Electrician Classes in California (Top Schools)

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Electricians seem to have a very stable occupation, so let’s learn how you can become one in California.

Incentives to Become an Electrician in California

There’s a predicted 32.5% increase in demand for electricians in the State of California, until 2024.

The average income for a Californian electrician is of $53,561 per year.

Across the country, electricians make on average $47,951 annually, which is lower than in California.

The best-paid electricians earn n California $61,033 per year, whereas across the nation the highest salary is of $54,640 per year.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Electricians in California

City NameSalary
Los Angeles$54,228
San Diego$51,555
San Jose$58,500
San Francisco$60,418
Long Beach$53,465
Santa Ana$53,513
* Salary information last updated 2022

Training as an Electrician

There are 4 steps you need to complete to be a qualified electrician:

  • Become an apprentice
  • Become a residential electrician
  • Get your general electrician certificate
  • Get your license as an independent electrical contractor

Becoming an Apprentice

You complete this step by enrolling in a technical school or signing up for an apprenticeship program.

Apprenticeship programs are available through union and non-union organizations.

There are 2 types of certifications you can pursue, and the requirements you must meet are different for each, however on the job training and classroom technical education are needed for both.

Here are the certifications and their requirements:

  • residential electrician: 4,800 hours (about 2.5 years)
  • general electrician: 8,000 hours (about 4 years)

You’ll need at least 150 hours of in-class and lab education for both certificates, per year spent as an apprentice.

Technical Schools

In California, there is a wide selection of schools approved to train future electricians.

Unlike other states, in California the Registered Trainee (RT) process has been enacted, that ensures correct registration and documents for those who receive their technical training in a classroom, regardless of where they enroll.

100 Electrician Schools in California

School NameAddress
ABC of Central California19466 Flightpath Way, Bakersfield, CA 93308
ABC of Los Angeles/Ventura12797 Arroyo Avenue, San Fernando, CA 91340
ABC of NorCal4577 Las Positas Road, Livermore, CA
ABC San Diego13825 Kirkham Way, Poway, CA 92064
ABC SoCal1400 North Kellogg Drive, Anaheim, CA 92807
Abram Friedman Occupational Center1646 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Antelope Valley College3041 West Ave K, Lancaster, CA 93536
Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education4640 Maine Ave, Baldwin Park, CA 91706
Barstow Community College2700 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 923111
Bassett Adult School943 North Sunkist Avenue, La Puente, CA 91746
California Community College System - Rancho Cucamonga5885 Haven Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737
California Community College System - Sacramento4700 College Oak Dr, Sacramento, CA 95841
California Community College System - Bakersfield1801 Panorama Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93305
California Electrical Training3301 East Hill Street, Signal Hill, CA 90755
Center for Employment Training - Sacramento8376 Fruitridge Road, Sacramento, CA 95828
Center for Employment Training -San Jose701 Vine Street, San Jose, CA 95110
Chaffey College5885 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737
Charles A Jones Career and Education Center5451 Lemon Hill Ave, Sacramento, CA 95824
City College of San Francisco50 Phelan Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112
College of San Mateo1700 W Hillsdale Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402
College of the Redwoods7351 Tompkins Hill Road, Eureka, CA 95501
College of the Sequoias — Hanford Educational Center925 13th Avenue, Hanford, CA 93230
College of the Sequoias — Tulare College Center4999 East Bardsley Avenue, Tulare, CA 93274
Construction Craft Training Center of Hayward26200 Industrial Boulevard, Hayward, CA 94545
Construction Craft Training Center of Turlock2480 Acme Court, Turlock, CA 95380
Cuesta CollegeHighway 1, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403
Diablo Valley College321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Durousseau Electrical Institute2526 West Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90018
East Los Angeles Occupational Center2100 Marengo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Electrical Training Trust of San Diego4675 Viewridge Ave, San Diego, CA 92123
Electrical Training Trust of Orange County717 South Lyon Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
Flintridge Center Apprenticeship Preparation Program236 West Mountain Street, Pasadena, CA 91103
Fresno City College1101 East University Avenue, Fresno, CA 93741
Glendale Community College1500 North Verdugo Road, Glendale, CA 91208
Hacienda La Puente Adult Education14101 E. Nelson Ave, La Puente, CA 91746
Hartnell College411 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901
I-TAP9856 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95827
Imperial Valley College380 East Aten Road, Imperial, CA 92251
Institute for Business Technology2400 Walsh Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95051
InterCoast College - Anaheim388 W Cerritos Ave Anaheim, CA 92805
InterCoast College - Fairfield2480 Hilborn Road Suite 100, Fairfield, CA 94534
InterCoast College - LA County1400 West Covina Parkway, West Covina, CA 91790
InterCoast College -Sacramento,9738 Lincoln Village Drive Suite 120, Sacramento, CA 95827
InterCoast College - Orange County3745 West Chapman Avenue, Orange, CA 92868
InterCoast College -Riverside1989 Atlanta Avenue, Riverside, CA 92507
InterCoast -Roseville1200 Melody Lane, Roseville, CA 92678
InterCoast College -West Covina2235 East Garvey Avenue North, West Covina, CA 91791
JATC of Alameda County14600 Catalina Street, San Leandro, CA 94577
JATC of California / Nevada9846 Limonite Avenue, Riverside, CA 92509
JATC of Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare Counties5420 East Hedges Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727
JATC of Kern County3805 North Sillect Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93308
JATC of Northern California3033 Alvarado Street, San Leandro, CA 94577
JATC of Redwood1726 Corby Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95407
JATC - Riverside Area1855 Business Center Drive, San Bernardino, CA 92408
JATC of Sacramento2836 El Centro, Sacramento, CA 95833
JATC of Santa Barbara County222 West Carmen Lane, Santa Maria, CA 93458
JATC of Santa Clara County908 Bern Court, San Jose, CA 95112
JATC of San Francisco4056 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94112
JATC of San Joaquin and Calaveras Counties1531 El Pinal Drive, Stockton, CA 95205
JATC of San Luis Obispo County6363 Edna Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
JATC of San Mateo County625 Industrial Road, San Carlos, CA 94070
JATC of Shasta / Butte900 Locust Street, Redding, CA 96001
JATC of Solano and Napa Counties720 Technology Way, Napa, CA 94558
JATC of Ventura County201 Bernoulli Circle, Oxnard, CA 93030
JATC of Contra Costa County1875 Arnold Dr, Martinez, CA 94553
JATC of the Central Valley1925 Yosemite Boulevard, Modesto, CA 95354
JATC of the Tri-County Area10300 Merritt, Castroville, CA
Laney College900 Fallon Street, Oakland, CA 94607
Long Beach City College4901 East Carson, Long Beach, CA
Los Angeles Trade Technical College400 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Los Medanos College2700 East Leland Road, Pittsburg, CA 94565
Modesto Junior College435 College Avenue, Modesto, CA
Napa Valley Adult School1600 Lincoln Avenue, Napa, CA 94558
National Career Education11080 White Rock Road, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
National Lighting Contractors Association of America3301 East Hill Street, Signal Hill, CA 90755
Norco College2001 Third Street, Norco, CA 92860
Orange Coast College2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Palomar College1140 W. Mission, San Marcos, CA 92069
Pasadena City College1570 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91106
Rio Hondo College3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, CA 90601
Riverside Training Facility1180 Spring Street, Riverside, CA 92507
San Bernardino Community College District114 South Del Rosa Drive, San Bernardino, CA 92408
San Bernardino Valley College701 South Mount Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92410
San Diego City College1313 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA
San Joaquin Valley College -Modesto5380 Pirrone Road - Modesto, CA 95368
San Joaquin Valley College -Ontario4580 Ontario Mills Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764
San Joaquin Valley College -Temecula27270 Madison Avenue, Suite 103, Temecula, CA 92590
San Jose City College2100 Moorpark Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128
Santa Barbara City College721 Cliff Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93109
Santiago Canyon College8045 East Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92869
Silicon Valley Career Technical Education760 Hillsdale Avenue, San Jose, CA 95136
Southern California Institute of Technology525 N. Muller Street, Anaheim, CA 92801
Summit College - Colton851 S. Cooley Dr, Colton, CA 92324
Summit College - El Cajon411 N Marshall, El Cajon, CA 92020
Summit College - Santa Ana1639 E. Edinger, Santa Ana, CA 92705
The Electrical Training Institute of Los Angeles County6023 South Garfield Avenue, Commerce, CA 90040
The Trade School5800 Airport Road, Redding, CA 96002
Ventura College4667 Telegraph Road, Ventura, CA 93003
WECA of San Diego9320 Hazard Way, San Diego, CA 92123
WECA of the Sacramento Region3695 Bleckely Street, Rancho Cordova, CA 95655

That means that once you enroll at the desired school or program, you have to apply and pay a $25 fee towards the California Department of Industrial Relations.

You can only start your apprenticeship after you receive your electrical trainee registration number.

You’ll also have to renew your trainee registration for each year you spend as an apprentice.

You’ll need these documents:

  • A filled-in renewal application
  • A transcript of the classes you completed
  • A document from your employer with the number of hours you worked.

Other Training Opportunities

There are specific routes you must follow based on how you learn this trade.

Vocational Technical School Training

There are schools in California that designed programs that comply with the state’s licensing requirements.

The duration of these programs is usually 2 years and you’ll also be placed in a company licensed by the state to start accumulating the needed training hours.

However, by the time you finish the classroom training, you’d have completed about half of the required field hours.

The remaining hours are usually completed in the same company and it’s not unusual for journeymen to continue working in the same firm.

Union or Non-union Training Program

This type of apprenticeship is also regulated by the state, and they must be approved by the California Apprenticeship Council (CAC).

The list of schools above includes unions and non-unions that offer training for electricians.

Become a Journeyman

A journeyman can work on any form of residential properties, and only after getting a license.

License requirements:

  • Passing the state electrician exam
  • Proof of working 4,800 hours under a certified electrician

You have to apply for the exam, and you also must submit your Social Security Administration Employment History Report as work history.

Be aware that the application form has various categories and you must fill out at least 2 of them.

For this, you have to know how much time you spent doing specific types of work, but there’s a maximum hour requirement for each.

The testing vendor is PSI Services and they’ll contact you with details regarding the exam if your application got approved.

This exam lasts for 3 hours, is an open book one and contains 80 questions.

The 2011 National Electric Code is your study material and these are the topics covered in the exam:

  • Installation – 66%
  • Determination of electrical system requirements – 23%
  • Maintenance and repair – 6%
  • Safety – 5%

You must renew your certification every 3 years on time or you risk having to sit through the exam again.

There are a few other requirements for certification renewal:

  • 2000 hours of experience
  • 32 hours of continued education (at any approved school)

Get Your General Electrician Certificate

While not mandatory, after being a journeyman you can consider becoming a general electrician.

With this license, you’ll be able to install, create, or maintain any electrical system covered by the National Electric Code.

License requirements:

  • 8,000 hours experience under a certified electrician
  • Pass the state electrician exam

The requirements to take the exam are the same as for becoming a journeyman.

The test itself is a bit different because it’s made of 100 questions and lasts 4 hours, but it’s still an open book.

Exam breakdown:

  • Installation – 66%
  • Determination of Electrical System Requirements – 22%
  • Safety – 6%
  • Maintenance and Repair – 6%

Just like before, you’ll need to renew the certification every 3 years and you must complete the same requirements as before.

Get Your License as an Independent Electrical Contractor

This license allows you to sell your services to the Californian public, hire other electricians and basically run a business.

It’s the Contractors State Licensing Board who issues these certifications.

You’ll have a new classification called C-10 Electrical Contractor, and these are the requirements to get it:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Fill out the application
  • Proof of 4 years of experience as a full-time electrician (hiring someone with this experience also counts)
  • Having a capital of at least $2,500 (it’ the difference between your liabilities and assets)

You can be your own employer and you must work 32 hours a week to qualify.

If your application gets approved, you must sit through a 2-part closed book exam: C-10 exam and Law and Business test.

Questions for the C-10 exam:

  • Planning and estimating – 26%
  • Rough wiring – 24%
  • Startup, troubleshooting, and maintenance – 21%
  • Safety – 18%
  • Finish wiring and trim – 11%

Questions for the Law and Business exam:

  • Business financial – 18%
  • Employment requirements – 15%
  • Contract requirements and execution – 15%
  • Bonds, insurance, and liens – 13%
  • Business organization – 12%
  • Licensing requirements – 11%
  • Safety requirements – 11%
  • Public works – 5%

If you pass the exam you must pay $150 for your license and a $12,000 bond.

If you plan on hiring people, you must submit an additional $7,500 bond and proof of worker’s compensation insurance.

You have to renew your license every 3 years but not later than the last day of the month during which you received your license.

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