Electrician Programs in Sacramento, California
Making a decision about your future career isn’t easy, but if you are considering becoming an electrician, you should know that the trade holds a lot of potential. Not only do electricians in Sacramento make a good living wage (the average in 2019 was $59,540, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), but there is also significant growth happening in the field. How significant? Projections Central predicts an increase in job openings in California of 10.4 percent (or 74,100 new jobs) between 2018 and 2028. Simply put, becoming an electrician is a great way to ensure future job stability and earnings for at least the next 10 years.
So, where do electricians train in Sacramento? There is more than one pathway to training, including apprenticeship opportunities, a training program, or a combination of the two. Whichever track feels right to you, there is one big caveat to consider when narrowing down your choices: Whatever program you choose must be approved by the state’s Electrician Certification Program. (See also electrician schools near San Francisco.)
How to Become a Certified Electrician in Sacramento
Electricians in California need to seek certification through the State of California Division of Industrial Relations before they can legally work in the state. In order to become certified, you will need to meet the qualifications set by the state’s guidelines. These requirements include:
- Enrolling in a state-certified school or training under a certified electrician
- Registering as an electrician trainee
- Completing 720 hours of classroom instruction
- Completing 8,000 hours of on-the-job training
- Taking a state certification exam
Detailed information on the California Electrical Certification exam can be found here.
American River College
American River College (ARC), part of the Los Rios Community College District, offers associate degrees and certificates in a variety of subjects including business, arts and humanities, computer technology, design, science, health sciences and apprenticeships. The college’s apprenticeship programs are offered through contracts with various unions including an electricians’ union. Union training programs take one to five years to complete and combine on-the-job training with college instruction.
Electrical training is available through the National Electrical Contractors Association’s (NECA) Sacramento Area Electrical Training Center. Costs for attending a union electrical training program can vary, but tuition costs are generally less than $2,000 per year and are offset by the wages you are paid while training. Books and tools are not included in tuition costs and are the responsibility of the apprentice.
Although much of the coursework for an electrical training program occurs off-campus, ARC has many on-campus resources and activities including a library, bookstore, clubs and athletics. The campus is non-residential, meaning students will need to provide their own housing. If you are interested in applying for this program, you can apply directly through the union. More information is available here.
Apprenticeship Program at Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.
Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc. (WECA) is an online training and separate apprenticeship program offered in several areas throughout California. The online certificate program consists of webcasted classroom instruction, with hands-on training conducted in person at WECA’s training facilities located in Sacramento. Apprenticeship programs are offered for the fields of Commercial Inside Wireman, Residential Wireman and Low Voltage.
Tuition for the online training runs about $1,200 per year, while apprenticeship program tuitions are paid by member contractors. In both programs, books and tools will be additional costs, which must be paid by the student. Housing and living costs are also the responsibility of the student, as the programs take place either online or in the field. However, those in the apprenticeship program will be paid a living wage while learning the trade. To apply for the online training, you can request information here. If you are interested in an apprenticeship, you can apply here.
Independent Training and Apprenticeship Program
The Independent Training and Apprenticeship Program (I-TAP) is designed to ensure that students meet all of the necessary requirements for certification upon completion of the course. The course takes 26 weeks and 900 hours to complete and covers all topics required by the California Division of Industrial Regulations, Electrician Certification Unit. Hands-on instruction is provided in a laboratory setting and sessions will emulate fieldwork as closely as possible, allowing students to build the skills they need to succeed when they begin working. Lab topics include drawing and design, power tools, fiber optics, generators, instrumentation and lighting. Upon completion, you will be qualified to become employed as an Electrician Trainee.
Tuition for the program runs around $17,000; however, with grants, scholarships and financial aid, the actual cost may be much lower. In addition, you will need to consider your costs of living, as this is a non-residential school. For more information on available financial aid, the school supplies an intensive list of opportunities here. If you want to apply for I-TAP’s electrical training program, you can apply here.