Electricians repair and maintain electrical systems in homes, businesses and industrial settings. Jobs for electricians are expected to grow by 23 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than average for other industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most electricians get their start by completing a formal apprenticeship, though some may complete a diploma, certificate or degree program. Some private companies may offer apprenticeships, but most are offered by community colleges and trade schools. Students must apply for these programs in the same way they would a degree program.
High School Diploma or GED
Unlike four-year colleges and universities, most community colleges and trade schools only require that you have a high school diploma or GED to be admitted. For aspiring electricians, completing a high school diploma or GED provides the basic math and reading skills that are needed for the program. Students who have not completed either can likely enroll in a program at the same school to finish their diploma through adult high school or to prepare to take the GED exam.
Electricians must take electrical measurements and perform calculations routinely in the course of their work. Therefore, students who are interested in going to electrician school must demonstrate a basic math proficiency to begin advanced studies. Most schools require students to show competence in algebra, which can be demonstrated through high school or college transcripts showing which math classes students took and the grade they earned. However, some schools may also require that students take an assessment test before they can enroll in the electrician program or begin the apprenticeship or course work.
Whether students choose an electrician apprenticeship or a certificate or degree program, they will complete college-level course work. Therefore, they must have strong reading and comprehension skills to succeed in their studies. Most electrician programs require students to demonstrate reading proficiency before they can be admitted or enroll in courses. Most measure proficiency through an assessment test, but some may accept high school or college transcripts that show academic achievement in courses such as English composition or English language and literature.
Some electrician programs require students to have an interview before they are admitted. However, these interviews are not always designed to determine a prospective student's academic potential. For example, WyoTech meets with each student to discuss their career goals and to be sure the program is suited to their needs. The interview is not a common requirement for electrician school, but some programs do include this extra step for admissions.