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What Are the Courses in an Electrician Certification Program?

Electrical certification is a designation awarded by a professional organization, such as the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, to individuals who have shown competence in their skill set. To qualify for certification, applicants must usually meet certain requirements and pass an assessment test. Below, you'll find more information on the courses you can take to prepare to become a certified electrician.

Typical Electrician Courses Within a Certification Program

Many vocational schools and community colleges offer electrician certification preparatory programs and courses. These programs usually include shop and theory coursework. According to the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC), these courses cover subjects including mathematics for electricians, electrical wiring, motor controls, the national electric code, alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) circuitry and electronic devices.

Important Facts About Electricians

Prerequisites Must be at least 18 years old
Possible Careers Inside electrician, residential electrician, lineman electrician
Continuing Education Related to safety practices, changes to code, and training in specific products
Online Availability Fully
Median Salary (2020)$56,900 (Electricians)*
Job Outlook (2019-2029)8% (Electricians)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Voluntary Certification v. Licensure

It's important to note that voluntary certification for electricians is different from professional licensure; electricians in all states are required to hold a license. In most cases, this involves completing an exam, along with a 4-year or 5-year apprenticeship that includes roughly 2,000 hours of hands-on training and some classroom-based sessions as well. Many of the courses listed below are helpful for electricians pursuing either licensure or certification.

Mathematics for Electricians

Fundamental calculations and equations that apply to the electrical field are covered. In this course, you can gain the algebraic proficiency needed to calculate frequency, phase, voltage and other electrical variables in a circuit.

Electrical Wiring

Courses cover methods for wiring in residential or commercial settings. Topics may include grounding techniques, safety procedures, load calculations and panel board installation.

Motor Controls

You'll learn practical applications for controls, such as wiring, plugging, safety interlocks and interpreting schematic diagrams. This course also provides hands-on experience opportunities required for a journeyman's license.

National Electrical Code

Coursework covers the rules, content, format and calculations found in the National Electrical Code. This course also explores mandated safety requirements and building codes.

AC and DC Circuitry

In this course, you'll learn practical applications, as well as theories, components and techniques of AC and DC. Learning about DC, which is circuitry that flows in one direction, can help you understand basic electrical theory. You'll also learn AC, which is useful for wiring buildings correctly or troubleshooting phase errors and power surges that damage electronics that run on DC. Instruction will also include an overview of the applications most appropriate for AC and DC.

Electronic Devices

These courses cover the basic electronic components, such as transistors, amplifiers, diodes and power supplies, used in the electrical field. Diodes, bridge rectifiers and power supplies are covered in detail to explore how AC must be converted into a useful, stable form suitable for most consumer, industrial and business applications.