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Do you need to go to college if you want to be an electrician or can you just learn on the job?

Topic: Getting a Job | Asked by: Anonymous | Asked on 06/17/2010

Answers (33)

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You do not need a college degree for this field, however, it depends on your goals and where you want to start in that field. A college degree does give you an advantage. I am currently working on my A.S. with my major in electrician. You need to find the school that offers what you want and research. Instead of me just getting a certificate I decided to get my A.S. in the field and I also plan on taking certificate classes just to add to to my resume.

Answered by: Tamyia C. | almost 3 years ago
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You need to join an apprenticeship program, which is usually offered through community colleges and technical colleges. Sometimes utility companies will offer some sort of apprenticeship as well, though it's usually in conjunction with a local school. As an apprentice, you'll work in the field with skilled professionals, and you'll also take classes. The length of the apprenticeship will depend on what type of electrician and how skilled you want to become.

Answered by: Wennifred K. | over 4 years ago
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Most electrician jobs require a year or two of education plus an apprenticeship. The college will help you find the apprenticeship. If you know someone you can apprentice then you do not need to go to college.

Answered by: Zolty F. | over 4 years ago
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You would need to go to community college or a trade school at least. Most electrician jobs require a degree. Some jobs might only require a certificate.

Answered by: Jen B. | over 4 years ago
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There are different types of continued education, not just college. You don't need a four year degree from a college to be an electrician. There are two year institute programs all over the U.S. that will train you to be an electrician. You should look into the requirements that it takes to become a licenced electrician. In the meantime, if you know someone who is an electrician and they would allow you to apprentiship with them or tag along, you can learn a lot that way.

Answered by: L Platter F. | over 4 years ago
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You definitely don't need to go to a four year college if you want to be an electrician. However, it is generally necessary to attend at least some electrician classes at a local community college in order to get certified to be a practicing electrician. Community college classes are inexpensive, so the education investment in becoming an electrician is much less than it would be for a four year degree. Of course, learning on the job is also a vital part to becoming a good electrician. Often you can get hired either as an unpaid intern or as a temporary worker doing lower skilled electrical work. From there, you can build up the experience necessary to branch out on your own.

Answered by: Mem4dr A. | over 4 years ago
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You usually do not need to go to college to be an electrician, but depending on your job opportunities it may be helpful to attend a vocational school or community college. For example, if you know the person who you would be working for and they are willing to train you there should be no need to pay for college. However if you have no skills an employer might require you to attend classes. It is ultimately up to your employer but there is nothing requiring college for an electrician

Answered by: Steve5858 L. | over 4 years ago
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I'm sure you could learn on the job, but it might be hard to find someone who's willing to teach you. Going to college would make it easier to find a job and would ensure that you are properly trained and that you know the latest and greatest in electricians. This would let you do more in your field and be more successful. If you are worried about the time/money college takes, perhaps you explore the possibility of a technical college or career school.

Answered by: Brittanycalla X. | over 4 years ago
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You do not need to go to college if you want to be an electrician, but I think your best bet would be finding a technical/trade school or community college. You would not obtain a degree but would probably get a certificate.

Answered by: Teacher Terri Y. | over 4 years ago
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If your goal is to be a working electrican you do not need college. College is going to just give you theory and almost no real world application. Also there is no reason to put yourself into debt when there are better routes. Many unions offer apprenticeships that pay as your learn. Also, try and get the yellow pages out and get the numbers and addresses of every company in your area. Send them a letter explaining what you want to do and why. Many places will be happy to have someone start out and show you the ropes. Also, the military offers this training.

Answered by: Westin N. | over 4 years ago
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Well that depends. You don't need to go to college if you have prior training from somewhere else, like a trade or vocational school. However, if you never went to either of those you are going to want to go to college to learn the skills you need. Night, or part time school might be available in your area for electrical.

Answered by: Hirise5190 G. | over 4 years ago
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Being an electrician will certainly require some type of training. You will usually need to attend at least a trade school or a vocational school. These are schools that administer shorter, more in depth training on a single profession. You will probably be in school for about two years. While in school you will learn the tools of the trade. Then, you will probably have to have some sort of on the job training to start working by yourself.

Answered by: Crystalb2543 I. | about 4 years ago
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You will need some formal training. You will be able to find a vocational school that can give you training in a year. Vocational schools have electrician programs that can get you into the working field in a year's time. You would most likely commute from home to the school rather than living on a campus.

Answered by: Mighty Spidey L. | over 4 years ago
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You do not need to go to college per say, but you will at least need to go to a trade school. Although there is a lot you can learn on the job as an electrician___s assistant, there is a lot more you can learn in class. If your interested in starting your own business, for example, you would learn more about the different codes required to get licensed in class then on the job. Plus a licensed electrician makes more then an assistant. Just some things to consider when making your choice.

Answered by: Lgk E. | over 4 years ago
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Sometimes electricians will train you as an apprentice, which often doesn't require any college. You can also go to a vocational school to study to become an electrician. This is a great option as it is often cheaper than a 4-year university and the time to graduate is much shorter.

Answered by: Iamerica N. | over 4 years ago
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You don't necessarily need a degree, but you should complete a technical program. Afterward, it is important to participate in an apprenticeship, where you can learn more skills and "tools of the trade." If you do both of these, you should be successful as an electrician.

Answered by: Kasey1720 S. | over 4 years ago
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You don't need to go to college to become an electrician. You should rather consider ITT Tech or something of the sorts if you want to pursue becoming an electrician. Or, you can start to work for an electrician as an assistant. Then, eventually, you can become his apprentice. After an apprenticeship, you can become a certified electrician.

Answered by: Boylen33 E. | over 4 years ago
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It will probably put you ahead of others if you go to a technical school. You will still have to do an apprenticeship but having coursework should give you a little more marketability. Look into nearby technical schools and see which ones offer courses for electricians. Another good source of information would be a labor union or other association for electricians. They may have the best advice about what is needed in your area.

Answered by: Anonymous J. | over 4 years ago
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I'm sure you could learn on the job, but it might be hard to find someone who's willing to teach you. Going to college would make it easier to find a job and would ensure that you are properly trained and that you know the latest and greatest in electricians. This would let you do more in your field and be more successful. If you are worried about the time/money college takes, perhaps you explore the possibility of a technical college or career school.

Answered by: Brittanycalla X. | over 4 years ago
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Many electricians learn on the job while also attending classes at a vocational school. You don't need a college degree. You will likely have to get a license from the state and pass an exam. The requirements for each state vary, so look up the policy for your state. There's a good page from the Bureau of Labor Statistics here: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos206.htm.

Answered by: Criterion Y. | about 4 years ago
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You can do both. A lot of employers offer on the job training, although some places look down on this because it is a slight risk for them to take on someone who might not stick around. There is the option of going to a vocational school(Triangle Tech, DeVry, and some community colleges). They will train you specifically in that skill to get you on the right foot for employment with a company in a quick time frame.

Answered by: Paulie J313 G. | over 4 years ago
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Electrician work does not require a college education. In order to learn how to be an electrician you should go to a trade school or consider an apprenticeship. If this is your career aspiration, college would only be a costly four year diversion on your road to the trade. Other jobs like being a plumber also follow the trade school and apprenticeship route. For more information you can search online or call your local electrician and simply ask how he or she got in the field.

Answered by: Willow Stapleton Y. | over 4 years ago
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You do not need to go to a traditional four-year school to be an electrician. Some electricians will hire you on as an helper or apprentice to teach you the basics of the trade. The pay starting out with no experience or know-how will be low. You can also go to a trade school and take courses to get your certificate that qualifies you as an electrician. The pay out of school will be slightly higher.

Answered by: Jimm 43 I. | over 4 years ago
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You usually do not need to go to college to be an electrician, but depending on your job opportunities it may be helpful to attend a vocational school or community college. For example, if you know the person who you would be working for and they are willing to train you there should be no need to pay for college. However if you have no skills an employer might require you to attend classes. It is ultimately up to your employer but there is nothing requiring college for an electrician

Answered by: Steve5858 L. | over 4 years ago
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Electricians need an apprenticeship. If you spend time 2 years in a tech school it drastically reduces the amount of time you must spend as an apprentice. You can start working earlier if you spend time in college. Also most colleges with electrician type programs will help you get an apprentice.

Answered by: Zolty F. | over 4 years ago
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You will need a license to be an electrician. You may be able to take the classes required at a community college or vocational school. Another route may be to do an apprenticeship with a master electrician. A traditional bachelor's degree is probably not required, but check the laws and regulations in your area.

Answered by: Laura46 I. | over 4 years ago
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You can go to a community college or a trade school to become an electrician if you feel that you need that type of training and certification before applying for employment in that field. Sometimes, that can be a plus with employers when they see the former training on an individual's application; it shows that an individual has already been trained and they do not have to train them on the job. Another alternative is an electrician apprenticeship. In an electrician apprenticeship you receive training and on-the-job experience by working with someone who is very experienced in the field because they have worked in it for many years. They are very knowledgeable and willing to give more of a one-on-one teaching in the field that they have mastered. On-the-job training is really great because it can give you a taste of what you will be doing everyday in that field. It can also give you insight on whether that field is really for you or not.

Answered by: Kd Q. | over 4 years ago
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This depends. Some people may hire you as an assistant. It is better to go to college for electrical engineering or something related. This will put you ahead of the game. This will make it more likely for you to be hired and more successful.

Answered by: Allgrw P. | over 4 years ago
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You do not need to go to college to become an electrician. You can definitely learn on the job and through internships. You can try going to a trade school or something if you want professional education on it.

Answered by: Apple Tarte X. | over 4 years ago
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Many electricians learned what they know by shadowing other electricians in their work. Having said that, attending a vocational school will allow you to cement your knowledge, and will also allow you to develop abilities past your current skill set. Additionally, should you want to open your own business down the road, or even find employment with another electrician, having a vocational certification will provide validity to your career. Additionally, such certification may be necessary for hired electricians, depending on state law.

Answered by: Adamkendallz V. | over 4 years ago
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The majority of workers enter the profession through an apprenticeship program. These programs provide comprehensive training of many different electrical tasks so apprentices are more likely to be hired. Most apprenticeships last from three to five years. However, not everyone completes an apprenticeship. Some workers learn by observing and being taught by more experienced electricians. Other workers complete three year programs that train them to be residential electricians.

Answered by: Mi55i3 C. | over 4 years ago
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It will probably put you ahead of others if you go to a technical school. You will still have to do an apprenticeship but having coursework should give you a little more marketability. Look into nearby technical schools and see which ones offer courses for electricians. Another good source of information would be a labor union or other association for electricians. They may have the best advice about what is needed in your area.

Answered by: Anonymous J. | over 4 years ago
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You will need a license to be an electrician. You may be able to take the classes required at a community college or vocational school. Another route may be to do an apprenticeship with a master electrician. A traditional bachelor's degree is probably not required, but check the laws and regulations in your area.

Answered by: Laura46 I. | over 4 years ago
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