Want to Become an Electrician? There's a Lot More Work to It Than You Think

Electricians make upwards of fifty thousand dollars or more a year. If they specialize in certain areas, such as commercial electrical work, they can make even more. If you want to become an electrician, there is much more to it than three years of trade school.

High School Diploma or GED

Regardless of how smart you are and how much you already know about wiring and electrical works, you cannot become an electrician in the U.S. without a high school diploma. The fact remains that you have to enter an electrical engineering program via a certified vocational, technical or electrical college. You cannot enter those colleges without a high school diploma. If you flunked out or dropped out, get your GED and then apply for a degree program in electrical engineering.

Two Years to Fast-Track, Three Years to Graduate, Four or More Years Part-Time

How quickly you want to graduate from your program is up to you. There are colleges that offer "fast-track" programs that accelerate the classes and the time it takes to complete the educational requirements, but you will not have any time at all to work. Traditional college students (i.e., high school graduates who live at home still or who live in a dorm and do not work a job) usually select this program so that they can get out into the workforce faster.

Three years is quite typical for most electrical engineering programs. These courses allow you to take classes at a normal speed and graduate when you are expected to do so. You may even find time to squeeze in a part-time job.

Four or more years part-time is the best option for single parents or people who have to work to support themselves. It does take longer to complete the program and degree, but it also makes it more accessible and convenient. Just remember that after you finish your degree, you are not finished yet.


All electricians step out of higher learning and into an apprenticeship. It is a requirement for your license that you follow a master electrician around for at least two to four years before you can apply for your license. During this time, you are helping the master electrician with every job that he or she does and learning everything about the job. Then you apply for your license. If you get your license, you can begin to work independently of a master electrician. If you choose to do so, you may eventually become a master electrician yourself.

If the field interests you and you'd like to learn more about electrical trade school, check out sites like http://www.hvac-tech.com/.