Can You Become an Electrician without an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship to become an electrician involves working under the supervision of a licensed electrician for four to five years. Most apprenticeships include at least 144 hours of classwork and at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. Can you become an electrician without an apprenticeship? Doing so is nearly impossible if you live in the United States. 

In the U.S., each state has its own regulations for becoming an electrician. Most states require that electricians be licensed. Usually you must have supervised on-the-job experience (that's an apprenticeship) to qualify to take the licensing exam. Before you pack up and move to a state that doesn't license its electricians, like Pennsylvania or Illinois, you need to know that many municipalities within those states do require electricians be licensed. In other words, even if the state doesn't require the apprenticeship, it's likely you'll need it to get your license for the county, city, or town you want to work in. 

Instead of asking can you become an electrician without an apprenticeship, ask yourself: why would I want to skip an apprenticeship? Even if you could find a way to avoid an apprenticeship, you shouldn't want to do that. An apprenticeship benefits you in several ways. As an apprentice, you get experience that will help you get a job afterwards. Without the apprenticeship, you have no real world experience to show potential employers. 

If you're thinking experience won't matter because you're planning to work for yourself (perhaps you can find a town in Pennsylvania where you don't need a license), think again. Your would-be clients are going to want know what experience you have before they hire you to work at their home or business. 

Perhaps you don't want to do the apprenticeship because it takes a long time to finish. If so, remember that another benefit is that your apprenticeship is paid. Getting into most careers requires you to pay for your education. During your electrician apprenticeship, you get paid to learn. Even better, your yearly earnings often rise with your skills. 

Hopefully, you've been convinced that you must be an apprentice before you can become an electrician. If so, before applying for your apprenticeship, you need to have a high diploma or GED and be at least 18 years old.

The EASIEST way to find a great apprenticeship through which to start your career is by training at an IEC training center. Contact us today to learn more about how to get started.

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