So, you want to become an electrician? You made a great choice! Electricians are desperately needed everywhere, especially in San Diego. It’s a job that will always be in constant demand because our cities are growing and our technologies are advancing.
Once you’ve made all the necessary considerations, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty securing work.
Every state has its own certification program. You need to register for courses that have already been pre-approved by the state. Once this is done, you can register as a trainee in the state and start your career.
There are several schools to choose from in the state, including San Diego.
Organizations that offer Electrical training
- Palomar College in San Marcos, CA
- California Community College in San Diego, CA
- National University
- Associated Builders and Contractors in CA or other states
- Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.
Once you’ve chosen where you want to go for your training here’s a look at the requirements to officially become a certified trainer.
Become an Electrical Trainee
Applying at a school or for an apprenticeship will make you qualified as a trainee. If you don’t think you can afford a state-approved program, then that’s fine too. You can work for someone else under supervision. This is called an Apprenticeship and it’s a popular method of being trained.
Meet the Training Requirements
To get your certificate and become an electrician there are several requirements you have to meet before the state of California gives you a license.
- About 720 hours are needed of instruction are needed before you can get a license. This can be in a classroom setting from one of the schools mentioned above, or it can be from an apprenticeship. It doesn’t matter as long as you log your hours so you have proof.
- This seems like a doozy, but you’re going to need at least 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience under your belt to qualify for a license. This means that you have to work for another electrician, such as one from Gforce Electrician Services or another reputable electrician service.
While these requirements seem extensive – you haven’t even taken the test at this point – they are there to make sure that you have enough expertise and knowledge under you.
Since being an electrician can be dangerous work, it’s important to remember that the more you know, the safer you and your clients will be. Even the most skilled electricians can get injured from a fall working on powerlines, electrocuted from working with wires and cables, and even burns.
Having real experience and instruction from someone who has been in the industry already will prevent these kinds of accidents from taking place. While it might seem annoying to start at the bottom and stay there for so long, you have to start off on the right foot.
You should start preparing for the exam the moment you start training. Keep a notebook and write down notes from class or your apprenticeship. Take it out every night and review what you learned throughout the day. It’s really important that you take time each day to study, especially in the beginning. It’ll help you learn over time and make it easier to put your knowledge to the test once it’s time for the exam.
A great study tip is to write down everything important you wrote in your notebook throughout the day and re-write some of it on notecards. These notecards will allow you to bring your study materials everywhere with you. This will also help someone else, like a friend or family member, quiz you for the exam.
When it comes time to schedule your exam, there are a lot of different locations to choose from, including San Diego. This makes choosing a time and places even easier because you can find a location close to you.
When you get to your exam site, please be sure to bring a valid form of ID with you. The proctors will need it to check you in for the exam. You won’t need to bring anything else with you since the exam is online.
You need to get at least a 70 to pass the exam in California. You should by the end of the exam whether or not you passed the test. A temporary certification card will be issued to you until you receive your permanent one.
If for some reason you don’t pass the exam, don’t sweat about it! Some of us are nervous test-takers. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed in your aspirations. It’s just a minor bump in the road. You’ll have sixty days before you can try to take the test again, so you’ll have time to practice, study, and relax.
For more information on the exam, click here.
Finding a Job
If you’re working for an electrician already under your schooling or apprenticeship, then you’ll most likely be working as an electrician. Now that you’ve received your official license and certificate, you don’t have to continue working under supervision.
This means, that if you want, you can move on from your current place of employment and start your own electrician company. It shouldn’t be too hard to find your own clients and get started.
However, since you’re still new licensed, it might be a good idea to work for someone else for a little while longer depending on your comfortability level. There are tons of job openings available for electrician careers. You can find higher-paying jobs in places like Indeed or Zip Recruiter.
Just remember that most Electricians can make anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 a year. There are tons of opportunities for more work, better pay, and advanced benefits so take your time to figure out where it is you want your career to go from here.
With a new license, there’s nowhere to go but up! Congratulations on starting your new career!
Read More: How to Check a Circuit Breaker.