Residential Wiring Lab
SCIT College

General Electrician Program

SCIT's 8 month electrician program teaches students various installation and maintenance techniques for residential, commercial and industrial electrical systems based on the national electrical code (NEC).

  • AM or PM
    Class Schedules
  • 8 MONTHS
    Program Length
    Half Lecture, Half Lab Projects

Train by Completing Electrical Projects in Labs

Students learn electrical wiring by working on skill building projects in multiple instructional labs. The program is designed so students spend approximately half of the time learning in the classroom and half of the time applying what they learned in the lab.

student bending conduit in residential wiring lab


Students spend about 50% of their time learning with hands-on projects in our electrical labs

The curriculum touches on three broad electrical sectors found in industry:

  • Residential Electrical Installation
  • Commercial Electrical Installation
  • Industrial Electrical Installation

Residential Electrical Installation

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.

The SCIT Residential Wiring Lab is a hard-hat area where instructors guide students to
install electrical wiring and devices per the NEC code.

Students learn how to wire switches, receptacles (e.g. outlets you plug things into), light fixtures, panels, and more in the Residential Wiring Lab. 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.

Commercial Electrical Installation

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 learn to install electrical wiring and devices onto steel frames in the
SCIT Commerical Wiring Lab.

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, in the Commercial Wiring Lab. Other commercial electrical applications include the installation and maintenance of elevator systems, which normally integrate electrical motors and programmable logic controllers (PLC).

Industrial Electrical Installation

Electricians can be found in various industrial settings installing, troubleshooting and maintaining electrical systems. The General Electrician program trains students on two key areas related to industrial electrical systems:

  • Electric Motor Control
  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)

Students learn about the control techniques of electric motors and how to program PLC's in the
SCIT Electric Motors Lab and the SCIT PLC Lab.

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.

Students work on multiple electric motor control projects in the Electric Motor Lab to learn about common control devices and methods.

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 work in the Programmable Logic Controller Lab to learn how to wire and program Allen Bradley PLC’s, which is a popular PLC brand found in industrial applications.

Special Electrical Projects

In addition to learning about traditional electrical installation applications, students are introduced to special electrical topics selected by the schools experienced electrical faculty. Such topics normally include renewable energy installation (i.e. solar panels and wind turbine installation), low voltage electrical installations (i.e. alarm/fire system installation and RJ45 wiring), OSHA safety, and other interesting topics related to the field.

Students learn to install solar panels and connect them to the power grid in the
SCIT Solar Power Lab.

Electrical Training Courses

The core themes in the general electrician program include:

  • Electricity Fundamentals: Students learn basic electrical theory necessary before learning electrical code. Some of the topics studied include AC/DC concepts, electrical mathematics, power use, and transformer concepts.
  • National Electrical Code (NEC): NEC codes are the standards that ensure safety for any electrical job throughout the industry. Some of the topics studied include OSHA job safety, over-current devices and grounding systems, and electrical blueprints. Students will learn NEC standards by training in hands-on Residential Wiring and Commercial Wiring labs.
  • Electric Motors: Electric motors involve the wiring involved with moving parts (such as elevators and assembly belts); this is primarily found in the commercial and industrial sector. Some of the topics studied include power distribution, power supplies, and motor installation. Students will receive hands-on training in the Electric Motors Lab.
  • Programmable Logic Controller (PLC): The PLC lab gives trains students with real-world simulations and applications. The lab contains multiple computer stations where students use RSLogix programming software to upload their programs to PLC units.

The courses teach students the knowledge and skills needed to install, repair, alter and maintain residential, commercial and industrial electrical systems. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information about the courses required to complete this program.

View Electrician Courses

California Approved Electrician School

SCIT is a State of California approved (Approved School #145) provider of the whole general electrician curriculum. The program provides electrical training for those wishing to register with the State of California as an Electrician Trainee. The curriculum involves extensive courses to develop the necessary skills for entry-level employment in the three major electrician sectors: Residential, Commercial and Industrial.

How to Become a Certified Electrician in California

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, 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.

Should I Be a General Electrician?

A career as a general electrician isn't for everyone. You will need to have the following skills to be successful:

  • 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.

Financial Aid

The SCIT Financial Aid Office is committed to providing students and their families with the financial resources they need to finance their education and ensure access to their academic goals. SCIT is an eligible institution participating in federal financial aid programs. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. SCIT participates in the following federal financial aid programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Parent Loans to Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Federal Work Study (FWS)

For more information regarding the costs of the program and to learn more about the financial aid process, including applying for financial aid, please contact the Admissions Office.

Degree Opportunities

Graduates of the general electrician program may be able to pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) at SCIT. Courses completed in the general electrician program are transferable to the Electrical Engineering program in SCIT's School of Engineering. A BSEE degree may reduce the amount of work experience that the State of California requires for those wanting to take the C-10 Electrical Contractor Licensing Test.

If you have a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering, you may receive a maximum of 3 years credit toward the 4 years minimum experience required to become C-10 licensed. Visit the California State Contractors License Board website for complete information regarding C-10 Licensing.

Degree courses are offered in the evenings, allowing students to work as an electrician during the day so that they may be earning experience hours while pursuing a degree.

Career Services

Near graduation, students begin to work with the SCIT Career Services Office to create resumes, prepare for interviews, and pursue leads from employers who recruit from SCIT. Each graduate is assigned a career services advisor who works directly with the graduate to help find employment opportunities that are within the scope of the graduates career goals.

The Career Services Office works closely with students to pursue job opportunities; however, SCIT does not in any way guarantee placement. Students interested in the General Electrician program are encouraged to research and learn more about the electrical field to make sure it is right for them.

Companies Who Have Hired SCIT General Electrician Graduates

SCIT General Electrician graduates have found employment with many companies, some including: Airtech, Aramark, B Braun, Bay Alarm, Disneyland, FASTech, GCI Solar, Hackney Electric, Helix Electric, LAUSD, Oakley, PepsiCo, Safeway Electric, Sunrun Solar, The Tradesman Electric, UCLA, Vans, Vivant Solar, and numerous small and medium sized electric companies throughout California.