How to get started in an electrifying career!

So you have decided to pursue a career as an electrician by enrolling in Summit College’s Electrician Program. Congratulations! You have made a great choice.

Summit College’s Electrician Program will provide you with a quality education that prepare you for work in the field. Summit College is accredited by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Our instructors have valuable knowledge of the trade, attained through many years of real-world work experience.

After completing our program, you will be one step closer to joining the ranks of more than 628,000 professional electricians. You will join an industry that is thriving like never before as more and more people need electricity. The Edison Electric Institute refers to electricity as the “lifeblood” of the United States because so much of our commerce depends on it.

Given the importance of electricity, it goes without saying that electricians and their trade are just as vital. As an electrician, you can enjoy a career of supplying electricity to individuals, families and businesses that need it. You will be eligible for a wide variety of jobs and specializations, not to mention work in a multitude of different settings.

This post will discuss how to get started in Summit College’s Electrician Program and hopefully address many of the questions you have about beginning your journey toward your certificate.

What do I need to enroll to Summit College?

To enroll at Summit College, you need either a high school diploma or a GED. The high school or GED program must be accredited by the United States Department of Education. Summit College does not require prospective students to take the SAT or other college entrance exams.

I have my high school diploma/GED. What’s next?

With your high school or GED diploma in hand, the next step toward enrolling at Summit is to contact an admissions advisor. You can do this by either filling out the contact form on the Summit website or calling 1-888-497-3382. Calling the phone number will put you in direct contact with an admissions advisor. If you opt to fill out the contact form, an advisor will contact you via email shortly after your submission.

The admissions advisor will provide you with additional information about Summit College and schedule an interview. The interview will give you the chance to learn more about the program and help the advisor understand your career goals.

After your interview, the next step on your enrollment quest is to schedule a tour of one of Summit’s campuses. Your visit to the Colton, El Cajon, or Santa Ana campus will award you a chance to see everything Summit College has to offer.

You will have the opportunity to experience Summit’s facilities and labs, which feature state-of-the art equipment. Prospective students also get to see what the relationship between teachers and students is like, as this is a vital part of an education.

I’m blown away by the tour of campus. Can I just enroll already?

Once you decide that the electrician program and Summit College are right for you, there are still a few more hurdles to clear. One such hurdle is an entrance exam assessing your math and English skills. Though Summit doesn’t require students to take the SAT, the school still needs to see what you know and what you don’t.

Once you complete the aptitude test, the only obstacle standing between you and your electrician aspirations is financing your education. Most people likely do not have a spare $30,000 lying around, but fear not because Summit College offers a variety of financing and payment options. These include a number of federal and state financial aid programs. You can also meet with a staff member of Summit’s Financial Aid Department to explore your options.

Financial Aid

The easiest way to find out what kind of federal financial aid you qualify for is to file a FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps college students get their share of more than $150 billion of financial aid awarded annually. These funds are provided by Federal Student Aid, which is part of the United States Department of Education.

The FAFSA takes your personal financial into account when determining how much aid you will be awarded. Factors such as your or your parents’ incoming, expected financial contribution and other assets are among those that may influence your award.

Federal student aid is parsed out in a few different ways:

  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Work-study funds

Grants are allotments of money given to you by the government. You do not need to pay back these sums after you graduate. Grants are typically need-based awards.

Loans are sums of money that you borrow from the government to finance your education. These come in both subsidized and unsubsidized varieties. Subsidized are loans that the government pays the interest on while you are enrolled in school. Unsubsidized loans accrue interest as soon as you take them out.

Following graduation, you are required pay back the loans in full with interest.

Work-study jobs are part-time jobs awarded to students while they are in school. These jobs allow students to work to earn some of the money they need for their education. Work-study jobs are available to both full-time and part-time students.

Many states and colleges also use the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for state- and school-awarded aid, such as scholarships.

Electrician Program

After you have figured out how you are going to fund your education, you can enroll in Summit College’s Electrician Program.

The program takes nine months to complete and is offered at Summit College’s Colton, El Cajon and Santa Ana campuses. The course is offered both during the day and at night to provide students with flexibility around their busy lives. It also allows students to enter the field in a short amount of time, providing valuable experience they need to begin their apprenticeships.

In Summit College’s Electrician program, aspiring electricians will learn the ins and outs of the trade. The well-rounded curriculum gives students the opportunity to see what they might want to specialize in within the electrician industry.

The Electrician Program consists of both lecture and laboratory components. As a student, you will complete 260 lecture hours, in addition to 460 lab hours. In Summit’s Electrician program, students will take courses to learn about subjects such as:

  • Electrical theory
  • Green electricity
  • National Electrical Code Application
  • Residential Installation
  • AC and DC Motors and Machines

Summit College’s Electrician Program is designed to prepare students for positions in the workforce. Much of the program is hands-on learning, but that is also mixed with theoretical components so students learn the reasoning behind what they are doing.

The instructors who teach in Summit College’s Electrician Program are professional electricians with years of experience. They have handled a multitude of different situations over the course of their careers and have the knowledge that comes from working in many different settings. The electrician wisdom of the faculty is a pride point of Summit College’s program.

At the end of the program, students will be ready to enter apprenticeships and continue on their quests toward becoming electricians.

After the program

After you complete Summit College’s Electrician Program, you will be equipped with the skills needed to work as an apprentice. Apprenticeship is the next step on your journey to becoming a professional electrician.

In your apprenticeship, you will work “under the supervision of a qualified journeyman electrician” to learn and hone the skills needed to be an electrician. During your apprenticeship, you will be required to fulfill a specific number of on-the-job working hours, as well as technical training hours. Apprentices typically receive increases in pay as they continue to master new skills.

Once your apprenticeship hours have been completed, you will most likely be required to pass a licensure exam. The licensure and educational requirements vary from state to state. Information regarding such requirements can be found by contacting the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

California, for example, requires that apprentice electricians receive certification from the state’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The exams differ depending on the specialization the candidate has chosen. Passing this exam is required to work as a professional electrician for a contractor.

Will Summit help me find an apprenticeship placement?

Summit College offers electrician students career assistance, including resume help, mock interviews and externships. These resources help electrician students capitalize on lucrative entry-level jobs. In 2015, electricians in California earned a starting salary of $35,310. At Summit College, we pride ourselves on the level of support we give our students.

A quality trade school education is important for aspiring electricians. It helps them stand out over other candidates during their quest for employment. Students who enroll in Summit College’s Electrician program receive a well-rounded education that allows them to succeed in the workforce as professional electricians.

What are you waiting for? Your career as an electrician begins as soon as you want it to. Discover the Summit Difference. Get started today at