The Best Colleges for Education Training Programs in Miami
If you’re looking for a secure career performing services that are essential in every community, you might consider becoming an electrician. Electricians design, install and maintain the systems that bring electrical power to each room, safely, reliably and efficiently.
Unlike many jobs, electrical work can’t be sent abroad or performed remotely, so as an electrician you can be confident that a lifelong career is possible. It does, however, require lots of education and training, so if you’re in the Miami area, a good first step is enrolling in a reputable electrician program.
Requirements for Becoming an Electrician in Miami
The state of Florida regulates electrical contractors—the most senior electricians—and counties and localities regulate electricians earlier in their careers. You start out as an electrician’s helper or an apprentice, working with an electrician’s union or a licensed non-union electrician. Then you need to put in about four years of work experience to become a licensed journeyman electrician in most Florida counties.
In Miami-Dade County, you only need three years of on-the-job experience. If you attend an electrical training program, you can sometimes bypass the electrician’s helper stage, and will be eligible to apply for journeyman status on your first license.
After several years’ work experience as a journeyman, one can apply to be a master electrician. There are tough exams at the journeyman and master stages. The full details of the process are explained at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation website.
Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College offers a robust electrician program that operates in partnership with registered apprenticeships, so you’ll be working—and getting paid—while you study. The four-year program costs a bit over $26,000 and covers all aspects of electricity, from the theory of how electricity works to the intricacies of home, office and industrial electrical systems.
The college has a well-staffed financial aid office that will work to ensure that you receive all the state, federal and local aid for which you are eligible. For example, Florida residents benefit from a significant discount as well as a career center that will help you find work placements and apprenticeship opportunities.
The admissions office will guide you through the application process. In order to qualify, you’ll need to have graduated high school or hold a general equivalency diploma. Although this is a technical program, if you score at a college level on the ACT or SAT tests, you qualify for a variety of federal scholarships that are only open to colleges, so it’s worth studying hard and taking one of those exams. If you’re accepted into the program you’ll be assigned an academic advisor that will support you throughout your studies.
CBT College (College of Business and Technology) offers an eight-month program for aspiring electricians, designed for people who want to get an apprenticeship. As apprenticeships can be quite competitive, a certificate of completion from a reputable program confers a distinct advantage to applicants. The program is offered at their campus in Cutler Bay, Flagler Main Campus and Hialeah Campus in Miami.
Courses include the fundamentals of electricity, the national electrical code, blueprint reading, and, of course, lots of hands-on instruction in the basics of installing and maintaining electrical systems. Tuition, fees and supplies will cost about $15,000, and financial aid is available.
To apply, you’ll need valid identification, financial information such as tax statements, and proof of address. You’ll also need two personal references and to have a high school or general equivalency diploma.
Students benefit from comprehensive support including academic help and counseling. The college is especially supportive to members of the military and veterans, through a variety of special discounts and scholarships and offering academic credit for relevant military experience.
Miami Dade Adult Education Division
The Miami-Dade public school system has an adult education division apprenticeship program that is designed for people wanting to train for a career. Their electrical program uses the Electrical Training Alliance curriculum, a curriculum that is designed and delivered by a partnership between the national electrician’s trade union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the National Electrical Contractors Association.
The program has contractual relationships with employers across the county, which is a great help when you’re looking for an apprenticeship or electrician’s helper role. As well as electrician training, the program offers apprenticeships for heat and frost insulators, pipefitters and heating technicians and plumbers. You’ll be admitted as an apprentice with a local union or contractor, so each year a selection committee determines how many apprentices will be needed in each specialty, depending on labor market forecasts.
The program consists of 150 hours of classroom education and 1,500 hours of paid employment annually. You’ll generally need a high school diploma or GED and to have passed algebra to be admitted—but with parental consent you can enter as long as you’re at least 16 years old. Tuition is lower than private institutions, and financial aid is available.