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Best Electrician Schools in 2021

February 12, 2021 | Staff Writers

Electrician Schools
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An electrician training program offers students an integrated educational approach that includes both theoretical knowledge and the practical application of that theoretical knowledge under the careful and watchful instruction of a certified or licensed electrician.

There are several career preparation-paths a student can choose to become a professional electrician; generally, though, most students select from these options –

  • Enroll and complete an electrical technology diploma program – often offered by affordable community colleges or professional electrician schools – followed by an apprenticeship through a related professional organization or school affiliate.
  • Enroll and complete an associate’s or bachelor’s level – very often available in a more traditional program from a college or university – electrical technology or related degree, followed by an internship or apprenticeship. A degree typically leads to more advanced career opportunities.

Completing an electrical-related degree provides a well-rounded education, plus the professional support of education and career guidance professionals who can help students select the best career decisions based on their career objectives. This broader scope of educational content often translates to better job choices and higher compensation packages.

In the United States, each state is responsible for setting forth the laws that regulate the electrician industry – including the administering of licenses for electricians within each jurisdiction. However, if a state is silent on electrician licensing, a more local oversight body – like a county or a town – typically set forth the criteria required to earn and retain a professional electrician’s license to work. The National Electrical Contractors Association, the NECA is one of many professional organizations that helps manage the integrity and advocacy for professional electricians.

Electrician Schools – Career/Certificate/Trade Programs

Many students with a serious interest in pursuing a career as an electrician choose to take the first step towards that career by enrolling in a certificate or diploma trade program, generally offered by a local community college or trade school.

An electrician diploma program from one of the many electrician schools available will generally cover basic classes in safety, electrical theory, circuitry, commercial/construction/residential electrical labs, and blueprint reading, to name a few.

1. Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC)

Central Louisiana Technical Community offers a 45-hour technical electrician technology diploma certificate that awards graduates a CTS (Certified Technology Specialist) as a Residential Electrician certificate. Classes for this electrician technology degree from one of Louisiana’s most affordable electrician schools include basic electricity, residential wiring, blueprint interpretation, and motors & transformer operation, to name a few.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 133.92 per credit
  • Credit Units Required – 45 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 2,527
  • Accreditation – Council on Occupational Education (COE)

2. Washburn Institute of Technology (Kansas)

Washburn Institute of Technology (WIT), as one of the most cost-effective electrician schools in Huntoon, offers a technical certificate program in electrical technology that prepares students for careers in electrical construction &  maintenance in the commercial and residential sectors. Applicants for this program are required to take the Accuplacer test. WIT’s Electrical Technology Career Program is available for adult learners or high school students.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 148 per credit [Note – high school students pay no tuition for tiered classes]
  • Credit Units Required – 30 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 1,480
  • Accreditation – Council on Occupational Education (COE)

3. East Mississippi Community College (EMCC)

East Mississippi Community College (EMCC) offers a vocational certificate in electrical technology that can be completed in only two semesters at the school’s Golden Triangle campus.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 165 per credit (Resident)
  • Credit Units Required – 31 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 3,832
  • Accreditation – SACSCOC

4. Pittsburgh State University (Kansas)

Pittsburgh State University, as a space-grant institution of higher education, offers a technical diploma in Electrical Technology that explores the areas of industrial electrical wiring, construction/maintenance, commercial construction, and residential wiring. As one of Kansas’ most affordable electrician schools, Pittsburgh State University prepares certificate graduates for entry-level positions as a utility lineman, a residential electrician, or a maintenance electrician, to name a few.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 282 per credit (Midwest Student Exchange program – MSEP)
  • Credit Units Required – 59 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 6,645
  • Accreditation – HLC

Electrician Schools – Associate Level Degrees

Another popular path for students interested in becoming professional electricians is to enroll in one of the many associate degree programs dedicated to the field of electricity, also offered by local professional electrician schools or state-funded colleges.

Associate level electrical degrees typically take about two years to complete, requiring a more comprehensive general education. However, there are accelerated programs offered by electrician schools and colleges available to those students who meet the accelerated program’s requirements. Awarded degrees from accredited electrician schools can often be applied towards a four-year baccalaureate degree at a future time if the student so desires.

1. Central New Mexico Community College

Central New Mexico Community College (CNMCC) School of Technology offers two Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in Electrical Trades – one focused on Photovoltaic (PV), and the other focused on Programmable Logic Controls (PLC). Highlights of these programs include blueprint reading, electrical theory, residential electrical services, NEC application, AC/DC motor operation, OSHA compliance, and safety operations, to name a few.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 56 per credit (Resident)
  • Credit Units Required – 67 – 69 credit units, depending on the program.
  • Student Enrollment – 23,096
  • Accreditation – HLC

2. Pamlico Community College (North Carolina)

Pamlico Community College (PCC) offers an Associate in Science degree (AS) in Electrical Systems Technology that offers students the opportunity to earn an OSHA 10 Card and a Career Readiness Certificate, among others. As one of the most affordable electrician schools in North Carolina, PCC  includes classes in DC & AC Circuit Analysis, Motors & Controls, Electrical Drawing, and Renewable Energy, to name a few. The school has a written agreement with Barton College for students to transfer if they maintain a 2.0 GPA throughout their associate-level degree.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 62.23 per credit (Resident)
  • Credit Units Required –  60 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 549
  • Accreditation – SACSCOC

3. Kennebec Valley Community College (Maine)

Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) offers an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in Electrical Technology that is recognized as one of the most affordable programs from one of the state’s best electrician schools. Students graduate from KVCC’s electrical technology to find rewarding work as electrical professionals in construction, industrial plants, schools/colleges, or hospitals and medical centers, to name a few. This program meets all of Maine’s journeyman electrical incensing requirements in terms of education.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 96 per credit (Resident)
  • Credit Units Required – 68 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 2,406
  • Accreditation – NECHE

4. Mitchell Technical Institute  (South Dakota)

Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) in Electrical Utilities and Substation Technology that is endorsed by CEWD – the Center for Energy Workforce Development. As one of South Dakota’s most affordable electrician schools, applicants must already be licensed as a journeywork lineman or have graduated from a powerline program that is accredited. MIT’s electrical utility program prepares students for work as relay technicians, substation technicians, or utility technicians, among others.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 122.71 per credit
  • Credit Units Required – 69 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 1,162
  • Accreditation – HLC

5. Ivy Tech Community College (Indiana)

Ivy Tech Community College (ITCC) is one of Indiana’s most affordable electrician schools, offering an Associate of Science (AS) in Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) available on seven campuses through Indiana – Anderson, Valparaiso, Bloomington, Terre Haute, Indianapolis, and South Bend. Core technical classes for this electrical engineering degree includes electrical machines, introduction to circuits, digital fundamentals, and AC circuit analysis, to name a few.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 149.55 per credit (Resident)
  • Credit Units Required – 63 credit units over four semesters.
  • Student Enrollment – 72,689
  • Accreditation – ABET – ETAC & HLC

6. East Mississippi Community College (EMCC)

East Mississippi Community College (EMCC) offers an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in Electrical Technology completed in only four semesters or two years. Classes for one of Mississippi’s most affordable electrician schools include electrical drawings & schematics, commercial wiring, programmable logic controllers, and solid-state motor control, to name a few.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 165 per credit (Resident)
  • Credit Units Required – 62 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 3,832
  • Accreditation – SACSCOC

7. Salina Area Technical College (Kansas)

Salina Area Technical College (SATC), as one of Kansas’ most affordable electrician schools, SATC offers an Associate of Science degree (AS) in electrical technology that can be completed in only 24 months. Students graduating from Salina Area Technical College are eligible (and prepared) to sit for the Journeyman’s licensing exam. Examples of classes in the AS degree program include AC/DC circuits, technical math, commercial wiring, and blueprint reading, to name a few.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 185 per credit (Resident)
  • Credit Units Required – 67 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 791
  • Accreditation – HLC

8. Pittsburgh State University (Kansas)

The School of Construction at Pittsburgh State University, as a space-grant higher learning institution, offers an Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS) in Electrical Technology that explores three broad electrical technology areas – industrial electrical construction/maintenance, commercial construction, and residential wiring. Classes from one of the most affordable electrician schools in the state include fundamentals of electricity, electrical estimating, blueprint reading, and motor control functions, plus an electrical internship, among others.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 282 per credit (Midwest Student Exchange program – MSEP)
  • Credit Units Required – 74 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 6,645
  • Accreditation – HLC

9. Thomas Edison State University (New Jersey)

Thomas Edison State University (TESU) Applied Science & Technology School offers an Associate of Science degree (AS) in Electrical Technology that is recognized among New Jersey capital’s most affordable programs from one of the best electrician schools. Students enrolled in TESU’s electrical technology degree programs study direct and alternating currents, electronic devices, and electrical motor controls, plus associate-level capstone projects, to name a few.

  • Tuition Fees – $ 399 per credit (Resident)
  • Credit Units Required – 60 credit units.
  • Student Enrollment – 10,227
  • Accreditation – MSCHE

States set forth the criteria required to earn an electrician license that allows one to perform specialized electrician tasks legally within each jurisdiction.  These state regulations also ensure electricians perform their work safely. The federal government operates a website dedicated to helping electrician students find an apprenticeship that will meet their career objectives. Check out apprenticeship.gov for additional information.

Electrician Schools Ranking Methodology

The electrician schools noted above offer a cross-section of some of the most affordable electrical technology programs available. The electrician schools have been categorized as to whether the program is a certificate/diploma program or an associate-level electrical technology degree program. Within these two categories, the noted electrician schools are further ranked with the most affordable schools listed first.

Tuition expenses noted are for the academic year 2020 – 2021, unless specifically noted. Credit units for each program are provided to help students understand the depth of the program, while student enrollment is indicative of the electrician schools’ size, often an essential factor for students.

Accreditation is listed at both the regional level (awarded by the federal government’s regional agencies) and the specialized level, if applicable.

School data has been extracted from either the electrician schools’ website or from the College Navigator –  a website operated by the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES).

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