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If you’re looking for a career in an industry that is lucrative and growing, you’ll want to consider becoming an electrician. This high-reward career offers you the opportunity to begin working day one, or open your own company and earn even more.

There are a couple of different ways to become an electrician.

Historically, someone right out of high school would have found an apprenticeship through a local electrical company  (often working for free…or darn near it!).

But there’s actually a better way, and that’s completing electrical technician certification training. Going this route means you take a little time (in some cases as little as 3 to 6 months) to get trained and certified, so you can enter the workforce, skills and knowledge in hand, and start much faster!

Having said that, not any old certification training will do.  Not by a long shot. That’s why it’s important that you get the very best training.

Below, we’ve created a list of our favorite and best electrical tech schools.  Read more about what we look for and our methodology below.

Let’s dive in.

1
Preppy
Top Pick

Key Highlights

  • 100% Online
  • Accredited University
  • Fastest Completion
  • Lowest Price
  • Hands-On Externship Included
  • Free Laptop

If you are serious about a career as an electrician, you won’t find a better electrical tech training program than the one offered by Preppy.

In all the years we have been involved in education technology, we have never seen a platform like Preppy. Having partnered with renowned Auburn University, Preppy offers students top-notch certification training and robust support.

There’s just so much we appreciate about this Education platform.

To start, their electrical technician certification program can be completed in as little as 3 to 6 months. The majority of certification programs on the market take anywhere from 9 months to two years to complete.

Not only does Preppy offer the fastest program we’ve seen, it also offers the most affordable one. You would be surprised the cost of some certification programs out there! Some electrical technician courses can cost 10x the cost of Preppy’s program.

Yet despite Preppy being incredibly affordable, there’s still a monthly payment plan because the goal is to make education affordable for everyone!

Here’s the best part of all: Preppy offers their training 100% online.

 

This is so great for adult students who need the flexibility that online learning offers.

Many of the electrical technician certification programs out there either require partial or full learning to be had in a traditional classroom environment. Not only is this not feasible for many working adults with family responsibilities, but it causes the tuition fees and time to completion to be much higher and longer for those programs.

If you’re wondering how an electrician program can be completed 100% online, it’s simple. Once you get through the learning part, Preppy also includes an externship, so you can get some much-needed real hands-on training and experience.

Something else to point out about Preppy – they work with an acclaimed and accredited school, Auburn University. Many certification programs on the market are offered through for-profit career colleges, which often aren’t accredited.

Are we biased? You bet we are! We’re so tired of seeing poor programs out there, that having Preppy available for everyone is a huge deal.

It also includes all learning materials, which means you will never have to worry about hidden tuition costs. Heck, Preppy even gives their students a FREE LAPTOP. This is simply unheard of in the industry.

If you are looking for an electrical technician training program that will get you ready to take some of the major certification exams.

Check it out!

2
Altierus Career College

Key Highlights

  • Thorough Curriculum
  • Accredited School
  • All-Inclusive Tuition
  • Not 100% Online
  • Higher Tuition
  • Longer Time to Completion

Altierus is a non-profit school that provides students with career-focused education. They are accredited by ACCSC Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

Altierus’ electrical technician training program teaches students the skills needed to install, maintain and repair electrical systems in homes and businesses. Courses allow students to select to train to become an electrical construction technician or an industrial electrical technician.

We like that the curriculum is very thorough and that it is offered through an accredited school. We also appreciate that their tuition is all-inclusive.

The main issue: The school only offers hybrid learning. This means some time in the classroom is required. As I mentioned earlier, when a program requires some or all time in a classroom environment instead of online learning, this causes the tuition and time to completion to be higher and longer. And that’s what we see here. Also, there are only two locations, in Tampa and in Houston, and that simply won’t work for many people.

3
National Career Education (NCE)

Key Highlights

  • Thorough Curriculum
  • Accredited School
  • Great Support
  • No Online Classes
  • Higher Tuition
  • Longer Time to Completion

National Career Education is a for-profit company that prepares students for career-focused employment by delivering relevant career training. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET).

NCE’s electrical technician training program prepares graduates for entry-level employment in the industry. Students learn electrical code, wiring installation, conduit bending, and more.

We like that the school is accredited and the curriculum is thorough. There is also student support that includes career placement services.

Here’s what we think are the issues:

There are no online classes offered and the only school location is in California. So, if you don’t live in California and moving is out of the question, then this is not the school for you.

Also, the tuition and time to completion are also significantly higher than some other schools on this list.

4
Lincoln Tech

Key Highlights

  • Thorough Curriculum
  • Great Support
  • Material Provided
  • No Online Classes
  • Higher Tuition
  • Longer Time to Completion

Lincoln Tech is a for-profit chain of schools that has been in the business of career training for 75 years. Their electrical technician training course introduces students to important skills to meet the demands in business and residential settings. The program is comprehensive and we like that students are fully prepared to take the certification exam upon completion. We also appreciate that all learning materials are included.

Some issues to consider though:

Classes are not online. Again, classroom settings mean higher tuitions and longer time to completion. Also, the school is not accredited and there are very limited locations.

 

5
United Education Institute – UEI

Key Highlights

  • Accredited School
  • Thorough Curriculum
  • Great Support
  • Hybrid Learning (Not 100% Online)
  • Higher Tuition
  • Longer Time to Completion

UEI is a for-profit entity that was started 35 years ago and offers training for business, healthcare, and trade programs. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

UEI offers an electrical technician program that teaches students how to install, maintain, and repair electrical systems in residential and commercial applications.

We appreciate that the curriculum is very thorough and that the school offers good student support. The school is also accredited (but not the same a 4-year university).

Few things we don’t like: The program is offered through hybrid learning, which means some of the learning will have to be done in a physical classroom, and that means a higher tuition fee and longer time to completion. In this case, the program takes 10 months to complete, which is nearly 2-3x as long as others on this list. There are also very few school locations, so if moving is out of the question, this program won’t be a good fit.

6
Nation Technical Institute – NTI

Key Highlights

  • Thorough Curriculum
  • Great Support
  • Not Accredited
  • No Online Classes
  • Higher Tuition

NTI is a for-profit trade school that was founded in 2003 in Henderson, Nevada. The school focuses on teaching entry-level courses to ready students for careers in specific trades.

They do offer an electrical technician program that teaches students the basics of the electrical industry. Students will be introduced to topics like safety, electrical mathematics, tools, wiring and more.

The course is thorough and we like that the school offers its students robust support.

Few things we don’t like: To start, the school is not accredited. For many candidates, this is an issue.  In addition, they offer no online classes, which has resulted in a higher tuition fee and longer time to completion. And the school only has one location in Nevada.

What Makes a Good School for Diesel Mechanics?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for electrical technicians was $67,550 in May of 2020, with the highest 10% earning more than $99,810.

If you are starting to really like the idea of a career as an electrician, then you’ll definitely want to be sure you choose the very best training program. You may be wondering why we chose the schools we did.

It really boils down to what they offer. We selected school that offer one or more (the more the better!) of the following:

Online Classes

You may have noticed we are partial to online learning. That’s because we know it has changed the lives of so many adult students!

Online classes give you the flexibility to learn when is most convenient for you and from the comfort of your own home. If you are currently working and have a family, moving out of state to attend school is simply not an option. In many cases, attending night or weekend classes at a local community college isn’t very feasible either.

Thanks to online learning, you can be trained as an electrical technician when and where is convenient for you.

Thorough Curriculum

In addition to looking for online programs, we also look for school that provide a really solid curriculum. Top-notch training is what will get you ready to take those certification exams!

Self-Paced Coursework

Another reason we’re big fans of online classes is because they allow you to learn at your own pace. No two students learn the same way. Some pick up new ideas and concepts quickly, and others need a bit more time.

We prefer schools that offer online classes because they allow you to work your way through the course material at a pace that suits your unique learning style. This allows students to really retain new information, and that is key when it comes time to take the certification exam(s).

Textbooks are Included

In case you’ve been out of school for some time, textbooks have gotten ridiculously expensive. And the last thing any student needs is a financial surprise they weren’t expecting. We always look for schools that offer learning materials. We don’t always find them. But there are some schools on this list that offered all-inclusive learning materials and one even offered a free laptop!

An Immersive Learning Experience

Learning should be fun! We always look for schools that have a quality staff of pros in the industry that love sharing their knowledge and passion.

Solid Support

Whether you’re learning online or in-person, you want a program that offers students robust support. The schools we have selected all have a solid support system to ensure you get the help you need when you need it.

Externship

Getting certified as an electrical technician is definitely one of the best ways to stand out to employers. But another way to make a strong first impression is by getting some hands-on experience before you hit the job market.

If we were to give you our two cents, we would suggest you look for an online program that offers an externship. This is really the best of both worlds because you get the flexibility and affordability of online classes, plus real-world experience to get your feet, or in this case hands, wet.

The Importance of Electrical Technician Training

Recent data from the BLS suggests there will be roughly 11,000 openings for electrical technicians each year, on average, over the next decade. While you may think of these pros working in homes and businesses, there are other sectors that have increasing demand.

Employment of electrical technicians is expected to grow in professional, scientific and technical services firm, as well as in the computer systems design services industry.

When you complete your training and become a certified electrical technician, you begin an exciting and lucrative career you can feel really good about.

Our Methodology

Wow, we’ve just gone over a lot of information. Care for a refresher?

Before writing this article, I sat down with my research team and looked through a lot of data to come to these conclusions. There are quite a few electrician schools out there, but I can say with 100% certainty that not all of these programs were created equal.

In order to be considered for this list, we gave preference to schools with one or more of the following (and obviously the more the better!):

  • Online programs
  • Accredited University
  • Non-profit vs for-profit
  • Comprehensive preparation for certification exams
  • Self-paced learning
  • Textbooks and other learning materials included in the cost
  • Instructor led
  • Support
  • Externships to gain valuable experience

If you’re interested in a rewarding and lucrative career as an electrical technician, you could become certified and begin working in as little as 3-6 months by completing training through one of these fantastic schools! What a great opportunity to work in an exciting industry!

 

 

 


About the Author
Grant founded OnlineDegree.com with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.