An electrician apprenticeship can take up to four years to complete, depending on the field you choose. As this is not always an option for people who want to become an electrician fast, you can consider not doing an apprenticeship at all, and merely focusing on your studies.
It is necessary to note that you will be required to be able to operate fully as a licensed electrician in order for you to keep your license. Often times, when looking for work at major companies after obtaining your license, the company will require you to have done an apprenticeship to be considered for the position. If you choose to open your own business, you will need to list your experience in order to build a clientele, and a lack of an apprenticeship could count against you. Also, in some States, you will have to prove that you have done an apprenticeship in order to qualify for a contractor’s license.
Apprenticeships are sometimes hard to come by, as they also require you to take an extensive test beforehand, focusing on maths. But their value can not be overestimated. During an apprenticeship, you will learn tricks of the trade from masters who have blazed the trail before. You will get to face the most common of field problems with someone by your side to guide and assist you. You will also be earning money as an apprentice, paid hourly and according to your level.
However, if you can’t afford the few extra years, and would like to jump right in, you can obtain an electrician license without doing an apprenticeship. You will still have to have a high school diploma or General Equivalent, and you will still have to study an electrician course at a trade school or college. You will also still have to take an exam to become certified. But if you choose to proceed without an apprenticeship, here are a few answers to your most burning questions.
How Many Years Does It Take To Become An Electrician?
The short answer to this question is five years. This is the general amount of time it takes, if you follow through with an apprenticeship, and you choose to specialize in a specific area.
Without an apprenticeship, you can become an electrician within two years (no specialization). Study courses can range in length, but most take between 6 to 18 months to complete. Now take into account that you will have to take a licensing exam in order to work, so give yourself some extra time to study. The sooner you take your exam, the better, but some States have a testing schedule that you will have to slot into.
Can You Be Too Old To Become An Electrician?
This is relative. You can never be too old to learn a new skill or gain knowledge, so studying a course should not be something to hold you back. It is worthy to mention that being an electrician can be a physically demanding job. Often times you will be clambering up ladders or balancing on scaffolding. You will be handling heavy power tools and even crawling though cramped spaces.
If you are fit, able and mentally bright, you are most definitely not too old to become an electrician.
Become An Electrician Fast
If you already have your high school diploma or GED, the next step to becoming an electrician fast would be to decide what exactly it is that you want to do. Do you want to become a general electrician? Or do you want to specialize in a specific area or even sector, such as machinery or mining?
Once you have decided this, search for the course that will suit your needs. Be focused and determined in your search, so you won’t have to settle or change courses halfway through. Once you have enrolled in a course, give it your all. Study hard, so you won’t have to repeat a subject.
Once you have graduated from your trade school, find out what the requirements are for your local certification exam. Take the test as soon as possible so you can obtain your license and begin to work.
It is possible to become an electrician without doing an apprenticeship, but it is not highly recommended. However, not everyone has the luxury of time. Do your best and achieve high scores to improve your chances of finding a job later on.
Some States do not require you to have done an apprenticeship for you to qualify for a contractor’s license, so you may even be able to still start your own business.
Better yet, talk to electricians in your region to get an idea of what the job scope looks like, and be willing to listen to their advice. If you are willing to work hard, you will be successful regardless.