Is Trade School Necessary If You Want to Be an Electrician?

When you want to become an electrician, you generally have two options. The first is going to a trade school for formal education, and the second is becoming an apprentice for work experience. To be sure, there are advantages and disadvantages to each path, so you need to consider your lifestyle, financial ability, and preferred learning method to identify the best path forward for you.

That said, because apprenticeship is an option, it is not necessary to become a trade school electrician. For some, becoming an apprentice and learning on the job may be a more practical option.

When Might an Apprenticeship Be Better?

One of the basic qualifications to become an electrician is having a high school diploma or equivalent degree, such as a GED. If you have a high school diploma or equivalent degree, then signing up for an apprenticeship under an experienced electrician may be a good option for you, particularly if you have other experience in a similar industry.

An apprenticeship is a more direct way to receive your education and work experience, which means you may be able to get your electrician license more quickly. However, if you don't have a high school diploma or equivalent degree, then you will not be able to rely solely on an apprenticeship to become a licensed electrician in your state.

What Are the Main Benefits of a Being a Trade School Electrician?

There are a few significant benefits of attending a trade school instead of using an apprenticeship to become an electrician. Trade schools can offer flexible courses for students who need to work part-time or can offer programs to fast-track education for full-time students. This flexibility will allow you to fit your education into your lifestyle so that you can build your career while also keeping your current job. Other benefits can include:

Structured Learning

For some people, having a structured learning environment and learning program is the best way to absorb knowledge. At a trade school, your education will start from the bottom up, which means you'll be able to gather basic knowledge about electrical wiring and other components of your future occupation. If you know nothing about electrical wiring, a structured learning environment and program may be ideal.

Practical Learning

A trade school will also offer practical learning so that you can develop skills as an electrician. Just like an apprenticeship, your practical learning will be supervised by experienced technicians. However, at a trade school, your practical learning will be assessed as part of your grades. Furthermore, your practical learning may contribute to the work experience you will need to apply for a license later on.

Educational Qualifications

If you don't have a high school diploma or equivalent degree, attending a trade school can help you obtain your GED, since this diploma is a basic requirement for becoming an electrician. You can also gather additional educational qualifications depending on the specific program you are attending.

For example, although it's not necessary for electricians to have a bachelor's or master's degree, some people interested in electrical engineering may want to attend a trade school that offers opportunities for higher education for further mastery.

Easier Apprenticeship

Many trade schools also partner with businesses to make it easier for students to obtain apprenticeships. Depending on your specific program structure, you may be able to apprentice while you are still going to school, which can help you gather work experience and educational experience at the same time. Many electricians looking for apprentices prefer to hire students, since students will have a basic knowledge and understanding of electrical wiring.

Finance Options

Trade schools can offer finance options as well, which may be important for those who need to continue working or who don't have the financial budget to pay for classes out of pocket. With school loans, trade schools can allow you to get the educational experience you need to build a career for the future. Although some apprenticeships are paid, it may be more practical for you to attend a trade school with student loans or other finance options.

Increased Job Opportunities

Finally, just like any other occupation, future employers may be looking for technicians who have specific educational merit. For example, having a degree or program certificate from a trade school can make future employers more confident about your abilities, particularly when your program is compounded with work experience. This can ultimately increase your job opportunities and benefit your career in the future.

What Else Do You Need to Become an Electrician?

Whether you are a trade school electrician or an apprentice electrician, you will need to have a license to become an electrician. Depending on your state, the requirements to get an electrician's license will vary. However, at a minimum, you will need to meet the required number of hours for work experience, although educational credits can often be applied to these hours.

You may need to pass certain examinations and pay certain fees, as well. The process of becoming a licensed electrician can take several weeks or months depending on the specific process for your state.

If you want to become an electrician in the future, then you will either need to attend a trade school or sign up for an apprenticeship to get work experience so that you can qualify for a license later on. Depending on your circumstances, a trade school may be a better option since it provides a more structured learning environment and allows you to find better employment opportunities. To learn more about how to thrive as an electrician, visit ServiceBox today.

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