Investing in any form of higher education can be a big decision, whether that’s trade school or traditional college. If you are considering the electrician career path, you might be wondering, “How much does electrician training cost?”
Electrician trade school costs may vary by location, type of program, type of fees, length of program, and other implicit factors, such as cost of living and supplies.
According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Education for the 2021-2022 school year, electrician trade school can cost anywhere in the range of under $3,000 to around $19,000, and may last anywhere between just a few months to over a year.
Be sure to think about what you would be looking for from an electrician training program, how long you want to commit to training, and what schools are located near you or whether you’d be willing to relocate.
Electrician Trade School Tuition Example at RSI
The Refrigeration School (RSI) offers an Electrical Applications training program in Phoenix, Arizona. Exact tuition costs may vary over time, so please contact the school for the most recent information, but here is a breakdown of electrician trade school tuition costs as of 2022:
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Electrical Applications training program at RSI:
- Program length: 7 months
- Program hours: 700
- Tuition:. $16,900
- Technology fee: $500
- Gear package: $850
- Accident Insurance: $100
- Lab fees: $2,000
- Course materials/Textbooks: $1,100
- Total program cost: Approx. $21,450
Students in the 7-month vocational program are trained for entry-level positions in the electrical industry. If you’re considering the career path of an electrician, which requires specialized skills, this program teaches electrical fundamentals and awards a diploma upon successful completion.
Many vocational school students move forward into a paid apprenticeship position to build on the knowledge they’ve started gathering in electrician school. A trade school diploma or certificate can absolutely go on a resume when you’re ready to apply for an entry-level job as an electrical apprentice.
Trade School Diploma vs. University Degree
A trade school diploma will typically cost less than a four-year university degree. Trade school programs are also generally much shorter than a full-length college education.
What’s the actual cost breakdown between trade school and college?
The average cost of electrician trade school as of 2021 is around $12,000 to $13,000, with the average length of completion rounding out at 11.9 months, according to U.S. Department of Education data.1
By contrast, the average cost for one year of undergraduate university education at a public school as of 2019-20 was around $9,400, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). A private nonprofit university’s tuition is even more expensive, averaging out to be roughly $37,600 for just one year.
Of course, going to a four-year university would be a much different experience than attending a 7-month long electrician training program that is meant to directly prepare you for the start of a specific trade career in the electrical field. These two different life paths may involve very different investment levels of time, money, energy, and interest.
Explore Funding Options for Electrician Training
If you can get help funding your electrician training, why not explore every option? Funding may be available in certain circumstances to help reduce the tuition costs for electrician training.
Some options like grants do not need to be paid back, while financial aid in the form of loans would eventually need to be repaid.
See if you might qualify for any of these:
Some students will qualify for free financial aid in the form of grants from the federal government. Certain factors may influence eligibility, such as GED status or enrollment status. But it’s worth it to investigate whether you might be able to get some of your vocational education funded by a grant. Check
Scholarships also do not have to be repaid, and are considered “gifts” for student funding. Scholarships are often merit-based and given out based on qualifying factors like good grades, athletic awards, specific accomplishments, or winning essays. Check out some specific Electrician Scholarships.
Veterans, service members, or their families may be eligible for military benefits to help pay for vocational school under the GI Bill® or through special military pricing. Learn more about RSI Military Benefits.
Other Types of Funding
Federal student loans may be offered to you after completing the FAFSA, which are sums of money that will need to be repaid after you finish your education. Private loans are another option to consider, such as through a bank or third party.
Try out the RSI Tuition Calculator, a free online tool to start estimating your personal financial costs for electrician training.