A Head Start for Your Electrician Career at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College

If you’re looking for a secure career where you’re doing hands-on work, you might consider becoming an electrician. Electrical jobs in the U.S. are forecast to grow over the next decade—by 2029, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects they’ll grow by eight percent, which is faster than average job growth. A good place to get your career as an electrician started is at the Los Angeles Trade and Technical College (LATTC).

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Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in California

All electricians in California need to be registered with the state, and to become a trainee electrician, you’ll need to be enrolled in an approved state program such as the one at LATTC. To progress to journeyman and then to master electrician, you’ll need to undertake hundreds of hours of classroom and hands-on education and thousands of hours of on-the-job training supervised by a licensed electrician. You’ll also need to pass a challenging exam. More information is available at the California state website.

Studying to Become an Electrician at LATTC

The electrician program at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College—called Electrical Construction and Maintenance—offers:

  • An Electrical Construction and Maintenance Associate of Science degree, a full-time daytime program including extensive hands-on study for people seeking entry-level employment as an electrician
  • An Electrical Construction and Maintenance Construction Technologies Associate of Arts degree, an evening program intended for working trainee electricians hoping to improve their skills and who have access to hands-on training in their workplaces

Program objectives include using electrical hand and power tools according to industry and safety standards, analyzing and solving mathematical problems related to electrical work, and being able to use and interpret technical information from the National Electrical Code.

The Associate in Science degree takes four semesters, while the Associate in Arts evening program is completed in five. Both programs prepare the graduate to work at an entry level in residential, commercial and industrial electrician roles. Both degrees require that students take a few general education courses along with their technical studies.

The program’s course catalog lists the classes you’ll be taking each semester. You’ll need to get a C grade or higher in all the required courses—40 credits in total plus eight elective credits in order to graduate. While the required courses cover the basics, the electives give you the opportunity to pick up skills and knowledge that might benefit you in particular electrical subspecialties such as electrical work on film sets or industrial electrical work.

How to Apply

he application process can be done online, with the initial form taking about 20 minutes to complete. Once you’ve submitted your application form, you’ll be issued a student identification number, which you’ll need for the next step, an applicant online orientation. This will show you how to register for classes, how to apply for financial aid and how to connect with your counsellor, a guide who can help you find the best program for you and coach you along the way. This session takes about two hours.

Once you’ve finished the orientation, you’ll be able to take your assessment, which will determine what your skill level is in mathematics and English, in order to see if you could benefit from instruction in those topics to get you up to college level. It’s advisable to study for this assessment.

After your assessment, you will schedule a time to meet with your counsellor, who can help you tailor a course load that meets your needs. You’ll benefit from the support of an academic counsellor throughout your time at the college, as well as from tutors and study support if needed.

Costs and Financial Aid

The college has a cost calculator tool that can help you determine your total outlay including tuition, equipment, housing, transport and living costs. For a student living on their own, the total fee is about $31,000 per year. However, students who are California residents will pay less, and further discounts can be applied based on your and your family’s economic means. The majority of students also get federal aid and loans and may qualify for other sources of aid, such as those for veterans. The admissions team can help you find and apply for all the aid you qualify for.

More About LATTC

Students from the LA school district qualify for a year’s free education at the college, which is a huge incentive to prospective students. The college also has partnerships with local employers and industries, which gives an advantage to graduates entering the workforce.

Besides the electrician program, the college has nine academic areas with over 90 programs in fields from cosmetology to medical to government. It also has a program for students who hope to transfer to a traditional four-year university. The college campus is conveniently located on major routes for buses, light rail and cars.