Electrician Schools and Training in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a fantastic place to become an electrician. Not only do the electrician schools in Pennsylvania produce some of the most capable tradespeople in the U.S., but the state's numerous metropolitan and industrial centers provide plenty of jobs for electricians throughout their careers.
We realize that "electrician" can be a difficult career to jump into, so we've compiled the information below to help you get started. We'll discuss training centers, apprenticeships, and salary data, and share the different pathways to break into the job market.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out and contact us. We wish you all the best!
How To Become An Electrician In Pennsylvania
When you're figuring out how to become an electrician, it's easy to get a little overwhelmed. There's a lot of information on the internet, but very few clear answers.
To help you, we're going to talk about the two ways that most people become electricians:
1) Going to one of the electrician schools in Pennsylvania, and/or
2) Applying for--and getting accepted by--an apprenticeship program.
Pennsylvania Electrician Schools
There are many, many community colleges in Pennsylvania, and some of them offer training programs for future electricians. Community schools tend to be more affordable, and teach all the skills you'll need to enter the workforce after you graduate.
Private vocational schools provide in-depth training superficially for electricians and various other trades. The cost of the education is usually a little bit higher than community colleges, but tech schools usually provide more job place services after students complete the program.
Both kinds of schools teach the skills and techniques that new electricians need to know, including how to:
- Design electrical wiring systems, and share that design via blueprints and construction software programs;
- Install wiring systems so that they are safe and meet state and national electrical codes;
- Work with heavy, high-voltage cables and wires;
- Lay conduit (the pipes and tubing that held electrical wires) behind partitions;
- Use tools that measure electricity;
- Check the work that other electricians have done, and ensure that it is safe and up to code;
- Find problematic wiring in an electrical system and fix it;
- Maintain electrical systems in factories, hospitals, and industrial centers; and
- Understand the jobs that other trade workers do alongside electricians.
There are a few advantages to the "electrician school" option: as long as you have a high school diploma or equivalency degree, you can pretty much start any time you'd like, and once you graduate, you'll be able to look for work in the local economy.
And, of course, there are a few disadvantages--the biggest of which is that school isn't free! Some schools can get a bit pricey, so you'll need to be certain you're not paying too much. Also, not every school is recognized by other schools, so the credits you earn may not transfer to other educational institutions.
Apprentice programs are a fantastic option, where you'll learn most of the skills you need OTJ ("on the job") instead of in the classroom (there is some classroom learning involved, but mostly apprentices "learn by doing").
Apprentices are paired with an electrician who has mastered the job. At first, they do a lot of observing, and are eventually given a few small tasks to handle. As they gain skill and an understanding of the work required, they are given larger tasks, until they have develop a full understanding of the trade.
The program is usually takes two to five years to complete--most people complete an apprenticeship in four years--and you'll be paid for every hour that you work.
As with electrician schools, there are a few strengths and weaknesses of this option.
The main advantage is that you'll get paid while you work. That's fantastic. And, the hours you work usually count towards an electrician license. The downside is that positions can be very difficult to get. There is usually an entrance exam that tests your knowledge of electricity and electrical systems, multiple rounds of interviews with people who have been through the apprenticeship, and, because there are often many people who have applied before you, a waiting period of a few months (or years, if the list of applicants is very long). If you're in a rush, the program may not work out for you.
Here's what we usually advise: do a little bit of research and find out the options available to you. Call the schools below and find out what they teach, and how much they cost. Contact the apprenticeship organizers in your area, and ask about what the program entails and how long the waiting periods are. Once you have a clearer understanding of your options, you'll be able to make a wise decision.
Pennsylvania Electrician Salary
There is a federal agency called the Bureau of Labor statistics that compiles income information about every job in every state. We consulted their databank to gather the most recent information about trade incomes in Pennsylvania, and found the following income data:
|Pennsylvania||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|All Occupations in PA||$22.00||$45,750|
According the facts above, licensed electricians are among the highest-paid trade workers in Pennsylvania, making an average of $57,120 per year (that is an EXCELLENT salary).
Here are some items to note:
- In many states, the salary of electricians is very similar to the salary of plumbers and heaving/venting/air conditioning (HVAC) workers. However, in Pennsylvania, electricians make $2,060 more per year than plumbers, and $10,860 more than HVAC workers.
- The salary of the average electrician is a great deal higher than the average income of a Pennsylvania resident---$11,370 per year, in fact. That's an increase of 24.85%---almost 25%. Not too bad.
- These figures are averages. That's important. They reflect all of the electricians in Pennsylvania at the time of measurement. In your career, you may make less than the numbers cited above, and you may make more. It depends on the experience you develop, the work you choose to take on, and a whole slew of other professional choices you'll make.
PA Electrical Schools
What follows is a list of all the electrical schools in Pennsylvania, and then a list of all the apprenticeship centers near you.
If you know of any that we've missed, please reach out and email us! We'll update the list. And, if you decide to become an electrician in Pennsylvania, we wish you the best of luck!
3835 Green Pond
Pennco Tech – Bristol Campus
3815 Otter St.
CIT — Career Institute of Technology
5335 Kesslerville Road — Forks Industrial Park
Electrical Schools in Erie, PA
Erie Institute of Technology
940 Millcreek Mall
Erie, Pennsylvania 16565
Harrisburg Area Community College — HACC
One H.A.C.C. Drive
Steel Center for Career and Technical Education
565 North Lewis Run
Jefferson Hills, PA
Johnstown Career and Technology Center
445 Schoolhouse Road
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
101 Community College Way
Johnstown, PA 15904
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
750 E. King St.
Cumberland-Perry Vo / Tech School
110 Willow Mill Rd.
Allegheny County Community College
595 Beatty Road
Monroeville, PA 15146
Forbes Road Career and Tech Center
607 Beatty Rd.
Luzerne County Community College
1333 S. Prospect
SUN Area Tech Institute
815 East Market Street
New Berlin, PA 17855
New Castle School of Trades
4117 Pulaski Road
New Castle, PA 16101
Electrical Schools in Philadelphia, PA
Orleans Technical College
2770 Red Lion Rd.
Electrical Schools in Pittsburgh, PA
1940-A Perrysville Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15214
Reading Area Community College
10 South Second Street
Reading, PA 19603
CTC — Career Tech Center
3201 Rockwell Ave.
3427 North Main Ave
Lehigh Career Institute
4500 Education Park
Westmoreland County Community College
145 Pavilion Lane
Youngwood, PA 15697
Union Apprenticeship Programs in Pennsylvania
(JATC = Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee)
JATC of Local Union 375
1201 West Liberty Street
Allentown, PA 18102
JATC of Western Central Pennsylvania
217 Sassafas Lane
Beaver, PA 15009
JATC of Chester
3729 Chichester Avenue
Boothwyn, PA 19061
1513 Ben Franklin Highway
Douglassville, PA 19518
JATC of Local 56
185 Pennbriar Drive
Erie, PA 16509
JATC of Harrisburg
1501 Revere Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104
JATC of Williamsport
500 Jordan Avenue
Montoursville, PA 17754
Philadelphia Apprentice Training
1719 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
JATC of Pittsburgh
5 Hot Metal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
JATC of Pennsylvania – Delaware – New Jersey
20 Morgan Drive
Reading, PA 19608
JATC of Shamokin
25 South 5th Street
Shamokin, PA 17872
JATC of Scranton
4 East Skyline Drive
South Abington Township, PA 18411
JATC of Wilkes-Barre
1269 Sans Souci Parkway
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18706
JATC of York
555 Willow Springs Lane
York, PA 17403
Independent Electrical Contractors (“IEC”) Apprenticeships in Pennsylvania (Non-Union)
Central Pennsylvania Chapter IEC
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
IEC of Northwest Pennsylvania
316 Cherry Street
Erie, PA 16507
8751 Freestate Drive
Laurel, MD 20723
Western Reserve Chapter of the IEC
Boardman, OH 44513
ABC Apprenticeships in Pennsylvania (Non-Union)
The Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. ("ABC") of Pennsylvania also offers apprenticeship opportunities. They're a non-union organization, and they have a few different locations:
These are a great opportunity if you are interested in non-union (aka "merit shop") apprenticeships.