How Long Does it Take to Complete Electrician Trade School?
December 11, 2020
Turning to a career in the trades is a proven way to make a living. But if you want to become an electrician, it doesn’t happen overnight. You must first complete the required schooling and training requirements before you will have the knowledge and skills necessary to step onto a jobsite. (You can read more about how to become an electrician in California in our blog.)
Electrician trade school is designed to prepare you for the actual work you’ll do in the field. But you might be wondering: how long does it take to complete? Is it 4 years? A couple months? Somewhere in between?
In California, you’re required to complete at least 720 hours of electrician training—how long it takes to complete depends on the trade school you attend and the course you take.
Our 26-week course includes 900 hours of coursework and training, more than required by the state. About 35% of the time is spent in our lab, where students work hands-on with instructors, applying what they learned in class.
Students learn about electrical theory, national fire code, lighting and motor control, safety, and more. Here is a breakdown of how many hours the course devotes to each subject:
After completing the course, students can take the certification exam required by the state of California.
Our 5-year course provides the same required hours and same schooling—but it comes in a different package. The course is designed to allow students to work as apprentices on the jobsite under the supervision of a C-10 licensed electrical contractor. Note that we do not offer employment opportunities. The 5-year course enables those entering the trade to meet requirements that they be enrolled in an electrical education course while working.
For two weeks per semester, students stop working, instead attending class full-time to receive training and hands-on lab experience. After 5 years, students complete the required hours, and can take the state certification exam.
When students enroll in the 5-year course, they are assigned to a track. You can find the 2020 Class Calendar here. Notice that each track (1.1, 1.2, 2.2, and so on) meets for about two weeks at a time, one to three times per year.
Every trade school has different options with regard to course scheduling and length. Some trade schools offer only one electrical trainee course, leaving you with fewer options and less flexibility.
The only difference between the 26-week course and the 5-year course is the amount of time they take to complete. It’s up to students to decide which they want to enroll in.
We’re often approached by prospective students who want to become electricians, but don’t know if the time commitment is worth it. Some aren’t in a position to drop work and go to school full time for 26 weeks. Other students just can’t imagine doing a 5-year trainee program and want to get all their schooling done upfront.
At I-TAP, students can enroll in the course that best fits their needs. If you are considering becoming an electrician, you can always talk to one of our admittance counselors if you’re unsure which course is right for you. Give us a call and we can discuss enrollment options!
Ready to learn a skilled trade and work on some of the most exciting commercial construction projects in California and beyond?
I-TAP is an electrical apprenticeship program that helps you find your passion, grow your skills, and place you in the perfect electrician job.