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What is an Electrician Trainee and How to Get in the Field

what is an electrician trainee

Electricians are a profession that’s currently in short supply.

In other words, the nation needs more electricians. But before we hire more electricians, we need to find more electrical trainees.

But what is an electrical trainee? And how does becoming a trainee help you get into the field?

From becoming a trainee to getting your electrician’s license, here’s a rundown of the steps you must take before starting your career as an electrician.

What Is an Electrical Trainee?

First and foremost: What is an electrical trainee? And what does a trainee do?

The short answer:

An electrician trainee is a current student or graduate from an approved Electrical program. In California, in order to receive an Electrical Trainee (ET) card, you must be enrolled in a whole curriculum program approved by the State. Some schools will submit the application forms while you are a student, which will allow you to work under an electrician. This trainee accumulates work hours toward obtaining an electrician’s license typically under the guidance of a master electrician.

As part of your approved college program, an electrical trainee develops a textbook understanding of the profession. He or she also gets some firsthand experience in the field.

How to Become an Electrical Trainee

In order to become an electrical trainee, the first step to becoming a licensed electrician in California, you must then attend a trade school approved by the state to offer “whole curriculum”. In fact, some institutions allow you to become an apprentice during trade school. Fortunately, this training can be affordable (one of many reasons to explore the electrical trade).

So how long does an electrical training program last? The answer is that it varies at different colleges. Some colleges can take up to two or more years before the graduate can work in the field. Other colleges have accelerated short-term certificate programs that can be completed in less than a year. And, some college programs will submit for your T-Card early so you can go to work before graduation.

Next Steps: Electrical State License

You don’t get your electrician’s license just for completing the program. After you complete your training, you must attain your state license. In California, you will take an examination. The exam will test your knowledge of the National Electrical Code. You’ll also be required to know California specific electrical codes. Be aware that you’ll have to prove that you have the required amount of experience before you receive your license. After accumulating the required hours and passing the examination, you will be a licensed electrician. Your work, however, doesn’t stop here.

Though you’ll now be able to work as an electrician, you’ll have to complete your continuing education. This continued education comes in the form of additional classes after updates to codes.

Thinking About Becoming an Electrician?

If you’re thinking about becoming an electrician, we have several resources available to you. Browse our site to find out more about how to become an electrician.

Those of you who have some experience working in the field should share your thoughts (and tips!) in the comments section below. Aspiring electricians would love your advice.

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