Electrician Schools and Training in South Carolina
Electricians make a fantastic living, and provide their communities with the energy they need to grow and thrive. But how do they get their start? What training do they need, and what licenses are required to practice as electricians?
In the paragraphs below, we present all the facts you need to start your career as an electrician in South Carolina.
Step 1: Learn About Your Career Path
Most people become electricians in one of two ways: they either find an apprenticeship, or go to one of the electrician schools in South Carolina. Both will propel your career as an electrician, but they're slightly different, so let's review each option.
Apprentices are basically on-the-job trainees. An apprentice is paired with an electrician who has years of experience, and basically follows the electrician from jobsite to jobsite to observe how to the electrician works. At first, the apprentice is giving smaller tasks that require little to no skill, and with time and training, he/she is given larger tasks, until he knows everything there is to know about working with electricity. Apprenticeships take between two and five years to complete (usually it's around four years), so trainees truly are experts by the time they're finished.
There are a few different organizations in South Carolina that offer apprenticeships, and we've listed each of them below.
Electrical schools also provide an excellent entry into the career, and many electricians take electrician development courses at a local community college, or sign up for a technical college that focuses solely on training electricians. The educational programs provide a controlled atmosphere where students can learn how to safely work with electricity and electrical equipment.
Classes usually teach everything a beginner electrician needs to know, including:
- Ways to assemble electrical systems in different types of buildings (such as homes or office buildings);
- Techniques used to diagnose failing electrical systems (in other words, how to find the location of an electrical problem, and repair it);
- Ways to safely connect wires to transformers, circuit breakers, and other electrical apparatus;
- How to use tools and meters that measure the flow of electricity through a system;
- Local and national electrical regulations, and tips on how to learn if a building is "up to code."
There are plenty of other things you'll learn, but that gives you an idea of the syllabus at a community college or tech school.
Should I Choose A School Or An Apprenticeship?
Here's how it usually plays out: apprenticeships are fantastic, because they're a low-cost and reliable way to receive training. However, they can be difficult to obtain, and the waiting period can be very long (in some areas, it's not uncommon to wait anywhere from a few months to a few years). Electrical schools allow you to start right away, and usually the only requirement is that you've finished high school and taken one or two algebra courses--but they cost money (and some can be expensive), and they might not count towards any kind of license you want to get.
Basically, there's no right answer. You have to do a little research, learn about the options you have, make a choice, and then go with it. Contact the apprenticeship programs below and check out their entrance requirements and wait times, and also call the schools in your area and see what they have to offer. Keep a list of all the choices you have, and then pick one.
Remember, there's no "right" choice--whatever gets you started is the right choice!
Step 2: Find Out How Much You'll Make
So you're thrilled at the idea of working with electricity, and you want to keep the lights on for the rest of us. What will be your financial reward for keeping the great state of South Carolina up and running?
We checked with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to get data about the income of different trades workers. There's a lot of data there, so to keep it simple, we took six data points:
|South Carolina||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|All Occupations in SC||$19.03||$39,570|
As you can see, licensed electricians are at the top of the list in terms of average annual salary. They make:
- $13,220 more than construction workers;
- $3,750 more than carpenters;
- $1,770 more than plumbers; and
- $1,310 more than heating, ventilation, and air conditioning installers.
It's good to find that if you start a career as an electrician, you'll be among the better-compensated professionals in South Carolina!
Here are some other interesting facts about the data we gathered:
- Only electricians make more than $20 per hour;
- The average income for a South Carolina resident is $39,570---and that's $2,250 less than the average electrician salary; and
- The stats above are averages, so there are some electricians making less and some making more---and it's possible you could actually earn more than the figures above by working overtime.
South Carolina Electrician Training and Schools
We put together the following database of apprenticeships, training programs, and electrician schools in South Carolina.
If you decide to make the commitment and become a working electrician, we're rooting for your success! The country needs more electricians.
1201 Chesterfield Highway
316 South Beltline Boulevard
Columbia, SC 29205
Horry Georgetown Technical College
Conway, SC 29526
TriCounty Technical College — Easley Campus
1774 Powdersville Road
Easley, SC 29642
2276 J. Davis Highway
Graniteville SC 29829
620 North Emerald Road
7000 Rivers Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29406
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College
3250 St. Matthews Road
Orangeburg, SC 29118
TriCounty Technical College — Pendleton Campus
7900 Highway 76
452 S. Anderson Road
Rock Hill, SC
Union Apprenticeship Programs in South Carolina
JATC of the Greater Charleston Area
3345 Seiberling Road
Charleston Heights, SC 29418