Becoming an electrician can be appealing if you want to join the skilled trade industry. You may be torn between an electrician apprenticeship and a trade school. Read on as this article explores what the two have to offer and their key differences.
What Is an Electrician Apprenticeship?
It’s an education program through which you receive practical electrical training. You work with experienced electrical contractors, learning the ins and outs of the trade. Some may become mentors and help you navigate your career path once you finish the program.
Pros of Apprenticeship
Here are the key benefits of apprenticeship programs:
Apprenticeships focus more on real-world knowledge than classroom knowledge. You get to work alongside licensed professionals, doing actual electrical tasks.
In apprenticeship, you can earn while learning. So, you don’t have to accrue student debt to finance your studies.
Apprenticeship contributes to your experience since you’re involved in real-world situations. Since licensing boards consider the time spent in these programs as experience, you might get your contractor’s license faster.
There are many opportunities for apprentices as clients value experience. You may even receive a job offer from your mentor since they’re always looking for skilled personnel.
There are no barriers to joining an apprenticeship program. Most programs only require you to be of legal age and have a high school diploma. You may not need to sit for any qualifying tests.
What Is an Electrician Trade School?
This is an educational institution that offers electrical training. Students can choose between different fields and focus on whichever appeals to them. The focus is more on classroom learning than hands-on training — students spend more hours in the classroom than in the field.
Trade school is a popular option in states that don’t need a lot of experience for licensing. If your state requires experience, you must join an apprenticeship program after finishing trade school.
Pros of Trade School
Trade schools can be an appealing choice for potential electrical contractors. Here’s why:
Most trade schools offer specific training in various fields such as installation, maintenance, instrumentation, and low and high-voltage. These schools can be ideal if you know what you want to pursue.
Trade schools hire professional teachers to guide their students. The core benefit of learning from a trained teacher is that they know how best to impart knowledge. You may understand electrical concepts faster than when learning from anyone else.
Cost of Learning
Trade school is cheaper than college, though the two offer the same learning styles. This option can be ideal if you don’t want to accrue a lot of student debt.
Electrical Apprenticeship vs. Trade School: What Are the Differences?
Both training options impart valuable skills that prepare you for future job opportunities. But their differences may make one method more appealing than the other. Here are differences to consider when deciding between the two:
Cost of Learning
Though cheaper than college, trade school training is more expensive than apprenticeship training. Some students may have to apply for student loans to complete their training.
With an apprenticeship, you only pay for learning materials and buy your tools. You can pay for these necessities using your wages, so you don’t need a student loan. In terms of cost, an apprenticeship can be the more appealing choice.
Trade schools break down electrical training into fields like telecommunications and electronics. This allows you to gain more specialized knowledge in your chosen field.
Apprenticeship offers more generalized training. You can learn from mentors in different fields or general electrical contractors until you decide on a specific field.
Electrical trade schools combine classroom and practical learning. But students spend more time in the classroom than they do in the field.
Apprenticeship programs focus on providing real-world experience. You’re immersed in the field to learn about real issues and the job’s physical demands. Students can know what to expect from their future careers at the end of the training.
Now You Can Choose Between Electrician Trade School or Apprenticeship
Trade school and apprenticeship carry their individual appeals. But, an electrician apprenticeship can be more suitable if you want hands-on experience. You’ll work on real-life electrical problems alongside experienced professionals. Apprenticeship also allows you to earn, eliminating the need to seek student financial aid.