Most electricians must complete both a certified apprenticeship program and a trade or vocational school program to become certified. In some cases, the electrician-in-training can take a combined apprenticeship and electrician program. Finally, most states require a state license to work as an electrician.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association or Independent Electrical Contractors sponsor electrician apprenticeship programs. Including both classroom courses and on-the-job training, these programs take between two to four years to complete. Alternatively, an electrician-in-training can earn a certificate in a technical vocational school or trade school and then look for an apprenticeship to develop on-the-job skills.
Prospective electricians can earn a state license by passing an exam that demonstrates knowledge of both the National Electric Code and local and electrical building codes. Candidates must prove that they have completed an apprenticeship program and worked as an electrician, usually for four to seven years, before they can take the exam.