Should I Start as an Electrician Apprentice or Complete an Electrical Trade Program First?

experienced electrician at power plant

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Are you interested in a career as an electrician apprentice? That’s fantastic! The world of electrical work is full of excitement, challenges, and opportunities. But wait, before diving in, did you know there are two pathways to start your journey as an electrician apprentice?

Yep, you’ve got options.

You can start an apprenticeship with no prior experience or take a better path and get a formal electrical technology education before getting hands-on in the world of wires and circuits. Let’s explore these paths and determine which one might be the best fit for you.

Directly into Apprenticeship or Formal Education First?

Let’s look at these two intriguing paths to becoming an electrician apprentice.

Option 1: Direct Apprenticeship

Picture this: you’re a hands-on learner who thrives in real-world scenarios. You’ve got a curiosity to get right into the action, to see sparks fly and circuits come to life. Going directly into an apprenticeship has its pros and cons.

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Pros: You’ll be learning on the job, side by side, with a licensed electrician who has been there and done that. This path offers an immersive experience where theory meets practice in the most practical way possible.

Cons: You may learn only a tiny portion of your job, developing significant knowledge gaps. You will complete the tasks assigned to you in the industry of your apprentice employer. This can limit your exposure to the many aspects of an electrician’s job. Plus, starting an apprenticeship directly is like being thrown into the deep end and learning to swim by figuring out how to connect those wires without getting zapped. You have options.

Option 2: Formal Education First

Let’s switch gears and explore getting a formal electrical technology education before stepping onto the job site. Imagine attending classes where you learn about the theoretical aspects of electrical systems, circuit designs, and safety protocols.

Think of it as building a sturdy foundation before constructing the house. This educational journey equips you with in-depth knowledge, allowing you to approach your apprenticeship with more confidence and insight. You won’t just be connecting wires; you’ll understand why and how they need to be connected in the first place.

Plus, a formal education in electrical applications can be completed in as little as seven months. You get a formal education and complete an apprenticeship for three years, and then you are eligible for a contractor’s license. It’s a streamlined process to becoming a licensed electrician.

Want To Learn More?

If you want to learn more about electrical applications and technologies, The Refrigeration School has trade school programs that can equip you with the necessary skills and expertise. Call us today at (602) 607-0024 to learn more about our Electrical Applications program.