A certificate or an associate degree in electrical technology are the educational requirements for low voltage electricians. One must also obtain a license through the state licensing authority.
Electrical engineering is a trade, which is a highly skilled job that primarily requires theoretical knowledge and extensive manual experience. Consequently, the path to becoming an electrician is not entirely aligned with traditional degree paths, as of 2015, although accredited degrees exist up the baccalaureate.
The New England Institute of Technology offers an associate of science in electrical technology, which is equal to a certificate that allows graduates to seek entry-level work as an apprentice electrician or a technician.
Similarly, the electrical engineering technology certificate program at Middlesex County College provides a theoretical foundation as a prerequisite to an apprenticeship. The program requires at least three semesters to complete.
Typically, after a prospective candidate obtains an associate degree or a certificate, a three- or four-year mandatory apprenticeship begins. The candidate's theoretical and practical knowledge earned through a certificate or an associate is yet another stepping stone; the apprenticeship prepares the candidate for authentic, on-the-job situations in which the apprentice manually applies theory.
Independent Electrical Contractors, a national trade organization, offers its own apprenticeship training program, which specifically benefits low voltage electricians. Its apprenticeship training program takes approximately three years to complete and includes at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training, a credential that the apprentice must possess in order to obtain a license.
Some states also require low voltage electricians to obtain specific licenses that correspond to a certain aspect of electrical engineering, such as security or fire alarm installation.