If you’re interested in becoming an electrician, you’re in luck.
We have everything you need to know about this potentially high-earning career, from the job’s pros and cons of online electrician certification programs to frequently asked questions.
Responsible for installing and maintaining the electrical and power systems in buildings, such as houses, schools, businesses, and factories, electricians are always sought after.
Generally, there are two types of electricians: construction and maintenance electricians.
While the former mainly install wiring systems, the latter fixes, and upgrades existing electrical systems and repairs electrical equipment.
Whichever your specialty, you can relish the fact that your job will always be in high demand and that your career prospects will usually be quite positive.
What’s equally exciting is that you can study to become an electrician from the comfort of your own home with the help of online electrician training programs.
And that’s what this article is all about.
So, without further ado, here’s some information about these online programs to help you get started in your career as an electrician.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 What Courses Are in an Online Electrician Program?
- 2 Can You Earn an Electrician Certification Completely Online?
- 3 How Long Does it Take to Earn an Electrician Certification Online?
- 4 How Much Does an Online Electrician Certification Cost?
- 5 Types of Electrician Certifications
- 6 Benefits of Online Electrician Training Programs
- 7 Drawbacks of Online Electrician Training Programs
- 8 Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Electrician Training Programs – Summary Table
- 9 4 Self-Study Tips for Electrician Online Students
- 10 Schools Offering Online Electrician Training
- 11 Summary
- 12 Frequently Asked Questions
What Courses Are in an Online Electrician Program?
The courses will depend on the online electrician program you choose, but these are some of the basic courses you can expect to take:
Electrical Components and Devices
This course will teach you the different types of wiring equipment.
In addition, you’ll learn how to identify control devices, such as automatic and hand-operated switches, remote-controlled systems, and magnetically controlled devices.
Here, you’ll learn the different heating sources, as well as the benefits of electrical heating, and gain an understanding of a building’s HVAC system and the functions of its common components.
You’ll also understand the inner workings of pneumatic automatic and electric automatic control systems.
Reading Electrical Drawings and Blueprints
Blueprints are essential when planning and installing electrical devices and systems.
After all, electricians need to completely understand the wiring job in order to do their job well.
In this course, you’ll learn how blueprints are prepared, and you’ll also learn the art of reading diagrams and tracing writing diagrams for motor control.
The National Electrical Code
To make sure your work complies with the National Electrical Code (NEC) codes, you need to learn how to use the NEC as a practical tool.
Anyone who’s installing systems needs to comply with the codes.
This applies to engineers, designers, and, of course, electricians.
You don’t need to memorize the NEC.
You just need to know how to use and interpret it, and that’s exactly what this course will teach you how to do.
Troubleshooting and Electrical Contracting
In this course, you’ll delve into the concept of troubleshooting and learn different troubleshooting methods.
You’ll also apply everything you’ve learned throughout your program.
You’ll also start exploring different career paths, e.g., launching your own business, and this course will go over the essential considerations of starting your own contracting business, such as the pros and cons of electrician contracting and finances.
Can You Earn an Electrician Certification Completely Online?
Yes, it’s possible.
Although you have to take the actual certification exam online, you can take your certification course online, as well as avail of a plethora of online resources to prepare yourself for the exam.
With online education programs gaining more traction, many industries have begun offering online certification programs.
Some of the benefits of online learning include affordability, flexibility, and convenience.
Students can learn at their own pace from the comfort of their own homes and earn the same credentials as students attending traditional in-person programs.
As a result, online electrician training programs have soared in popularity over the past few years, and their growth has shown no signs of slowing down.
Today, learning the trade online is just as viable an option as learning through an in-person program.
How Long Does it Take to Earn an Electrician Certification Online?
This depends on the program you choose and your performance on the certification exam.
While Penn Foster says you can finish their online electrician program in as quickly as 4 months, Florida Technical College says it takes about 9 months to complete their program.
And, of course, you have to pass your certification exam.
If you can pass it in just one take, you’ll be on a quicker path to becoming a certified electrician.
How Much Does an Online Electrician Certification Cost?
Online electrician training programs can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,000 dollars.
Compare that to in-person programs, whose costs can range from $1,000 to $11,000.
If you want to forgo the costs of attending a training program altogether, you can opt for an apprenticeship.
Many of these programs include hands-on training and classroom instruction, so you can just gain all your necessary training this way.
The actual certification or licensing process can cost $50 to $200, depending on the type of certificate or license you to apply for.
Types of Electrician Certifications
The 3 stages of electricians are based on experience level.
To become an apprentice, you must obtain an apprenticing license.
Most states only require a high school diploma in order to apply for this license.
No college education is required, and once you acquire your license, you’ll be eligible to work under the auspices of a journeyman or primary electrician.
This is the next level of experience.
With their more extensive experience, journeyman electricians have the qualifications to perform larger, more complex duties without any supervision.
In order to become a journeyman, you need to have worked as an apprentice for 2 or more years and successfully completed the necessary coursework.
You then can take your journeyman certification exam, after which you’ll be given your license.
With the highest electrician qualification, primary electricians perform industrial and commercial work in addition to managing teams of apprentices and journeymen.
They’re also responsible for planning projects and assigning tasks to their employees.
To become a primary electrician, you need to work under the supervision of a primary electrician for a certain number of hours and you have to be in the field for several years.
Once you’ve acquired expert-level knowledge and the appropriate experience, you can take your primary electrician certification program and exam to get certified as a primary electrician.
Benefits of Online Electrician Training Programs
It gives you a leg up in a competitive field
By gaining preliminary knowledge in the field, you can set yourself ahead of your competition, whether you’re an aspiring or veteran electrician.
Bear in mind that the road to becoming a licensed electrician differs from state to state. Depending on where you live, you might have to pass an electrician exam, join a union, and/or undergo an apprenticeship.
But no matter what your requirements are, going through online electrician training will give you the competitive edge you need to succeed.
You can receive an affordable education
Distance learning has grown in popularity in recent years, and distance electrician programs are no exception.
Because of the lower overhead costs needed to run these programs, they’re generally much less expensive than traditional programs, giving aspiring electricians a bang for their buck.
With online training, you can learn at your own pace.
You can also juggle your online training with other commitments, such as family responsibilities or another job, unlike with traditional education.
With online electrician training programs, you don’t have to worry as much about missing a deadline or arriving late because you get to determine your own schedule and hours.
Drawbacks of Online Electrician Training Programs
You miss out on hands-on training
And this happens to be an extremely important part of the learning process for electricians.
In fact, one of the reasons some states require apprenticeships is that electricians are able to learn crucial skills that simply can’t be taught in textbooks or in the classroom.
These skills include fixing damaged wiring, locating concealed wiring behind walls, and detecting a busted fuse from its burning smell, to name a few.
As convenient as online learning is, one just can’t gain these skills through online learning alone.
There’s a lack of instructor-student interaction
Sure, students and instructors can talk to each other in a Zoom class, but nothing beats modeling different techniques in a face-to-face setting.
Although instructors can conduct demonstrations via videoconferencing, they can’t physically guide their students online like they’re able to in a physical learning environment.
Plus, there’s also the issue with attention span.
Studies show that the average attention span in online classes is significantly lower than the average in-person attention span.
You miss out on opportunities to meet new people
One of the keys to success in almost any field is networking, and this also applies to electricians.
Besides helping electricians create relationships that may improve future business or employment prospects, networking also keeps them updated on current events in the industry.
Although it’s certainly possible to network in online classes, especially in video conferencing classes, it’s a lot more difficult to do than in traditional classrooms.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Online Electrician Training Programs – Summary Table
|Benefits of Online Electrician Training Programs||Drawbacks of Online Electrician Training Programs|
|It gives you a leg up in a competitive field||You miss out on hands-on training|
|You can receive an affordable education||There’s a lack of instructor-student interaction|
|It’s convenient||You miss out on opportunities to meet new people|
4 Self-Study Tips for Electrician Online Students
We’ve mentioned that students’ attention spans tend to be shorter when learning online.
Another potential drawback we’ve talked about is the fact that networking opportunities are fewer and farther between than in traditional learning environments.
To combat these issues and other potential problems when studying online, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you ace your online electrician training program.
1. Connect Ideas to Real-World Experiences
By relating concepts and theories to real-world applications, you solidify your knowledge and understanding of them.
You also improve your memory, enhancing your overall productivity as a student.
For example, if you get the chance to work as an apprentice at a job site, do your best to connect the content you learned in class with your on-the-job activities.
2. Quiz Yourself Often (Or Have Someone Quiz You)
Quizzing yourself increases repetition, helping solidify the knowledge you have. From there, you can determine which areas need improvement and adjust accordingly.
3. Simulate the Testing Environment
Passing a test isn’t just about memorizing and understanding concepts and ideas.
There’s a whole psychological aspect to it.
Unfortunately, although students have all the knowledge they need to pass an exam, some of them fail due to psychological factors, such as underlying anxiety.
The good news is that there are many ways to prevent these things from ruining your test performance.
One method is to simulate the testing environment.
This means creating an environment that’s as similar as possible to your actual testing environment and taking full practice exams.
Take as many practice exams as you can.
That way, you’ll be ready for the many types of questions you’ll be presented with on the test.
Lastly, it’s okay to be a little bit nervous and anxious.
But instead of letting these feelings overwhelm you, turn them into positive energy and you’ll perform much better.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Don’t be downtrodden if you don’t know the answer.
You can reach out to your instructors, and you can also reach out to your classmates if the opportunity presents itself.
If you’re studying online, you’ll likely have an online forum where you can post questions and engage with people in your class.
Use resources like this to your advantage so you can make the most of your online learning experience.
Schools Offering Online Electrician Training
|Penn Foster||925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515|
|Ashworth College||5051 Peachtree Corners Circle, Suite 200 Norcross, Georgia 30092|
|Texas A&M University-Commerce||2200 Campbell Street Commerce, Texas 75428|
|California State University, Chico||400 W First Street | Chico, CA 95929-0250|
|San Diego State University||5250 Campanile Drive San Diego, CA 92182-1920|
|Community College of Philadelphia||1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130|
|BASSETT ADULT SCHOOL||943 N. Sunkist Ave. La Puente, CA 91746|
|Westchester Community College||75 Grasslands Road Valhalla, NY 10595|
|Tyler Junior College||1327 South Baxter Avenue Tyler, Texas 75701|
|Seminole State College||850 South SR 434 Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714|
|Ridgewater College||15TH AVENUE NW Willmar, MN|
|Texas State University||601 University Drive San Marcos, TX 78666-4616|
|Maine Electrical Institute||320 Presumpscot Street, Unit 1, Portland, ME 04103|
|California Electrical Training Inc.||3301 E. Hill Street - Suite 408 Signal Hill CA 90755|
|University of South Florida||4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620|
|Independent Electrical Contractors||8751 Freestate Drive Suite 250, Laurel, MD 20723|
|College of Western Idaho||5500 E. Opportunity Dr. Nampa, ID 83687|
The demand for electricians is growing, giving professionals in this industry exciting employment and career prospects.
There’s also the fact that electricians can study from home and at their own pace with the help of online electrician training programs.
Of course, these programs come with their pros and cons, but for most electricians, the advantages (which include affordability and enhanced career competitiveness) certainly outweigh the disadvantages (including lack of hands-on training and instructor-student interaction).
Online electrician programs, which cover topics such as HVAC systems and NEC codes, typically last about 4 to 9 months and cost $700 to $1,000.
As long as you employ winning self-study strategies, like connecting ideas and concepts to real-world applications, quizzing yourself, and using online forums, you’ll be able to thrive as an online student and as an electrician.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do electrician employers look down on online electrician training programs?
There’s absolutely no indication that employers think negatively about online training programs.
In fact, passing an online program might prove to future employers that you’re independent, diligent, and self-driven, qualities that almost every employer would want in their employees.
What are the best online electrician training programs?
There are many quality training programs out there. These programs have well-designed curriculums and knowledgeable, supportive instructors who are dedicated to their students’ long-term success.
Reputable online programs include Penn Foster, Ashworth College, ETCO, and Stratford Career Institute.
Can I take my certification or licensing exams online?
Certification and licensing exams can only be taken in person.
However, you can take advantage of test aids and online courses to prepare yourself for your state exams.
Are there scholarships or financial aid for online electrician training programs?
Absolutely. You can apply for private student loans, government-funded grants, and scholarships to fund your online electrician training program.
Your school or institute might have additional funds you can apply for. You just need to research and inquire with your school to find out.
Read the full guide: How to Become an Electrician