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Georgia needs new people excited to learn how to become an electrician, and the Peach State has everything you need to make joining this challenging and essential career path possible and profitable.
The growing demand for these skilled tradespeople in Georgia means you can feel confident that the time you put into training will pay off. Ten states in the United States collectively account for 61% of the entire U.S. construction market, according to Research and Markets, and Georgia is one of them. Also, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website, CareerOneStop, projects a 9% growth rate in Georgia for electricians from 2020 to 2030.
Read on to find out how you can find your place in this vital profession.
Table of Contents
Georgia Electrician Training Programs
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), “Most electricians learn their trade in a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship program. For each year of the program, apprentices typically receive 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training as well as some technical instruction. Workers who gained electrical experience in the military or in the construction industry may qualify for a shortened apprenticeship based on their experience and testing. Some electricians start out by attending a technical school. Many technical schools offer programs related to circuitry, safety practices, and basic electrical information. Graduates of these programs usually receive credit toward their apprenticeship.”
Georgia has quite a few training programs for aspiring electricians. There are many apprenticeship opportunities and a wide selection of college programs. Several groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. Some electrical contractors have their own training programs, which are not recognized apprenticeship programs but include both technical and on-the-job training. Although most workers enter apprenticeships directly, some choose to attend technical colleges or trade schools first. According to the BLS, some electricians enter apprenticeship programs after working as a helper. The Home Builders Institute offers a pre-apprenticeship certificate training (PACT) program for eight construction trades, including electricians.
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Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees in Albany, Atlanta, Augusta, Macon, and Savannah in cooperation with local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) chapters (links below)
Georgia Colleges with Electrical Technology Programs
Electrician Degrees & Certificates
As you weigh the benefits of formal training at a technical or community college, you may want to speak with people in the field in your state. The licensing requirements vary from state to state, and some require a minimum amount of education. Other states have no educational requirements or only require classroom instruction as part of an apprenticeship, as is the case in Georgia.
In terms of college education for electricians, typically you’ll have a range of degree and certificate programs from which to choose. And while most electricians enter an apprenticeship rather than a college program, a certificate or degree can give you an advantage in getting an apprentice position. If you choose to start at a technical college, the time it takes to complete each kind of program and the cost of each are the most significant differences. The most common programs are:
Certificate Program – three to six months
Diploma Program – one year
Associate’s Degree – two years
Bachelor’s Degree – four years
Obviously, the longer the program, the more it costs. If you wish to be an electrical engineer, you’ll need a four-year bachelor’s degree. If this is a path that interests you, you may want to explore the Electrical Engineering Bachelor of Science degree at Georgia Tech.
In many cases, but not always, formal education pays off in the form of higher wages.
Typical Courses in Technical College Programs
Electrical programs at technical colleges are all intended to prepare students for careers in commercial, industrial, or residential electrical applications. All combine theory and the practical skills needed to do the job. Most encourage students to work in their field of interest while attending school. Typically they include coursework in the fundamentals of the electrical trade. Classroom and laboratory experiences allow students to become proficient in the installation and maintenance of electrical wiring, transformers: A/C and D/C motor control circuit, instrumentation, and programmable logic controllers used in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. They all cover safety and the national electric code. Among the most common classes offered in these degree programs are:
Foundations of Mathematics
Industrial Safety Procedures
Electrical Prints, Schematics, and Symbols
School Selection Criteria
There are a lot of things to consider when picking the right school and program.
Cost is, of course, at the top of the list. Tuition at each of the Georgia Technical College System schools listed above is pretty uniform: $100 per credit hour for in-state students and $200 for out-of-state students. There will be some variations in fees at each school, though, so be sure to review all of the costs involved.
There are also always costs for books and tools, but those tools are yours to keep as you enter your chosen occupational field. All students who are interested in receiving federal (Pell Grant) and state (HOPE Career Grant) aid can apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form online at fafsa.ed.gov.
The electrical program at Lincoln Tech is estimated to take about 11 months and cost about $23,000.
As noted above, you can choose from a very specialized certificate or a broader diploma or associate degree. The certificates are predominantly 12 credit hours and will take one semester to complete. There are some that are 20 credits and will take a little longer. Diploma or associate degree programs typically take two years.
There are benefits to formal education if you want to be an electrician. Though in Georgia there is no educational requirement to get started in the field, most employers want would-be electricians to complete an apprenticeship, which requires some classroom instruction. Often, that formal education can be applied toward a college degree like an associate’s of applied science in Electrical Construction Technology. Technical training is also usually rewarded with higher starting pay and lifelong earnings.
Online vs in-person
People living in rural areas of Georgia or who have commitments that make it difficult to travel to a school campus may choose to get electrician training through an online certificate program. Only you know if this type of independent curriculum will work for you. Both Penn Foster and Ashworth College offer online electrician classes.
Online programs are ideal for people looking for entry-level jobs or for entry-level workers who are looking to increase their salary. If you know your learning style relies on personal instruction, more traditional in-person classes are pretty accessible throughout the state.
Level of difficulty
Electrician training programs are designed to prepare graduates for entry-level positions in the industry in commercial, industrial, or residential sectors. The BLS says technical instruction for apprentices includes electrical theory, blueprint reading, mathematics, electrical code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. Students may also receive specialized training related to soldering, communications, fire alarm systems, and elevators.
School Comparison: At a Glance
Many of the training schools listed below are part of the Technical College System of Georgia Those programs all offer students financial aid in the form of grants and loans and have a 100% acceptance rate.
Albany Technical College offers a diploma program for those interested in the electrical field.
Electrical Construction Technology Diploma 43 credits
Atlanta Technical College offers five different Electrical Construction and Maintenance degrees.
Electrical Systems Technology | Diploma | 46-47 credits | $7,402 estimated cost Commercial Wiring | Certificate | 18 credits | $2,411 estimated cost Industrial Electrical Controls | Certificate | 16 credits | $2,611 estimated cost Residential Wiring | Certificate | 16 credits | $2,211 estimated cost Electrical Lineworker | Certificate | 12 credits | $2,342 estimated cost
Athens Technical College has seven credentials you can earn under the Electrical Systems Technology program.
Electrical Construction Systems | Associate Degree | 63-65 credits Electrical Construction Systems | Diploma | 46 credits Photovoltaic (Solar) Systems Technician | Certificate | 17 credits Residential Electrical Technician | Certificate | 15 credits Commercial Electrical Technician | Certificate | 13 credits Industrial Controls Technician | Certificate | 12 credits Basic Electrician | Certificate | 11 credits
Augusta Technical College has a diploma program and several certificates for aspiring electricians.
Electrical Systems Technology | Diploma | 43 credits Electrical Contracting Technician | Certificate | 26 credits Commercial Wiring | Certificate | 18 credits Residential Wiring Technician | Certificate | 16 credits Photovoltaic (Solar) Systems Installation & Repair | Certificate | 15 credits
Central Georgia Technical College offers a diploma or four technical certificates.
Electrical Systems Construction and Maintenance | Diploma | 44 credits Commercial Electrical Construction Technician | Certificate | 19 credits Specialty Electrical Services Technician | Certificate | 16 credits Basic Electrical Systems Technician | Certificate | 12 credits Intermediate Electrical Systems Technician | Certificate | 12 credits
Chattahoochee Technical College has five choices.
Industrial Maintenance and Electrical Technology | Associate Degree | 65-66 credits Industrial Maintenance and Electrical Technology | Diploma | 58-60 credits Electrical Maintenance Technician | Certificate | 22 credits Programmable Control Technician | Certificate | 12 credits Industrial Electrician | Certificate | 10 credits
Coastal Pines Technical College in Waycross offers a certificate and diploma for new electricians.
Columbus Technical College offers two certificate programs in the electrical field.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College in Rock Spring has four options for electrician training.
Electrical Systems Technology | Diploma | 43 credits Electrical Contracting Technician | Certificate | 26 credits Electrical Technician | Certificate | 19 credits Electrical Maintenance Technician | Certificate | 18 credits
Lanier Technical College in Gainesville has both a diploma and certificate program for electrician students.
Lincoln Tech has an electrician certificate program at its campus in Marietta.
Electrical and Electronics Systems Technology | Certificate | 42 credits
North Georgia Technical College has a diploma program and two certificates at its Clarkesville campus.
Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro has programs that take from one to four semesters to complete.
Electrical Systems Technology | Diploma | 53 credits Industrial Electrical Technology | Diploma | 48 credits Basic Electrical Technician | Certificate | 13 credits Commercial Wiring | Certificate | 18 credits Photovoltaic (Solar) Systems Installation & Repair | Certificate | 21 credits Programmable Control Technician | Certificate | 12 credits
Savannah Technical College offers six degrees, diplomas, or certificates in the electrical field.
Electrical Technology | Diploma | 54 credits Sustainable Technologies | Diploma | 58 credits Electrical Construction Technician | Certificate | 20 credits Electrical/Mechanical Manufacturing Technician | Certificate | 34 credits Photovoltaic (Solar) Systems Install | Certificate | 25 credits Residential Wiring Technician | Certificate | 20 credits
South Georgia Technical College offers 10 programs designed for students interested in the electrical field.
Electrical Systems Technology | Diploma | 53 credits Electrical Construction Technology | Diploma | 43 credits Electrical Contracting Technician | Certificate | 26 credits Electrical Technician | Certificate | 19 credits Electrical Maintenance Technician | Certificate | 18 credits Commercial Wiring | Certificate | 18 credits Basic Electrical Technician | Certificate | 13 credits Industrial Wiring Technician | Certificate | 13 credits Electrical Lineworker | Certificate | 12 credits Industrial Electrician | Certificate | 10 credits
Southern Crescent Technical College has a wide range of offerings in this discipline.
Electrical Systems Technology | Diploma | 43 credits Electrical Contracting Technician | Certificate | 26 credits Electrical Technician | Certificate | 19 credits Industrial Electrical Controls | Certificate | 16 credits Photovoltaic (Solar) Systems Install | Certificate | 15 credits Electrical Lineworker | Certificate | 12 credits Industrial Electrician | Certificate | 10 credits
Southern Regional Technical College offers eight degrees, diplomas, or certificates in the electrical field.
Electrical Systems Technology | Associate Degree | 63 credits Electrical Systems Technology | Diploma | 46 credits Electrical Construction Technology | Diploma | 46 credits Industrial Electrical Technology | Diploma | 48 credits Commercial Wiring | Certificate | 18 credits Programmable Control Technician | Certificate | 12 credits Electrical Lineworker | Certificate | 12 credits Industrial Electrician | Certificate | 10 credits
West Georgia Technical College offers five programs.
Electrical Systems Technology | Diploma | 44 credits Commercial Wiring | Certificate | 18 credits Photovoltaic (Solar) Systems Installation & Repair | Certificate | 15 credits Residential Wiring Technician | Certificate | 16 credits
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College has a range of offerings as well from an associate of applied science degree to various certificates.
Commercial Electrical Construction Technology | Associate Degree | 64 credits Commercial Electrical Construction Technology | Diploma | 57 credits Electrical Maintenance Technician | Certificate | 18 credits Industrial Electrician | Certificate | 16 credits Industrial Electrical Assistant | Certificate | 14 credits Basic Electricity Technician | Certificate | 13 credits Programmable Control Technician | Certificate | 12 credits
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Steps for Enrollment in Georgia
Every technical college has its own way of doing things, but in general the process begins with visiting the school’s website and applying for admission online. You also have the option of visiting the school’s admission office or mailing a paper application there. All of the Georgia Technical College System schools require that you pay a $25 application fee and provide several documents. In general the application process has the following steps:
Complete your application.
Pay the application fee.
Provide proof of residency to qualify for in-state tuition.
Have sealed official high school transcript or GED scores sent.
Submit placement test scores.
If applicable, apply for on-campus housing.
Electrician Career Requirements in Georgia
Unlike most other states, Georgia does not license electricians at the journeyman level but does license electrical contractors through the Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board. Only licensed contractors or employees of those with an active license can legally perform electrical services. Most electricians in Georgia complete an apprenticeship that includes classroom instruction and then work legally at the journeyman level for a general contractor without supervision. Most people gain work experience as journeyman electricians before taking the step to obtain their own electrical contractor license.
If you do decide you want to be your own boss and work as an independent electrical contractor you will need to get your license. To do that. you’ll need at least four years of work experience.
For a detailed explanation of Georgia’s Electrical Contractor licensing requirements and how to fulfill them check out our essential guide to getting your Georgia Electrical License.
Salaries for Electricians in Georgia
Before paying for technical education to become an electrician you’ll want some idea of what you can expect for your investment of time, effort, energy, and money. In other words, what can you expect to make as an electrical professional in Georgia? Payscale.com data provides an answer based on your experience. The median electrician salary in Georgia for 2022 is:
Entry level <2 years : $46,900
Intermediate 2-4 years: $57,500
Senior 4-6 years: $63,800
Supervisor >7 years: $92,000
Most apprenticeships are four to five years long and combine hands-on training with classroom instruction. To meet U.S. Department of Labor standards, you must accumulate 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom instruction over four years. Most also require you to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or a GED, and a valid driver’s license.
There are several electrical union apprenticeship programs in Georgia, which are offered by local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in coordination with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Together they make up the Electrical Training Alliance. You’ll find programs organized through the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATC) of the IBEW chapters in Macon, Augusta, Albany, Savannah and Atlanta. The programs are similar and generally include two nights of classes per week, while daytime hours are devoted to working full-time and earning money as an apprentice under licensed electricians.
You can find out more about the JATC closest to you by following the links below.
Albany Electrical JATC IBEW 1531
Atlanta Electrical JATC IBEW 613
Augusta Electrical JATC IBEW 1579
Macon Electrical JATC IBEW 1316
Savannah Electrical JATC IBEW 508
Non-union apprenticeships are similar to the union programs and are offered through the Independent Electrical Contractors Georgia and Atlanta chapters (IEC). Both these non-union programs and the union programs culminate in journeyman status as directed by national standards, even though becoming a journeyman is not required by the state of Georgia. Apprentices work for member contractors with an opportunity for increased wages each year until reaching journeyman status.
Some electrical contractors have their own training programs, which are not recognized apprenticeship programs but include both technical and on-the-job training. After completing an apprenticeship program, electricians are considered to be journey workers and may perform duties on their own, subject to local or state licensing requirements.
Other Training Options
In addition to your apprenticeship or electrical school program you may want to acquire industry certifications. These are completely optional but can help you demonstrate your proficiency to prospective employers. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) offers several certifications for electrical employees and contractors.
The bottom line is that you can find the training you need to excel in a career in the electrical field in Georgia. The opportunities are all around you.
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