Can you become an electrician without going to school?

To become an electrician, you do not need to go to school. Many electricians forgo school and begin an apprenticeship program instead. 

You have to start somewhere, and most apprentices do so by doing. This is where they gain experience to supplement the theoretical information that they are gaining from their institute of choice for the book taught knowledge.

Some young individuals get experience by working while still in school. This can occasionally result in an apprenticeship. Others may take a course marketed as a pre-apprenticeship course, which simply implies they know something before starting an apprenticeship.

Occasionally, someone has worked as a laborer for an electrician and then gone on to an apprenticeship after gaining some practical experience while working, but the vast majority of apprentices are fresh out of high school.

How long does it take to become an electrician?

An apprenticeship program, according to Career Builder, can last between four and five years. Electrical trainees must complete 144 hours of technical training every year (for 5 years) throughout this apprenticeship, which includes learning about electrical theory, arithmetic, electrical code standards, safety and first aid procedures, and drawings. Each year, apprentices must also complete 2,000 hours of actual on-the-job training.

High School Diploma or Equivalent

A high school diploma or an equivalent degree, such as the General Education Diploma, is necessary to become an electrician (GED). This educational phase is critical on the path to becoming an electrician since the high school curriculum covers the fundamental ideas utilized on the job.

Choose classes that will better prepare you for your future vocational program and apprenticeship if you are still in high school. Pay attention to the following:

Fundamentals of mathematics

To become an electrician in most places, you must take and pass at least one year of high school algebra. To qualify, you may need to achieve at least a “C” in your algebra class. 

Physical Science

To operate as an electrician, you must understand physics, particularly the physics of electrical currents. Physics classes in high school can lay the theoretical and mathematical groundwork for your future study.

Practical Courses

Sign up for any practical classes offered by your institution, such as electronics, automobile repairs, or woodshop. Even practical courses that may not immediately contribute to your electronics expertise, such as woodshop, might help you gain confidence working with your hands.

In addition to your diploma, you must be 18 years old before you may take the next step toward becoming an electrician.

Vocational Program

In most areas, after receiving your high school certificate or GED, you have the choice of directly seeking an apprenticeship or enrolling in a vocational program. Most specialists advise beginning with a recognized electrical training school or an apprenticeship program that includes classroom and on-the-job training.

Not only is it simpler to qualify for a school than an apprenticeship without prior experience, but a school also teaches you the practical skills you’ll need on the job every day. After that, vocational school might help you acquire a better apprenticeship.

During vocational training, you will acquire the theories, computations, skills, and knowledge that you will need to work as an electrician. Most courses include the fundamentals of electricity, technical math, related skilled labor activities, and national and local electrical codes.

Once you’ve finished your training, your vocational school can put you in touch with area electricians who work in your chosen field and are looking for apprentices. Your vocational training may even include classes on job application and interviews so that you are fully equipped for your future work.


As an apprentice, you will work on real-world job sites with one or more journeymen electricians. Directly from these pros, you will acquire and practice electrical abilities.

Your state may set a time limit for how long you must work as an apprentice before you may become a journeyman electrician. In most situations, this time span is between two and seven years.

If you want to work as an apprentice with a professional electrician without completing a vocational training program, you may be required to complete a course on the National Electrical Code (NEC) and any state codes.


After you have finished all of your training and apprenticeship requirements, you can take the state licensing exam. Typically, the licensing procedure necessitates:

  • Proof of completion of your apprenticeship
  • Evidence that you have the necessary amount of electrical trade experience
  • Fees that are applicable
  • Test results demonstrating understanding of the NEC and state building regulations

Before you may arrange a testing date, you may need to submit an application along with your fees and proof of work experience.

After passing your exam, you will be issued a state license and will be authorized to begin working as a journeyman electrician.

Ongoing Code Training

In addition to your initial education, you will most likely need to return to the classroom on a regular basis to refresh your knowledge of applicable electrical codes. These training sessions are necessary at most once a year, but more frequently every few years.

You may wish to study the code on your own time, particularly if you often work on projects that need inventive new electrical work. This continuous education is especially vital for today’s electricians since developments in personal and household electronics have altered the way buildings are wired.

In conclusion

To summarize, you may become an electrician without attending college by enrolling in a short training course. Electricians are responsible for all elements of electrical systems installed in homes, companies, and industrial settings. They may be responsible for installing, repairing, and inspecting wiring or other electrical components.

However, a high school diploma is the minimal educational need for pursuing an apprenticeship or training program at a college or technical institution. Aspiring electricians should also be aware that safety considerations must be strictly adhered to when working with electricity.

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