Electrician Schools Near San Francisco

Deciding to train as an electrician is a big step toward future career stability. With electrical careers expected to grow in the United States in the next 10 years, by a respectable 10.4 percent (or 74,100 new jobs), you can feel confident about the step you are taking. But what does it take to become an electrician and where do you seek training?

If you live in the San Francisco area, there are a few state-approved programs from which you can choose. Three colleges in the area offer training for electrical students: Institute for Business Technology, NAPA Valley Adult Education and San Jose Community College. Participating in any of these programs will allow you to work as an electrical trainee under the supervision of a certified electrician. 

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Electrician Requirements in California

In California, you must be certified to work as an electrician. To qualify for certification, you will need to have completed 720 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. In addition, it’s necessary to pass an examination, which will cost around $175. The cost of training is worthwhile, since the average annual income reported for electricians in California in 2019 was $70,460

Institute for Business and Technology

Located in Santa Clara, the Institute for Business and Technology (IBT) is known for its career training opportunities that prepare students for entry-level positions. The college trains students in various trades and offers numerous certificates. Existing programs include many health professions, computer programming and construction trades including an electrical training program.

The Electrician Training course at IBT promises to prepare students to begin working as an electrician. With an emphasis on hands-on, real-world experience, enrollees will learn about electrical code, industrial and manual controls, motors and transformer systems, conduit bending and wiring installation. Graduates will be prepared to work in both residential and industrial settings, executing electrical work. The program takes 10 months to complete.

The school highlights its open-door policy with students and offers ample tutoring opportunities, plenty of student activities and job-placement services. The electrician program costs around $17,000, with financial aid available for qualifying individuals. Students will need to provide their own housing while attending the program, adding to potential costs. If you are interested in this program, you can fill out an application from the link on their website or call the college’s admissions office.

NAPA Valley Adult Education

NAPA Valley Adult Education (NVUSD) in NAPA exists to support adult learners in continuing education and career advancement. In addition to high school diploma and equivalency programs, the school offers computer and business training, ESL courses and career training. For electrical training, the school partners with Solana-NAPA County JATC, a union training program. 

The program takes the form of an electrical apprenticeship, which ensures that enrollees receive plenty of real-life work experience under the supervision of qualified electricians. Union programs are also known to provide the required classroom training to ensure each apprentice has a foundational knowledge of electrical theory, building codes and calculations. Applicants are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent and pass a reading comprehension and algebra exam. 

As this is a partnership, this program takes place mostly off-campus while working on various job sites. Students will need to maintain their own housing, but they are paid for their work as apprentices. Union apprenticeships are generally highly sought after because of the excellent training and pay rates. Although you should expect to pay fees upfront for training, tools and books, the regular paycheck you receive can help offset these costs. You can apply for the electrical training program here.

San Jose Community College

San Jose Community College (SJCC), located in San Jose, offers programs at both the associate degree and certificate levels. Associate-level programs vary from arts to sciences, with specific degrees targeted for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs. Certificate programs are also wide-ranging, with offerings in healthcare technology, computer applications, dance, kinesiology, education, business, and construction technology. 

Electrician trainee courses are offered at SJCC and can be enrolled in one at a time. The courses are meant to provide the classroom training component needed to qualify as an electrician in the state of California. These can be taken as you work to complete an in-person apprenticeship. Courses include instruction on wiring, blueprint-reading, building codes, mathematics, construction safety, facilities management and contracting.  

SJCC does not offer on-campus housing but has a wealth of campus resources including a library, bookstore, career placement center and career counseling. The college estimates the yearly cost of attendance to be around $22,138. This amount includes all expenses, so your cost may vary significantly depending on how many courses you choose to take. To apply for a program at SJCC, visit the admissions office website or call to speak to an admissions professional.