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How to Get Real-World Experience While Receiving Your Electrical Certification

electrical certification

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Did you know that only 41% of Californians that took their electrician certification test actually passed it in 2019? That means that three out of five future electricians in the Golden State could really benefit from electrical training. 

If you’re someone who’s looking to sign up for California electrical training, then there’s no better time to start than now. Here’s how to get real-world experience while receiving your electrical certification. 

How to Become an Electrician

You might be wondering: how do I get into the electrical field? Here’s how:

  • Get your GED or high school diploma.
  • Sign up at an electrical training center.
  • Find a trade or vocational school.
  • Apply for an apprenticeship program.
  • Spend four to five years in the field.
  • Get your electrical license.

Whether you’re a military veteran, unskilled worker, or unemployed, it’s never too late to learn basic electrical training. All you need to do is get your GED or high school diploma as soon as possible.

Don’t know where to start? Try to find a trade or vocational school that’s close to your home. 

Now: make sure that you apply for an apprenticeship or work under a C-10 licensed contractor after state registration (as required in California, for example). Don’t forget to register as a trainee by obtaining enrollment certification from your school and submitting all necessary application forms.

Expect to spend anywhere from four to five years studying with a master electrician or C-10 licensed contractor to learn the ropes. 

After you’ve finished your hours, you can finally get your electrical license. That means that you’re officially allowed to work in your state. But there’s a catch: you must complete forms and pass your electrician exam first before becoming licensed. 

Why should I become an electrician? The answer is simple: steady hours and excellent benefits. 

Does that sound good to you? Then, read on to find out more about what it takes to become a licensed electrician.

No Diploma? No Problem!

Here’s the deal: you don’t even need a high school diploma to begin your career as an electrician. In fact, InterCaost Colleges will actually direct you to the path that will help you to get your diploma while you finish your education. (More info on this page)

Nowadays, you can complete your high school diploma online as well. Talk about convenience!

Why is this important? Sadly, you may not be able to get too far in the electrical profession without basic education. That’s because you’ll be dealing with trade mathematics on a daily basis.

Still in high school? Then it’s the perfect time to make sure you’re in the right classes. If you want to get a headstart on your career, then you might want to sign up for classes like: 

  • English
  • Algebra
  • Health and Safety
  • Construction
  • Mechanical drawing

Once you can master these subjects, you’ll be well on your way to completing your electrical training program!

Completing Your Electrical Training Program

Wondering what an electrical program is like? Look no further. 

First of all, most electrical training courses will teach you about the proper code, equipment, and safety info that you need to begin your career.

That’s not all. 

Your electrical instruction will also include:

  • Basics of power and electrical distribution.
  • Fundamental math skills.
  • Code requirements for electricians.
  • Wiring mandates for business and home installation.
  • Lessons about control theory.

We can’t emphasize this enough: you have to get your electrical trainee card (ET card) while you are in attendance in your training program as soon as the school certifies your enrollment. Why? Because it shows that you’re legitimately permitted to work as a trainee in your state.

Curious about what to do next? Once you’ve signed up for electrical training school and received your Electrical Trainee (ET) card, you need to plan where you will get your work experience.  Most schools have a job placement assistance department that will help you with the important part of getting your accumulation of work hours.

How long does it take to finish the electrical training?

The best part is that it only takes 50 weeks to complete your studies. That’s the equivalent of 900 hours of study time to prepare for your exam and entry-level employment.

Looking for a flexible electrical program? Try hybrid electrical training.

Hybrid electrical training blends traditional school studies with online assignments that you can complete online. This is great for people with busy schedules who can’t commit to the full-time campus experience.

For instance, hybrid electrical training programs allow you to attend your classes on campus once a week to work on projects with your instructors. Not only that, but you can usually sign up for this type of class on the weekends too.

Have to go to work during the week? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. With a hybrid electrical training program, you can spend your weekdays completing your homework at any time of the day (or night). What’s not to love? 

Bottom line: find a location near you to get your electrical certification. You won’t regret it! 

All About Apprenticeships

Scratching your head about electrical apprenticeships or on-the-job training? Then, you’ve come to the right place. 

While most apprenticeships take four years to finish, not everyone has the time to dedicate to that. Instead, you can choose to focus on your electrical studies first, then accumulate your work hours. 

However, most companies will be looking to see your training and on-the-job experience on your resume. Why? Because you need to be to prove that you can do the necessary tasks required in the field.

Trying to start your own electrical business? You’ll need to become licensed to not only gain credibility with your clientele but to have a contractor business, as you may not even be able to qualify for your electrical license without one in certain states. 

You could also look into signing up for an apprenticeship program with companies like:

  • The National Electrical Contractors Association 
  • The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Independent Electrical Contractors 

Another great idea is to search for an electrical apprenticeship with the U.S. Department of Labor. If that doesn’t work, then it doesn’t hurt to look at the job boards online and in the newspaper.

Now that you’ve found the right apprenticeship program for you, it’s time to take your aptitude exam. That means that your reading, arithmetic, and algebra skills will be put to the test. On top of that, there’s a job interview that you have to get through as well.

As if that wasn’t enough, be prepared to pass your drug test and mechanical aptitude exam too. Not to mention meeting the requirements for physical fitness.  If you are unable to get into an apprenticeship program, consider the wait list. If not, consider the quick option of attending a California state-approved trade school or vocational college.  You can obtain your ET card quickly, and maybe even work while attending school. This is a strong alternative to the apprenticeship programs. 

Becoming a Licensed Electrician

How do you become a licensed electrician? That depends on what state you live in. Nevertheless, most states require you to get your electrical license before you can practice your trade.

Despite this fact, those that live in places like Pennsylvania and Illinois don’t actually require you to get your state license. But certain cities and towns do have this requirement, so you might as well get one to avoid the hassle.

This is important: make sure that you know which municipalities you want to offer your services in before you open for business. Why? Because you can check to see if you need an electrical license to practice there first.

Planning to work for yourself? Then you definitely need to have your electrical license to practice in your region. 

What does it take to get your electrical license?

All that you have to do is make sure that you understand things like:

  • National standards
  • Different concepts of electricity
  • How to work safely
  • Building codes and laws

Once you understand these skills, you can plan on finishing your trade school program within ten months.  After graduation, begin accumulating your required hours, take and pass the journeyman examination, and, when you get your electrical license, then you can say hello to your electrical career! 

Get Started on Your Electrical Career Today

Still, dying to know how to become an electrician? Luckily, we’ve got everything you need to get on the right path. 

From getting your high school diploma to signing up for a trade school or apprenticeship program, it can take about five years to complete your final goal. However, the sooner you get started, the sooner you can begin your electrical profession.

So, there you have it. The rest is up to you!

What are you waiting for? Contact us to get your electrical certification today!

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