Studying Electrical Technology at San Joaquin Valley College
Have you considered a career as an electrician? Every day you’ll be working in a varied and challenging role, making sure that electrical systems in people’s homes and workplaces work safely and reliably. This role is well-paid and in demand across the country, but to qualify as a licensed electrician in California, you’ll need to complete years of training. Working toward a certificate or associate degree with the Electrical Technology program at San Joaquin Valley College is a good way to begin this process with a great head start.
Becoming a Licensed Electrician in California
Fully licensed electricians in California are the ones who can bid for contracting jobs and design new systems, but journeymen and apprentice or trainee electricians work under the supervision of a licensed electrician and earn a decent wage while learning the trade.
The path to licensure is a four-year process. You’ll need to be in a state-approved electrician training program or apprenticeship, and must undertake nearly 150 hours of technical education per year as well as about 2,000 hours of on-the-job training supervised by a licensed electrician. You’ll also need a passing grade on the state’s certification test.
This path leads to a secure and well-paid career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, even entry-level electricians can make over $33,000 per year, with the highest qualified and most experienced professionals making over $95,000 annually across the U.S. In California, the average wage for electricians was nearly $70,000 in 2018. See our full rundown of electrician schools in California.
Electrician Training at San Joaquin Valley College
Offered at the Modesto, Fresno, Bakersfield, Ontario and Temecula campuses, the Electrical Technology program is offered in a 10-month certificate format as well as a 14-month associate’s degree format. The program is either state-approved or pending approval at all the campuses offering it, meaning that after enrolling you will qualify as an electrical trainee and can begin working toward your required hours to take the journeyman exam. Topics covered include how to design and install electric circuitry for residential, commercial and industrial buildings, how to read electrical blueprints, motor controls for electrical systems, and health and safety standards. Learners also get the basic foundations of math, physics and logic needed to work as an electrician.
Admissions Requirements and Costs
Admissions to the electrical technology program require a high school or general equivalency diploma, a Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam score of 14 or higher and a valid California driver’s license. You’ll also need to pass a background check, with no felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions for property or drug crimes on your record.
Costs can vary widely, depending on which campus you choose, your income, age and where you live, but you can find out quickly about the costs of your chosen program by using the San Joaquin Valley College net price calculator. The calculator includes costs for tuition and fees as well as estimated living costs—while the college campuses don’t have dorms, the number of campuses across the area make the college accessible to people who live with their families or in their own housing. The admissions department can also help you find housing near the campus of your choice.
Sixty-one percent of students at the college receive federal financial aid, and state aid, special aid programs for veterans and specific groups and loans are also widely received by students.
How to Apply
The admissions process for San Joaquin Valley College is straightforward.
- First, request information about your chosen program by filling out a simple online form.
- An admissions representative will be in touch to arrange a visit to one of the college campuses, giving a tour and helping you select the most appropriate program for your goals.
- The next step is your entrance exam. For electrical technology students, information about the exam is linked in the requirements section above.
- The Financial Aid team will meet with you and help you develop a plan to pay for college. Their expert advisers can help you identify the best aid and loans programs for your circumstances and can assist with filling out the relevant paperwork.
- Upon acceptance, every new student rings an admissions bell to mark the beginning of this important step to a new career.
Benefits and Perks for Students
Students benefit from a career services department, which works to place students in job-experience roles during their studies and in career-track positions after graduation. The staff in this department is deeply dedicated, as the qualifications students get from the college can change their lives for the better.
The college also has a special focus on supporting students from a broad variety of backgrounds and life circumstances. Even students who have faced homelessness, health issues and challenging caring responsibilities find that the support at the college is tailored for their particular circumstances.
The small size of each campus means you’ll form meaningful connections with fellow students, with regular charity drives, clubs and social events.