6 Reasons to Consider a Trade School vs an Electrician Apprenticeship

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Did you know that the number of employed electricians will grow by almost 10% before 2030? (BLS.GOV as of 2022)

It’s no surprise that more and more people are choosing to enter trade schools to enter fields such as electrical, HVAC, or other popular trades. 

It can be tough to choose between a trade school and an apprenticeship. Both have their advantages, so it’s essential to consider what’s right for you before deciding. 

Read on if you’re looking to better understand why a trade school might be the right option. We’ll go over some of the many benefits of attending a trade school to help you choose. 

1. Practical Learning With No Distractions

One of the main advantages trade schools offer over apprenticeships is that your entire focus will be on learning. Apprentices are often required to carry out workplace tasks to fit the job at hand. That means time on the job site isn’t geared to learning as a classroom, or a training lab may be.

For the electrical trades, a trade school offers students the chance to focus on learning electrical skills. Students here aren’t just learning from books. They’re gaining hands-on experience from experienced instructors, developing skills that will serve them well in the workplace. 

Most courses will be taught by instructors with plenty of industry experience. You can benefit from a wealth of experience while receiving a well-rounded education in electrical. 

2. Lots of Financing Options

Many students are worried about the cost of education. Even if they prefer to study at a trade school full-time, they choose an apprenticeship to help with the costs. 

If the cost of trade school puts you off, it’s a good idea to explore all your options before making a firm decision. There are scholarships and financial aid that may be able to help you cover your costs if you qualify for them. 

It’s important to remember that attending trade school can be far more affordable than other university degree programs. And with the demand for electrical workers increasing year after year, you could consider attending trade school a good investment. 

3. The Chance to Get Your High School Diploma

Another major factor for those choosing between a trade school and an electrician apprenticeship is high school qualifications. Someone who didn’t get their high school diploma might wonder if a trade school is appropriate for them. 

Students applying to electrical programs may have the chance at some schools to complete their high school qualifications while studying with us. This way, you can earn a high school diploma with our partner career pathway program while working toward your certificate in electrical training. Our admissions staff can help you explore whether you would be eligible. 

Many apprenticeships require you to have your high school diploma to participate. Some people want to get their high school diploma for future employment prospects. A trade school can give you the chance to complete your high school education simultaneously. This opportunity may give you exactly what you’re looking for. 

4.  Get the Most Out of a Future Apprenticeship

Some states may require electrical workers to complete an apprenticeship before claiming their status as a journeyman. You must research the requirements for your state of residence.  If that’s the case where you live, it might still be worth considering enrolling at a trade school.

Many apprenticeship programs require participants to complete a certain number of classroom hours. Your time spent at trade school could help you better be prepared for your apprenticeship, even if the classroom time is not required.  You can decide if you believe this will be helpful to you.

By developing a solid understanding of core skills in the industry, you could be better placed than those without an electrical background to succeed in an apprenticeship. This may make you stand out as a quality candidate when applying for apprenticeship positions. It could also give you a solid core of knowledge to build on in the world of work. 

“You can decide to participate in an apprenticeship program, but this is not necessary to take the journeyman exam. Students who complete the InterCoast Electrical Training Program are qualified to sit for the Journeyman examination.  Once you pass the examination, you will need to accumulate your experiential hours, working under a licensed electrician at your place of employment. “  Electrician Apprenticeship: 7 Things You Should Know Before Joining IBEW

5. Flexibility

The flexibility of a trade school education is another significant advantage. Apprentices will generally need to work full-time, but trade school students can often fit a part-time job around their studies, especially if you attend a hybrid program, where some of your classwork is done online, and you attend lab classes one to two days per week.  There are some additional flexibilities offered in hybrid programs than fully ground programs or a full-time apprenticeship. 

Think about this:  An HVAC course takes around 720 hours to complete, while for an electrical certificate course, it’s 900. That’s a comparatively small hour requirement compared to the average college degree.

We understand that dedicating time to studying can be challenging for those with other commitments. You may want to consider hybrid programs, allowing students to benefit from a mixture of on-campus and off.

6. Job Opportunities

In an uncertain economy, it’s important to think carefully about your employment prospects. The job market is unstable, so it’s good to choose a career path in a growing market.

We’ve already mentioned how the demand for electrical workers is projected to grow (BLS.gov)(2022).  By getting a solid foundation in the basics of the industry, you could gain the skills you need to succeed in the profession. 

InterCoast will even help you after your time studying with us ends. We run a job referral program for our graduates to help you get your start.

Quality Electrical Training at a Trade School Near You

Whatever decision you make, check your state requirements for working as an electrician. Some states require all electrical workers to complete an apprenticeship and time in a trade school, and some require apprentices to take a trade school program before they begin. Read this post for the details you’ll need about becoming an Electrician in California. 

If you’re looking to enroll in a trade school, you’re in the right place. InterCoast offers a range of training courses across its various campuses. Whether you’re looking to study for an electrical certificate or HVAC, we can help.

Contact us today to find out more about the training we offer. We can help you find the right course for your specific needs.

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