Choosing any career path is a big decision. If you are thinking about becoming an electrician, you might be wondering about what kind of training and skills you’ll need to succeed at this job.
There are plenty of skills you can learn from electrician school, as well as some natural aptitudes that can be helpful. You might be a good candidate for technical training as an electrician if you have:
- Good critical thinking skills
- Physical stamina and strength
- A friendly demeanor (for customer service)
- Color vision (to distinguish between wires)
- A knack for problem solving
- An interest in math and physics
- Hand/eye coordination
- Good time management
Sound like a good fit for you? See more about what is often considered the first step toward this exciting career path—electrician school—below.
What Classes Would I Take in Electrician Training?
A high school diploma or GED is all the formal education needed to begin electrician training. Electrician training programs typically provide the foundational knowledge necessary to get started in this career, including basic electrical information and safety practices.
Here are some examples of electrician classes from Tulsa Welding School’s (TWS) 7-month Electrical Applications program. This program trains students for an entry-level position in the electrical industry.
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Fundamentals of Electricity
The very first type of electrician class you might take while in training could be something like TWS’ Fundamentals of Electricity class. This class gives students an overview of basic terminology and how electricity works, including guided lessons from experienced instructors, as well as hands-on practice hours.
An accredited vocational training program should offer a mix of lecture and lab hours. In this class, students will practice with schematic wiring, meter usage and electrician safety tips and standards.
Fundamentals of Solar
More electricians may be needed to install these emerging technologies in homes and power grids, such as solar and wind.
In the Fundamentals of Solar class, students will be introduced to solar energy concepts, including photovoltaic (PV) systems used in solar paneling, design and installation processes and wiring and electrical applications.
A big part of an electrician’s job revolves around wiring. This includes installing and maintaining wiring, control and lighting systems in buildings.
Wiring may also need to be repaired or replaced. All electricians need to follow all building regulations for wiring work as determined by the National Electric Code (NEC).
Because wiring is such a significant part of any electrical career, TWS’ Electrical Wiring education is split into three parts:
1. Residential Wiring
This Residential Wiring class uses the most current version of the NEC to introduce students to the basics of electrical wiring for residential buildings. This includes learning to work with circuits switches, receptacles and lighting fixtures, and becoming familiar with safety equipment and protocols. Students will get hands-on practice wiring a mock three-bedroom home.
2. Commercial Wiring
After the introductory course in Residential Wiring, students will continue building their knowledge base with the NEC, which is designed to protect people and property from electrical hazards. A professional electrician will need to be very familiar with the NEC in their daily work life.
In this class on Commercial Wiring, students learn how to read blueprints, estimate costs, calculate loads and understand three-phase motor wiring and conduit manipulation. The class offers real-world practice with wiring the lighting in a commercial building using NEC codes.
3. Advanced Wiring
After completing Residential Wiring and Commercial Wiring, students are eligible to take Advanced Wiring, which builds on skills already learned and teaches advanced wiring practices. Topics covered include conduit bending and voice, data and video cabling systems; pull and junction boxes; and conductor selection, installation, and calculations.
Motors and Lighting Practices
This Motors and Lighting Practices class teaches students how electricity functions in motors and lighting, including their respective control devices. On the motor side of things, students will learn the difference between AC and DC motors, and between single- and three-phase applications. Students will be taught how to calculate the proper size of motors and how to select motor controllers.
When it comes to lighting, this course offers an overview of how lighting works, including how to install different types of lighting devices, such as LED, incandescent and fluorescent lights.
Electrical Distribution Systems
This Electrical Distribution Systems class continues to deepen students’ understanding and knowledge of the NEC by applying electrical codes to even more practical exercises, such as calculating transformer size. Students will be guided to understand overcurrent protection, fuses and circuit breakers, as well as the purpose, construction and maintenance of switchgear.
Electrical Training and Career Preparation
You might be wondering, What job can I get after electrician training? This 7-month Electrical Applications program at TWS, for example, prepares graduates for careers as a residential electrician, commercial electrician, industrial electrician or maintenance electrician.
Electricians typically need 4-5 years of supervised training under master electricians before they are eligible to apply for an electrician license or journeyman distinction.
If you’re ready to get started with electrician training in Jacksonville, Florida, Tulsa Oklahoma, or Houston, Texas, call TWS at 1-855-237-7711 to learn about enrollment dates, class schedules and financial aid.