Learn residential, commercial and industrial electrical installation accordant with the National Electrical Code (NEC) in an 8 month, hands-on program aimed at preparing you for a range of electrical professions.

8 Months

AM/PM Classes

Campus or Online

California DIR approved provider of the whole general electrician curriculum.


Program Overview

The General Electrician program is an accelerated 8 month training program designed for students to learn electrical installation and troubleshooting for three broad sectors: Residential, Commercial and Industrial. Students learn how to interpret and apply the National Electrical Code (NEC) through a combination of lecture and extensive hands-on lab work. SCIT is approved by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), Division of Apprenticeship Standards to offer the Whole General Electrician Curriculum.

The program is composed of 7, 5-week modules (8 months total). Courses are offered either during morning hours or evening hours with most courses scheduled between Mondays-Thursdays*. Morning hours start at 8am and evening hours start at 5pm. For details and start dates, please contact the Admissions Office or request for information.

The General Electrician program is offered in the following formats:

Courses are primarily offered on-campus (in-person) utilizing SCIT's instructional lab facilities.

All courses are taken fully online with trainers utilized for labs completed at home.

* Some courses may have a Friday session.

Electrician Program Curriculum

The program's curriculum is designed for students to build their knowledge and skills toward entering the electrical field for any of the three major sectors: Residential, Commercial and Industrial. Students begin with principles of electricity and then move toward learning and applying the National Electrical Code (NEC) for residential and commercial electrical installation, culminating with a team project to wire a mock home based on electrical blueprints. Following the NEC wiring courses, students complete the industrial applications portion of their training by studying and performing a multitude of lab projects related to electric motor control and programmable logic controllers (PLC). Students are also introduced to various specialty electrical installation concepts including alarm system installation, low voltage wiring, and installation of renewable energy sources (e.g. wind and solar power installation).

Click on the course topics below to learn more. Please refer to the catalog for a detailed list of course codes, titles and units.

Students learn about basic electrical theory and electronic circuits. Topics include: AC/DC concepts, circuit elements and analysis, semiconductor electronic concepts, digital electronic concepts, op-amps, and more. Students work on multiple electronic projects that reinforce concepts learned in the classroom.

As the name implies, residential electrical wiring is the wires and components that are installed in homes. Students learn how to install wiring and electrical devices that adhere to the national electrical code (NEC): the common standard used for the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment. When one asks whether or not an electrical wiring job “meets code”, they are usually referring to the NEC code.

Students learn how to wire switches, receptacles (e.g. outlets you plug things into), light fixtures, panels, and more. Additionally, students are introduced to conduit bending with electrical metallic tubing (EMT), which is the metal that encases electrical wiring; students learn about ninety degree bends, saddle bends and kicks.

Students learn to install large conduit and cabling in metal framed environments in addition to electrical components that are more common in commercial settings, such as fluorescent lighting fixtures. Commercial wiring is similar to residential wiring, but it is often on a much larger scale to meet commercial needs. Instead of a home, imagine the electrical wiring and components necessary for steel high-rise structures that require working with higher voltages and amperage.

Students are introduced to special electrical topics such as renewable energy installation (e.g. solar panels and wind turbine installation), low voltage electrical installations (e.g. data cabling), alarm/fire system installation, and other topics related to the field.

Students learn electric motor installation and control techniques by completing multiple lab projects involving DC and AC motors. Electric motors play a vital role in many applications, including manufacturing lines, factories and elevator systems. There are various types of electric motors and control mechanisms to ensure proper operation of electric motors.

Programmable logic controllers (PLC's) are popular programmable instruments used to orchestrate a process involving electrical or electromechanical inputs and outputs. For example, one application of a PLC is traffic light control; a traffic light is normally controlled by a PLC whereby the inputs to the PLC device are the induction coils installed in the pavement at the intersections and the outputs are the traffic lights themselves. A program is uploaded into the PLC (usually a “ladder logic” based program) that carries out instructions based on the inputs feeding the PLC device.

Students train to program Allen Bradley PLC units for various real-world simulations and applications. Examples of PLC applications include traffic light control, elevator control, manufacturing line control, and much more.

Becoming an Electrician

Although many who pursue an electrician career navigate toward working on residential electrical projects (e.g. wiring a home), the electrician profession is not limited to residential construction projects alone. Many electrician careers begin in the commercial and industrial sectors installing and troubleshooting electrical components for commercial buildings and factories. Examples include elevator installation for commercial buildings and electric motor installation for production factories. Electrician related professionals can also include running data cabling (Ethernet), installing fire and burglary alarm systems, working as lighting technicians, installing solar panels, and much more. The field is broad with opportunity to specialize.

California has strict guidelines in place for anyone wanting to be a certified electrician. One path toward becoming a certified electrician is to begin as an electrician trainee by enrolling in an Electrician Trainee Approved School (such as SCIT), applying to be registered as an electrician trainee with the State of California, and working for a C-10 electrical contractor to build the sufficient and eligible working hours in order to be eligible to take the electrician certification examination. Please see the State of California's Electrician Certification Program website for more information, including other paths towards becoming a certified electrician.

The following skills usually make for successful electricians:

  • Attention to Detail: When dealing with electricity, being extremely cautious and paying attention to the smallest detail is crucial. Missing a detail can be a costly mistake that affects the safety of the job.
  • Time Management: Delaying a job due to bad planning can effect more than just your own job; it can affect others who require the wiring to be done before they can start their job.
  • Communication Skills: You need to be able to communicate clearly to all stakeholders the work you will be doing in language they can understand. Customers are often overwhelmed and it's critical that can keep them calm.
  • Independent Problem Solving: It's not uncommon for electricians to work alone on a job; they are faced with complex problems and have to be able to problem solve with no or limited help from others to make the right decision.

Key Program

The following are some key topics studied in the General Electrician program:

Learn how to apply the NEC code as it relates to electrical installation of residential and commercial job sites by wiring switches, receptacles, light fixtures, electrical panels, and much more.

Study a wide range of the NEC, branching into a variety of specialty topics to include installation of renewable energy sources (i.e. solar panels and wind turbines), low voltage wiring, alarm system installation, and more.

Train to install, control and troubleshoot electric motors used in a variaty of commercial and industrial applications.

Learn to perform ladder logic programming of Allen Bradley programmable logic controllers (PLC) to perform a variety of industrial simulations involving a broad range of electrical and electromechanical inputs and outputs.

B.S. Electrical Engineering Degree Opportunities

Students may have the opportunity to continue their education toward a degree to open further career opportunities.

Electrical Career Pathway

Start by completing the General Electrician program and find entry level employment in the electrical field. Work in the field while pursuing a B.S. Electrical Engineering degree in the evenings. At the end you will have a diploma, a degree and work experience.

An Electrical Engineering bachelor’s degree may also reduce the amount of work experience that the State of California requires for those wanting to take the C-10 Electrical Contractor Licensing Test.

Learn more about BSEE program.

Degree Topics Include: Digital Electronics, Semiconductors and Circuits, Programming, MATLAB, Signal Analysis, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), 3D Modeling with SolidWorks, Embedded Systems, Robotic Engineering, Control Systems, Electric Machines, Power Systems, Power Distribution, Power Protection, Senior Capstone Project and much more.

Support to Reach Your Goals

The Student Services and Career Services Offices support you on your educational path to greater career opportunities.

Academic Support: Advisement, academic monitoring, tutoring, and more...

Career Support: Resume assistance, career workshops, job leads, and more...

The SCIT Campus!

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Visitation appointments are usually made on Mondays-Fridays, between 10am and 5pm (except holidays).