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Are you interested in becoming an electrician?
It can be an exciting and rewarding career choice. According to the BLS, as of November 2019, the job outlook shows that demand will be higher than the average between now and 2028.
You have to take a process and a path to become an electrician.
How long does it take to become an electrician? Keep reading to find out.
Your Career Vision
There are several stages to becoming a licensed electrician. You want to outline where you want to end up in your career.
Do you want to become an electrical contractor and own your own business? In this scenario, you’ll be able to have other electricians working under you. You’ll need to have a C-10 license to be a contractor in California.
Do you want to work for someone else? You’ll need to know how the California licensing process works. In most states, they classify by experience. They’ll have licenses for journeymen and master electricians.
California works a little differently. They offer licenses for non-residential lighting technicians, voice, data, and video technicians, fire & safety technicians, residential technicians, and general electricians.
Each license requires a certain amount of hours worked and on-the-job training, and you need to pass an exam.
You want to have something to work towards and set career goals for yourself. Write down what you want your career as an electrician to look like and what you want your day-to-day activities to be.
Start Your Career Path
Your first step in becoming an electrician is typically to complete or work on the completion of a GED or high school diploma. InterCoast offers students an opportunity to obtain a high school diploma while attending the Electrical Program! Call for more information at 1-877-227-3377!
From there, you need to apply, interview, and if accepted, enroll in an approved electrician certification program. You need to make sure that the program that you enroll in is approved by the State of California.
You also want to have an opportunity to learn about different career options, such as residential electrical work and commercial or industrial work. The more you learn about these options, the easier it will be for you to decide which career path is right for you.
Another advantage of going to a trade school is that you will learn about building codes, occupational safety, and the theory and math behind electricity. Classroom instruction can be invaluable to help you get the confidence to take the next steps in your career. Lab training gives students hands-on preparation for the work they will be doing.
Become an Apprentice
Getting any type of electrician license in California requires that you work as an apprentice under an electrical contractor.
Trade schools often have connections to apprenticeship opportunities, or they have a job placement assistance program, where the school will assist you in finding employment as an electrical trainee, working under a C-10 licensed contractor. The placement assistance programs make it much easier for you to get started in the field.
Some apprentice programs want to make sure that you’re qualified to work as an electrician and will require that you pass an exam before even starting in the program. This is why going to a trade school can be a valuable alternative.
Your official title may be an “Electrical Trainee.” At the end of your program and when you complete school, you’ll be able to work for an electrical contractor with a C-10 license. Some schools may even provide you with your enrollment verification in advance of your graduation so you can register with the State of California and begin working under a C-10 licensed contractor even before you complete it.
Completing Your Hours
You can begin accumulating your hours as soon as you complete your training and schooling and begin working under a C-10 licensed contractor. For example, if you want to be certified as a residential electrician, you need to work 4,000 hours and pass an exam in order to obtain that license.
How long are 4,000 hours? Well, if you work a 40-hour work week, that becomes 100 weeks. When you add in vacation time, you’re looking at about two years of work. It will be longer if you work part-time.
If you go to a state-approved trade school, you need to pass an exam and complete your hours.
To become a general electrician, you need to have 8,000 hours of work experience. That’s four years of experience working 40 hours a week.
There are many advantages of a trade school come to light. Explore those options before making your decision.
Becoming an Electrical Contractor
What if you want to get certified as an electrical contractor? This requires that you get a C-10 license from the California Contractors State License Board. There are a lot of requirements that you need to meet, including hours worked, and passing exams.
You need to have completed an apprenticeship and on-the-job experience as a certified electrician, or have attended the State of California-approved trade school. You’ll have a lengthy application packet to fill out and supply additional documentation to prove your experience.
Once your application is processed and approved, you’ll be asked to appear at the CLSB to take your exams and have your fingerprints taken. You will also need to take and pass your journeyman test.
How Long Does It Take to Become an Electrician?
Do you want to know how long it take to become an electrician? It depends on you and the career path you want to take.
In some cases, you can get started on that path in about a year. In other cases, can take several years to get to where you want to go.
It may seem discouraging at first, but if you start taking action now, and take one step at a time, you’ll be able to reach your career goals. In other words, you don’t want to put your dreams of a good career off any longer.
Do you want to find out more about our Electrical Technical Training Program? Contact us today to learn all about it.