career later in life. No limit exists to learning. This means you can learn the trade as an 18-year-old or a 48-year-old.

What is the quickest trade to learn? ›

Quick trade jobs to learn include truck drivers, medical coders, and personal trainers. Trade school enrollment has surged as college enrollment dropped in recent years. Demand for trade jobs such as trucking has caused governments to relax licensure requirements.

What certificates should a qualified electrician have? ›

Qualifications such as the stand-alone BS7671 qualification (IET Wiring Regulations), the Certificate in Fundamental Inspection, and the Certificate in the Certification of Electrical Installations (inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations) are designed as professional development for qualified ...

Do you need maths to become an electrician? ›

From simple addition and subtraction, to algebra and geometry—math is an important part of the electrician skillset.

What should a first year electrical apprentice know? ›

A first-year electrical apprentice is responsible for various electrical installation tasks including installing raceways, pulling wire, mounting equipment, installing and completing finished electrical products such as lights and switches and more.

How much does an electrician make an hour? ›

The average hourly rate for electricians across the entire United States is $25.46. On an annual basis, this works out to approximately $50,000 per year.

How long does it take to become a master electrician? ›

Becoming a master electrician requires more work experience, with some states requiring up to 12,000 hours of work before you can become a licensed master electrician. Working full time, that would take you about six years.

How long is electrician school in PA? ›

Generally, aspiring electricians can expect to spend three to five years gaining field experience and earning around 750 to 900 hours of classroom training.

What are Penn Foster High School electives? ›

Your online high school diploma program consists of 16.5 core credits and you choose 5 elective credits, ranging from academic electives like American literature and algebra to career pathway electives, like pharmacy technician, residential electrician, or vet assistant.

Can you train as an electrician part-time? ›

Part-time courses are generally better suited to older students who have a little knowledge of the electrical industry. Part-time courses can be intense as the student will have one day or two evening classes as opposed to three full days, so it's essential that the student can commit to self-studying out of college.

What is electrical installation course? ›

What is a course in electrical installation? It is a study program that teaches a student the fundamentals of installing electronics. It is an important step toward becoming a fully qualified and certified electrician.

What is NVQ level 3 electrical installation? ›

The level 3 NVQ Electrical (2357-44) is for electrical improvers who have previously completed their level 2 and 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations (2365) or equivalent older qualifications and are now in their final stages of becoming a qualified Electrician.

What is a group of electricians called? ›

At both mills I worked at we along with the electricians were collectively called sparkies.

Where are the highest paid electricians? ›

Alaska has the highest electrician salary of $80,537.
...
Here's a quick snapshot of the top ten states for electrician salaries:
  • Alaska (Jobs)
  • Washington (Jobs)
  • Massachusetts (Jobs)
  • Vermont (Jobs)
  • North Dakota (Jobs)
  • Oregon (Jobs)
  • Hawaii (Jobs)
  • Connecticut (Jobs)
Aug 2, 2022

How long does it take to become an electrician in California? ›

You will need to complete at least 720 hours of electrician instruction from an approved trade school/apprenticeship program that combines hands-on training with classroom instruction. You will also need to gain 8,000 hours (approx. 4 years) of on-the-job experience (which also can be part of an apprenticeship).

How much does a certified electrician make in California? ›

The average Electrician Journeyman salary in California is $72,900 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $63,800 and $82,500.

How quickly can you train as an electrician? ›

Generally, apprenticeships take three years to complete and will involve one day a week at college and four days within a related job position. However, many colleges offer two-year fast-track options for advanced students, as well as part-time study, which could take much longer.

How do I become an electrician without going to school? ›

Apply for an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is required in order to become a licensed electrician. Apprenticeships can be found through trade schools, Independent Electrical Contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors, or through Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATC).

Where do electricians get paid the most? ›

Highest-Paid Electricians By State
RankState90th Percentile
1Alaska$99,000
2Washington$119,000
3Massachusetts$104,000
4Vermont$102,000
46 more rows
Aug 2, 2022

Is being an electrician worth it? ›

That might sound like bad news, but really, it's an amazing opportunity. Right now, apprentice electricians (those who are new to the job and still working on their license) can expect to earn more than $40,000 a year. Journeymen electricians (fully-licensed and more experienced) earn around $55,000 a year.

How much does an electrician apprentice make in California? ›

How much does an Electrician - Apprentice make in California? The average Electrician - Apprentice salary in California is $59,200 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $51,600 and $68,700.

Which trade makes the most money? ›

The Highest-Paid Trade Jobs
  • Construction Managers. ...
  • Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers. ...
  • Radiation Therapists. ...
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologists. ...
  • Dental Hygienists. ...
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians. ...
  • Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians. ...
  • Boilermakers.

How much does an electrician make an hour? ›

The average hourly rate for electricians across the entire United States is $25.46. On an annual basis, this works out to approximately $50,000 per year.

Do electricians make 6 figures? ›

As the world ultimately depends on electricity to function correctly. Aside from just that, a good electrician can earn six figures. However, this entire process will undoubtedly need a lot of dedication and hard work as a journeyman.

What can a Level 3 electrician do? ›

Fault diagnosis and rectification. Inspection, testing and commissioning. Electrical Systems design. Career awareness in the building services.

Can I train to be an electrician at 40? ›

The answer is a big fat 'YES'! It's not just that becoming an Electrician at 40 is merely possible for you. In fact, in many ways, your odds are much better than others. Because you have many benefits over your younger counterparts for becoming an Electrician at 40.

Is 40 too old to become an electrician? ›

While some electricians start their training immediately after high school graduation, others (like you) look to this field as a second or even third career later in life. No limit exists to learning. This means you can learn the trade as an 18-year-old or a 48-year-old.

Can you be a self taught electrician? ›

Doing so is nearly impossible if you live in the United States. In the U.S., each state has its own regulations for becoming an electrician. Most states require that electricians be licensed. Usually you must have supervised on-the-job experience (that's an apprenticeship) to qualify to take the licensing exam.

What should a first year electrical apprentice know? ›

A first-year electrical apprentice is responsible for various electrical installation tasks including installing raceways, pulling wire, mounting equipment, installing and completing finished electrical products such as lights and switches and more.

What skills do electricians need? ›

Some examples of the technical skills required for electricians include:
  • Installing and maintaining electrical systems, equipment and devices.
  • Using and maintaining hand and power tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers and drills.
  • Repairing wiring systems.
  • Installing electrical conduits, cables, tubing.

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